News — MAAFL


MAAFL Kings to take on upstart Jackaroos 0

Chicago, IL- A new coach, a sleu of new talent and a renewed desire to hit the 4-peat drives Chicago United down the I 65 in their season opener against the little big man in Scott Matheson and his Jackaroos, the surprise packet of 2009.

The Jacks brought a strong team to Chicago in 09 where after hanging on for a half, they were eventually worn down with the experience, size and skill that oozes from this Chicago team. But the Jacks have a year of playing with the big boys in the MAAFL under them and according to Matheson a strong recruiting class that is ready and raring to take on the best in the Midwest. The little mans size is belied by the size of his mouth but everyone is expecting a cracker of a game this saturday at Tuttle Field with no favors asked, nor given.

Columbus come into the game on the heels of a good old fashoined schellacking by the Nashville Kangas who it seems have not forgotten nor forgiven the Jacks for their upset against them last season. One can only imagine the ‘Roo boys winter long frustrations simmering and churning in their bellys after the shenanigans pulled by a certain team positioned slightly north of Chicago in the Nationals (would love to be at that game when those two meet again!). But I digress. Columbus have a healthy metro comp brewing (even a girls team… which apparently Matheson is allowed to play in as well!!! I heard that from Chet if anyone talks to the little man!) and are looking to this game as a baromteter on how far they have come in their short life.

On the other side of the football is the might of the Chicago United Football Club. Hendrie leads a strong side into the wilds of Ohio with a team that has its eyes set on the 4 peat and cracking the Nationals hoodoo that plagues this team. Led by Rohan Ward, the United bring with them new guns Stenger, Wilhelm, Hattery, Jiminez, Harper and Nate Ward, all of whom have shown plenty in early metro rounds. Look for Wilhelm to play a particularly big role in this game as he will definitely be the best looking chap out there if not the biggest bastard as well. His first up effort against the Rhinos had Drake and Bradley comparing him to a young Drew Wolfe.

This team will, however, be missing big guns in Leibowitz, MacGlashan, Allen, Drake, Forte and the brothers Dhoory but there should be enough talent in there to win this. Uhlmann is one of the best American footballers to ever play in Chicago (or the US for that matter) and he’ll be alongside arguably the best player in the entire competition in BJ Gambaro who, like a bottle of fine wine, just gets better and better. David Fitzgerald, Frank Bradley and Brain Hoyt complete this murderers row of backmen that will be harder for the Jackaroos to penetrate than a cheapskate on Michigan Ave in December.

The on ball brigade will feature the aforementioned Wilhelm (so expect a large female crowd to be in attendance… Hoyt, eyes on the ball son!) who will be feeding Hayse, Brennan, Blundell, Rocky Deehan (if allowed back into Ohio of course) and 5 fingers Betty Palmer with better quality balls than Secretariat ever had. Look for Hayse to dominate as he loves the open expanses and the lad looks fitter than Miranda Kerr right now it must be said.

The only weakness this team may have is the forward line although any line that boasts big Roofy can’t be too bloody bad can it? McKeegan will always be good for 3 or 4 too.. the little bastard. The Jackaroos had quite the answer for Roofy last time (he still kicked a lazy 6 though) but Chet and the boys must remember Oscar and the OBK will need some close checking too.

All up, a great way to start the season with a hard trip to Columbus. I’m picking the United by 5 goals in a close one. I’m also picking Rocky Deehan to be a tad quieter which will leave a vacuum of sorts that needs to be filled. Will Hoyt step up or is he really off the beer? Is it time for Betty Palmer to put his hand up for the Runaway train award that seemed to be his last year before Rockys Ohio shenanigans? Maybe one of the new lads? Hattery is a good Kansas boy and they are drunk all the time down there, just look at the Royals! My pick thoough is Sam Blundell. He has the eye of the tiger on him that boy and hates a beer. With Rocky and Betty egging him on, I predict big things from the Rhino speedster, maybe not stolen mannequins across state lines big but I am picking he’ll at least come back a pound of two lighter then when he went.

Chicago Crowned Kings of the Midwest 0

Chicago, IL- Chicago United claimed their third MAAFL title in a row after another devastating display of Australian Rules Football on the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan. This weeks victim was their old foes from Wisconsin who made the 90 mile trek down the I-90 with a handy team of 22. In what will hopefully be the perfect prelude to tonight Bears v Packers game, the lads from Illinois out marked, out kicked, out muscled and out played the cheeseheads.

Though starting the game with several top name players out including Ward, Hayse, DeJong, Uhlmann, Gunn, Kia Forte and OBK, the Chicago United was able to draw first blood early when Big, Bad Al MacGlashan presented at full forward and took a strong mark on the lead and then cooly went back, cocked that magnificent left hoof and went BANG from 50. He followed this up with two more strong marks and from closer in, missed by a country mile both times. Gordon Ambrosino was proving a handful with his pace and he was rewarded with a smart goal from a snap to bring up Chicagos second.

