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.

Swans Head to Dublin

Swans Head to Dublin 0

This past weekend the boys headed over to Dublin, OH for the USAFL Nationals Tournament.  Four divisions of 6 teams and a women’s division rounds out the carnival with Clubs from as far as North as Calgary and the Squids in the South.

The Swans headed down there with a reasonable amount of confidence with solid wins over Nashville, Ohio Valley & an admirable loss to the Freeze in the lead up to the 2 day carnival.

The Red & Whites travelled with a squad of 23 and were pretty confident of a positive start to the carnival first up with a noon game against our rival, and Division Premier last year, Columbus Jackaroos.  The home team were always going to be hard to beat.  While the scoreline shows that we were beaten, it wasn’t without chances, and in 40 minutes of football you have to make the most of your chances.

A couple of marks in the forward line may have resulted in goals and this could have made the world of difference, but instead Revo half back, Chet was able to thwart a lot of our forward thrusts.  We did go down swinging but to no avail. We had a number of individual performances that were really pleasing.

Brad Ross on the wing had a stellar game, Webby was asked to step up and play center half back for the Tournament and his first game was superb.  Mike Panek was his usual reliable self.  Cliffy came in for his first Nationals with the Swans and fitted in very well, there is no frills with Cliffy, just hard at it honest football. Additionally, nationals newbie, Tommy ‘Sherman Tank’ Shearman was firing on all cylinders and providing some much needed grunt in the middle.  Woody was our sole goal kicker for the game, taking a fine mark and goaling after the half time siren.

Game 1 – Saturday @ Noon
Swans 1.1.7
Columbus 4.6.30

Goals: Woody
Best: Panek, Tommy, Brad Ross, Pony, Cliffy, Webby

Our next challenge was against unknown side, Houston Lonestars.  There was nothing lonely about their game, they were a tall group of athletic lads, and really rolled over the top of us, all too easily.  Our shining light from that game was the continued good form of Pedro.  He has impressed all year, and will look to see him polling well in this year’s MVP award.  With a scoreline like this, you would expect the back line to feature heavily in best player awards.

Once again Webby played really well, and interestingly enough, his soul mate, Danny showed us some glimpses of the sort of footy he has shown of his potential. Pony continued to battle but around the ground he was often left to do the ground work with some second efforts almost non existent.

This was quite a disappointing game for the Swans as I don’t believe we have ever been beaten that comprehensibly in a Nationals game.  We all recognized as a group that this was not the way the Swans play, and Rich Noty would have had a sleepless night knowing that we had one game on the Sunday morning to make amends.

Game 2 – Saturday @ 5pm
Swans 1.2.8
Houston 10.6.66

Goals: Stu
Best: Webby, Pedro, Pony, Joe, Danny, Stu

Dinner on Saturday was not as jovial as it could have been, however the food and Oxford Landing wine was really good at Mezzo, somewhat taking our minds off the days events.  The ball sat squarely in the lads court in the final game against, a once powerhouse Boston Demons.

The determination and will to get to the contest and tackle was a pleasure to see on Sunday morning on a dewy track. Boston burst out of the blocks and had 2 goals on the board before we had travelled past our own half forward.  To the boys credit they stood up and basically said this is our game and were gonna fight for it.  And fight for it they did.  Danny Yunes continued on from the 5 o’clock game against Houston to play a quality and valuable game for the Swans.  Panek took quite a few marks playing that kick behind play that he does so well.  Pedro has gone from strength to strength this year, and has really become one of the club leaders, recognized with being named, vice captain for the tournament.

It was really good to have the footy smarts of the junkyard dog, Joe on board for the tournament and his game against Boston was valuable.  Gambol who battled hard all weekend, took a couple good marks and was able to nullify his opponent.

Pony played an uncustomary role in the second half, giving us some much needed height at center half back, he played this role very good and even managed to kick a goal.  New the club Stu Nicol, made a special request to play back pocket, but coach Hendrie recognized pretty early on in the piece that he likes nothing more than to kick goals, his two goals proved to be the difference in the two sides, with Boston managing just one point in the second half.

Game 3 – Sunday @ 9am
Boston 2.2.14
Swans 4.2.26

Goals: Pony, Al, Stu 2
Best: Pedro, Panek, Joe, Gambo, Danny, Stu

Full credit to the squad that pulled on the jersey this weekend, we didn’t make the final but we did manage to come out Sunday morning and prove to ourselves and the supporters that came out to watch that we can play big city ball.  Let’s harness that energy and bring it back next year.

Our next event is Red & White night, where we recognize the individual efforts for the year.  Pedro would have to be in the hunt for MVP this year, Stu will have a big say in the Al MacGlashan goal kicking award this year, and who will win best first year and most improved?  All will be revealed in four weeks time.