• 2013 Swans host Minnesota

    Posted by Thomas Shearman

    The Chicago Swans have finished their final regular season game with a huge win over the Minnesota Freeze. This was the perfect result for the home team who had yet to register a win in 2013 including a narrow loss to the Freeze earlier this year. The selected side also had 12 missing from the disappointing loss to Columbus 2 weeks ago. That said the 25 blokes that put on the Swans jersey were determined to give it a red hot go!

    Chicago set the tone early with repeated forward entries set up by Jason Wilhelm giving the on ballers first sniff of the ball. A few close misses finally turned into goals and at quarter time the Swans had a 4 goal lead with the ball barely entering the visitors forward half. The early signs looked ominous for the Freeze with Swans’ midfielders, Porter, Young Pat playing most likely his best game for the Swans, Pedro, Sainty & Keefy dominating the center clearances and the forwards locking the ball in the forward 50 in an impressive display.

    Full forward Leigh Rees showed his overhead skills was going to be a handful for the Minnesota defense, and the likes of the 2 Nolans, Doddsy, Dougy Malcolm, Dorsett, Henry Knoop all doing their bit to turn a defensive action into a scoring opportunity. Such was the domination in the first quarter the Freeze didn’t look close to scoring and failed to register a single point.

    The 2nd quarter was a continuation of the first with the Chicago on-ballers taking advantage of the clever ruck taps from Revo Ruckman Ponyboy and working strongly together to clear the ball and deliver effectively into the forward line. Chicago’s defence held together by club stalwarts Hoyt & Prez Poncho, along with first gamer James Rapley & Russ holding the Freeze game breaker, Tiger to a few inneffective touches, were tried only slightly but held strong and worked well to clear the footy when the time came. Not being quite as wasteful in front of the big sticks the Swans were able to extend their lead with another couple of goals while the the Freeze still couldn’t get themselves on the scoreboard.

    The Swans went into the main break with a commanding lead, 5.9 (39) to the Freeze 0.0 (0).

    No score in the first half would be eating away at the Freeze and we knew they would rebound from such a one sided first half and with a little bit of luck and some classy play from a few of their guns, Zach & Tiger managed to finally score. Still, the Chicago backline kept the visitors busy and provided a great springboard for their forward thrusts. Fitzy & Nolan Schmelzer came out on the wings and played like men possessed; Fitzy really did turn back the clock on Saturday. This type of form from these two blokes makes for a difficult match up for the opposition.

    Even with Minnesota kicking a couple of quick goals the Swans still won the quarter kicking 3 majors of their own to extend their lead to 45 points. it was clever play that won the premiership quarter, working in numbers, leading hard and not afraid to take the opposition on when it counted. A couple of key attacks from patiently going backwards to progress forwards was a clear indication that the Chicago boys weren’t only playing harder than their opponents but also working smarter.

    The last quarter was more of the same. The midfield didn’t let up, full back Hoyt, Fitzy were almost toying with their opponents thrusting the ball repeatedly into the forward line, and kicking almost as many goals in 20 mins as they had in the previous 3 quarters. Even the midfielders were sharing the honours desperate to get their name in the paper.

    Minnesota did manage to score another couple of goals but it was too little too late. The domination shown by the Chicago Swans was highlighted by an an absolutely fantastic end to end goal which the Freeze had no answer to. Young Pat El Zoghbi capped off a magic day with a goal on the siren.

    In the end the Swans ran out 70 point victors 14-14 (98) to Minnesota 4-4 (28). It was great effort by Chicago who were keen to round out their season with a comprehensive 4 quarter effort leading into the final few weeks before Nationals in October.

    If the boys can take this effort and keep moving forward then there is a most definite chance that they can bring back more Silverware from Austin and continue their climb to the upper ranks of the USAFL.

    Results

    Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
    Swans 3.6.24 2.3.15 3.2.20 6.3.39 14.14.98
    Minnesota 0.0.0 0.0.0 2.2.14 2.2.14 4.4.28
    Goals Swans: McKeegan (4), Rees (4), Porter (2), Fitzgerald (2), Wallach, El Zoghbi
    Minnesota: None
    Best Swans: McKeegan, Rees, Porter, El Zoghbi, Hermann, Hoyt B, Jimenez
    Minnesota: None
  • Columbus at Chicago 2013

    Posted by Thomas Shearman

    A perfect day for Saturday footy at Waveland. Sponsor’s Day for the Swans, hosting the Columbus Jackaroos who have played 5 games already this year with a 4/1 win/loss record. The Jacks no doubt would be pumped for this one, having lost a heartbreaker in the final last year against us at Nationals. This was the Swans third game of the year, both away losses recorded to Minnesota & Nashville a couple weeks ago.

