Australia Vs Canada - Canada Day - July 1st
Jun 30, 2010
AUSTRALIA VS CANADA
One of the major events of the OAFL footy calender is just about upon us. And can you believe the hype this year? Early on in the piece there was talk that perhaps the game would not go ahead, but alas it has, and will, this Thursday at Humber South College at 2pm. Not only is this game the main draw card of the day, but there is a lot going on with exhibition netball matches, a Rookies vs Veterans game, junior game and for the first time ever on Canada Day, a womens match!! Going to be a real top notch day!
The main game is scheduled a mere month before Team Canada, Northwind, are set to take on the US in the 49th Parralell Cup (Saturday July 31st) as well as getting some much needed experience before they head to Australia in 2011 to take on the best in the world in the International Cup. What better way for Northwind to prepare than to play against some of the best the OAFL has to offer.
Northwind have been in training since early 2010, and with a vast overhaul of players and administration, the team is looking better, faster, stronger and more skillfull than ever before. Taking over the reigns from 'Flash' (the previous Northwind coach, who did an amazing job to get them where they are today) is Emile Studham. Speaking with some of the Nortwind hopefulls, they commented that some of Emiles sessions have been the hardest they have ever been pushed in in their footy careers, and in preparation for the IC in 2011; they'll need it.
With the new administration, and the growth of football out in the OAFL and out west, has come a massive group of new players. Studham had this to say;
…..”I am super happy with the new guys coming through the system. Especially with their leg speed and overall athletisism. The squad from east to west is starting to shape up as a well very rounded list, perhaps the best Canada has seen to date. It will be a great game come Thursday” spoke Emile at the Northwind training session tonight. So what and who can we expect to see out there on Thursday? The usual Toronto Eagles backline will be in force, with some new/likely additions of Justin Settle and Riley Armstrong.
The notable ommission from the side, is the retiring Stefan Leyhane who will not be playing on Canada Day. Stefan is truly a great of the game out here in Ontario, and we wish him luck and thank him for his great time and efforts with the Northwind Squad. New Northwind recruit Afjal Mohammad in only his FIRST season of footy looks to be pulling on the red and white maple leaf this coming Thursday. Very impressive early on, and looks like he's done enough to secure the sway of the coaching panel.
The midfield for the Northwind squad is also looking good, with a lot of pace with the likes of Murray Lovett, Adam Millen and "Frank the Tank' from the Eagles looking likely to make up the middle, alongside a rotating Matata and Simnet. Down forward the game will likely rest of veteran player Aaron Falcioni.
And what can we expect from the Australian team? It will be traditional 'white line fever' from the boys in the green and gold in 2010, as it always is. For those who are not familiar with Australian sport, and particular footy, these boys play with alot of pride and passion for their game and on Canada Day this will be no different. Making his first appearance as Coach of the Aussie Allstars in 2010, Steve Curran, spoke candidly at a downtown Toronto pub earlier today;
"We fully intend to provide the Northwind team with the most robust contest we can. The Northwind Team are preparing for the most intense Australian Rules Football Competition outside of the AFL. We owe it to AFL Canada, the Provincial Football bodies and our Canadian team mates to ensure they are adequately prepared for the challenge that awaits them. That aside the selected members of the Australian Team are very proud Aussies and intend to represent their country with vigour while observing the esprit de corps of the competition and the day"
This kind of attitude will be the hard edge of the sword for Canada, as Australia looks to continue to go undefeated in the series. But what about the Aussie squad? Are they all they are talked up to be? This could be a big year for Canada, as they continue to grow in skill the Australian side looks to have dwindled a little. Lombardini and Maccumber are already ruled out through injury, while a good handful have now since moved on from the OAFL.
From the side that is representing on the day, there are still some pretty handy players kicking around. Brett Aiken from the Wildcats will be an absolute handful in the middle for Northwind, and talk around the Canada camp is that Minaker has already been asked to take on the tagging role. Alongside Aiken will be Farley and Edwards, both in fine form this year and then throw Capoferri and Cummings into the rotation and you have a solid midfield.
Down forward the twin towers of Peterson and Shuttleworth will be hard to stop, while other big bodies in Dunne and Visser can be thrown into that mix aswell. Small forwards Rowe and Wilson (also named as the Captain of the 2010 Aussie Allstars) will be swooping on anything that comes to ground.This could entirely be a game of 'who can manage to kick a winning score?' with the Allstars looking massively stacked in the backline with Booth, Watts, Roberts, Hindle, Royle and Martin. All will be hard to penetrate.
So famous last words? Who will win? Honestly. I think with the improvements Northwind has made this will be the closest, and hardest fought game in the years of its innaugaration. Going to be by far the best game of footy you will see in Canada this year, so be sure to get down to Humber South at 10am Thursday for the beginning of all the action!
Below is the team as sent through to the OAFL today. By rights, the Allstars can make changes to the side up until 10am Thursday morning, and changes are likely.
FB BEN ROBERTS BEN WATTS ANDREW BOOTH
HB BRAD HINDLE CODY ROYLE ASH MARTIN
C CHRIS HAESLER BRETT AIKEN ANTHONY SOMPSON
HF CHESTER JARDINE MARK PETERSON (VC) SCOTT ROWE
FF KIM WESTLAKE NICK SUTTLEWORTH (VC) TIM WILSON (C)
SALVATORE CAPOFERRI (VC)