The inaugural season of the CAFL (Colombia Australian Football League) will come to a satisfying close this weekend when the nation’s first ever Aussie Rules grand final will be played in the capital city of Bogota. It will bring to an end a season were Aussie expats have blended beautifully with local Colombian talent to see the rise of the game in South America that only a couple of years ago was a dream.
The match will feature the Bogota Bullants up against the DC Aguilas. The Bogota Bombers missed out on reaching the big day, yet remained a highly competitive third team, even downing the Bullants along the way.
AFL Colombia president, Paddy Smallwood, previews the match.
“The grand final should be a solid affair. The D.C Aguilas are coming in favourites off three wins on the trot, and the Bullants' last game being the bloodbath [against the Bombers]. The Aguilas team has been a consistent group all year, which has allowed the drastic improvement of their fleet of Colombian guns.”
After downing the Bogota Bombers on the weekend, the DC Aguilas have earned the right to meet the Bogota Bullants in the inaugural AFL Colombia grand final. It has been a wonderful first season for the fledgling league, setting up a permanency for the game in years to come. Whilst there were twists and turns along the way, with the Bombers finding form late to challenge, the two best performed teams will ultimately go to the big dance.
Final Scores: DC Aguilas 23 11 149 d Bogota Bombers 12 15 87
AFL Colombia president, Paddy Smallwood, reported from Bogota that, “this definitely ramped up to be the biggest match of the regular season. A rematch of what was the most intense contest of the season, it was do-or-die for the Blue Studies Bombers against the Gourmet Burger Bar Bogota D.C. Aguilas who were sitting pretty at the top of the ladder.”
It doesn’t happen often, but the Bogota Bombers have set a few AFL Colombia records last weekend as they kept themselves firmly in the premiership race. Apart from being the highest score recorded in the very new South American competition, they also scored it being the bottom team. Add to that, the Bogota Bombers recorded a 213-point turnaround from the last time they met the Bogota Bullants. Certainly, the match has changed the status quo of the competition, bringing all three teams back into premiership calculations.
Paddy Smallwood, president of AFL Colombia, provided a look at the game and its ramifications on the competition.
“The game was a bloodbath. The Bullants went in very undermanned, with their captain Jamez injured and the league’s current leading goalscorer, Matt Sharaz, back home in Australia with his feet up, and many other important players out for various, some sceptical, reasons.”
To date, the Bogota Bullants had been seen as the team to beat for the inaugural CAFL title in Colombia. But the DC Aguilas changed that yesterday with a powerful display against the previously undefeated Bullants, leading early and going on to record a powerful 54-point victory. It sets the scene for a huge finish to the season.
According to the Bogota Bulldogs, “with the Bogota Craft Beer Tours Bullants wanting to continue their undefeated run and the Gourmet Burger Bar Aguilas having made it out of their last match brutal victors [against the Bombers], both sides had a lot to prove coming into this showdown.”
“After the first half had kept things relatively even at 33-41 to the Aguilas, the flood gates opened in the third quarter. After a crucial injury to Bullants captain James, and Aguilas benefiting from a full bench, Sam Miller led the charge, scoring a number of unanswered goals. The midfield opened up and the Aguilas were able to control the play. The Bullants tried their best to even up the play in the fourth quarter, but by then the Aguilas were able to hold their dominant lead at 55-109.”
The CAFL season in South America continued on the weekend with the DC Aguilas up against the Bogotá Bombers. In a great game, and a showcase of what Australian Football is all about, the Aguilas held on in a classic. Paddy Smallwood from the CAFL (Colombian Australian Football League) shared the details of the clash, set against a grey and damp Bogotá backdrop.
“The league came alive on Saturday with an enthralling contest. The Aguilas jumped out of the box with six goals to two to take a handy four-goal quarter time lead in cold and wet Bogotá conditions. Sam Miller up forward was causing massive headaches for the Bombers and slotted three goals. The second quarter was a better contest with the Bombers pushing back hard and being on top for large parts of the quarter, but ultimately inaccuracy cost them and they went to the main break three goals down.”
After just two games of the CAFL season in Bogotá, Colombia, the Bogotá Bullants have already announced themselves as the team to beat. Whilst the pre-season drafting has certainly made the three -team competition competitive, it is already clear that the talent pool at the Bullants runs deep and it will take a big turnaround from the Bogotá Bombers and DC Aguilas to take down the Bullants.
For three quarters the Bullants and Bombers were evenly matched. Scores were level at quarter-time and the Bullants led by just three points at the main beak. The Bombers won the final quarter. However, it was the third quarter where the inner Bullant was unleashed as they piled on seven goals to break the game open and set up victory by 30 points.
History has been made in the Colombian capital city of Bogotá with the first match of the inaugural CAFL (Colombian Australian Football League) season being played last weekend.
The Bogotá Bullants go into the history books as the first team to win a match in the CAFL competition when they downed the DC Aguilas by 38 points. Domiant early, the “Bullants managed to clinch it in the end, warding off a fast-finishing Aguilas.”
The growth of Australian Rules football in Colombia, South America, has been rapid in the past couple of years since the arrival of the Bogotá Bulldogs. Last week that growth accelerated even faster when the club held its first ever draft of local players and created three teams in the Colombian capital – the Bogotá Bombers, Bogotá Bullants and DC Aguilas – for a local three-team competition.
With a view to building three teams of reasonably equal standard, recruiters for the teams made selections based on both team needs as well as competitive fairness. The result is three new entities that will do battle across the year in a round-robin format of games (full details to be advised).
It was only late 2016 that the Bogotá Bulldogs became South America’s second permanent Australian Rules football team. In just a short time, the club has become the continent’s champion team, winning back-to-back Andes Cups against the Chilean footy stalwarts, the Santiago Saints. To some that might be seen as job done, but not the Bulldogs. Rather than be content with international titles, footy in Bogotá, Colombia, is about to have its first permanent league.
Bogotá Bulldogs’ president, Patrick Smallwood, states, “this year we have decided to put on a 9’s footy league in Bogotá over two seasons. The club will hold a draft night and try to split players evenly between the three sides. The teams are the Bogotá Bombers, the Bogotá Bullants and the D.C Aguilas.”
South America's newest Australian Rules football team, the Bogotá Bulldogs, are gearing up for a huge 2018. As reigning champions of South America, they have twice won the Andes Cup against the Santiago Saints from Chile. They are now gearing up to go bigger and better for 2018, and their video is helping to spread that message.