    Both teams had solid squads and this was going to be a tough one to win, even at home. A 75 degree day with the wind blowing to the Southern end, worth maybe a goal or two. Pony Boy won the toss and decided the Swans would kick against it. A decision in hindsight worked against us, Columbus came out of the blocks quickly in the and had our backman under siege, if it hadn’t been for their poor kicking we may have been staring at a large deficit at quarter time. 24 to 0 at the first break.

    The second quarter saw the Swans work their way back into the game. Big Al, Oscar & Sainty kicked majors to get us back into the game. Mike Panek came into the forward line and gave us some much needed bite up there. The on ballers began to work their way into the game. Pedro, Keefy, Pat, Sars, EZ, Alex were in and under, and this seemed to ignite the Swans into action. The trusted backline led by Hoyt, Poncho, newcomer Alastair Martin, Conway and Xavier were unlucky to have two goals scored against them. But the Swans found the spark they had been looking for in the first quarter, and were able to match the intensity with the Jackaroos and eventually won the quarter.

    The third quarter turned into a dour struggle with no team prepared to give an inch, Josh Edwards was a welcome return to the Swans line up and was working his way into the game. Pony Boy continued on his merry way giving the running lads first use, but while we had quite a bit of the play could not apply score board pressure. We missed a couple of crucial shots on goal, which could have made a difference.

    Heading into the last quarter, Columbus held an 8 point lead. We had played well to get ourselves back into the match, winning the second and third quarters. The boys were confident we had enough left in the tank to get us over the line. The Boys from Ohio had a different idea and really ran all over us in the final quarter, piling on 5 goals to 2. Running out 34 point winners in the end. One of the highlights of the last quarter was a goal scored on the run by ruck man Pony Boy.

    All in all a pretty good effort by the lads, we were slow off the mark but were able to claw ourselves back into and in the end were not fit enough to run out the match. Back to the drawing board for us, plenty of work to be done before Nationals in 5 weeks, and the 21st September when Minnesota come into town.

    Results

    Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
    Swans 0.0.0 4.2.26 1.3.9 2.2.14 7.7.49
    Columbus 3.6.24 2.0.12 1.1.7 5.4.34 11.11.77
    Goals Swans: MacGlashan (2), Meyer (2), Allen T, Wilhelm, St John
    Columbus: None
    Best Swans: MacGlashan, Wilhelm, Martin, Panek, Jimenez, El Zoghbi, Hoyt B
    Columbus: None

    Blue Jacket & Goose – Jason “Pony Boy” Wilhelm

  • Chicago at Nashville 2013

    Posted by Thomas Shearman

    Results

    Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
    Nashville 0.0.0 0.0.0 0.0.0 11.10.76 11.10.76
    Swans 0.0.0 0.0.0 0.0.0 7.3.45 7.3.45
    Goals Nashville: None
    Swans: Burton (2), Wallach (2), Jimenez, Hoyt B, Malcolm
    Best Nashville: None
    Swans: Burton, Wallach, Wilhelm, Hermann
  • 2013 Swans at Minnesota

    Posted by Thomas Shearman

    With 7 Metro games under our belts our Swans season kicked off on Saturday with 20 of us heading up to the Land of 10,000 Lakes to take on the Freeze, who are the current Division II Premiers. A perfect afternoon for football with the sun shining and what appeared to be a 3-4 goal breeze down the City end.

    The Freeze were switched on from the outset and were able to quell any forward movment by the Swans. Given we were aided by the breeze in the first quarter were unable to capitalize, heading into the first break 1 point in arrears. The second quarter saw the mid field for the Freeze gain the ascendency, Pony owned the aerial dual and in the end the Freeze roved his taps very well and gave our backman some real headaches. At this stage in the game the scoreboard was getting away from us, at half time the score 32 to 14.

    After some soul searching at half time, the Swans came up and really took the game up to the Freeze and you could feel a momentum shift and all of a sudden the Swans got a sniff. Xavier went into the forward line after half time and made an instant impact, Big ‘soon to be wise’ Al battled all day against what must have seemed to be a wall of opposition. The mid field began to click and guys that had been relatively quiet, Keefy, Alex, Sars, Dougy, Rocky started to find the ball and create some quick movement into the forward, something that had been lacking in the first half.

