Tyne-Tees Tigers ready to roar
Saturday, May 19 2012 @ 06:36 am ACST
Contributed by: Shaun Bulmer
The last two years haven't been too kind to Australian football in North East England. The area was once a hotbed of the sport in the UK, with a strong, five-team league. However, by 2011 it had become a barren wasteland in footy terms, with all clubs bar one having folded due to a combination of factors including waining interest, lack of facilities and funding. The one remaining team, Newcastle Centurions, is currently on hiatus, meaning no football has been played in the North East since 2010.
This is soon to change with the formation of the Tyne-Tees Tigers, an amalgamation of the now defunct clubs Gateshead, Durham, Middlesborough & Hartlepool. The club is based in Newcastle Upon Tyne, but represents the whole North East region and as such draws players from Northumberland, Tyneside, Wearside and Teeside. A lot of work has been done over the past few months to get things up and running and the first training session will take place on Tuesday 22nd May.
The club won't be playing competitive football in 2012 as the AFL England leagues have all already begun their seasons. The short-term goal for the Tigers is to host a round of the AFL England Central/North West (C/NW) season on July 14th. In that round the Tyne-Tees club will compete in a social game against a team made up of C/NW players. The club's long-term goal is to join the C/NW league as a competitive team in 2013.