Men's Division 2 - AFL IC17 Competition Structure
•Two pools of 4 teams
•Pool A - China, Croatia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka
•Pool B - Germany, India, Japan, Pakistan
•After 3 group matches - semi finals: Pool A winner v Pool B 2nd place, Pool B winner v Pool A 2nd place, Pool A 3rd place v Pool B 4th place, Pool B 3rd place v Pool A 4th place
•Winner of Semi Finals play each other (1 v 2, 5 v 6) and losers play each other (3 v 4, 7 v 8)
The AFL today confirmed that the men's competition for the International Cup will be split into two divisions. The top 10 finishing nations from IC14 (with Tonga not competing) have been automatically placed in Division 1 and the balance of teams will compete in Division 2.
It is hoped that the two division setup will avoid the massively one sided affairs between nations early in their development and the highly experienced nations that we expect to finish near the top of the final standings. This should produce more competition for the top sides and give the lower ranked sides more competitive matches that will hopefully ultimately aid their development rather than crush their spirit.
In the past it seemed that all nations wanted to be in the top division believing they were a realistic chance at the title, but it is understood that this time around more nations understand the vast gap between themselves and the top tier and have been happy with the decision to compete for the Division 2 title this time around.
The women's competition will remain as one division with eight teams competing for the title. It is hoped that in 2020 there will be enough numbers for a similar 2 division split.
The AFL today announced the final list of nations set to compete in the International Cup. The competition will be split into two men's divisions before the tournament with 10 teams in Division 1 and 8 teams in Division 2. New comers to the International Cup will be Germany, Sri Lanka and Croatia in the men's competition. In the women's competition Great Britain, Pakistan and the European Crusaders combine team will make their debuts.
Making a welcome return to the competition after missing the 2014 International Cup are the PNG Flames women's team.
The AFL has put out the call for interested parties that would like to call International Cup matches. The commentary will accompany the streaming vision from International Cup matches. In 2014 the matches went out without commentary and it is hoped that the commentary will add another dimension for viewers around the world.
Interested individuals can submit expressions of interest to participate as a commentator for this year’s event by emailing email@example.com by close of business Melbourne time tomorrow 19th July.
The 2017 International Cup launch is set to be held at Government House in Melbourne on Saturday August 5th. Presumably to be hosted by the Victorian Governor Linda Dessau(and former AFL Commissioner pictured left with Sam Mostyn and Mike Fitzpatrick), the competing men's and women's teams will be welcomed to Melbourne and the tournament deemed to be officially underway.
The AFL also noted this evening that "The much anticipated fixture will be released in the next few days."
Today AFL Japan announced the Japan Samurai squad to contest the 2017 International Cup in Melbourne in August 2017. The squad announced 20/6/17 has an exciting blend of youth and experience look to it.
Once again the IC veteran Michito Sakaki (I believe this is his 6th IC) graces the squad with his experience and talent, which could well make him the only player in international footy to play in all the International Cups. Other IC veterans include Hisayoshi Oura, Toshiki Matsuhashi (4th IC), Yuosuke Kuno (suiting up for his 5th IC), Yuta Toyshima (played IC14), Jumpei Ito, Yuki Akita and Ryosuke Sato (each 2nd IC).
AFL Fiji is set to take IC17 by storm with the naming of it’s strongest team to date. The men’s team otherwise known as the Fiji Tribe, will take part in their third consecutive International Cup since 2011.
With a core group of men who have been together since 2010, The Fiji tribe will look to build on its strong performances in their local competition and push for a birth in the Division 1 final. Speaking with Head Coach Simon Highfield, he was very impressed with the level of dedication the team had shown over the last couple of months “They are very fit and their skills have really improved, we under performed in past International Cups, so we are hoping to come of age this year.”
The New Zealand Hawks (the squad formerly known as the Falcons) – have named a dynamic squad for the upcoming AFL International Cup. The Hawks previously won the tournament in 2005 with a strong win over Papua New Guinea, however, running 2nd in 2008 was the last time the New Zealand side tasted Grand Final action although they have never placed lower than third.
With 2 completed seasons now of the AFLNZ Premiership – the domestic preparation has never been better. The squad includes a majority of players who took part in season 2 of the AFLNZ Premiership including a fair sprinkling of team of the tournament reps. There are a number of current Australian based players including Joe Baker-Thomas.