    We had outscored them in the 3rd quarter, and there was a buzz in the huddle about the fact we were still in it. The last quarter began with a real sense of urgency, Pony Boy began to give our mid fielders first use of the ball, this kick started some real genuine chances with quick movement into the forward line and all of a sudden opportunities began to present. Of the four behinds registered in the last quarter, three were from set shots, so to go down in the end by 9 points was a pretty reasonable effort given the first half performance being below par.

    There were some really excellent efforts from the boys and to get so close with only 20 blokes gives us some real positives moving into the second half of the year. New Swan recruits and first gamers, Wade Porter, Quin McMillan, Alex Wallach, Andrew Woodman, showed us their value and ability and we look forward to having them be a string part of the group for the rest of the year.

    Revolution ruckman, Jason Wilhelm seems to get better and better every time we play and am sure Revo Coach Bishop is excited knowing Pony Boy will be up for the challenge in the upcoming Parallel Cup in Edmonton, Alberta, CA on August 3rd.

    A really good start to the year overall! I beleive as a Club and as individuals the programming this year has been beneficial. With the mid season break upon us, it gives a bit of breathing space before we head into the business end of the year.

    Results

    Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
    Minnesota 1.2.8 4.0.24 1.1.7 1.1.7 7.4.46
    Swans 1.1.7 1.1.7 1.1.7 2.4.16 5.7.37
    Goals Minnesota: None
    Swans: Burton (2), MacGlashan (2), Bradley
    Best Minnesota: None
    Swans: Burton, MacGlashan, Porter, Wallach, Wilhelm
  • A Swan by Any Other Name

    Posted by Thomas Shearman

    Chicago’s Jason Holmes obviously got his directions mixed up when he asked where Swans training would be held this week. Instead of making the journey to Waveland field to prepare for the weekends match against Minnesota, Jason jumped on a flight to Australia and is training with the Sydney Swans with hopes on winning his name on Sydney’s international rookie list.

    Anthony Hendrie, coach of the Chicago Swans has been running Jason through the motions at training and has been impressed not only with his raw athleticism but with the speed in which he has picked up the game. “At some point someone joins the club and really impresses for a number of reasons; Jason is one of these guys. Once he hones his kicking & handball skills, his height and agility will put him in line to play a number of postions very well in our game. Something to be genuinely excited about!”

    Club president Frank Bradley echoed those sentiments, “…after a couple practices and metro games he showed one thing only a few of the new American recruits to the game possessed, a desire to learn and get better every time he played. His enthusiasm for learning the game, paired with his physical abilities, will be what makes him a very appealing recruit for the Swans.”

    Holmes is looking to emulate players like Canada’s Mike Pyke, Ireland’s Tadhg Kennelly and USA’s Eric Wallace to make an impact back in Australia. Jason’s 203cm frame has been a welcome sight down at Friday Night Metro games for all but the opposing ruckman. Winning almost every tap playing in the ruck, kicking four goals for the season and showing aggression through the packs to get the ball have shown his skills have come a long way in just three “Aussie Rules” footy matches.

    One player who might be glad to see Holmes take an extended trip to Australia is Chicago’s starting ruckman and USA revolution player Jason Wilhelm who has been battling with the 6′ 8″ frame of Holmes in Chicago’s “Friday Night Footy” league this season. Wilhelm spent last season with the Gin Gin Eagles in country Western Australia and has done battle against quality opponents both in Australia and the US over his short 4 year aussie rules career. When asked about Holmes he wished the big man all the best, “… Jason is going to be something special. The kid has hands that just attract the ball, and stuck like glue. His ability to read situations and adapt, while constantly learning and asking what more he can do is inspiring. His size, ability and heart will take him far. I’m excited to see what he brings to the sport internationally and here in the US. Good luck mate!”

    On the other side of the tap, Swans midfielder Doug Malcolm had this to say, “Playing against Jason feels like you’re going up against someone who is a foot taller than you. And maybe that’s because he is.” He went on to explain how it has helped improve everyones skills at the club. “…now you don’t have to be perfect with your kicks. Just put it up high and he’ll go get it.”

    Jason will be in Australia for a two-week try out with the Sydney Swans and then will have a chance to visit with other AFL clubs. The Chicago Swans wish Jason all the best and hope he makes it back to the states in time for the USAFL Nationals in October.

    Related links: AFL.com.au – US trio to train with Swans

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