Thursday, August 04 2016 @ 11:30 PM ACST
Contributed by: Troy Thompson
In just 365 days it will all be on again. Footy players from around the world will be in Melbourne, the months (and in some cases years) of preparations will be over. The tournament will be launched. Promotional shots will be done. New footy jumpers will be laid out. Everyone (most who have paid their own way) will be ready to play footy for their country in the city where the game was founded
It will be different for every nation. Some will have been working on their team since IC14 wound up, they will be at least partly funded by well organised sponsorship campaigns or alternate forms of funding. Some will have been scraping a squad and the funding to get them here together for the past few months. There are always some nations that are touch and go to attend up until the final week before the first bounce.
One thing is likely as with each of the previous tournaments it will be bigger and better than ever. In 2011 18 men's teams and 7 women's teams competed (with USA and Canada each sending a second women's team. In 2017 we may see the return of nations that couldn't make it in 2011. Two of these teams the "Peace Team" comprised of Israeli and Palestinian players and the Timor Leste Crocs have both shown positive signs in recent times that gives hope to their reprise.
Denmark finished fourth in 2002 but were unable to attend 2014. They were dearly missed and hopes are high that they will also return in 2011. The PNG men's team won the 2014 tournament but their women's team, the PNG Flames were unable to attend and they also seem likely to return in 2017.