Recap: Swans Come Back in the Fourth to Beat the Freeze in Madison

Recap: Swans Come Back in the Fourth to Beat the Freeze in Madison 0

On Saturday the Chicago Swans opened up their 2015 campaign in the best possible way by posting a big W over arch rivals and nemeses, Minnesota Freeze. We were hard pressed to remember when the last away win had been posted against MN; some agreed it might have been about 5 years ago, when the infamous elevator got stuck!

What seems like a common thing moving forward both teams meeting half way to play each other on a neutral ground as one of two games the clubs will play against each other. MN went into the game without a few of their big names; regardless The Swans weren’t going to take this one lightly; MN already had some actual game time under their belts playing in a Tournament in Des Moines a few weeks ago.

Chicago was an unknown quantity with 6 first gamers coming into the side, all had big boots to fill with Frank Bradley, Alistair Martin, Al MacGlashan, Andrew Woodman, Drew Wolfe, Joe Swierupski, Danny Kastilan, Andy St John, Nolan Schmelzer, & Keith Campion to name a few, all unavailable for selection, adding to this scenario Dan Saarbacker & Matty Webb both sidelined because of injury. Full credit goes to the first gamers, Brett Barrett, Corey Barker, Jeff Kraemer, Graeme Radford, Nathan Bird & Brenton (Milwaukee Bombers) who all made valuable contributions to the win.

The Chicago traffic stifled our early exit, and because of that our preparation was shortened, and this showed in the first quarter. It took the Swans a half a quarter to warm up, and by that time the Freeze had banged on 3 goals, against what was a 3 goal breeze! The Swans were finally able to get their hands on the ball through the mid field, with Jayson Schmelzer, Pedro & Pony Boy starting to put their stamp on the game. The Swans added 2 goals late in the term through Tommy ‘Tank’ Shearman, and Sammy Svoboda. Paul Ensinger got himself a brand spanking new pair of ‘garden gloves’ and this did appear to aid his performance in the quarter with some sharp tackling and if wasn’t for errant kicking could have bagged a couple himself.

The second quarter saw the back line tighten up, Tiger was being well held by Nathan Bird, and the two Brads, along with Hoyt continually dented any forward thrusts by the Freeze. Tommy Edelstone found his position in the back line and arguably played his best game in a Red & White jersey. A solid team effort around the ground restricting the Freeze to just 4 behinds for the quarter. Graeme Radford bobbed up and added one to the Swans tally. The game was evenly poised at half time with the Swans taking the honors by the slimest of margins.

Game on in the third quarter with the contest being hard fought across the centreline, with the Freeze adding the only goal for the quarter. Some of the things we spoke about at halftime were hallmarks of our game in the third; our tackling, blocking, shepherding and getting to the bottom of every contest set us up for a ding dong battle in the last.

Trialling by 7 points going into the last quarter, the Swans threw caution to the wind and moved Graeme Radford into the ruck, Stu Nicoll found it difficult to get into the game for the first three terms got himself a few telling touches, and Corey Barker lit the forward line up and managed to slot a nice one from about 35 meters out on the run to help seal the deal. A great finish to the game that saw important goals to Sammy Svoboda, Nathan Bird, & Jeff Kraemer. Keep your eye on Jeff Kraemer, a very exciting taken that will be a huge asset for the Swans 2015 campaign. While it was tense in the last couple minutes the defense was dour and the midfield willing to chase down the opposition and make any possession they got ineffective.

A real satisfying win with everyone playing their part to win their position and help get us to our first win of the season. If this is a taste of things to come, with the addition of the absentees, the selection committee is going to have some headaches this year.

Our next challenge looms large with the Wayne Schwass Cup up for grabs in a couple weeks with the Swans traveling to Nashville to take on the inform Kangaroos, who will be hopping mad after their win on Saturday against Columbus in Columbus.

For any lads that have not responded to Hoyt about your availability, do it now. Nashville is always a cracking weekend, even better if we get to keep the Cup!

Chicago Swans Q1 2.3.15 – Q2 3.5.23 – Q3 3.7.25 – Final 7.8.50
Minnesota Freeze Q1 3.0.18 – Q2 3.4.22 – Q3 4.7.31 – Final 5.9.39

Goals: Sammy Svoboda 2, Tom Shearman, Graeme Radford, Nathan Bird, Corey Barker & Jeff Kraemer

Best: Corey Barker, Jason Wilhelm, Jayson Schmelzer, Brad Clifton, Brad Ross, Tommy Edelstone, Sammy Svoboda, Pedro Jimenez, Paul Enzinger

  • Thomas Shearman
Match Report: Chicago Swans vs. Nashville Kangaroos

Match Report: Chicago Swans vs. Nashville Kangaroos 0

On Saturday June 13, a depleted Swans squad of 16 blokes descended into Nashville to defend the Wayne Schwass Cup at Elmington Park. Stu has either 20/120 vision or a nose that a TSA sniffer dog would be proud of, but lucky for us he recruited an Aussie on the flight down to Nashville. Zane was handy for us as we needed all the men we could at that point.

