News — Club News


A New Season 0

We had a very successful meeting this past Saturday at Brownstone. Pretty decent turnout of team members and a couple of new players showed up. Elections went pretty smooth and there wasn’t too much drama. The Exec Board remains the same as last year, I will be President again, VP-Disco, Treas-Al, Sec-Gordo. We will have Adrian as our Op’s mananger this year and Social will be led by Brian Hoyt and his merry men. Our new coach is Anthony (Ant) Hendrie and head trainer is Ryan Hayes. Metro co-ordinator will be Drakey and he will head the 1st Metro Draft night March 20th-info to follow in the coming weeks. The rest of the committees will be posted online and everyone is encouraged to let their voice be heard regarding any issues and goings-on of the club.

There were schedules handed out to those who attended the meeting and will be posted online soon enough. It is not set in stone but is a good template to plan around. We are still fine-tuning some games and on our plate right now is a tourney June 19th in Denver. KC/Arizona/NYC are on the short list of confirmed squads. It will be a Nationals format (2-20’s with minimum of 2 games) and most likely will be a one day event. Need to know now from the team who can make this trip. Besides Nashville at the end of August we have no other flights for the season. This would be a great weekend away and a good barometer of our talent/commitment for the summer. Go to and vote on your status for this game.

We will begin training right after St Paddy’s weekend and will have a weeknight basketball/cardio at Windy City Fieldhouse starting mid-March as well.

Brownstone will be our new home-base of operations for this coming year. They are part of the Four Corners Tavern Group ( and we will stop by after practice/metro/MAAFL games at either Brownstone or one of the other bars under their management which include Schoolyard/Kirkwoods/Gaslight/WestEnd/Sidebar. Anthony Hendrie worked very hard to get a proposal to them and I would like to thank him on behalf of the club. They are working on a beer sponsor right now and once that is all sorted we should have beer specials. The manager at Brownstone provided some food for us on Saturday for free and will take care of us as long as we do our part and drink plenty of booze and take care of the staff.

Check the website frequently for other information and social activities. Paintball is not too far off and we might work in a bowling/trivia night soon as well. Like Fitzy said, “get your gay on” and recruit new players. Get your meathead on and start lifting and running like BJ. Take care.

Prez Ponch

2009 CAFA Awards 0

The 2009 CAFA Awards were held at the Schoolyard Tavern on Southport last month. Frankie Bradley started the afternoon off irritating Bears fans by booking the entire back section of the bar…. The Bears continued that streak of irritating Bears fans by playing a game of football.  After much singing and cheesehead bashing, the awards got down to business.

The winners are as follows:
MAAFL Premiership – Chicago United
Metro Premiership – Lincoln Square Tigers
MacGlashan Medal – Rohan “Roofy” Ward
Burgmann Medal – Rohan “Roofy” Ward
Metro B&F Award – Gerard “Rooster” Forte
Rich Noty Clubman award – Paul “Oscar” Meyer
Coaches Award – Ryan “Haysie” Hayes
Best First Year Player – John Scher
Thomas the Tank Engine Runaway Train award – Adrian “Rocky” Deeham

In addition to the presentation of the club awards, the presentation of the first Life Member of the Chicago Australian Football Association was announced. Warrick Burgmann was awarded this prestigous title for his years of dedication to building Australian Rules football in the USA and Chicago.

Coach Matthew “Mustard” de Jong was awarded a service award for his coaching duties over the last three years.

United Repeated 0

In a season that started as badly as possible for the boys from Chicago, it matter nought as they barnstormed their way to consecutive MAAFL championships on the back of a strangling defence, great gmae plan and quick, energetic wingers and on ballers.

Way back in April, the United made their way down below the Mason Dixon to take on arch nemesis Nashville. With snow on the ground well into March, Chicago went in very underdone and paid the price with a ferocious opening term by the Roo boys who booted 7 goals to one and despite Chicago’s best efforts, were able to control the game until the end giving the reigning champs a classic wake up call and sending them back to Chicago with tail very much between their legs and facing old foe St Louis at home. Big Wazza Burgmann kicked a lazy 3 and Mustard De Jong tried his best along with Uhlmann and Hoyt but their resistance wasn’t enough.

