West Lothian Eagles’ Bold Pitch For 2018
Monday, January 15 2018 @ 02:14 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Wesley Hull
The football scene in the SARFL (Scottish Australian Rules Football league) may be about to change if a bid by the West Lothian Eagles to join the league as a full member team is successful. Club founder, Mikey Allen, has fired off a submission for the club to be the fifth team in the SARFL for the 2018 season.
The club was founded in 2016 when Mikey identified the potential for another Australian Rules football team. Since that time the Falkirk Silverbacks club has ceased, further opening up the prospects for a new team – located between Edinburgh and Glasgow. If successful, the team would join the Greater Glasgow Giants, Glasgow Sharks, Edinburgh Bloods and Kingdom Kangaroos as part of the national league.
Since their formation as a team in 2016, the Eagles have played in a couple of “friendlies” against Scotland’s Kingdom Kangaroos and English team, the Tyne Tees Tigers and have been growing their numbers at training sessions. They will be competing this year in the 2018 Haggis Cup, all going to plan. Mikey believes the club is ready for the challenges of competing at the nation’s highest level for clubs.
Their upcoming submission follows their transition from local team to fully-fledged club in December 2017. Mikey will take the reins as head coach and club secretary whilst Ross Barker will be the club’s inaugural president. Jack Buhagiar, travelling through Scotland recently, dropped in to have a kick. So impressed was he with the development of the club, he is returning permanently to West Lothian to take the reins as team manager.
Not only would their inclusion be a boost for the club, it would be a huge step forward for AFL Scotland and the SARFL competition. Whilst recently added teams – the Greater Glasgow Giants and Kingdom Kangaroos – have now tasted premiership or grand final success, the demise of teams over recent years (Falkirk, North Lanarkshire and Aberdeen) has slowed the progress of the game. But a successful transition by West Lothian would be a massive endorsement for the game and continue positive growth.
The Eagles will have to wait for the AFL Scotland AGM on January 21st to see if their submission is accepted, but to date the signs are good and a new chapter of footy in Scotland may be about the be written.
The original story about the growth of the West Lothian Eagles can be found at: West Lothian Eagles On Scottish Horizon