The ground was a treat, a fast track, a lot of sunshine and more heat than us Chicagoans had seen in 10 months. Thankfully we had Hendrie running water in between shuffling the side around as best he could.

Pony Boy won the toss and kick with the aid of a two goal breeze. The Swans made the most of their opportunities, with Nathan Bird, Woody, and Stu slotting majors for the term. The quarter was marred by an incident that occurred at the 5 minute mark more likely to be seen in a cage fighting bout. Corey Barker wore two clinched fists to the forehead, which kept him off the field until the second half. The incident really did spur the boys on and finished the quarter strongly, Swans in front by 13 points.

The second quarter tightened up considerably with the Swans adding a solitary goal through through Nathan Bird. Webby in his first game back from a pre-season hamstring injury was serviceable at center half back, the two Brads, Clifton & Ross were working overtime in the back line. The junkyard dog was a welcome addition back into the Swan outfit, big things to come once the dog finds his form later in the year. New bloke, Jonno lurking on the last line of attack calmly took a number of telling grabs and thwarted a good number of their forward thrusts. With Corey off the ground, the mid fielders, Pony Boy, Pedro, Tommy Shearman, Al Martin were wearing the load. Nashville had a couple nippy mid-fielders that were causing head aches for the under manned Swans. The Swans battled gallantly in the quarter and went into half time with a slender 7 point lead.

The premiership quarter saw the Swans play like rock stars ignoring the heat, Corey defied the pain barrier and touched it out and appeared to inspire the boys. The Swans banged on four goals to three; Stu benefited from a couple down the field free kicks making The Roos pay for each. Brad Clifton and Pony Boy each nailed goals. Nashville were beginning to carve out goals of their own in the quarter adding three goals and six behinds. Swans went into the final term, 8 points ahead.

In all honesty, as coach, it was hard to watch the boys do their stuff against tough conditions, but they continued to battle on but in the end were over run by Nashville, who were obviously more attuned to the oppressive conditions. I might add, that had we travelled with 3 or 4 more players the result may well have been in our favor. That said, it was a tough hit out, aside from the first term incident which is not part of our game, the game itself was played hard and tough and we new Nashville would be keen to atone for their loss in Chicago last year.

The Swans now set their sights on the Central Region Tournament in Racine on July 11th. At present they are expecting an excellent turnout with 12 men’s teams competing (Austin, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Des Moines, Houston, Milwaukee/Indy, Minnesota, New York, Ohio Valley and Tulsa). Now is the time to keep the ball rolling lads, let me or Hoyty know if you are going to make the day trip on the 11th.

Onwards to Victory!

Chicago Swans: 3.3.21 4.5.29 8.6.54 8.7.55
Nashville Kangaroos: 1.2.8 3.4.22 6.9.45 10.13.73

Goals: Stu 3, Nathan Bird 2, Woody, Clifton, Pony Boy
Best: Jonno, Corey, Clifton, Ross, Pony Boy

  • Thomas Shearman
2015 AFL Grand Final – Live Viewing Party

2015 AFL Grand Final – Live Viewing Party 0

With the AFL finals just around the corner, it’s time to buy your tickets to the Chicago Swans’ live grand final viewing party. This year’s party will be at The Crossing, at 2548 N Southport Ave.

The night kicks off at 9 p.m. on Friday, October 2nd. There will be food and drink specials all night, and a chance to win over $1,000 in cash prizes.

Tickets are limited, and part of the night’s proceeds benefit The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, so secure your spot now by clicking the button below.

  • Thomas Shearman
Swans Apply the Heat to the Freeze

Swans Apply the Heat to the Freeze 0

The scene was set for a magnificent day of footy between two clubs that have a friendly rivalry, one that has swayed back and forth over the years.  The Swans jumped out of the blocks earlier this season and took the honors in their first game of the season in Madison.

Saturday saw a depleted Minnesota outfit, one could only assume it was wasn’t cold enough for the Freeze to bring a full squad, rolling up with 12.  Chicago not flushed with their full compliment, but a few blokes were willing to put their hands up to don the blue and white jersey to help make a competitive game of it.

The boys were serious about their last hit out before Nationals in Austin, TX this year.  And it was plain to see from the outset peppering the goals in the first quarter but not really damaging with only three majors from ten scoring opportunities.  One thing was for sure, forward 50’s which dictates the game these days saw the Swans in control.  The mid field led by ruckman Graeme Radford, were dominating.  GR finding the rovers, Pedro, and Wilhelm with relative ease.  Jayson Schmelzer came into an uncustomary role of playing in the middle and played very well, picking up telling kicks and getting in and under dishing out hand balls to the on ball brigade, and laying important tackles when new needed some grunt.

