2006 - The battle to start new US clubs

Tuesday, March 21 2006 @ 09:31 pm ACDT

Contributed by: Troy Thompson

2005 saw clubs such as Bakersfield and Las Vegas make their debut on the US footy scene. A number of others around the country are in the embryonic stage, with the major determinant to their likely success being raw numbers of players. Once they have enough numbers it is hoped that the existing clubs can do their best to foster their new comrades and welcome them into the fold. World Footy News profiles some of these efforts here.

Some aim just to get a game this year, others to be able to send a team to the Nationals (likely to be in Las Vegas but still unconfirmed). Some of these clubs are completely new start-ups such as Columbus and Connecticut/Rhode Island, some with players that have relocated from other clubs, such as Gambaro in Charlotte and Jamie White in SLC, and the two Texas teams regrouping from some earlier stalled efforts in those cities. For the continued growth of footy in the US it is very important that as many new clubs as possible succeed. History tells us that they will not all get out on the field this year, and possibly not at all. In short, all these clubs are desperate for warm bodies, if you or anyone you know is interested in playing footy please contact these clubs.

Charlotte, North Carolina

Main Player: BJ Gambaro, US Revolution player, Atlanta and St Louis. Moved to Charlotte for work in 2005
History of football there: None
2006 Strategy: Join up with Gaelic Club and forging relationship between the Gaelic clubs in Charlotte and Atlanta. International rules game to be organised between the two clubs for June 2006. Gambaro says “…They're (the Charlotte Gaelic Club) very interested in having an Aussie Rules team within the club and sharing players. It should be an interesting experiment. The only formal thing going is the international rules game on June 10th. Hopefully, I'll be able to drum up some interested players by then and I should be able to expose the current Gaelic players to the game…”
Nearest Neighbours: NC Tigers, Atlanta Kookaburras, Florida Redbacks, Baltimore Washington Eagles
Email: bjgambaro@yahoo.com
Website/Group page: None

Columbus, Ohio

Main Player: Scott Matheson, Christopher Lytle
History of football there: None
2006 Strategy: Start recruiting now, training in April and possibly play match against Cincinnati
Nearest Neighbours: Cincinnati Dockers, Louisville Kings, Chicago Swans, Pittsburgh Wallabies
Website/Group page:http://www.geocities.com/columbuslighthorse or http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/Columbus_Footy

Rhode Island/Connecticut

Main players: Matt Garofalo, Stan Kontogiannis, Andy T
History of football there: None, but some Boston Demons players have come from Rhode Island.
2006 Strategy: Organising recruitment, possible training/kick to kick, possibility of any matches unknown.
Nearest Neighbours: Boston Demons, New York Magpies, Pittsburgh Wallabies
Email: Connecticut-RhodeIsland-Footy@yahoogroups.com
Website/Group page: http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/Connecticut-RhodeIsland-Footy

Austin, Texas

Main players: Miles Sims, Grant Campbell, Daniel Russo (Dallas)
History of football there: In the beginning there was the San Antonio Diablos. Much effort was expended to expand the team to critical mass. With a dearth of players, however, and a move by key personnel to Austin, just 80 miles up I-35, the Diablos were reborn in 2002 as the Austin Crows. 2003 they played matches in the Lone Star Cup tournament as well as combining with Cincinnati at the Nationals that year. They last played in 2004 with two matches against Dallas, but have since been in recess.
Nearest Neighbours: Dallas, Houston, Baton Rouge, Kansas City
2006 Strategy: To play in the Lone Star Cup in Dallas on May 27.
Website/Group page:http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/AustinOzball

Houston, Texas

Main players: Gary Oxford, Daniel Russo (Dallas)
History of football there: A Houston team played the Austin crows in 2003 as the Houston Hawks in the TXAFL Capitol Clash.
Nearest Neighbours: Dallas, Austin, Baton Rouge, Kansas City
2006 Strategy: “…We are going to shoot for one of the first weekends in April to schedule a morning kick and BBQ at Memorial Park in Houston. Most likely the 8th of April, depending on field availability and weather, sometime around 10:30-11am. The Dallas Magpies will be sending down some footies and equipment to get this rolling. The goal is that in the short-term we can start getting together regularly for kicks, and once we get over 16-18 regulars we can start playing 9 on 9 semi-touch games (or 12 on 12 as numbers grow)…” To play in the Lone Star Cup in Dallas on May 27.
Email: gjfoxford@yahoo.com.au
Website/Group Page: http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/houstonfooty

Detroit, Michigan

Main players: Ben Seacrist, Windsor Mariners (Can)
History of football there: None
Nearest Neighbours: Chicago, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh Wallabies, Windsor Mariners (Can).
2006 Strategy: “…The goal is to get one team in Detroit up and running in the new league…so far there's been little progress we've gotten a few guys who've stopped by and contacted me, but not nearly enough to field a metro rules team at this stage if we're able to get off the ground we'd participate in both the Ontario League and the US Nationals. Our proximity to Canada makes playing in the Ontario League the best option geographically but we'd still be an American team and, as such, would probably be given the chance to play in any American tournament…”
Email: footyinfo@detroitfootyclub.com or deltsig@gmail.com
Website/Group Page: http://www.detroitfootyclub.com

Salt Lake City, Utah

Main players: Jamie White, Mark Kaleta
History of football there: None
Nearest Neighbours: Denver Bulldogs, Las Vegas Gamblers
2006 Strategy: The club has been trying to get off the ground for a number of years. The most promising sign so far is that some players from SLC will travel down to Las Vegas to take part in the Las Vegas vs. Mojave Greens match on March 25th. “We currently have 8 to 10 guys interested and will have our first training run on April 8th…”
Email: utahfooty@yahoogroups.com
Website/Group Page: http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/utahfooty

World Footy News