AZAFL kicks off

A few words about the inaugural matches held Friday night.

First and foremost, those of us on the AZAFL board would like to thank everyone for just showing up like they said they would. All the organizing in the world would have been pointless had everyone not shown up to play. We also had a large contingent of fan support braving the threatening storms on hand to be a part of this historic occasion. I would have to say that we did not disappoint them either.

With some players playing roles in both matches as well as officiating, we managed to pull off Australian Rules Football history by successfully staging the first ever-metropolitan league matches played in the US.

No one was more surprised than Floyd, Clean, Yabbie and myself.

Two great games were played with several players distinguishing themselves with their remarkable, if not astonishing, level of play. Several other players took the field to participate in their first ever Aussie Rules contest. Some veteran Scorpion players (Okay, so one season with an expansion team doesnt really make you a veteran but itll do for this league) played with a renewed enthusiasm which stems from competition. All that training finally being put to use. And of course, the traditional after-match pilgrimage to the local pub to laugh, lie, brag and rag about the nights competition.

The full match reports will be posted on the AZAFL web site later this week. However, a brief summary of the games will follow here. The first match of the night and season pitted the Camelback Crushers in their intimidating black and red jumpers against the Scottsdale Dingos wearing their, uhm, well, the Phoenix Scorpions jumpers as the Dingos uniforms were left on the dock in Oz. The Dingos got off to a quick start and held on to post the first ever AZAFL win. Edging the Crushers by a score, which currently escapes me, the Dingos took sole possession of first place of the AZAFL. Notable performances were put in by Steve Mom Hoza, Jim Speedy Hill and Dan Biker & I kicked a goal in Nationals, what did you do? Noblitt for the Crushers. For Scottsdale, Dave Digger Anderson, Trevor Trev (Wow, what a reach that nickname is. Biker, do your nicknaming duty) OBrien and Andrew I can be a star in this league Ashworth put forth great efforts.

The second match of the evening matched the Paradise Valley Redlegs and Tempe Devils. Four quick goals by the Redlegs set the tone for the match as the Redlegs never looked back. In the interest of league parity Darren Priscilla Toohey was placed on the Redlegs for the match. Okay, so I was a bit off on the parity issue in some respects. How was I to know Richard Clogan was going to be kicking goals backwards, over his bloody head? The lopsided score of 104-50 was aided by the fact that several of the Tempe boys ran a little too much filling in for the first match. The victory thrust the Redlegs into a tie for first place with the Scottsdale Dingos. In addition to Richard and Ruckman Darren, the Redlegs benefited from the outstanding play of the Gaelic Footballers; Dermot Oxygen Debt Randles, Scott Slash Sprague, John Footwork Challoner and Noel Irish version of Boot OCualain. The Devil attack was lead by Justin Blue Halter, Jeff Fingers Purcell and Tony Corps Pham.

A special thanks to Polo for getting the goalposts to the field and for Jeff Richards, Richard Chahwan and Jim Hill for assisting in the officiating.

Once again, thanks to everyone for participating. And remember: RECRUIT, RECRUIT, RECRUIT!! A flyer will soon follow for the dates and time of the next round. See everyone at training on Tuesday and Thursday.



- John Meier

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