Sarbacker and the Blues made the trip up the I55 in what is always a classic game. United had shelled out the big $$$ to recruit American legend BJ Gambaro and his first game in the Red, Black and White was a classic as he, Funky Miller and Poncho Bradley suffocated the Blue forwards. Drake moved himself forward in the last quarter and he, along with Uhlmann, Oscar Meyer, Dougie Fresh and Haysie broke the game apart with a 9 goal last quarter. The bad news following this game was the season ending injuries to Wazza (brain), Mustard (knee) and Pat Hoyt (knee) that put a big dent in the United line up.

The Ohio Vally team visited the shores of Lake Michigan next and a comfortable 6 goal win was brought about by the emergence of Brian Hoyt who snagged 7 big ones to set female hearts racing throughout the Chicago Metro area. The mercurial forward improved his form later that night as the worm made it’s first (and thankfully, not only) appearance of the season and even more female hearts crumbled as the “I like Brian” T-Shirt came off illuminating Bozo in all his glory. The Ohio Valley game signalled a resurgance though as the United team finally started to click as United guns in Roofy, the ever Dangerous Dave Allen and Mr Dependable, Poncho Bradley hit their strides ahead of the two remaining matches.

Chicago put on a rainy, windy, dreadful day to welcome the Freeze as they invaded our fair city. Scoring was hard but in one of the toughest games for a long time, where men threw themselves at the ball and each other (always fair and in the spirit of the game though), Chicago came out 7 points on top and with that thrilling victory and Milwaukees defeat of Nashville, all was slowly falling into place for the United lads. Uhlmann again was magnificent taking one of the seasons best grabs in the wet. Dave Allen continued to be a dangerous threat to the opposition and the continued good form of Hayse and Brennan was heart warming for the hierachy at Burgmann Towers. Other notables were the first gamers in Isadore, Casanovas, Dhoory, Stace and Pace with all representing the future of the club.

The finale to the season was delayed as the 90 minute drive up the I 94 instead turned to several hours as the Chicago heavens opened up again, drenching our fair city. Chicago went into the game several players down and one player with at least one finger down. The stage was set for Milwaukee to walk across the stage and accept their trophy as Chicago needed a big win to deny them on their own ground. The game started with Chicago looking menacing as they took the game right up to the Bombers and at the half, there was nowhere to hide as the United, tails up, looked to press the issue. B.O.G Frank Bradley had shut down big Heath in the Bomber forward line with Big Al finding a new position at full back as he and MAAFL/ USAFL legend, big Plugger duked it out for the umpteenth time in US footy history. The United runners in Miller, Hayse, Fitzgerald, Tyrekos, Casanovas, Wolfe and Isadore were on fire as they ran the Bombers off their feet giving the big fellas up forward in Drake, Roofy and Hoyty all the ball they needed. With the whipper snappers in Oscar and Gordo having big days as well, it became an 8 goal romp in Chicagos best game of the year. The history between these two clubs is well documented, making this victory even more special for all assembled.

For one week that seemed like a year, Chicago sat on the edge of her seat, waiting for the Nashville v Minessotta game. The Freeze needed to win or get within about 6 goals of the Roo boys for the glory to be ours again. In what must have been a cracker of a game (28 goals kicked), the Freeze collected a big win over what must have been a very determined Roo outfit who will rue this season which started so promising for them, only to end in anquish as successive trips north saw them in winning positions against both the Bombers and Freeze only to see them slip away.

The Freeze win handed Chicago it’s third MAAFL title and second in a row. Celebrations went on long into the night (and for some, into the emergency room!!) as September 20th became enshrined as “Chicago Day” with the United and the Cubs clinching along with the birth of a young De Jong warming hearts across the city.