Milwaukee were not to be outdone and kicking with what little breeze there was on this magnificent Chicago day, they found the big fella in Paul O’Connor who used his impressive bulk to out bustle his opponent to mark and goal, bringing up the Bombers first. Chicago continued to attack and Big Al was proving a huge thorn in the Milwaukee behind as he provided the perfect target for his midfielders. Another mark and goal from the great man sent the United out in front by 15 points as the Bombers looked to stem the flow of easy balls into the Chicago forwards. As they tightened so did the game as both midfields looked to gain the edge. Milwaukee, with Sarbacker, Andrews and the Bill Lawry lookalike, inflated proboscis and all, Robbie Humphries had plenty of experience over the United midfield of Deehan, Herrmann and Brennan but with big Stacey Elmore doing a great job in the ruck, honors were even at the first break. At quarter time, Chicago led 3.5: 23 to 1.2: 8

Chicago again took control early as they looked to open up a big lead on the Bombers. A huge roar came from the crowd as Chicago footballing legend Warrick Burgmann trotted out to take up his place at center half forward on the ground that became his second home and now bares his name. But it was his 2 old mates that were causing all the havoc. Drew Ehlers was providing a great target and Big Al was everywhere. MacGlashan goaled after yet another fine grab and added his fourth minutes later as Chicago threatened to blow the game apart. Nolan McKeegan showed a glimpse of brilliance with his first for the game and all of a sudden Milwaukee were under the pump and looking to stop the rot. They managed to steady and through their aforementioned midfield and tightening backs, put together a great period of football. Bruce Bielffus was able to cap off the hard work with Milwaukee’s second before Chicago again took control. With Gambaro, Bradley, Palmer, Wolfe, Kastilahn and Fitzgerald dominating the Bomber forwards, momentum switched again and a long ball into the forward line spilled to Burgmann whose run around the flank and goal from the boundary line brought a tear to the assembled crowd as memories of the great man at his best came flooding back. But instead of Gambaro chasing him in a Blue jumper, the two legends were together and both continued to put their stamp on the game. At the half, Chicago had shot out to a commanding lead 7.12: 54 to 2.4: 16

Chicago looked to finish the Bombers off in the quickly fading light. MacGlashan again was the focal point as he led hard and was rewarded with a lovely grab 50 out which he, incredibly, handballed off to a dashing Anthony Sacco who was playing possibly his best game in United colors. Sacco, Didak like, took a bounce and on that magnificent left trotter of his went BANG to bring up his first. This time Milwaukee hit back early as some nifty run through the center saw the dismantled proboscis get on the end of a probing handball and from a long way out Humphries went BANG towards the empty goalsquare bringing up the Bombers third. Then a strange thing happened, a little known Irishman playing his first season of Australian Football took control of the game from a forward flank. MacGlashan marked too far for even him to consider having a ping and his ensuing pass to the little Paddy in McKeegan was a shocker but he was good enough to take possession and dodge one, stiff arm another and then from 40 go BANG to bring up his second. Minutes later he showed a tonne of dash around the flank and from distance, magnificently snapped on his right foot to set the cat right amongst the pigeons and send his team into the orange break 49 point leaders, 10.12: 72 to 3.5: 23

Chicago looked to continue the rout as their midfield took control and their backs completely shut down the Bomber forwards. MacGlashan was again the recipient of some great work up the ground and his leading and marking was a highlight of the game. He slotted through two more for the quarter to give him a bag of 6 goals for the day, a tally even Lisa would be impressed with. Big Drew Ehlers was finally rewarded with his first after he played a ripper of a game and the goals didn’t stop there. McKeegan again got amongst it and was able to kick truly after being too quick for his opponent and then after a lovely handball from Sacco, Drake went bounding down the outer flank and from 40, on the boundary and ON THE LEFT FOOT (just quietly), he went BANG to put Chicago 81 points up and well on their way to the clubs fourth title and third on the trot.

Not to be outdone, Milwaukee were able to hit back with Humphries again proving his ability. Despite having two rolls of toilet paper shoved up his nose to control the bleeding from his now magnificently remodeled schnoz, Humphries took a couple of great marks on the lead and was able to kick three late goals for the visitors and put some respectability on the board. At the final siren, Chicago 15.15: 105 def Milwaukee 6.6: 42

The win caps off a marvelous MAAFL season for the United who went through undefeated, claiming their third title in a row along the way and fourth all up. All eyes now turn to Mason, Ohio as Nationals loom large. With Forte, Ward, DeJong, Hayse, Uhlmann and others looking to make their way back into the team, positions are tight and your attendance at training will help your claims no end. Next Saturday is the big clash between the Tigers of Lincoln Square and the Rhinos of Wrigleyville. Piranhas need to supply two boundaries, a central and goal umpires. More details to follow.


Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
United 3.5.23 4.7.31 3.0.18 5.3.33 15.15.105
Milwaukee 1.2.8 1.2.8 1.1.7 3.1.19 6.6.42
Goals United: MacGlashan (6), McKeegan (4), Ehlers, Drake, Ambrosino, Burgmann, Sacco
Milwaukee: None
Best United: MacGlashan, Sacco, Hermann, Gambaro, Fitzgerald, Bradley
Milwaukee: None

Tyler Dorsett; Tyler sustained a nasty injury to his hand…. trying to open the dunny door! Sanitary reasons, no one is to go within 20 yds of him as an open wound in those dunnies can’t be good!

Nolan McKeegan

Chicago Continue Winning Ways 0

Chicago, IL- On a cold day in the windy city where the mercury worked hard to reach 70, Chicago United hosted the MAAFL’s up and comers in the Columbus Jackaroos in a game that would effectively decide this season MAAFL title. Both teams come into the game undefeated and Columbus was coming off what is by far their biggest win defeating the Roos of Nashville. Chicago had the experience and height, Columbus was an unknown entity with plenty of energy looking to upstage their highly fancied rivals.

Chicago captain BJ Gambaro won the toss and elected to kick with a 2 or 3 goal breeze to the Belmont end and umpires Hendrie and MacGlashan got things underway in front of a handy crowd of around 50 brave souls who expected a lovely day in the August sun but were treated to a November day instead (least the beer stayed cold!). From the outset the Jackaroos dropped two men back to counter big Roofy Ward and manned him up with his long lost cousin Robbie Ward and that battle of the two Wards was an enthralling part of the game all day. The Jackaroos elected, very wisely, to go with 18’s after bringing an impressive squad of 25 up to the small Waveland Field. Like downtown real estate, space was at a premium and it was a very intense first quarter as Chicago tried to impose its will on the game but the tackling, harassing and conviction of the Columbus upstarts proved quite formidable indeed. Despite controlling the play, Chicago was unable to break the Columbus defense and against the play, Columbus was able to bring up the games first major after a nice mark in the goal square. Another huge battle was going on in the ruck as Brad Dailey for Columbus gave everything against his two taller opponents in Stacey Elmore and Joey Trimberger who was playing his first MAAFL game. Chicago continued attacking but was constantly denied by Columbus and it wasn’t until the end of the quarter that Chicago’s Anthony Sacco was able to mark and pierce the two big ones with a lovely kick from 40 out on a tight angle. At quarter time, Chicago led a gallant Columbus 1.2: 8 to 1.0: 6 and it was a very worried Chicago leadership team that went looking for answers. Columbus had managed to get plenty of the ball and wasn’t letting Chicago dictate the play and had almost shut them out after kicking with a handy breeze.

The second quarter continued much like the first with some tough, classic football being played by both teams. Columbus had the breeze but the Chicago defense, led by Gambaro and Forte were too strong. Both Herrmann and Scher were playing their first MAAFL games and revelling in their assignments down back and as the defense started to click, so did the Chicago game plan and with both Ryan Hayse and Billy Uhlmann on the wings starting to get a lot of the ball, Chicago started to look the better team with some very effective running and that is what set up Sacco whose mark and goal brought up number two for him. Minutes later Forte found Drake in the middle and his pass found Roofy Ward who had finally got a step on the Columbus Ward and from 40 out Roofy went back and delivered the goods and all of a sudden Chicago shot out to an 18 point lead. Columbus though, were not about to drive 5 hours up the I-65 just to lie down and they hit back with another goal before half time, making the difference at the long break a close 12 points and setting the scene for a massive second half. At the half, Chicago led 3.6: 24 to Columbus 2.0: 12

On the Chicago bench the coaches looked for answers to the close checking of their forwards and mid fielders and the intense pressure Columbus were putting on the ball carriers creating many skill errors. Ward went to full forward and Ehlers, who was playing a great game came out to center half forward to crash a few packs and challenge the free reign Columbus had been getting off their half back line. Chicago started the second half kicking with what was now a slight breeze offering no real advantage but it was they that started to control the game as their defense took a stranglehold over the game. The run created from Forte, Scher, Gambaro, Rory, Herrmann and Palmer was marvelous and with the amount of ball the forwards were getting it wasn’t long until the Columbus backs were stretched to breaking point. Roofy Ward opened up proceedings with a lovely mark and goal and backed that up with his third for the game minutes later after taking a big grab after Drake hit him again with a bomb from the wing. Oscar Meyer came off the bench and it was his fresh legs that provided a much needed spark and he started getting a ton of the ball. Meyer was able to take a nice grab and played on around the flank and with an Oscar Meyer special, slotted Chicago’s third for the quarter. Meyer continued to dominate up forward and if he had have kicked straight, could have blown the game apart but alas, his 1 goal 5 contribution and Warrick Capper looks merely got him the golden goose award. At the orange break, Chicago had shot out to a 32 point lead 6. 9: 45 to 2.1: 13

