News — Swans

A Swan by Any Other Name

A Swan by Any Other Name 0

Chicago’s Jason Holmes obviously got his directions mixed up when he asked where Swans training would be held this week. Instead of making the journey to Waveland field to prepare for the weekends match against Minnesota, Jason jumped on a flight to Australia and is training with the Sydney Swans with hopes on winning his name on Sydney’s international rookie list.

Anthony Hendrie, coach of the Chicago Swans has been running Jason through the motions at training and has been impressed not only with his raw athleticism but with the speed in which he has picked up the game. “At some point someone joins the club and really impresses for a number of reasons; Jason is one of these guys. Once he hones his kicking & handball skills, his height and agility will put him in line to play a number of postions very well in our game. Something to be genuinely excited about!”

Club president Frank Bradley echoed those sentiments, “…after a couple practices and metro games he showed one thing only a few of the new American recruits to the game possessed, a desire to learn and get better every time he played. His enthusiasm for learning the game, paired with his physical abilities, will be what makes him a very appealing recruit for the Swans.”

Holmes is looking to emulate players like Canada’s Mike Pyke, Ireland’s Tadhg Kennelly and USA’s Eric Wallace to make an impact back in Australia. Jason’s 203cm frame has been a welcome sight down at Friday Night Metro games for all but the opposing ruckman. Winning almost every tap playing in the ruck, kicking four goals for the season and showing aggression through the packs to get the ball have shown his skills have come a long way in just three “Aussie Rules” footy matches.

One player who might be glad to see Holmes take an extended trip to Australia is Chicago’s starting ruckman and USA revolution player Jason Wilhelm who has been battling with the 6′ 8″ frame of Holmes in Chicago’s “Friday Night Footy” league this season. Wilhelm spent last season with the Gin Gin Eagles in country Western Australia and has done battle against quality opponents both in Australia and the US over his short 4 year aussie rules career. When asked about Holmes he wished the big man all the best, “… Jason is going to be something special. The kid has hands that just attract the ball, and stuck like glue. His ability to read situations and adapt, while constantly learning and asking what more he can do is inspiring. His size, ability and heart will take him far. I’m excited to see what he brings to the sport internationally and here in the US. Good luck mate!”

On the other side of the tap, Swans midfielder Doug Malcolm had this to say, “Playing against Jason feels like you’re going up against someone who is a foot taller than you. And maybe that’s because he is.” He went on to explain how it has helped improve everyones skills at the club. “…now you don’t have to be perfect with your kicks. Just put it up high and he’ll go get it.”

Jason will be in Australia for a two-week try out with the Sydney Swans and then will have a chance to visit with other AFL clubs. The Chicago Swans wish Jason all the best and hope he makes it back to the states in time for the USAFL Nationals in October.

Related links: – US trio to train with Swans

Swans Get Tough and Muddy

Swans Get Tough and Muddy 0

Mud. Water. Fire. Electricity. A 12 mile course with a few obstacles along the way. The Tough Mudder was billed as a rugged challenge to test even the toughest. So obviously when it was suggested (possibly under the influence) that the Swans should field a team in the Chicago event, that a flock of 20 Swans and Swanettes geared up to brave the challenge.

The day began with the unveiling of the team shirt (A perfectly white tank top emblazoned with the new logos) and a quick drive down to Joliet for our limo (school bus) to the event site. Despite Dougy getting busted for “standees” we managed to survive the wrath of the bus driver and arrive at beautiful Seneca, IL.

One initial test, scaling a 7ft wall (which we would learn to be just a confidence booster) was all that stood between us and the start line. A couple of “hoo-rahs” later and we were off, running through a plume of orange smoke we got a brief taste of what we were up against… a short distance of ankle deep mud.. Only a few hundred feet later we got to test if the new Swans training shirts would stand up to the punishing our shoes just experienced. A face first slide and slither through thick mud, to avoid getting dirty meant getting cut up on barbed wire so that was the official end of the “white” shirts. That was also the end of the “easy bit” of the course.

