• Recap: Red and White Awards Night 2016

    Posted by Thomas Shearman
    Chicago Swans 2016 award winners

    Saturday November 14th saw the 19th annual Chicago Swans awards - Red and White Night - recognizing the on and off-field contributions that make the club run.

    Our 2016 award winners included:

    • Rich Noty (Best Clubman): Stu Nicol
    • Oxford Landing Coaches Award: Jeremy Stark (also received the Runaway Train Award)
    • Rookie of the Year: Steve Stavropoulos
    • MacGlashan Medal (Leading Goalkicker): Trent Smith
    • Warwick Burgmann Medal (Metro MVP): Jeff Kraemer
    • Four Corner's Group Medal (Club MVP): Corey Barker

    Shoutout to Four Corners Group's Sidebar Grille for hosting the evening, and to all the folks who keep the club running, including referees Daniel Estes, Lisa Albergo and Paul Enzinger, and Executive Committee and coaches Bryan Hoyt, Stu Nicol, Andrew Woodman, Alastair Martin and Anthony Hendrie.

  • Rhinos Gore Their Way to Victory With Strong Finish

    Posted by Thomas Shearman

    The rhinos and pirhanas after Metro Game 1, 2016

    Just 15 minutes before the scheduled bounce down of the first metro match of the 2016 Chicago season thigs were not looking too promising. Only a handful of players had roughed the 38 degree rainstorm and made it to Waveland Field. Although that might have been because umpire Brian Hoyt linked to the wrong field on the Facebook post about the game which led to him winning the first Golden Goose of the year. An award he fully accepted and wore all night even while he played guitar at Irish Eyes later that evening. But just as all hope was almost lost the Rhinos and Piranhas showed up in full force and before you could say "Outback Kid retirement tour" the game was underway.

    From the beginning it was an epic clash in the middle as Graeme Radford battled Jason "Pony Boy" Wilhelm in the ruck. Off the initial tap Pedro Jimenez scooped up the ball and went bang through the big sticks for an early 6 points. After that the Piranhas settled in and were getting solid clearances out of the middle from Jayson Schmelzer and first Chicago gamer Shae Tulley. Those clearances led to some early marks and goals by the Piranha front line being led by Coach Woody and Brad Clifton who slotted an early goal. An early highlight was a goal attempt that rocketed off the foot of Rhino forward Trent Smith and landed square in the guts of Swans VP Stu Nicol. The sound of the ball slamming into Nicol's ribs could be heard from clear across the field...as well as the resulting laughter as Stuey crumpled in pain. At the end of the first quarter the Piranhas held an 8 point lead.

    The rain continued to drop as the second quarter started. But an electric energy overtook the field as Franklin "The Outback Kid" Plummer donned the Rhino jumper and entered the game. Along with Plummer there was a look of shock on everyones face as Ryan "Hayzie" Hayes and Graham "Crackers" Brennan entered the game as well. It had been a few seasons since these two legends had been on the pitch together at the same time. 

    The presence of these three Chicago footy legends seemed to energize both clubs and the action was moving back and forth with both teams making the most of their efforts. Tyler "Minutes" Dorsett slotted two goals while Jeff Kraemer and Stu Nicol each got their second goals of the day. Schmelzer rewarded his hard work with a goal of his own and Joe Sweirupski who an anonymous source said "looked 10 years younger out there" slotted his first of two goals on the day. But the real action was by the back lines of both teams. The Rhinos backline was buoyed by first gamer and future prospect Ben as well as the always hard charging and hard hitting Tom Shearman. The Piranhas backline was holding their own as well with strong performances by Greg Miller who was getting a ton of the ball and Cliff Holmes who seemed to be everywhere. At halftime the Piranhas were up 6.3.39 to 5.5.35.

    The rained continued to make things difficult for both teams as the premiership quarter got underway. After a stop off at Home Depot the one man who wasn't having any trouble was Paul "Garden Gloves" Enzinger. With his trademark gardening gloves Enzinger was able to take a few strong marks as well as reward himself with a goal in the 3rd. Sweirupski kicked another for the Piranhas while Kraemer was getting hot and collected his third goal for his eventual bag of five on the day. The slippery conditions were turning the game into a real street fight with skills going out the window as each team looked to slug it out with each other. At the end of three the Rhinos held a slight 3 point lead at 7.7.49 to 7.4.46.

    With the 4th quarter underway this game was tighter than a camels arse in a sandstorm. From the initial bounce down though Radford started to get the best of Wilhelm and the forward clearances were being gobbled up by Smith who was getting a ton of the ball and put through 2 goals to get the Rhinos going. Kramer then followed up with a beautiful goal off the left from about 30 out all while the relentless run of Alistair Martin was starting to become too much for the exhausted Piranhas. As the quarter rolled on the Rhinos simply ran over the top of the Piranhas and kept pouring it on like a heavy handed bartender. The Piranhas got one last goal from Wilhelm but it was way too little and way too late. As the final siren went off the Rhinos celebrated a 11.12.78 to 8.4.52 victory. 

    Rhinos:   2.4 5.5 7.7 11.12(78)

    Piranhas: 3.2 6.3 7.4 8.4 (52)


    Rhinos: Kraemer(5), Dorsett(2), Smith(2), Jimenez, Enginer

    Piranhas: Nicol(2), Wilhelm(2), Sweirupski(2), Schmelzer, Clifton


    Rhinos: Kreamer, Radford, Shearman, Jimenez, Smith

    Piranhas: Miller, Schmelzer, Tulley, Nicol, Wilhelm

  • 2015 Board Members and Committees Announced

    Posted by Thomas Shearman

    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

    Posted by Thomas Shearman

    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

    Posted by Thomas Shearman

    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.