The USA Freedom will be competing at their third International Cup in 2017 from August 5-19 after posting consecutive third-place finishes in the past two editions of the IC.
The playing squad for 2017 has a number of well-regarded veterans, including star forward Kim Hemenway, the former Sacramento Sun 5’8” utility Katie Klatt and the versatile Lindsay Kastanek. Hemenway and Klatt were selected to the AFL Women’s Academy last year after impressing at the league’s talent search in Sydney and both played in the GWS vs Sydney AFLW exhibition match. Klatt has spent the 2017 season playing with Melbourne Uni and represented North Melbourne agasint the Darebin Falcons in an exhibition match at Arden St earlier in the season.
Midfielder Melissa Armstrong is one of the most experienced Freedom players around and fought her way back from a knee injury to make the side again.
The game has seen a steady increase in activity since the last tournament and expanded markedly in central England and Scotland. The quality of the game has increased, with more youngsters getting involved and staying with the game, many of whom travel into London to get increased exposure to the full 18’s game, as well as the 9’s they play regularly with their regional clubs.
The number of British eligible players across clubs has improved dramatically with numerous clubs now having strength in depth of their “rest of world” players, which local league rules stipulate must be in match day squads. The mix of high-level Australian players and talented British rookies has created one of the strongest leagues outside of Australia and bought those rookies up to speed and a good level of play quickly.
“Canada's Northwind are currently ranked 9th for IC14 and could potentially finish higher depending how they fair against the stronger teams in their pool.” That was the introduction for the 2014 International Cup and it is unchanged for IC17 (Ed. in the WFN Rankings).
“Canada has always been competitive against it’s Southern neighbour in the U.S.A. despite having half the number of players.” This comment from the previous preview also stands true with Canada only once beating the U.S.A. men in 2007 since the commencement of the 49th Parallel Cup tournament in 1999.
One of three teams making their debut in the women's competition at IC17 we welcome the GB Swans.
Women’s footy in Great Britain
The first Great Britain Women’s team was formed in January 2016 for the AFL Europe Championship tournament held in London. Following the success of winning the three way tournament comprising of the Irish Banshees and the European Crusaders the GB Swans are looking to stamp their mark on world footy at their first International Cup in 2017.
Women’s Australian Rules football has grown significantly in the last few years with the AFL London Women’s League, formed in 2015, now operating a 4 team 18-a-side premier and further four team conference division. In other areas of Great Britain there has been a big push on growing the game with 9 a side women’s teams formed in cities such as Nottingham, Birmingham, Glasgow, Oxford and Cardiff.
The South African team has been announced for the upcoming International Cup (IC17) in Melbourne next month. The national team has been a consistently well performed team at past International Cups, finishing 4th at the last event in 2014, 5th in 2011 and an all-time best performance of 3rd back in 2008. This new squad will be going all out to better those results and set a new benchmark for South African footy.
The team has a tough draw in the Division 1 pool. They open their tournament against Great Britain, then meet the USA and Fiji before a blockbuster clash against reigning champions Papua New Guinea before the finals.
The US Revolution squad has officially been named for the 2017 edition of the Australian Football International Cup, which will be held August 5-19 in Melbourne.
'Revos' head coach Tom Ellis selected the starting squad after months of deliberation, which included a notable camp in Dallas, Texas within the past two months.
The Revos’ list is deliberately a “mix of old and new” according to Ellis, and many other players who didn’t make the list for the IC will be able to represent the US during their 2018 tour of Europe. Some of the talented newcomers include Donald Lee (Los Angeles Dragons) and John Freeman (Nashville Kangaroos), who will be looking to make big impacts in their IC debuts.
Canada's Northern Lights are currently the women’s Australian Football International Cup champions having defeated Ireland in the 2014 International Cup.. They are ranked 2nd outright behind Australia and must be considered favourites for the IC17 title.
The Northern Lights won in 2014 Melbourne when Canada, like the U.S.A, took two women's teams to the International Cup. Canada’s second team the Midnight Suns finished 4th behind the U.S.A.’s first team, the Freedom. That shows the depth of talent in Canadian women’s football.
China returns for their fourth consecutive International Cup with a mix of youth and experience that reflects their progress across the past decade of the Chinese national team’s existence. With several players with Australian experience and momentum building amongst a core group of players who’ve recently played competitive international matches, China are a chance to be a major competitor in the Men’s Division 2 of this year’s International Cup.
In the first of our 2017 International Cup previews we welcome the European Crusaders women's team who will make their International Cup debut. A combine of players from across Europe they will have their work cut out for them. The Crusader's concept is a great vehicle to allow players that otherwise might never get to experience the International Cup for their own nation be part of this great tournament.
Europe and Australia Football
Australian football has been played regularly in many parts of Europe since the late 1980s when leagues formed in England and Denmark. These first leagues led to the first international game between two European teams was played in 1994 between Great Britain and Denmark. Football matches have been played much earlier by Australian troops during war time and also between students at Oxford and Cambridge Universities in England. As more cities and countries formed teams and leagues precursor bodies to today's AFL Europe formed and a number of tournaments held.