The final quarter saw the Chicago engine really start to purr as they had winners all over the ground. Rocky Deehan was playing his best game and winning plenty of ball in the middle as his ruckmen in both Trimberger and Elmore matched up beautifully together. With the Chicago runners in Hayse, Herrmann, Blundell, Uhlmann and Ambrosino getting more space as the Columbus defenders tired, the United started to run away with the game. Ambrosino kicked the first of the quarter and then Timmy Herrmann celebrated his great first up game with a goal of his own before big, bad Roofy Ward finished off the Jackaroos with another two from set shots including a ripper from the boundary line that got the crowd going. Columbus continued to defy the United though and hung on gallantly against some big odds and they were still able to go forward often but the great wall of Gambaro stood them down each time. At the final siren, Chicago had put a stranglehold on the MAAFL title as they ran out 58 point winners over a very dogged and impressive Jackaroos team.


Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
United 1.2.8 2.4.16 3.3.21 4.3.27 10.12.72
Columbus 1.0.6 1.0.6 0.1.1 0.1.1 2.2.14
Goals United: Ward (5), Sacco (2), Ambrosino, Meyer, Hermann
Columbus: None
Best United: Hermann, Uhlmann, Deehan, Hayes, Gambaro, Forte
Columbus: None

BJ Gambaro

Oscar “the Wiz” Meyer

United Start Fire in the Freezer 0

LAKE NOKOMIS, MN- Billy Uhlmann, Gordon Ambrosino and the big man in Rohan Ward led a red hot Chicago United team into the deep freeze of Minnesota in a game that Chicago desperately needed to win to maintain their strangehold on the MAAFL title for 2009. The Freeze shook United to the core last season and an equally tough game was expected when the United team touched down in Minneapolis and made their way (erroneously) to the banks of the mighty Mississippi to take on the upstarts from the home of the Pillsbury Dough Boy (and you all thought Al was from Corio Bay didn’t ya’s?) and the humble Cheerio…. not to mention Target and of course both Judy Garland and Bob Dylan!!!

The breeze afforded a 2 or 3 goal advantage to the northern end and BJ Gambaro got things underway handsomely by winning the toss and kicking with the it. Ehlers, Ward and MacGlashan were the big boys United would be relying on up front while Gambaro, Bradley and Fitzgerald welcomed back Mustard DeJong to the impressively strong United backline along with Betty Palmer and Brian ‘the shirtless worm got me kicked out’ Hoyt. United brought 25 boys up but Oscar Meyer was a late withdrawal that worried the coaching staff as his goal kicking ability (and pace) would be sorely missed.

United were out of the blocks first and constantly attacked Becker and the Freeze backline as they searched for the first. Minnesota hung on gallantly and continued to thwart the United forwards who were certainly not starved of opportunity but the delivery to them was not up to their liking. Deehan, Bashford and big Stace were hot in the middle and the wingers in Uhlmann and Hayse provided plenty of spark and it wasn’t long until Ward started to put his 4 fingered stamp on the game by taking a grab about 60 out and banging long to where MacGlashan was able to get his impressively big posterior into perfect position to keep his opponent out of a contest in the square and took a nice grab. Not wanting to risk a set shot dead in front and possible ridicule, big Al played on with the speed of a hypnotised gazelle tricked into thinking itself a tortoise and banged home United’s first of the quarter. United continued to attack but bad kicking for goal and desperate defence by the Freeze kept them out and at the first break, Minnesota had the upper hand despite not troubling the scoreboard attendant going in 1.5: 11 to 0.0: 0 down but about to kick with a handy breeze.

The United coaching staff looked at the positives including all them having all the play and then moved MacGlashan to a spare man in defence hoping he could dominate the air and stem the onslaught that was sure to come. United asked their middlemen in Rocky Deehan, Deri Morgan, Paul Drake and Stacey Elmore to step up to the plate and pressure the Freeze runners and win the ball out of the center as this has been an area of concern but for once they answered in kind, even after the loss of legend Rod Bashford to a knee strain early in the game. Elmore, giving away 6 inches and about 100 lbs was particularly impressive as he repeatedly won tap outs giving his runners all the ball they needed. With Al down back, the United forward line opened up and it was new dad Roofy Ward that took full advantage taking several telling marks before the recently parolled Anthony Sacco, fresh from his starring role in the Melbourne Underground hit “Underbelly” was able to go Daicos and soccered a ripper through to bring up Uniteds second which was all the more important as it showed scoring into the wind was not impossible.

