Posted by Thomas Shearman

Chicago, IL- This Friday night sees the welcome return to Chicago of top flight Australian Football as the might of the Lincoln Square Tigers takes on the upstart Rhinos of Wrigleyville in what should be a cracker of a game that has been 6 months in the making following the devastation of the 09 Nationals.

Ably lead by the great Francis Bradley, the Tigers have been the dominant recruiting team in the offseason with no less than 8 new players ready to make their mark in the Australian Football sporting world (and rumors abound of former Shark legend Jeffrey Dreher making a comeback!!). With names that read like a whose who of Chicago football, the Tigers have shot out to early flag favoritism and a quick glance at the Vegas odd makers show them 5/4 on to repeat with the Rhinos coming in second at the handsome odds of 4-1. The Piranhas with a lacklustre recruiting class are a mere 231- 1 to take it all (but like a pub with free beer, the Irish are flooding into the Lincoln Park team (now to be known as the O’Piranha’s or Paddy-ranhas) so look for a huge improvement from them.

The Tigers boast an awesome defence and midfield. Bradley, Fitzgerald, Grisoni, Hoyt and Trimberger are set to take aim at the Rhino forwards (DeJong is a huge loss however) while their midfield is nothing short of sensational with names like the brothers Doorhy, EP, Uhlmann, Tommy Gunn, Brennan and journeyman Leibowitz all looking to rack up big numbers in the possessions department. The forward line, long a burden to the Tiger faithful, has come along nicely this off-season. Look for Meyer and Bradshaw to have big games while much can also be expected of Ortiz, Junius (if sober) and of course club legend Warrick Burgmann (if he plays… absolutely nothing is ever guaranteed with the big man). The Tige’s, unlike their professional counterparts in Australia, feature a bevvy of quality new recruits and the coaching staff will have a field day trying to figure out best positions for all these boys. Harris, Jason, McHale, Harper, Allen, Wideman and Burds all look set to make their debuts this Friday night.

On the other side of the ball, ‘THE’ Outback Kid will lead his band of merry men into the game missing Blundell, Allen, Ambrosino and McClamroch. Big names such as Forte, Deehan and Wolfe must shine brighter than a Hoyt knob for the Rhino to scuttle these Tigers. The Rhino always gets great input from their lesser known players though so look for big games from the likes of Jackie Thompson, Jeff Borchardt, John Scher, Kansas Hattery, the 3 Tylers and little Eli Rosen who will probably get the big task of running with the flying Peanut in Billy Uhlmann. The defence is iffy without Clarke and their forwards will need to be on song to play against the infamous Tiger defense but an upset is not out of the question.

Fitness will be a huge determining factor in this game. All players are coming in underdone with the Chicago weather always being a factor. Lincoln Square will have the height and pace, the Rhinos will have the forward power and a huge chip on their shoulder. All in all though, a great game is expected on the shores of Lake Michigan this Friday night.

Details as follows;

WHO: Lincoln Square Tigers v Wrigleyville Rhinos
WHERE: Waveland Fields; CNR LSD and Waveland
WHEN: Friday the 9th of April
TIME: 6pm (sharp)

SMART MONEY: Tigers by 3 goals, 23 if Burgmann plays.

AFTER: Brownstone Tavern. This is an important function as we need as many people to attend to show our new sponsor that we are fair dinkum. We will take turns controlling Rocky after 10pm. NO BEEP TESTS TO BE RUN THIS EARLY IN THE SEASON BJ!

ALL PIRANHAS AND NEW PLAYERS: Each team must field at least 12 guys. We will endeavor to play 16 a side. If a team is short, Piranhas will fill in. Those picked will be 1st or 2nd year players only. Therefore, all Piranhas should turn up to the game with the following… Footy gear (no baseball cleats!!!), umpiring gear (experienced Piranhas… boundary and goal required.. Haysie will email you lot with more info), and beer (Worniak, don’t drink it all again).

NEW THIS YEAR: Burgmann award will run on the website and will combine metro and maafl. The metro Best and Fairest will be voted on by the umpires and votes will be sealed to be read out at our presentation night.

MacGlashan Medal is both MAAFL and Metro but you don’t get credit for goals kicked playing for an opposition team.

FINALLY: Get on facebook and check out the chicago footy site for all updated info on training, games, play ‘where’s Wazza’ and to upload any photos etc. Also, ensure you are logging into www.chicagofooty. com and paying your dues which need to be paid asap. Oscar has done a beaut job on the website and it needs to be seen to be believed. Check out the forum link to find out what the OBK is up to (or down to… lost another 3 lbs and now is 236lbs! Or was that 326? Dunno but we’ll see friday night!)

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