OK I'm going to chime in and say that it does suck for WA but at the same time I don't think it is a problem that can be solved this year, but it definitely raises some points for discussion for next years NUFL.
Don't know if we would get a better team to NUFL due to cost but our best player JD was on the sideline at Nats and 6 of 12 men from the Sublime team from WUCC didn't go to Melb.
Well the point of NUFL is to have an "elite National league" if WA can't consistently field at stronger team than they did at Nationals this year they would probably struggle to compete at NUFLs.
So I guess what is more important than the fact that you had 6 guys missing is whether or not the 6 guys that were missing REALLY make your team better. Now in Queensland's case we had 6 Australian reps not play with us at Nationals, and didn't have any Open Australian reps playing with Firestorm this year.
So I guess we can easily argue that with the incorporation of at least 3 or 4 of these players our team will get significantly better, plus we had a number of other quality players that were unable to come for an assortment of reasons that otherwise would have been a part of the Nationals team and greatly improved Firestorm's strength. Not to mention that a few of the better North QLD players who played with Thor in the past have played with the QLD NUFL team.
So whilst it might suck that Sublime finished above Firestorm at Nationals, as Brett mentioned above this is a reflection of what the QLD/Firestorm NUFL team will perform like, and traditionally QLD has been stronger than WA in both the Mixed and Open division with two QLD teams finishing above WA last year at Nationals, QLD finishing above QA in Mixed Nationals and QLD finishing above WA in WUCC not to mention that QLD also had 7 of our strongest guys playing in the Open division with Thong and Deathstar.
So I think that this year's Nationals isn't a true reflection of QLD's strength, and I'm quietly confident that the NUFL organisers will consider this more important than the Nats 07 result.
Again, both Firestorm and FU (Canberra) may have approached nationals differently or do so in the future if NUFL team qualification becomes a factor but no policy will be applied retroactively to a past tournament. Nevertheless, Canberra is not interested in having a team.
I think it is fair to say that I'm sure a lot of teams would have approached things differently if qualifications for NUFL were based on National performance. I mean no doubt Canberra would have done things differently, I'd probably even argue that Fakulti may have even considered opting for a more Chilly style split of teams to secure a sport at NUFLs because I mean if only 5 spots are up for grabs you run a big risk going for an even split.
So I also can't help but feel a policy change after Nationals probably isn't fair, but then again WA not being considered also is a bit unfair as well, but like I said it definitely raise the point that in the future results at Nationals potentially should influence NUFL "bids"/"qualification".
I think the debate about having a WA team will be less based on whether or not there is space for the team, (There is no 6th team at the moment) but instead whether or not including that team will come up positive in a cost-benefit analysis (ie, is it worth paying for the cross-country airfares to bring Sublime over instead of 5-6 players as free agents) I'm not endorsing that view, I'm just saying thats what it will probably come down too.
It really is a shame that Perth is so far away and there isn't really a cost effective way of integrating them into the competition.
I can see why the tournament is cost shared, but I can't help but feel that in the longer run it just makes things overly complicated and places too much empahsis on "can we afford to let this team in" rather than "is this team good enough to play". I mean even if Sublime came in the top 3 at Nationals this year, you could probably argue that they still wouldn't have been allowed to compete as a team in NUFL due to the finances of their involvement.
So is there the possibility of running 4 NUFL tournaments a year hosting an event in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth but not making them cost shared or only partially cost shared? I mean this still probably favours Melbourne and Sydney, but I think would be a much more favourable system for most involved, and would put the onus back on clubs to do fund raise for the events rather than rely on the cost shared aspect and it gives each region somewhat of a "home" advantage.
Is this the sort of direction NUFL is looking to head?
I think nationals needs to count for something here, if NUFL is going to be a teams based event. While I except teams had a different approach and considered development (although I'm still perplexed as to why? ... it is the national tournament), this expectation that we can sit out Nationals and wait for NUFL is unrealistic and unfair for other teams and maintains a "stagnant" status quo. The arguement over what full strength squads could and couldn't acheive is all well and good but numerous teams are in this bracket
I tend to agree that Nationals should count for something, but if it doesn't really count for anything I can completely understand why clubs take different approaches a lot to achieve different outcomes from the tournament.
So for me personally I am all for Nationals counting for NUFL qualifications in the future, but making the National 2007 results the basis for qualification into the 2007 NUFL really shouldn't be considered.
Additionally if we did go down that path of picking up unless you are an out and out star who would pick you up?
This does suck for WA players, but at the same time NUFL is meant to be more of an "elite" competition so the level of ability to make a NUFL team is always going to be tougher, it just makes it slightly tougher for WA players. But I guess this issue only highlights futher the need to be able to integrate a "WA Team" into NUFL in the future, and I think the best way to put further pressure on having the change come about is getting more "out and out stars" playing over in WA and competing at Nationals.
Though that said difficulty you WA players face is still somewhat similar to what person faces in NUFL club, I mean there are no doubt guys who play on Chilly B that are more than capable of being assets or fitting in well on less competitive NUFL teams, but will be overlooked, the same will no doubt will happen for players at Fak when they merge into one team. It's just the nature of higher level sports.
If WA, and Sydney, and Newcastle, and Melbourne, and so on and so forth, then we have our list of possible teams and work our way down to 6 teams from there, if six is the number. Lets try and work together to make sure NUFL gets the most competitive teams into the event as possible, and stop fighting like schoolies about which team is better or whatnot.
I agree but I much prefer throwing my two cent Australian coins at other people.
Plus I can't help but feel most people chiming in on these forums don't really have a lot of influence over which teams actually will be in attendance at NUFL - which only really leaves us the option of resorting to bitching like little school girls. Anyway, back to my pointless and wasted opinion...
But just debating why QLD might get a team and WA might not, is numbing.
**Runs off to get old school two cent Australian coin to throw at Brett to test how "numb" Brett really is to this debate**
I think the biggest thing that can come from this "debate" is how the system works, and where it could be improved. I mean there have been a couple of valid points brought up in this thread already - but I'm sure the NUFL organisers have not doubt already considered them and spoken about them at lenght, but at the same time it is always good to have healthy discussion about things to further everyone's else understand. I mean the more people understand the system the more they can personally do to improve their regions chances of representing at NUFL and in the process the more they can do for the sport's development.
I for one would love to see more than 5 teams at NUFL in the coming years, and to have a cemented "elite" National league. And I'd love to see a proper qualification system that assure that the basis for representation in the league is primarily focused on ability and nothing else.
Do we know that Fakulti, Chilly, and Barefoot are in for NUFL for sure?
I'd also like to know which other teams are definite, if there are any yet? LOL is NUFL even definite yet?