The Freeze were able to bring their first up as they started to settle down and play some good footy but it was all Chicago from there on in. The run from the backs, especially Mustard, Poncho, Hoyt and Fitzgerald was fantastic and they singlehandedly turned the game as the Freeze struggled to control all the spare men around the ground this set up. Drew Ehlers was able to continue his Phoenix like return to the pinnacle of Australian Football in the Midwest with a nice grab and goal into the wind. Billy Uhlmann had the ball on a string and when he exploded out of the midfield and hit big Roofy on the left tit, it was all Roofy had to do to go back and slot through his first of the afternoon. A season defining quarter of football came to an end as a completely shellshocked Minnesota trudged from the field and big Becks looked around for answers. United had the tail up and Drake went straight for the Freeze jugular moving MacGlashan to center half forward and Roofy to full forward with strict, simple, Ditka type instruction to his charges “get the fu*&ing thing and kick the fu*&ing thing as long as you fu*&ing can and let the big bastards do their thing”. At the half, United by 23 points 4.5: 29 to 1.0: 6

Rocky Deehan continued his impressive metamorphis from Rugby god to Australin Football legend as the Xavier prodigy produced a shirt front that Brian Urlacher himself would’ve been happy with before going back after the Sherrin and coming up with the free kick, inspiring his teammates and scaring a few at the same time. The flying Almond in Billy Uhlmann opened up the United floodgates after a clever mark was met with a clip behind the ears that netted him 50m and a certain goal. Deri Morgan was also on fire in the middle as Stace continued his good work and the United backs became mere spectators. Dougie Fresh came on to have an instant impact and I could go on forever but the backing up, numbers to the ball, sharing the ball etc etc was a wonderful thing to behold as the United threatened to blow the game apart. Roofy took a grab on the run after Drake marked at center half back and his Burgmann like bomb sailed through from 60 yards out. Dave Worniak, with his stunning wife on the sidelines guarding his stash of 48 cold Miller Lites got amongst the action with a smart goal from about 20 yards out. Roofy then decided he’d go ahead and kick his fourth for the afternoon as Oscars fingers started to show fatigue as he tweetered for his life, keeping the huge Chicago fan base back in the Windy city up to date. When it looked like it had all been done, Ambrosino decided to chase down and smother a seemingly free Freeze defender in what was possibly play of the game but alas, that may have even been improved on when Brian Hoyt took off from the backline with a smart pass to hayse. Hayse held the ball and handballed inboard to a runaway freight train that turned out to be Hoyt following his kick up (it took 5 years of coaching and yelling but by god, we got there!!!) and he kicked, Jimmy Jess like into the forwards. At the orange break, a very happy United team led 9.11: 65 to Minn 1.0: 6

MacGlashan went into the ruck to replace an injured Stace whose next to best on ground heroics was the impetus for the win and the strong showing from the United midfielders. Kastilahn was welcomed back into United colors as he took his place in the middle and in the famous red, white and black for the first time in a long time. His impact was immediate as MacGlashan won the tap, DK took hold, dodged one and found Drake with a handball that put the coach into space and he went bang with a ball that found that man again, Rohan Ward who marked strongly. He calmly went back and went BANG for Chicagos 10th as they continued to apply the pressure. Ambrosino set the crowd alight again after chasing down a lost Freeze defender and in a damning tackle, laid him out and received his just rewards with a holding the ball decision. His kick into the big boys saw the ball bounce to Stace who soccered off the ground bringing up his first meaning Chicago now had 10 separate goal kickers.

The Freeze, to their credit, never gave up in the face of wave after wave of United attacks and their perseverance mixed with some poor manning up led Minnesota to get a couple of late ones to put some respectability on the board as the final siren blew mercifully in the afternoon breeze, echoing a magnificent Chicago win in which all players had a hand in. After a magnificent team effort, Chicago eventually ran out winners by 56 points. Next up is a possible match up with UsFooty ranked number 1 team the Eagles of Baltimore.


Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Minnesota 0.0.0 1.0.6 0.0.0 3.0.18 4.0.24
United 1.5.11 3.0.18 6.6.42 1.3.9 11.14.80
Goals Minnesota: None
United: Ward (5), Worniak, Uhlmann, Sacco, MacGlashan, Ehlers, Elmore
Best Minnesota: None
United: Ward, Uhlmann, Sacco, MacGlashan, Hoyt B, Ambrosino

Billy Uhlmann

Paul Drake (leaving Billy… BOG… at the airport before the game and then trying to blame his missus)

Brits! I reckon we go up when the Sox play the Twins next just to go to Brits and get some decent fish n chips!