From there the pain continued. 12 miles, 22 obstacles, from jumping fire pits to swimming through ice water, from climbing up and over 20ft structures to jumping off them, from running through pits of mud to running through pits of mud while being shocked by 10,000 volts of electricity. 12 miles and 22 obstacles designed to test our mental and physical toughness, our teamwork and our laundry machine.

Congratulations to all that participated and our photographers and fans on the day. The beer at the end was worth it.

Preseason Update

Preseason Update 0

Well we’re well and truly into Preseason 2013 with only a few weeks to go before we start our Metro Season in May. Numbers so far have been very encouraging with many new faces as well as a few of the older ones coming back to see what’s left in their tanks.

The less than fabulous Chicago Spring weather may have slightly dampened the field at Waveland but it certainly hasn’t done the same to the enthusiasm shown by the Swans on the track.  We’ve been able to take advantage of the open ground to work on full ground ball exercises while adding to our base fitness in this early stage of the season.

A couple of big “Atta boys” to Pony Boy on his recent Revolution selection and also to Super Dave Grzesiak on his most impressive results at the AFL Combine in LA this week.  We congratulate you both on your fantastic achievements.

If you haven’t signed up for Metro please contact Metro Comish’ Brian Hoyt ( – hopefully he’ll check his email – and let him know you’re in.  Not long to go with May 3rd as the kick-off round for 2013.  This is when the real fun starts.

Also Saturday, April 27th the Chicago Swans will be hosting an ANZAC Day celebration at Bar Forza.  A replay of the Swans vs St Kilda match played in New Zealand will be televised…and possibly the Pies victory over the Bombers if time permits. For the drinkers.. $38 gets you all the draft beer, Oxford Landing Estates wine and well drinks you can handle from 9pm to midnight. $4 Cooper’s all night is also up for grabs.

If you haven’t already join us on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news and updates.  If you think you might want to join us for a kick come on down and see what it’s all about.

We’ve only just started…but already 2013 looks to be a huge year as we begin our journey to Austin in October.

Cheer, cheer the Red and the White.


ANZAC Day Celebration

ANZAC Day Celebration 0

The Chicago Swans will be hosting an ANZAC Day celebration at Bar Forza on Saturday 27th April (9pm start). A replay of the Swans vs St Kilda match played in New Zealand will be televised.

$38 (includes tip) and gets you all the draft beer, Oxford Landing Estates wine and well drinks you can handle from 9pm to midnight. $4 Cooper’s all night is also up for grabs.

Footy on the big screens, beers and good company… what more do you need!

2012 Red and White Night 0

Saturday night’s, night of nights was a spectacular event, pinned by the announcement of the Life Membership Award to none other than Big, Bad Al MacGlashan!  A well deserved award and it was fantastic to see a lot of the past players, coaches and committee men to witness the presentation, and also to add a few words of encouragement.  In fact we should turn it into an annual ‘roast’.  Great to see so many of you out in force, and thanks to Four Corners Tavern Group for looking after us as usual.  Kate and her team did a wonderful job at the SideBar Grill.  The club also topped $10K donated to Lukemia & Lymphoma, Club Treasurer presented another $1,500 Saturday to add to the cause.

Congrats to the following 2012 award winners:

Rich Noty Award – Eric Zukowski
Oxford Landing Coaches Award – Nolan Schmelzer
Athletico Most Improved Award – Keith Campion
MacGlashan Medal (Leading Goal Kicker) – Paul Meyer
Warwick Burgmann Medal (Metro MVP) – Nolan Schmelzer
Qantas Medal (Club MVP) – Russ Adams

USAFL Division 3 Champions

USAFL Division 3 Champions 0

The Chicago Swans have taken out divvy 3 at the USAFL Nationals competition in Mason, OH.  After defeating New York, Florida and Sacramento on the road to the final, Chicago battled the Columbus Jackaroo’s to lift the cup.

Final Scores:

vs New York 6.12 (48) to 0.1 (1)
vs Sacramento 6.4 (40) to 3.1 (19)
vs Florida 5.7 (37) to 3.7 (25)

vs Columbus 4.7 (31) to 3.4 (22)