In a few short years, the Bogota Bulldogs have both added to the sporting mosaic of Colombia as well as providing an international Australian Football competition and rivalry in South America along with the Santiago Saints in Chile. Some may see the game in Colombia as an exotic outpost for the game, others just another sport. Then there are those (like me) who see football in Colombia as an important frontier in the natural expansion of our game.
In these COVID-19 times, where the world waits for footy to resume again across the world, we have two film clips briefly showcasing the game in Bogota. The 2018 Grand Final between the DC Aguilas and Bogota Bullants, as well as the Fossil Cup of 2019 between the Bogota Bulldogs representing South America against the Austin Crows from Texas representing North America. Both were historic occasions and recently released to the club's YouTube channel.
2018 CAFL (Colombia Australian Football League) Grand Final - DC Aguilas v Bogota Bullants
The DC Aguilas have started their season in style in the third season of the Colombia AFL competition. On the first day of the new season, the Aguilas won both of their games against the Bogota Bullants and the Bogota Bombers. Following is the report from the Bogota Bulldogs on the opening round.
After a solid pre-season build up, with 2 full months of Saturday afternoon sessions under the watchful eye of footy department head Jimbob "Hamez" Karantzoulis, it was time for CAFL match day number one for 2020.
Bulldogs stalwart and former CAFL president Paddy Smallwood came up with an innovative new format of three 9-a-side games in the one afternoon in order to try and kill off all of the fossils still hanging around the club. It almost succeeded with Deano Wiltshire being the only pensioner to take the field on Saturday the 14th of March.
Ahead of the new season for the Colombian Australian Football League (CAFL), the Bogotá Bulldogs have unveiled a new website to widen their distribution of information about the club. It marks the next step in an astonishing development of the game in Colombia, driven by the Bogotá Bulldogs.
The history of the club on one of the pages paints a detailed picture of how far the club has come.
The Bogotá Bulldogs’ slogan is “From a Kick to a Club” - what started as a kick in the park amongst mates in 2015 has grown into a true footy club, nestled 2800 metres closer to the stars. Everyone is welcome and wanted with the doggies. We are building a community open to any and all skill levels and experiences - for anyone in Bogotá who is looking for a sporting Saturday afternoon.
On face value, the Bogota Bulldogs failed to meet one of their three key objectives for 2019. They wanted to win more matches, but lost all three international matches. A harsh look at that result suggests failure. However, nothing could be further from the truth.
According to their newly released annual report, the Bulldogs had two other key objectives that they passed with flying colours. They also wanted to grow the club and grow the game – on both counts the club has set a new standard for the future. That future could be bigger than ever anticipated happened quicker than anyone thought.
The visits from two USAFL clubs – the Austin Crows and Denver Bulldogs – resulted in heavy, though brave, losses, but the experience gained by the club was far more valuable than a scoreboard. Going down to the Austin Crows in April (22 8 140 to 6 7 43) and to the Denver Bulldogs in May (11 6 72 to 5 9 39) gave the Bogota Bulldogs the confidence and drive to commence talks with the USAFL to compete at the USAFL nationals as soon as possible. That option would not have occurred as quickly had it not been for the Bulldogs extending the invitation to the North American clubs.
The Chilean champions, the Santiago Saints, have caused an upset of sorts by downing the titleholders – the Bogota Bulldogs – to win this year’s Andes Cup. The match, played for the first time outside of either competing team’s country, was played in Lima, Peru.
The Bogota Bulldogs acknowledged the Saints’ win on their Facebook page. “A huge felicidades to the Santiago Saints AFC for winning their first Andes Cup. We were pumped to field a majority non-Australian team for the first time and to have our Wujeres play with the commitment and passion we’ve come to expect from the doggies. Let’s hope both clubs continue to grow the great game in South America and we make it a little more competitive next time.”
The latest round of the AFL Colombia season was played last weekend in Bogota with the DC Aguilas up against the Bogota Bullants. The victorious Aguilas are now well placed to win their second title. The following report from the Bogota Bulldogs details the match.
The CAFL was in full flight again on Saturday with the Aguilas taking on the Bullants.
The Bullants. desperate to notch their first win of the year, jumped out of the box and dominated the first five minutes of the first quarter. However, they couldn’t take advantage and failed to convert into a stiff breeze.
The Aguilas found their feet and rebounded with the wind to score two quick majors. The quarter continued to be rebound footy with both sides sharing two more goals apiece with Oscar and Alonso kicking truly for the Ants. Sloany and Sergio gained confidence, space and finishing ability in the absence of Rimma Quigley and finished the quarter with two goals each for the Aguilas. An after the siren goal from Smallwood brought the margin back to two goals at quarter time.
The following article from Tristan Quigley appeared in The Bogota Post back in May this year and detailed the performance of the Bogota Bulldogs’ history making performance in their very first international match.
The Bogotá Bulldogs’ women’s team pip USAFLW & AFLW Europe combined team to the post in their first international footy game.
Women’s Australian Rules Football took a huge leap forward internationally over the weekend, as the Bogota Bulldogs hosted the USAFLW & AFLW Europe combined team, cruising to a 34-point victory (9.7.61 to 4.3.27) in their first ever intercontinental match. The 9’s match took place in at Los Pinos Polo Club on the outskirts of the Colombian capital and was the first ever international women’s match in the Americas.
Football networks have formed a world wide web of their own. It was really the growth of the internet that allowed expats to make footy a reality outside Australia as they found each other and were boosted by new footy lovers who also used the boundless information on the game on their computer screens. The growth is far from over though and there are plenty of new connections to be made.
One of the most inspiring this year is the Bogota Bulldogs who have reached out to North America, and this past weekend were visited by USAFL powerhouse team the Austin Crows. Regardless of the result the Crows should be lauded for travelling down to Bogota. While they were there of course they claimed the "Champion of the Americas" title with the Fossil Cup.
The locals left gave their all on the field against the reigning US champs and came out the other side holding their heads high. And overall the club were great hosts, and setup a great schedule of social and cultural exchange that should encourage other US teams to make the journey to the southern continent.
The Bogota "Wujeres" women's team is growing and the club is looking forward to their next web building experience playing against the Denver Bulldogs in men and women's competition on the weekend of May 18th.
Australian Rules football in Colombia, South America, is about to take another leap forward with the upcoming visit by the Austin Crows from Texas. The entire footy community across Colombia is excited at the upcoming ‘Fossil Cup’ to be played Saturday week at the Los Pinos Polo Club in western Bogotá.
According to Bogotá Bulldogs president, Paddy Smallwood, the name of the event arises from “the 'Campbell-Wiltshire Fossil Cup' [which] represents the long in the tooth legends of our game and clubs, who forever retire next game, push it a yard too far, yet remain the fabric and glue of any great club.”
The match itself will be the first of three international games this year for the Bogotá Bulldogs. In May the Denver Bulldogs arrive from Colorado for a very canine clash. Later in the year the 2019 Andes Cup will be played against the Santiago Saints from Chile to again decide the best team in South America.