United Bounce Roos in a Classic 0

CHICAGO, IL- In another game for the ages between these two classic rivals, Chicago outlasted a ferocious Kangaroo outfit but ended up paying a huge cost for the win with two big injuries, both broken ankles… and worse, to Chris ‘Bluey’ Carroll and Brett ‘Pablo’ Isadore. Isadore’s fracture is less severe but will sideline him for most of the season whereas big Bluey’s horrific injury in the dying moments could end one of the great American careers in MAAFL and US Footy.

Nashville was treated to a beautiful day at Rogers Park with a disappointing crowd basking in a pleasant 70 degrees with a slight wind that had no real effect on the game but if it did, it was towards the southern end where Chicago, who won the toss on captain BJ Gambaros call, were kicking. An interesting decision by Nashville to only play 14 a side, despite bringing 20 blokes, left plenty on the bench for both teams and on a big ground, there was plenty of running ahead, particularly for the backlines of both teams as the two big forwards, the magnificently besparkling domed Chris Moerman from Nashville and the father to be in Roofy Ward for Chicago were both coming into the game in red hot form. Both teams opted for a spare man in defence to stifle the big men as Whitey took the first bounce to get her underway.

From the bounce, Chicago cleared and with a forward line more open than a Illinois politicians checkbook, gave Ambrosino plenty of room to move and the little fella swooped onto a ball and slotted a smart snap through (on the left boot by the way!!) to get proceedings going. Chicago continued to attack and when big Roofy tapped a loose ball to his coach, he took off like a gazelle and Drakes handball found the leaping leviathan (it’s a word, look it up!) who sauntered into an open goal to send shivers down the Kangaroo bench as Marty Thompson searched for answers. It didn’t take the kangas long to find those answers however and the boys from the the other side of the Mason Dixon hit back with a vengeance. Slated in pre game chats as a potential game winner, perennial Chicago pain in the butt Dee Vsetka started to get plenty of it and banged home Nashvilles first after a nice handball got him into open space. Seconds later, Nashvilles best in little Matty Langley broke free to snap truly and it was all Nashville as they dominated the center through the brothers Grimm in the Nemeths and Dave Walker (great to see him back after the injury too just quietly) was getting a tonne of touches too. The Kangaroo’s ageless legend, Jeff Persson showed he still has plenty left in the tank as he hit the bagman in Moerman with a cracker pass on the left tit which the follicularly challenged big fella slotted home from about 40 out. At quarter time, Nashville had shot out to a 3.4: 22 to 2.2: 14 lead.

The second stanza started much like the first with Chicago getting the jump on the Roos early in this, the 15th meeting of the two clubs. From the throw in, Roofy was able to gather and snap truly to wrest the lead back. From a center clearance, Ambrosino kicked a coaches manual perfect crumbers goal to get the crowd of around 50 going as the Chicago forwards started to appreciate the service given to them. Ward was the difference between the two teams and when a full tilt Ryan Hayse hit him on the lead, the big fella was able to slot home number three. When Roofy kicked his fourth after a big grab over Travis Quigley, the United had opened up a 19 point buffer and looked poised to take control of the game as their runners were starting to get on top and the backline was providng plenty of opportunities in transition as Nashville continued to bomb it into the big fella in Moerman, hoping he could beat 2 and sometimes 3 Chicago defenders. Matt Langley, who worked tirelessly all over the ground was winning plenty of the ball and received a free kick in front of goal which he duly slotted through to stop the Chicago momentum. Another free kick seconds later brought up another Nashville goal, this time through Moerman as the Kangaroos, as they had done in the first, hit back at their hosts. At the half, Chicago led 6.6: 42 to Nashvilles 5.8: 38

Langley, Vsetka and Moerman were the topics of heated conversation as the Chicago coaching staff looked to stem the tide of undisciplined free kicks and a center line for Nashville that was cutting Chicago to shreds. Drake came out of the forward line and into a ruck roving position after Pablo Iasadores injury. This sent Bradshaw up forward and then the two telling moves of the game for Chicago were probably Crabs Dhoory onto Matt Langley and a very quiet Drew Wolfe onto Chris Moerman to give the St Louis twins in Gambaro and Caroll room to move in the backline. Dhoory in particular was instrumental as he tagged and harassed Langley to perfection, slowing the little man down and stopping the free reign he was haivng at the stoppages where he was able to constantly hurt the United.

