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.
The champion Australian Rules football team in South America has been decided and the Bogota Bulldogs have managed to retain the Andes Cup and go back to back in their battle against the Santiago Saints from Chile. But the battle wasn’t all one way as the Saints pushed a wasteful Bulldogs all the way, going down by just 17 points in front of their home crowd.
The final score saw the Bogota Bulldogs 9 15 69 defeat the Santiago Saints 8 4 52.
For the Bulldogs the win cements them as the very real permanent team in South America to accompany the years of hard work put in place by the Santiago Saints crew in Chile. Whilst the Saints would no doubt be disappointed to lose, the game against the team from Colombia marks a huge leap forward for Chilean football as the local club now has a genuine international competitor. That will, in time, lead to greater opportunities in all spheres of the game on and off the field.
South America is one massive continent. It absolutely dwarfs Australia in size – and Europe for that matter. The Andes Mountains which run the entire west coast of the continent run for around 7000 kilometres alone. The distance by road from Bogota in Colombia and Santiago in Chile is around 6000 kilometres. This is where the footy kicks in. On July 22nd the Bogota Bulldogs will travel that distance to Santiago for the final instalment of the Andes Cup for 2017 – though probably not by road.
Australian Rules football in South America has long been championed by the Santiago Saints in Chile. They have remained the only permanent team for many years, crying out for company. With the arrival of the Bogota Bulldogs the game has a great chance to grow even further.
In a press release for local newspapers in Chile, the Santiago Saints report that “AFL football is back for the second instalment of Latin America's newest rivalry. This Saturday, the 22nd of July, teams from Chile and Colombia will go head to head for the Andes Cup in the leafy surrounds of Lo Barnachea in Santiago, 2pm local time. The Bogota Bulldogs will be hoping to retain the Cup after its comprehensive victory in the inaugural clash in Bogota in September 2016. By contrast, the Santiago Saints are desperate to reclaim the mantle as the powerhouse of Latin American footy, back in more familiar conditions closer to sea level.”
After the inaugural clash between the Santiago Saints and Bogota Bulldogs held in Colombia last September, the teams have been itching for another chance to clash. Last time, playing in The Andes Cup, it was the new kids on the block, the Bogota Bulldogs, that took the honours, downing the Santiago Saints by 46 points. See story Bogotá Bulldogs Down Santiago Saints In Colombia.
On July 22nd the second instalment of this South American footy rivalry gets under way when the Chilean based Saints host the Bulldogs. It will be an enormous boost to the game in Chile. The Santiago Saints have lived in a semi-hiatus for many years, unable to play much more than internal scratch matches due to the lack of another team on the continent.
A new opportunity now exists for any club looking for something exciting, challenging and very different in their footy season. Why not head to Santiago, Chile, and take up a new offer from the Santiago Saints. The club is extending the invitation to clubs from the United States, Australia or even from across Europe to consider breaking new ground.
For that matter, their newest opponents, the Bogota Bulldogs in Colombia, might be very interested in saying hello at the very least.
Patricio Saavedra, president of the Santiago Saints, is excited, as is the whole club. According to Patricio, “we are launching an invitation to any other club in America, Europe or even Australia to come to Chile and play against us during that period with the idea to start the first International Aussie Rules Football championship of South America. Members of our club are very motivated for this season.”
The inaugural international match between the new Colombian team the Bogotá Bulldogs and the Santiago Saints from Chile has been played on the weekend with victory going to the Bulldogs. The final score saw the ‘Dogs down the Saints 94 to 48 to be the first winners of “The Andes Cup”.
Teams were applauded for their effort playing in Bogotá, a city which sits at an altitude of over 8,000 feet above sea level – testing the aerobic capacity of all players. As the Bulldogs proudly state, their team plays and trains at an altitude of over 2600 metres above sea level, which is the equivalent of playing at the summit of Mt Kosciusko – Australia’s highest peak.