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Wednesday, January 16 2019 @ 10:17 am ACDT

Tigers Migrate North Across Border

The Tyne Tees Tigers, formerly a part of the AFLCNE competition, based across northern and central England, have made a monumental decision to leave that league and travel north to be a part of the AFL Scotland league, SARFL. Whilst on face value the question might be raised as to why a club in England would join a league in Scotland – geography justifies the decision. Based in Newcastle, in the north of England, the Tigers are closer to the Scottish cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow than most of their former AFLCNE opposition.

According to Tyne Tees Tigers club president, Phil Martin, “we took the decision to change leagues based on travel involved. With the exception of the Huddersfield Rams, all the AFLCNE clubs are a greater distance from us than the SARFL clubs. Historically, due to this, we have always had a solid link to the Scottish clubs with strong representation at Tyne Cup over the years, with the pre-season Bawbag Cup between the Kingdom Kangaroos and ourselves (and last year included the Eagles as well) and also with pre-season friendlies. The time felt right to take the step [to join SARFL].”

Phil doesn’t see this move as anything but a logical step towards long-tern success for the club both on and off the field and will have fond memories of the club’s five years in the AFLCE. The club will retain the same colours and logos used within their time in the AFLCNE.

Phil also states that “I would also like to put on record our appreciation to the AFLCNE teams for five years [of] competition. We leave with great memories and many opponents who have become friends [as well as] two Plate victories.”

The decision was ratified at last weekend’s AFL Scotland AGM, with a resounding vote in favour of the Tigers joining the league. Kirsty Gray from AFL Scotland added, “The Tyne Tees Tigers…will be [a] good addition to SARFL”.

The move is immediate, with the Tyne Tees Tigers being a part of the upcoming SARFL 2018 season. They join the Edinburgh Bloods, Glasgow Sharks, Greater Glasgow Giants and Kingdom Kangaroos. In recent years, the Falkirk Silverbacks and North Lanarkshire Wolves have ceased playing after short stints in the league, building from ground up. The Tyne Tees Tigers arrive as a fully operational club with five years’ experience behind them. Their transition to another league will have challenges, but should see immediate successes for the club ad league at all levels on and off the field.

A decision on the role that the West Lothian Eagles will play in the SARFL, discussed at the same AGM, will be announced by the club and league soon.

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