Nashville came out hard but the Chicago defence stood tall with Drew Wolfe revelling in his new role on the dangerous Moerman with several goal saving spoils frustrating Mustard De Jongs Nashville twin. Roofy, leading hard, was able to snap truly and kick his fifth as he threatened again to break the game open off his own boot. From the ensuing bounce, big EP, playing his first game in Chicago colors, found Drake who, after dodging a few tacklers and surprising all with his agility, hit a running Betty Palmer in space who dutifully nailed Chris Bradshaw who went back and went BANG to set the dingoes amongst the Kangaroos as Chicago again looked set to run away with the game. But this is a well coached, desperate Nashville team who hate losing, particularly to us and they once again were able to hit back as Chicago started to look tired. Mischa Nemeth started getting kicks and their other big Australian, Justin White, was taking mark after mark. Vsetka was awarded another free kick in front of goal to get some reward for the hard work being done by the Roo boys. They continued to attack but the Chicago defence hung on desperately, continually forcing the Roo forwards into hurried shots and never giving them the space they wanted. A late bomb on the siren brought up Chris Bradshaws second of the game, a very important goal in the context fo the game as it was against the flow and stemmed the Nashville pressure as both teams went into the orange break with Chicago leading 9.7: 61 to 6.13: 49.

Both coaches pleaded with their tiring charges but it was Nashville that came out best and if not for some huge work by the Chicago backs in Gambaro, Carroll, Uhlmann, Oscar, Rocky Deeham and Wolfe, Nashville could have stolen this one. As it was, Nashville youngster ‘Whippet’ Liepply kicked the quarters first, a ripper of a snap from a Nemeth handball that surprised no one more than young Whippet himself whose clebrations saw him take off down Western Avenue with an impressive series of cartwheels, handstands, round outs and plenty of high fives to anyone within a mile radius. Whippet had another chance seconds later but was unable to slot that one through. Chicago was desperate and it was the big man that stepped up again, Roofy bringing up the two finger salute with another smart snap.

The game was delayed for 20 minutes after the sickening injury to Bluey Carroll saw the paramedics cart him off and the Chicago coaching staff were scrambling as they looked to fill the humongous void left by him and his mate BJ who accompanied him to the hospital. A free kick to Moerman 15 out sent shivers through the crowd but he missed and from the kick in Chicago were able to clear down the outer wing where Uhlmann found Drake who was in a tonne of space. He popped it over to Nolan Mc Keegan who centered for Chicago. Some to-ing and fro-ing eventually saw the ball fall back to McKeegan who banged home the winner for Chicago as De Jong breathed a massive sigh of relief on the sideline. Chicago continued to attack as their depth showed through and they were able to run out the game, winning 11.7: 73 to 7.17: 59

This was probably the most important game of the season as it puts Chicago in the drivers seat to claim their third MAAFL title in as many years. Nashville will rue missed opportunities as they try to beat Chicago on the road, a feat not yet accomplished. The game however, was a tribute to both teams and an excellent example of Australian Football with tough, uncompromising styles on both sides of the ball. In a tale of two forwards, it was Roofy Ward who ruled the roost and put his stamp on this game from the outset as Moerman battled hard against a determined Drew Wolfe whose second half was instrumental in this win, keeping the big fella to just 2 for the game. Carroll and Isadore are huge losses that Chicago must overcome if they are to come out of the deep freeze in Minneapolis with a win in three weeks.


Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
United 2.2.14 4.4.28 3.1.19 2.0.12 11.7.73
Nashville 3.4.22 2.4.16 1.5.11 1.4.10 7.17.59
Goals United: Ward (6), Bradshaw (2), Ambrosino (2), McKeegan
Nashville: None
Best United: Ward, Ambrosino, Carroll, Deehan, Wolfe, Doorhy V, Gambaro
Nashville: None

Drew Wolfe

Stacy Elmore (missing an absolute sitter of a goal 2ft out under no pressure)

United Effort Overpowers Tenacious River Rats 0

It was a dreary, murky morning when the heavily favored boys from Chicago took their allocated seats and began the long drive down the I-65 to meet the Ohio Valley River Rats in Cincinnati. Luckily, United had sent three lads in Basher, Forte and young Jack Thompson down the night before to at least have some players fresh and settled for the season opener. United were to welcome first MAAFL gamers in ‘Rocky’ Deehan, Nolan McKeegan, Basher, Forte and young Jack Thompson. Selectors were impressed by Rocky’s commitment to looking after himself by attending a relaxing evening at the Art Museum the night before. The poor lad was then so anxious about the game he was unable to get to sleep. The anxiety continued throughout the day with repeated vomiting. Bloody lucky he played well!

The team eventually arrived in Cinci expecting to see Bash, Forte and young Jack Thompson awaiting them but alas this was not to be and it wasn’t to be for a long time afterwards. United had also learnt of the loss of Pace, Clarkey and The Kid on the journey down so the team was 6 players short of what was expected to start the game. The weather had cleared up setting the scene for a great game of football.

