British squad named to take on Ireland, 16 new players on the list
Thursday, October 19 2006 @ 04:39 pm ACST
Contributed by: Aaron Richard
The British Bulldogs have named their squad to take on Ireland as the warmup to this weekend's AFL exhibition match between Geelong and Port Adelaide at The Oval in London. The squad will again be captained by IC veteran John Boyle and features ten players from the Bulldogs team which toured Melbourne last year.
Almost half the squad is drawn from the Putney Magpies and West London Wildcats, each contributing 6 players. Regional powerhouse club the Nottingham Scorpions are the best-represented country side with 5.
The British squad has been named as:
West London Wildcats: Johnny Boyle (c), Chris Donnellan, Paul Lavelle, Barry Malone, Rory McNally, Eoin O'Connor
Wandsworth Demons: Conor Lynch, James Quick, Conor Walsh
Putney Magpies: Chris Dickson, Jon Dickson, Chris Glen, Paul Harris, Paul Manley, Nick Stevens
Reading Kangaroos: Adam Bennett (vc), Andy Craig, Julian Ford, Andy Whiteaker
North London Lions: Robert Cockburn
Nottingham Scorpions: Keith Farr, Richard Lucas, Sam Wood, Ashley Swift, Vincent Carey
Glasgow Sharks: Ross Thompson
Report of the City vs Country match courtesy of barfl.co.uk.
The eagerly anticipated 'City v Country' game - for the final selection of the GB squad to play the Irish at the Brit Oval on the 21st October - did not disappoint and BARFL president Ray Gazal's tip of "City by 4 goals" was wide of the mark. The City team took advantage of the wind in the first quarter to build a good lead, but the scoreline was a little flattering with both sides looking nervous and the result was a scrappy opening period. However, with a little rearranging of line-ups by both coaches at the break, the game took shape in the second quarter and settled into a fast, flowing and fiercely competitive game, with both sides clearly wanting the result as well as earning a GB spot.
Country used the wind well and some accurate kicking helped them narrow the margin going into half-time to set the game up nicely. City came out hard and determined to seal the game in the 3rd quarter with some good long kicking building their lead to 5 goals again, tidying the ball up well from the centre, using the wings well and although there were not many marks made at goal distance, they took their opportunities well in open play. Country came out in the final period knowing they could use the wind well, and an evident fitness advantage saw them dominate the possession and territory, with the City team digging in hard to protect their lead. There was a real sense amongst those watching that another five or six minutes on the game, and Country could have turned the result, and perhaps a little more accuracy in the kicking on goal and the match could have been there.
City coach Andrew Tweedie and Country coach Charlie Kielty were very impressed with the competitiveness and commitment shown by all players, and overall standard of play. This made the selection of the GB squad a very difficult job, with all players in the running. After much deliberation in the selection committee the 26 man squad was announced at the after-match function at the Shaftsbury Avenue Walkabout and whilst there were congratulations to those who made the squad, there was a strong message to those who did not, that they should be looking to get themselves selected next season. Our thanks to the two coaches, who put together two very good teams from their respective London and Regional playing leagues, through several training sessions in the lead up. Also a big thanks to Rohan Stevenson and Gavin Wright from North London Lions for arranging the venue and assisting in making sure the day went well.