USA Freedom Team in Australia

The AFL Cairns Women's League will host it's first Womens AFL International game this Monday night (10th Aug) at Cazalys Stadium at 7pm.

The visiting US Freedom Womens AFL Team will be in Australia to play 4 games whilst on tour. The squad of 24 players and 3 coaching staff will tour the Eastern seaboard playing against a Sydney Womens AFL team, then up to Cairns to take on the AFL Cairns Womens League and finishing their tour in Victoria where they will participate in a schools clinic in Bendigo, play against a Bendigo Womens Development squad, watch a live AFL game at the MCG then take on the Latrobe University Womens AFL team before flying home to the States.

"We aim to make sure the US girls have a great time here in Cairns" said Mel Smith AFLCWL Organiser. The AFLCWL has had wonderful support from AFL Cairns in hosting the event and should be a cracker. It's a hectic schedule for the USA team, they fly into Cairns about lunch time Monday, play us that evening, have a visit to the Reef on Tuesday, followed by a dinner at the Buckin Mex and then it's off to Victoria the next day for the last leg of their tour".

The AFLCWL have selected a team of players from all four local teams as well as a handful of Cape Crusader stars. "We have been training well over the 4 weeks and the girls have gelled well' said AFLCWL Coach Heather Flannery. "We have a strong squad with plenty of experience, it will be interesting to see how we match up and how AFL has developed overseas."

"The game will also be a selection for those eligible for the up and coming 2009 Under 18's Youth Girls Interstate Challenge which is to be held at Coolangatta AFC on the Gold Coast in September. "We have 6 players hoping to make this squad from the Far North, Sarah Sailor, Eileen Ludwick, Mary David, Kathleen Peter (Cape Crusaders), Lauren James and new comer Dakota Noah (Centrals Trinity Beach Bulldog Babes)," said Mel Smith.

"The development of Womens AFL is the main focus here, our sport is becoming more popular and the skill levels are rising. When we kicked off our league 8 years ago, we never imagined we would have two Cairns representatives make All Australian and play in Ireland like Jo Butland and Kat Pender achieved in 2006, let alone hosting a team from the USA on our own home turf".

The Americans, who will be led by Jenny Sarbacker from the Milwaukee Bombers, has noted that the rivalry has already begun. Speaking on You Tube this week the touring USA Freedom skipper had a warning for our Aussie Rules stars. “We are looking forward to heading to your city and beating you at your own national game,’’ Jenny said. The US team have players from established USA teams like the New York Magpies, Milwaukee Bombers, Denver Bulldogs and Arizona Hawks. Seven of the players were in the USA team that went to the 2007 Vancouver Games for the football. 

Coach Wayne Kraska told the Bendigo Weekly “We have been working on this trip to Australia for just on two years and to play in some of the major capital cities as well as a visit to a country town will be great for our players."   The game will kick off under lights at Cazaly's Stadium, Tills St Westcourt from 7pm this Monday 10th August. "We would like to see a big crowd come and support the AFLCWL and to experience what an overseas team has to offer our National Sport. A gold coin donation will be collected at the gate to assist the AFLCWL in paying for training facilities kindly donated by the Cairns Saints AFL Club. There will also be refreshments and a BBQ on offer thanks to the Manunda Hawks Womens AFL Club."said Mel Smith

Jumper Name Age Height Current Club Position
1 Courtney Church 29 5' 2" Arizona Hawks Rover
2 Jenny Sarbacker - Captain 27 5' 7" Milwaukee Bombers Center
3 Denielle Beilfuss 33 5' 2" Milwaukee Bombers Rover
4 Sheree Stiles 31 5' 6" Minnesota Freeze Half Back
5 Christina Licata 26 5' 3" New York Magpies Half Forward
6 Rebecca McHale 22 5' 3" New York Magpies Half Forward
7 Judith Stein  35 5' 6" Atlanta Kookaburras Forward
8 Kelli Modica 27 5' 0" Denver Bulldogs Rover
10 Siobhan McHale 24 5' 3" New York Magpies Half Forward
12 Nikki-Nicole Peoples 34 5' 6" Atlanta Kookaburras Half Back
13 Suzy Thomas 32 5' 4" Milwaukee Bombers Half Back
14 Anna Thexton  22 5' 7" Denver Bulldogs Half Forward
15 Helen Spink - DVC 25 5' 4" Milwaukee Bombers Half Back
16 Marie LaVictoire 29 5' 5" Minnesota Freeze Wing
17 Corynne Pereira 23 5' 7" New York Magpies Ruck Rover
18 Tina Arend - VC 30 5 '8" Arizona Hawks Half Back
19 Dewi Mitchell-Schierholz 32 5' 7" Atlanta Kookaburras Half Back
20 Carly Harrington 34 5' 10" Atlanta Kookaburras Wing
21 Monica Robbins 26 5' 9" New York Magpies Ruck
22 Beth Cartier 27 5' 7" New York Magpies Wing
23 Karla Mascarenas-Pack 34 5' 6" Arizona Hawks Full Back
24 Kathryn Hogg 46 5' 10" Minnesota Freeze Ruck
26 Danica Weston  26 5' 9" Arizona Hawks Ruck
27 Andrea Casillas 27 5' 7" New York Magpies Full Back
  Wayne Kraska     Atlanta Kookaburras Head Coach
  Dan Sarbacker     St Louis Blues Asst Coach
  Alan Mobley     Atlanta Kookaburras Asst Coach


Jumper Name Current Club  
1 Anna Hannay Centrals Trinity Beach Bulldog Babes  
2 Josephine Dennis Centrals Trinity Beach Bulldog Babes  
3 Jacquie Newton Manunda Hawks Womens Club  
4 Ashleigh Singleton South Cairns Cutters (Shadow)
5 Aki Stefanidakis Centrals Trinity Beach Bulldog Babes  
6 Cassie Velonias Centrals Trinity Beach Bulldog Babes  
7 Lauretta Dowling Centrals Trinity Beach Bulldog Babes  
8 Katherine Pender Centrals Trinity Beach Bulldog Babes  
9 Mary David Cape Crusaders  
10 Kareena White Manunda Hawks Womens Club  
11 Kristen Lawless Centrals Trinity Beach Bulldog Babes (Shadow)
12 Rachael White Centrals Trinity Beach Bulldog Babes  
13 Jane Elzinga South Cairns Cutters  
14 Lauren James Centrals Trinity Beach Bulldog Babes  
15 Kathleen Peter Cape Crusaders  
16 Stacey Paech Manunda Hawks Womens Club  
17 Eileen Ludwick Cape Crusaders  
18 Kara Stapleton Centrals Trinity Beach Bulldog Babes  
19 Sarah Sailor Cape Crusaders  
20 Dakota Noah Centrals Trinity Beach Bulldog Babes  
21 Sharume Creed North Cairns Tigers  
22 Tobi Noble Manunda Hawks Womens Club  
23 Melissa Smith Centrals Trinity Beach Bulldog Babes  
24 Linda Stein South Cairns Cutters  
25 Monika Duggan Manunda Hawks Womens Club  
26 Joanne Butland North Cairns Tigers  
Coach Heather Flannery    
Ass. Coach Laura Martin    
Trainer Joc Turner    


For more information please contact Mel Smith on +61 4 0076 5932.

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