The Chicago hierachy needs to take a bow though as their hard work starts to pay off. The win can be attributed to a competitive, well run Metro competition, born only three years ago. Some very handy recruits have started coming through coming through the ranks as training attendance improves out of sight meaning the future in the Windy City looks promising as they look to continue their winning ways next season and push for three in a row.

Piranha Feeding Frenzy at the Lake. Katie Witnesses Husbands Goal 0

Burgmann Fields, IL – The Lincoln Park Piranhas, on the back of a 6 goal B.O.G effort by the Dangerous (Lethal!) Dave Allen have run away with the 2008 Metro Premiership in stunning fashion, leaving the hapless Tigers to lick their wounds as they look for answers in the offseason. Big Roofy was an irresistable force up forward, Big Stace dominated the midfield and the danger man for LP, Dave Allen, was stunning around the ground as the Piranhas did whatever they felt like after quarter time to run out winners 16.12: 108 to 6.4: 40

The game started positively for the Tigers with the birth of Jackson DeJong, a future first round draft choice in 16 years which was followed by an amazing goal by big Pace who…. now let me get this right because those assembled still can’t believe it….. read the ball magnificently off the pack and in the middle of the ground gave a handball in board and still running, demanded it back. He looked up and saw Hoyt with 3 Piranhas on him so, I’m not kidding here, took a bounce and dashed off in a manner belying the dodgey knees and extra couple of pounds around the girth. Luckily for him and the Tigers, the big fella didn’t realise the fleet of foot Hayse was behind him and he continued his forward advance and from 75 (well, 40) out went BANG and to everyones surpirse, most of all big Pace’s, the kangaroo skin sailed through the uprights. Wild celbrations broke out as MacGlashan lost his breakfast on the wing, classic stuff indeed!
Minutes later and Tommy Gun kicked another for the Tigers and all of a sudden it looked like the highly paid Australian mercenaries (more commonly known as Lincoln Park) were in trouble but they were able to steady and through a dominant midfield where Stace was winning every tap and giving his rovers first use, blokes like Haysie, Isadore, Deri, Fresh and of course the Dangerous one began running riot. Successive goals to Dave Allen showed that he was the dangerman for the Piranhas as Oscar tried everything to stop him to no avail. Isadore slammed on one for himself from the flank that brought the sizeable crowd to their feet and the Piranhas went into the first break with a 3.5: 23 to 2.1: 13 lead that, if Roofy had have kicked straight, could’ve been a lot more.

The Tigers continued to frustrate the Piranhas in the second as they constantly forced the ball forward through Oscar, Tommy Gun, Ortiz and the quiet Billy Uhlmann and a sleu of new faces including Dan, James, Billy and Brendan who all showed enough throughout the game to make the heads at Burgmann Towers very happy. When Oscar kicked a classic Oscar goal, ignoring three handballs and a lone Hoyt in the goalsquare, the lead was cut back to a kick and Al again began to sweat as his lunch looked unsure of staying in that magnificent gullet of his. Enter the dangerous Dave Allen , whose goal was a highlight reel classic and put the “ha” back in Piranha. Isadore followed up with another and Roofy finally broke the seal with two towering mark and goals that set the lovely Ness alight and sent Oscie fleeing onto the ground to congratulate his dad. While there, Oscie decided to sniff a few things, hump the odd leg and when he started gnawing on the OBK leg, enough was enough and he was banished back to his sideline setting where he refused to stay for long, taking off to take a dump on the bike track seconds later. At the half, the Piranhas had extended their lead to 7. 7: 49 to a brave Tiger outfit 3.2: 20 who were still in the hunt if they could get the slightest of murmurs out of their forwards.

