Founder's Thunder Cup Results

The Louisville Kings would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to all who were able to attend the first annual “Founders Thunder Cup” tournament.

With the passing of our club's founder several years ago we here at the Louisville Kings football club (formerly the Louisville Cats) could not find a more fitting way to pay tribute to the memory of our beloved founder John Harrell than to host a footy tournament in his name. This, after all, was one of his greatest passions in life coming second only to his love for his wife Laura and young daughter Hanna.

Not only did Harrell found the Louisville Football Club, he was also instrumental in organizing the first match ever played by Americans right here in Louisville Ky. and could be recognized as one of the founding members of the great football league we all play in today.

He is, and will always be sorely missed!

The day started out early, around 8:00a.m., with the first of the clubs arriving at about 8:30a.m., and the tournament was blessed right from the start. The weather was absolutely perfect for a long day of footy, a sunny, cloudless sky with temperatures in the mid sixties. Wow!

The first match was started on time at 10:00a.m., between the two oldest teams in the league, the Cincinnati Dockers vs. the Louisville Kings. As these two teams have played 2, sometimes 3 matches a year since the league's inception they know one another very well, and a great comradeship exists between the two sides.

The match began hotly contested, with the play staying mostly in the middle of the ground.

The Dockers had experience on their side and it looked early on that they would be able to carry them through, but with stellar performances from the Louisville mid-fielders the tide turned and the Kings took the lead by half time.

At the start of the second half it was readily apparent that the boys from Cincinnati were not going to settle with being behind on the score board. They drew first blood in the second half and after a very short back and forth session they struck again. Their experienced players began to dictate the play on the wings and it looked as though the Kings were starting to slip, but just about mid way through the second half there was an explosion in the center square.

The very young and athletic mid-fielders for the Kings began to dominate play using their legs. They were able to push the ball into their forward line time and time again and with some straight kicks the lead for the Louisville side grew and they were able to finish strong. The final was Louisville 7.6 (48) Cincinnati 5.3 (33).

The second match of the day was probably the pick of the entire event, The Kansas City Power vs. The St. Louis Blues. With the style of play both teams possess being very similar this match didn’t let any of the 60 or more spectators down. Both teams like fast paced numbers to the ball action with a good dose of physicality. Did I say physicality?

The entire first half was played like a self-defense class on steroids! These two teams went toe to toe for twenty minutes. The play was furious at times with the Blues dominate from the side line to side line and the Power stepping up defensively. Both sides were very well coached, but the experience, speed and endurance belonged to the Blues.

The St. Louis team began to pull away towards the end of the first half and the momentum followed them into the second. They were able to maintain a comfortable lead until the end of the match.

Kansa City played valiantly but fell to the Blues 6.6 (42) to just 4.2 (26).

The third match of the day was between the Louisville Kings and The Wisconsin War Birds. This was never even a contest!

The War Birds came to town and fielded a team that appeared to be at a disadvantage at half of the positions on the field.

The Louisville mid-fielders once again proved to be the difference, moving the ball with ease where ever they wanted to go. The first half belonged to the Kings.

The second half was more of the same, but with a lot of terrible kicking by the Kings the door for the War Birds comeback was left open, but the comeback never happened.

Louisville’s defense was able to hold the Wisconsin side to less than a handful of shots at goal during the whole second half and it turned into a route. The Louisville Kings 7.13. (55) to The Wisconsin War Birds 0.3 (3).

The next match pitted The Kansas City Power against The Cincinnati Dockers. This match was pretty much a one sided affair.

The Power, led by the strength of their on ball players were able to keep the ball in their forward line for most of the match having shots on goal every other minute it seemed.

The Dockers suffered through a scoring draught from the midway point of the first half until just after ball-up at the start of the second half. They really played hard, but the ball didn’t seem to bounce in their favor once in the second half.

The final was Kansas City 10.7. (67) to Cincinnati 4.3 (27).