United’s team was reshuffled to account for missing players and they started well with an early goal to Hoyt. This was about the only joy for Chicago in the 1st Quarter as the River Rats begun to run rampant around the ground winning possession at will and easily moving the ball amongst themselves without any pressure. Matt Suellar was dominant up forward for the Rats overpowering his quality Chicago opponents and kicking 3 of their 5 goals for the quarter. While ‘Lenny’ Ehlers was able to score his first goal against the tide for United to add some respectability to the scoreboard, the team looked like they’d all been eating meat pies throughout the 5 hour journey that morning. To add to the disappointment of the 1st Quarter, United cruelly lost the services for the rest of the game of top player, ‘Poncho’ Bradley with a dislocated shoulder. Roofy Ward, Crackers Brennan and Lenny were the exceptions in a lack lustre display.

While the team was disapponted with their efforts, after a cool, quiet quarter time discussion amongst the team, their was a strong resolve to do better in the 2nd Quarter. The team was also bolsted by the appearance of Basher, Forte and young Jack Thompson at the field. Apparently the three lads thought it was a 20 minute trip from Louisville to Cinci rather than the 2 hours that it actually took.

The intensity lifted ten fold in the 2nd Quarter with the River Rats sensing the biggest upset in US Footy history and United determined to reverse the flow of the game. Two quick goals to Lenny and one to Betty Palmer tightened the game up before Ohio Valley rolled the dice again and extended their lead with a couple of goals. The desire from both teams was obvious with players throwing themselves at the ball willing their team to take the momentum. First gamer Nolan McKeegan entered the fray and was an unlikely star for United and it was his hard work to get the ball to Roofy who tied up the scores at half time.

The game was balancing on a razor’s edge at half time though the feeling in the United camp was that the game had turned. Chicago’s onballers were winning plenty of the ball and were moving it quickly to the dominant Roofy and Lenny up forward. The support for each other in contests that was lacking early in the game was suddenly there with plenty of options provided to blokes stuck in tight situations. Forte moved down back to support his skipper, BJ Gambaro, and together they were wrestling control from Sueller up that end of the ground. The team knew that sticking to their style of play was going to be too much for the River Rats to overcome.

The 3rd Quarter begun very much like the first with liitle drive through the center and Coach Mustard was preparing himself for another cool, quiet discussion with his troops. While Ohio Valley once again dominated the midfield a determined defence for United prevented any scoring. Inspired by the work of Fitzy, BJ, Forte and Rocky down back the rest of the team cam to life. Great team play by Betty and Nolan resulted in Fitzy scoring a goal followed by more quality team goals to Oscar and Lenny. This was to be the last resistance from the River Rats as the remainder of the game was all Chicago. In what was a game in the balance at half time, Chicago were going into the last quarter with a 23 point lead.

The last quarter rained goals for the men from the windy city as again their quality team play and ball movement ran rings around their gallant opponents and provided plenty of scoring opportunities for their team mates. A lighter and much fitter (though I still wouldn’t let him pet the rabbits, George) Lenny capped off a great game with two more for the quarter to finish with six for the game. Young Jack Thompson provided some quality efforts in defence to once again help keep Ohio Valley scoreless for the quarter and his experience will no doubt prove beneficial in the future.

The game was over and Chicago could feel pleased with a 68 point victory after their longest road trip of the year. Our game style has again progressed from last year and helped to offset a lack of fitness which plagues the club early in the season (those damn Chicago winters). Roofy was sensational at Center Half Forward and will continue to provide plenty of opportunities for anyone who is willing to run to his feet and collect his crumbs. Crackers was the dominant onballer for our club gaining 1000 possessions through the midfield and BJ and Forte were dominant down back after quarter time. The major blow for the club is the loss of Poncho who will be desperated to beat the odds and be available for the big clash against the Nashville Kangaroos on the 30th of May.

Well done to all who made the trip. Anyone who has made a trip to Cinci can attest for it being an absolute classic experience. The game has set the scene for the club to make a charge at becoming the first MAAFL team to 3peat. Positions on the team are only going to be getting hotter with about 6 players returning to the side for the Nashville Kangaroos game on the 30th of May. Getting to trainings can greatly increase your chances of playing.


Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Cincinnati 5.0.30 2.1.13 0.0.0 0.0.0 7.1.43
United 2.1.13 4.6.30 3.3.21 7.5.47 16.15.111
Goals Cincinnati: None
United: Ehlers (6), Bashford (2), Meyer (2), Ward (2), Fitzgerald (2), Brennan, Hoyt B, Palmer
Best Cincinnati: None
United: Ehlers, Ward, Fitzgerald, Brennan, McKeegan, Gambaro

Drewbie Ehlers

Rod “Basher” Bashford (arriving late for the game after driving down the day before)