The third quarter was more of the same however. Mighty Joe was given the task of taking on Roofy and despite giving away three feet in height, had until now done a commendable job, aided by Roofy having a case of the “Burgmanns” (How many times have I mentioned him thus far? I think I’ve reached the enforced quota? Incase not, here’s one more… Burgmann is shouting us all this Friday night as he apparently won $15K at Arlington Race track… or somewhere…. and the fact he no longer works at Bowmans means nothing, don’t read anything into it. Nothing untoward occurred and this column will not be privvy to the spreading of any salacious rumours and innuendo of any ‘funny’ business!!). Anyway, Roofy had a case of the ‘Burgmanns’ (strewth, I mentioned him again…. if anyones interested in chatting to Waz, his address has changed to thus “Warrick Burgmann, C/O Dept of Corrections, Cook County Gaol, California Ave, Chicago IL” Visiting hours are 9am to 12pm and 5pm – 7pm.) Anyway, where was I? Ok, yep, Roofy was kicking rather poorly considering his high standards but he was able to start the rout in the third breaking free to nail his third (haha, “nail”) and set the Piranha faithful alight. The Tigers knew Dave Allen was going to be a danger to them going in but they couldn’t cover his arse and he snagged two more for the quarter, one a bomb from 55 out after a lovely mark. Haysie continued his great form in front of goal and kicked an absolute ripper over the shoulder. We all missed his celebrations though as all eyes turned to Katie who signalled us yes, finally, that she’d seen that goal and as we turned back to see Haysies celebrations we all realised, frustratingly, that we’d missed most of them.

Perhaps the games highlight came in this quarter though. It wasn’t the amazing goals of Hayse and the increasingly Dangerous Dave Allen, it wasn’t the attempted hanger by Al that saw him get half way up Joes ankle and come crashing, comically one may say, to the turf flat on his back, no the real highlight was the up til not now not mentioned Brian Hoyt. Needing 6 majors to win the MacGlashan medal, our Brian hadn’t had a touch thus far but finally he gathered and kicked towards goal from about 50 out. The goal square was vacant and the umpire was already signalling a goal but enter journey man Bradice, who did the even more famous Burgmann (there’s that name again) move and took the mark on the goal line to deny Bozo the goal and bring the crowd and players into raptures as Hoyt crashed to the ground in tears. For the Tigers, and the record, Bradice did kick the goal, his first kick for the game also. At the orange break, Lincoln Park had the game in the bag, 11.10: 76 to 4.4: 28 and it was now how far and how long could the Piranhas keep Dave Worniak from cracking the famous Miller Lites.

The Tigers ran the game out but where totally overwhelmed. Isadore put a crushing tackle on Hoyt that he will feel for the next few days which pleased everyone. Oscar kicked another as did Bradice for the Tigers but at the other end, it was curry time as Piranhas ran amok. Dave Allen showed that he was a dangerous player by kicking his 6th. Dougie Fresh added another and Haysie got another pearla that was, sadly, missed by the wife who was now more interested in watching Vanessa trying to corral Oscie who had taken an interest in golf and was now humping a nice Hispanic mans golf buggy on the 4th hole at the Marovitz Golf Course, much to the chagrin of his playing partners.

Roofy, ignoring pleas from his wife to “come pry your bloody dog off this poor mans buggy”, kicked his 4th and the rout was complete when a sober Dave Worniak, ignoring the game and on his way to grab a Miller Lite, stumbled over the ball as it lay motionless in the goal square thus soccering in the final major of the game. The final whistle of the season, blown by umpire K.O.G.S, sounded the start of wild celebrations across north Chicago as the once embarassing Piranhas stormed to their first flag. MacGlashan, the man behind the scandalous recruiting at the start of the season, proclaimed proudly ” It was all me you Ku#nts. I took this team and made it what it is, you all owe me beer”. As the Piranhas threw Worniak and Katies empties at him, DK took hold of the cup, wrestled it from the amorous clutches of Oscie and rose it aloft, signalling the season of the Piranha.


Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Piranhas 3.5.23 4.2.26 4.3.27 5.2.32 16.12.108
Tigers 2.1.13 1.1.7 1.2.8 2.0.12 6.4.40
Goals Piranhas: Allen D (6), Ward (4), Hayes (2), Isadore (2), Worniak, Malcolm
Tigers: Meyer (2), Bradshaw (2), Gizynski T, McCormack
Best Piranhas: Allen D, Ward, Hayes, Isadore, Morgan D, Elmore, Kastilan
Tigers: Meyer, Gizynski T, McCormack
They play like the men down under

They play like the men down under 0

This article is originally from TimeOut magazine by Tim McCormick.  See the original article here.

GOING POSTAL Rest assured that even though there’s no Foster’s in the frame, this is Australian rules football.
Photo: Hayley Mccormick

Although it’s brilliantly sunny on the day we visit the home pitch (Waveland Field) of Chicago United, the city’s lone Australian rules football club since the Chicago Sharks and Chicago Swans joined forces a few years back, it’s difficult to tell just what the crikey is going on. That’s partly because of the pair of softball games underway on adjoining fields and the precocious puppies rolling around on the sidelines. It’s the first practice of the season, and the relaxed vibe continues with wives enjoying 312 brews and kids chasing around their remote-controlled cars.

Relaxed, that is, until you cast your eye to the field and see 36 burly men scrambling after a football that’s slightly larger than NFL size. “Footy,” as the game is sometimes lovingly referred to, was developed in the 1800s by English colonizers as a way to keep cricket players in shape during the off-season. But the game’s similarities with cricket end with the fact that both are played on an oval field about 450 to 500 feet in diameter.

Here’s the gist. Each team of 18 tries to advance the ball to the opposition’s goal posts. At the ends of the field, four posts are set up, with the two inner ones referred to as the goal posts. Every time the ball is kicked (and it must be kicked for a point to register) through the inner goal posts, six points are racked up. If the ball soars through the outer posts (known as the behind posts), one point goes on the board. The team leading after four quarters of play (Chicago United plays 15-minute quarters; some leagues play up to 25-minute quarters) will be hoisting Foster’s in a fit of victory.

But since the game is a mash-up of rugby, basketball and soccer, scoring isn’t as easy as it sounds. As Chicago United vet Dave Worniak puts it, the game consists of “pretty light rules on what you can [or can’t] do.” After the initial tip-off (similar to what you see in basketball), teams will move the ball down the field through a series of dribbles, punch passes (the ball is hit with a closed fist) and kicks (the best-case scenario, as any kicked pass caught allows you a free kick). All the while, you’ve got the opposition hoping to tackle you to force you to cough up the ball. Any time the ball goes airborne (though throwing the ball is forbidden), the game turns into a free-for-all with every man jumping, leaping and lunging for the ball.

Locally, the team has enjoyed more than its share of success, beating up on squads from cities like St. Louis and Milwaukee to go undefeated during last year’s Mid American Australian Football League (the oldest in the States). At nationals, they ran into a bit of a buzz saw against teams from the coasts where the Australian emigrant populations are a tad larger.

In an effort to ensure the club is always stocked with fresh blood, Friday evenings are set aside for “Friday Night Footy.” “It’s a chance for everyone in the club to get out and play a game, since not everyone plays on the travel team, and also to encourage new players to come out and give it a go,” Worniak says. Post-game revelry at the Globe Pub in North Center certainly doesn’t hurt the cause (neither do the frugal $50 dues for first-year players).

Of course, the team is well represented by lads from Down Under. Many of them found out about the league through the grapevine of the Australian Consulate, which sponsors Aussie pride events such as the celebration of Australia Day—the day in 1788, January 26 to be exact, when Captain Arthur Phillip arrived at Sydney Cove.

Other players ended up on the field through a friend of a friend, or out of curiosity after having passed the action at Waveland.

According to native Aussie Rohan Ward, “It’s definitely a social thing, but once game time comes, it’s pretty intense and pretty physical.”

See if you’ve got the stones to join up for Friday Night Footy.