Game 5 put the winner of game 2 The St. Louis Blues up against the winner of Games 1 and 3 The Louisville Kings on the field together. It looked as though this may have been the game of the afternoon, especially after the way both teams had played earlier in the day, but this match belonged to the Blues.

The Blues proved to have too much experience and definitely were the better coached side. They dominated in the Ruck, dominated on the wings and in the end, dominated the score board. Every aspect of the match belonged to the Blues and at the end of the first half they had a 44 to 0 lead.

The battle cry from the Kings huddle on the side line was respect and how they would get it! They did manage to go point for point during the second half, but the deficit was too much to overcome. The St. Louis club was the best of the tournament. The final score, St. Louis 9. 11 (65) to Louisville’s 3.3 (21).

The final match was The Wisconsin War Birds against the boys from K.C and it was fairly played, hard nosed game of football.

The War Birds were looking to save face for their earlier sub-par performance and the Power was trying to close out the day with a strong finish.

The beginning of the match was tough going for both sides with neither team having much of an advantage. Both the War Birds and the Power were able to put points on the board early and it looked as though this would be a grinder of a match. By the end of the match, however, the Kansas City boys were able to double the goal output and nearly triple the behinds of the War Birds and went on to claim their second win of the day. The final was K.C. 6.8. (44) to The War Birds 3.3 (21).

All in all it was a great day of footy. We feel as though we put on a pretty good event and judging by some of the comments from spectators and footy players alike it was a good thing to have happen here. The one thing that stood out the most was the outstanding amount of sportsmanship. Every one conducted him or herself with the utmost class. We really want to promote that aspect of the game here in Louisville and all of the clubs that participated in the event were great ambassadors of the sport. Three cheers for sportsmanship!

This was our first go around with hosting an event like this here in Louisville and we are so glad that we were able to show off part of our Ky. Derby festival with the clubs that came.

The day of the tournament was the same day as the Thunder over Louisville air show and fireworks display, which by the way is the largest fireworks display in the country.

After the day of footy we invited the participating clubs to join us at our favorite watering hole to celebrate the great day of footy and to witness the most outstanding fireworks show in the country.

The air show and fireworks display drew an estimated 800,000 people and for those who were here, for our tournament that had never seen the show before, it was a night they’ll not soon forget.

We at the Louisville Football Club hope to use this event in the future as a player development tournament and a pre-season warm up to league competition. Now that we’ve been able to have this tournament and have it go well, our effort will be to make it better and better each year.

The Louisville Football Club has always been very proud to have been one of the first Australian football teams in the country and we also take pride in the fact that we have survived as long as we have with limited Australian influence. This season we have an American coach and all of the players on our roster are Americans, but the most important thing that we can never forget is that this club was founded by an American who loved the game of Aussie football. John Harrell!

• Some of the comments about the games played during “The Founders Thunder Cup” came from individuals that were able to watch all of the matches in their entirety while the author readied his team to take the field or assisted in on-field duties.
• It is not the intention of the Louisville Football Club or the author to embarrass any individual or club that participated in this tournament.
• The effort is to give an accurate account of the event and the particular matches that were played.
• The Louisville Kings will never embellish or purposefully change the facts of the matches we play in or watch no matter what the outcome is.
• When the post match report is written it will be as correct as possible.

Thank you to the elected board of the Louisville Football Club for hosting a wonderful event, thank you to all of the clubs that were able to make it for our first tournament and thank you to the league officials who were on site.

We hope to see you all next year.


Louisville Kings tournament awards:

Best on ground game 1- Eric “Sleepy” Floyd
Best and fairest game 1- Eric Huss

Best on ground game 2- Eric “Sleepy” Floyd
Best and fairest game 2- Casey Barwell

Best on ground game 3- “Mad Jack” Jacobs
Best and fairest game 3- Bryce?

“John Harrell MVP award” for the best man in the tournament- “Mad Jack” Jacobs


- Chris Parsley

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