The 2011 kicks off Friday night with a blockbuster evening of Aussie Rules footy down at the lake front. Not one, not two.. but THREE games to kick off the 2011 Metro season. The triple-header kicks off at 6pm at Burgmann fields (3500 N Recreation Dr) – after the games, head over to the Brownstone to celebrate your first kick of the season, your first goal of the season, possibly your first win of the season but more than likely your first Golden Goose nomination of the season. Our field reporter Hoyt (B) has the following preview of the action.
Game #1 Tigers vs. Piranhas
In the first game of the year we see the reigning premiers Lincoln Square Tigers taking on the Lincoln Park Piranhas in a rematch of the 2010 Grand Final. The Tigers are led by co-captains Brian Hoyt and Graham “Crackers” Brennan but have years of CAFA experience rounding out the rest of the team. The Piranhas are led into battle by former US Revolution standout BJ Gambaro and CAFA legend Danny Kastilahn.
The Tigers bring a strong midfield of Crackers, Tommy Gun, and 2010 Rookie of the year Eric Zukowski. All three have the experience and speed necessary to get the ball out of the middle. Once the ball gets moving forward they have multiple targets in the 2010 MacGlashan award winner Paul “Oscar” Meyer, 2007 co-Burgmann award winner Hoyt, and the man, the myth, the legend.…Al MacGlashan.
The Piranhas will be answering with their own formidable midfield made up of Billy “Peanut” Uhlman, Sammy “Miami” Blundell, and Vince “Crabs” Doorhy. On paper this is definitely the fastest midfield of the entire metro comp. The Piranhas also bring years of experience and talent to their backfield made up of 2010 MAAFL MVP Frank “Poncho” Bradley, Dougie “Fresh” Malcolm, Kastilahn, and Gambaro.
Key Match ups:
Oscar vs. Poncho
Midfield vs. Midfield
Gambaro vs. MacGlashan
Poncho vs. His Shoulder
Kastilahn and Hoyt vs. Heart Attack
Game #2 Tigers vs. Rhinos
This game sees the rematch of the 2009 Grand Final and brings with it all the bad blood between these sides. There has been lots of trash talking on the part of the Rhino leadership specifically 2009 & 2010 Runaway Train Award Winner Adrian “Rocky” Deehan. Not much has been heard from co-captain Toby Allen(mainly because he hasn’t shown up to training). Nobody is really sure what to make of this team just quite yet. On paper they look to be loaded with Aussie talent but they seem to be lacking in leadership and have not shown up well to training.
From what we have seen this year the Rhinos will be bringing a strong mix of veteran players and promising young talent. The scouts have been impressed by new CAFA players Daniel Knopp and LJ Eve and expect big things from them this year. They should work well with 2010 Burgmann award winner Matt Leibowitz, CAFA legends Dave “Fitzy” Fitzgerald, Matt “Betty” Palmer, and the ever elusive Nolan McKeegan. The Rhinos also welcome back the legendary Paul Drake and hope his hammy is healed up after trying to do his best Steve Smith impersonation while showing off his American football skills.
The Tigers will hit back in this game with some crafty veterans of their own. Craig “Funky” Miller has been rumored to be returning to the pitch and will be leading the charge along with Brett “Pablo” Isadore, Mike “Disco” Panek, and 2010 Coaches award winner Pedro “Taco” Jimenez. The Tigers have also been impressed with their new crop of young talent specifically Kyle Peters and Clancy Kornie and expect big things from them this year.
Key Match ups:
Leibowitz vs. whoever gets the task of marking him
McKeegan vs. His Jumper
Betty vs. Taco
Rocky vs. Chicago Police Department
Drakey vs. His Hammy
Game #3 Rhinos vs. Piranhas
This match could come down to youth vs. experience as the Piranhas will try and use their young legs to run past the more experienced Rhinos. The Piranhas have a talented crop of 2nd and 3rd year veterans lining up against some CAFA royalty.
The youth movement of the Piranhas could be an exciting thing to watch develop over the course of the season. Strong rookie years by stand out ruckman Jason “Pony Boy” Wilhelm, forward Brandon “Night Stalker” Harper, and Jason Schmelzer are expected to be followed up with an even stronger sophomore seasons. Hopefully the experience of veterans such as Deri Morgan, John “Fish” Doorhy, and Tyler “Minutes” Dorsett can rub off on the young guns and steer them towards another Grand Final. The Piranhas have also added some new CAFA talent this season by drafting Lars Christianson and Steve Cassity who have both looked strong in pre-season trainings.
They say that youth is wasted on the young and if that’s the case then the grizzled Rhino veterans have nothing to worry about. With United regulars Ryan Hayes, Toby Allen, and 2007 co-Burgmann award winner Drew Wolfe anchoring this team they are looking to set sail towards their triumphant return to the Grand Finals. But it doesn’t end there for the Rhinos in terms of experience. The Rhinos return the ever fit Jeremy “Jezza” Morgan, Pat “Sniper Shot” Hoyt, and a man that needs no introduction but we’ll give it anyway….Frank “Outback Kid” Plummer. The Rhinos also bring in their own crop of 2nd year talent consisting of the scrappy Ben Hanisch, Dave Deutz, David “Big Papi” Ortiz, and Josh “Stank” Stenger who will all look to continue on their first year success.
Billy vs. Hayzie II (The scrap after the tap)
OBK vs. Whiskey, Cohibas, and all the ladies
Tyler vs. Throwing up
Deri vs. Anyone understanding what he is saying
Game 1 – Lincoln Square vs Lincoln Park
Lincoln Square 1.4.10
Lincoln Park 1.1.7
Game 2 – Lincoln Square vs Wrigleyville
Lincoln Square 1.1.7
WV: Nolan, Fitzy, Wolfie
Game 3 – Lincoln Park vs Wrigleyville
Lincoln Park 0.0.0
WV: Nolan 2, Drakey, Hayzie, Knopp