Melbourne's Herald Sun report on the Revolution

THOSE expecting a bunch of expatriate Aussies who still mistakenly believe they are undiscovered James Hirds will be disappointed when the International Cup begins on August 3.

First held in Melbourne in 2002, the tournament pits 11 nations against each other over 10 days of Australian football competition.

While the game remains the same, some nicknames are bound to raise eyebrows. In addition to the Bulldogs of Great Britain and Samoa, there will be Mosquitoes (Papua New Guinea), Samurais (Japan), Buffaloes (South Africa) and a team from the US that hopes to create an American Aussie rules "revolution".

Back for their second crack at it are Americans Jay Mueller and David Thurmond, while compatriot Chris Carroll will make his International Cup debut.

Carroll has been here since the AFL pre-season, playing with Melbourne University Blacks, while Mueller and Thurmond have run out with Old Haileybury.

Mueller was drawn to the game after he saw AFL highlights on cable sports network ESPN. "I think the key is getting Americans out to play the game because once you get out there and you play it, you realise it's the best game to play," Mueller said."I think we've definitely got the ability to have a few Americans playing in maybe 5-10 years' time."

The US headed into the 2002 carnival – won by Ireland – with high expectations but finished fifth.

Thurmond said the team had "a lot to play for" while Carroll said the players had worked hard on improving their footy smarts.

"It's just amazing how much better skilled the guys in there who I know are, they don't even look like the same players," Carroll said."We're getting some exceptional athletes into the game, so it's just a matter of time before we start learning actually how to play."

On a recent trip to the US, Kevin Sheedy said exposing Americans to Aussie rules would be akin to their discovery of rock 'n' roll in the 1950s. The Bombers' coach threw his support behind trying to expand the game's talent pool."I'm absolutely rapt to see it all up and running. It's going to get better and better," Sheedy said.

Jordan Chong

- Jordan Chong

Posted in 
Watch AFL