13 Aug 2011

Sport: Nauru back themselves in AFL Cup

10:14 am on 13 August 2011

The Nauru Chiefs are determined to improve on their fifth-place finish three years ago when the AFL International Cup gets underway in Sydney today.

Leading up to the last tournament in 2008 there was no organised Australian Rules competition on the island.

But assistant coach, Wes Illig, says for the past two years they've had a short season running which has seen the players skills improve markedly.

He says the team backs themselves to go well over the coming fortnight.

"We've got a little bit more depth than perhaps we had last time. Obviously we're still reasonably short when you compare us to a few of the other sides but we more than make up for that in endeavour on the ground. We'd love to improve on where we finished last time but the structure last time didn't allow us to finish - we didn't get to play any top four sides except for Papua New Guinea first game - and we're reasonably confident that we'll match it with whatever comes out way."

First up for the Chiefs is Fiji and Japan in today's first round.