A similar result in the second with many inside 50’s but inefficient in front of the big white ones.  Corey Barker had the ball on a string in the front half notching up his third before half time.  There were however many contributors, Brad Clifton and Sam Svoboda was rebounding at will from the back line.  Making it difficult for the Freeze forward line to settle into a rhythm, with Alistair Martin (Swans) doing all the grunt work for the Freeze, but he didn’t have many friends up front and the Swans kept at it, pushing the first term lead (16 points) out to a 28 point lead.  Once again if it wasn’t for errant kicking the Swans could have put the game away by half time.

You could sense at half time that the Swans weren’t entirely happy with the results posted on the scoreboard, and were determined to make the premiership quarter theirs.  And they ran rampant, the red and whites piled on six goals to two in the third to blow the game wide open.  It has been a while since the Swans have been able to put a game away that was somewhat teetering.  Once again Corey Barker dictating terms in a lethal term of quality football.  Joining in the scoring frenzy, future Revo Jeff Kraemer showed us some glimpses of why the selectors have a keen eye on him.  Wilhelm, must still be on his honeymoon because he ran into two open goals that returned behinds, Stu Nicol wasn’t able to rub the shine off his boots on Saturday despite numerous attempts to kick a goal during the goal frenzy in the third.  Swans pushed their lead out to 53 points at lemon time.

The fourth saw a few unusual moves with Wilhelm and Stu Nicol relegated to the last line of defence.  Stu saw this as a huge opportunity, and found himself actually kicking a goal from the back pocket, coach might be onto something!  At this stage in the game the word around the stadium was there a possibility we would witness a Swans player kicking 10 goals in a match!  A feat at hasn’t been seen since Wazza was bedazzling the Swans faithful back in the good old days!  Corey finished with 9 and was unselfish in handing two out.  Nathan Bird played second fiddle today but finished the game with three and provided many forward thrusts with his creative play further up the ground.

All in all a great result for the club and the supporters who came out to support the boys in their last game before Nationals.  Some really good individual efforts, but more so to see the team effort overall to knock off Minnesota for the second time in a year.  No doubt we will come up against a full strength line up for the Freeze at Nationals.  This will certainly be something to look forward to.

The warm up for Nationals is in earnest with the last round of Metro this Friday night, and with just a few training sessions left, all of you attending Nationals should attempt to get out for these.  At this point we have one of our better squads heading down to Austin in October, any blokes on the fence about going this year should get on board.  Onwards to Victory!

Swans – 3.7 5.13 11.16 18.17
Freeze – 1.3 2.4 4.5 7.7

Goals – Corey Barker 9, Nathan Bird 3, Pedro Jimenez 2, Jeff Kraemer 2, Joe Swierupski, Jayson Schmelzer, Stu Nicoll, Brad Clifton

Best – Corey Barker, Sam Svoboda, Graeme Radford, Pedro Jimenez, Brad Clifton, Nathan Bird

  • Thomas Shearman
2015 Board Members and Committees Announced

2015 Board Members and Committees Announced 0

The Chicago Swans Australian Football Club met at The Brownstone this past weekend for their 2015 Annual General Meeting. A good mix of established and new leaders stood for office, and the following committees were formed to lead the Swans for the 2015 season.

Executive Committee:

President: Brian Hoyt

Vice President: Stu Nicol

Club Liaison Manager/Metro Commissioner: Andrew Woodman

Treasurer: Bradley Ross

Secretary: Keith Campion

Webmaster: Tom Shearman


Coaching Subcommittee:

Anthony Hendrie, Alistair MacGlashan, Sean Curran, Andrew Woodman

Communications Subcommittee:

Doug Malcolm (Social Media), Sam Svoboda (Internal Communications), Stu Nicol, Andrew Woodman, Tom Shearman

Branding Subcommittee:

Keith Campion, Drew Wolfe

Operations Subcommittee:

Michael Panek, Danny Yunes

2014 Red & White Night 0

Red + White night details as follows:

When: Saturday 15 November
Where: SideBar & Grill – 221 N LaSalle
Time: 7:30pm – 10:30pm (after party @ Benchmark)

Cost: $40 per person (Food, beer & Oxford Landing wine ALL inclusive)

Your payment will be via PayPal, click the button belowRight now, you should be making arrangements for sitters, dusting off your Red & White bag of fruit, and making sure your better halves are dolled up for this glamorous night of nights.

The MVP count will be a really interesting this year, a number of players have put their hands up, none other than Pedro who had a stellar year. Stu Nicol must have at least one hand (or boot) on the Al MacGlashan Goal Kicking award, and of course the coveted Rich Noty award, awarded to the best clubman. These and others will be presented over dinner and stories from the weekend will be revealed on 15 Nov.