MAJOR LEAGUE FOOTY - THE FLORIDA LEAGUE OF AUSTRALIAN RULES FOOTBALL

KANGAS SWAMP SWANS IN THE WET, 114-56

Adham Makki turned in a brilliant effort for Orlando in poor conditions Saturday night in St. Petersburg.

A heroic effort from USAFL veteran Janni Mirosevich, a flash of USA Revos relevance from Dustin Jones and a dominating showing by Adham Makki propelled Orlando to a second rout in St. Petersburg, running out winners in the wet, 16.14.110 – 7.14.56 Saturday night.

Mirosevich, seeing his first action since a severe knee injury suffered at the 2016 USAFL National Championships in October, hardly looked the worse for wear, booting five majors and thoroughly outplaying anything the Swans could counter.

Fast out of the gate, Orlando opened up a quick advantage, with Mirosevich opening the scoring less than one minute in. Orlando took a 14-point margin at the first break.

A second period played in the first of two summer-like downpours saw conditions play a definite role, as St. Petersburg had a handful of easy chances go awry in an 0.5.5 frame, while the Kangas tacked on to their lead, heading into the big break up by 23.

With the first deluge over at the start of the third stanza, the Swans came to life, as the sides traded blows in the early going of the half. A sequence that saw St. Pete follow the ball through multiple exchanges and turnovers deep in the Orlando end provided the highlight of the night for the Bloods, as Basil Benjamin took control a notched an easy crumb.

The encouraging signs of the St. Petersburg third quarter effort would not carry over to the fourth, however, as Orlando ran away with a 6.3.39-3.4.22 tally in a second bout of driving rain.

The win is Orlando’s second blowout at Four ‘N Twenty Field this season, as the Kangas now top the Major League Footy metro rules ladder at 2-0, with both wins at the expense of the Swans in St. Pete.

Having coming off a huge win over visiting Miami, the Swans were unable to carry over any momentum from that victory, and are now 1-3 on the metro rules season.

The club will return to practice Thursday night and training Saturday, May 26, before heading to Nashville for matches against the Kangaroos and Atlanta, June 3.

1 2 3 4 F
Orlando 3.5 2.2 5.4 6.3 16.14.110
St. Petersburg 1.3 0.5 3.2 3.4 7.14.56

CAN ROOS MAKE IT TWO? ORLANDO WILL DISTANCE FROM PACK WITH WIN

The Swans’ Basil Benjamin (#8) fights through numbers against Miami, April 22 in St. Petersburg.

Footy returns to Downtown St. Pete Saturday night, when the St. Petersburg  Swans (1-2) host Orlando AFC (1-0) in a 7pm start.

Fresh off a 108-point win over Miami, St. Pete will be looking for revenge for a March 11 loss to a fiesty Orlando side.

The decision marked the Swans’ second consecutive season-opening home loss to the Kangas.

An infusion of new talent in midfielder Patrick Bilder (New York, Baton Rouge), half-back Jeremy Tartt and ruck Torian Johnson (Denver) should give the Bloods added depth up and down the list as the club looks to get their summer season back to the .500 mark after two early-season losses.

With USAFL matches awaiting in a June 3 trip to Nasville to take on the Kangaroos and Atlanta, the Swans remain focused on moving up the Major League Footy Premiership Season ladder.

Meanwhile, an Orlando win would give the Kangas a 2-game cushion over the Swans as the summer season heats up.

St. Petersburg Swans (1-2) host Orlando AFC (0-1) at Four ‘N Twenty Field at Campbell Park in  St. Pete. Gametime is 7pm.

WITH ORLANDO ON DECK, ST.PETE SEEKS MOMENTUM

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The St. Petersburg Swans will look to extract a bit of revenge on their Florida metro footy brethren, when they host Orlando AFC Saturday, May 20 at Four ‘N Twenty Field at Campbell Park in downtown St. Pete.

Game time is 7 pm.

Orlando used a swarming offensive attack to take the March 11 encounter 158-71, and the Bloods will be looking to build on their own offensive explosion, having bested Miami 146-38 on April 22.

St. Petersburg is 1-2 on the young season, and are seeking a bit of momentum before June encounters with the USAFL’s Nashville and Atlanta clubs.

The Swans practice every Thursday (6PM) and Saturday (10 AM, except game days) on the Common at Crescent Lake in St. Pete. All trainings and practices are always free, and are open to co-ed players of all ages and skill level.

‘JONESING’ FOR THE MCG

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St. Petersburg Senior Coach and Ruck Rover Dustin Jones Seeks Return to US Revolution MNT

St. Petersburg Swans Senior Coach and Ruck Rover Dustin Jones is looking to wind back the clock.

Among the first AFL International Scholarship Awardees – and two-time US Men’s National Team top-scorer and MVP, Jones will participate in this weekend’s Revolution training camp in a bid to return to the MCG for this year’s AFL International Cup.

The Revos and Coach Tom Ellis will be looking to improve on an 8th place finish in the 2014 International Cup, and Jones faces intense competition from a USA talent pool that has expanded in recent campaigns.

The AFL International Cup will open August 5th, with the Grand Final scheduled as an MCG curtain-raiser before the Ausgust 18 Round 22 match pitting Collingwood and Geelong.

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This year’s AFL International Cup will be capped off with the Grand Final, August 22 at the MCG.

Jones, 37, is a 19-year veteran of US Footy and the USAFL.

He has played for Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia and Florida.

Having been unofficially retired from footy, he joined the Swans and Tampa Bay ARFC as Senior Coach in 2015, and piloted the new squad to the USAFL D4 Grand Final in the club’s first competition at the USAFL National Tournament in 2016.

St. Petersburg is expected to be promoted to compete in Division III in 2017, and is currently the top-scoring offense in early-season USAFL metro rules play.

SWANS TAKE FLIGHT; BEDEVIL SAINTS, 146-38

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Austen Kugler (19) and Pat Bilder (10) helped propel a young Swans side to the biggest winning margin in club history, and second highest score, in Saturday’s 10s vs a gallant Miami side.PHOTO: Katherine Matson

In their first 2017 match against a USAFL opponent, the St. Petersburg Swans controlled play from the opening bounce, running out 22.14.146 – 6.2.38 over a scrappy and gallant Miami Saints side Saturday at Four ‘N Twenty Field at Campbell Park in downtown St. Pete.

The Swans are now 3-1-1 in their last five USAFL contests, dating back to the 2016 USAFL National Tournament, where the club advanced to the D4 Grand Final.

With league pundit Brian Barrish forecasting a promotion to D3 play in 2017, St. Petersburg was eager to put its best effort forward in hosting the 10s side of cross-state mates Ft, Lauderdale – and also eager to correct an offense that had been lethargic in the early goings of the 2017 season.

Although missing the services of 15 veterans – including Senior Coach Dustin Jones, who is preparing for the USAFL Revolution USMNT camp next weekend – St. Petersburg won play from the start and maintained pressure throughout – encouraging signs as the Bloods head into upcoming challenges in Baton Rouge and Nashville.

Fueled by strong midfield play from Kyle Roun, Basil Benjamin, Pat Bilder and Ken Scheidt and huge output from a frontline of Austen Kugler, Jake Keglor and Aaron Crittenden, the Swans jumped out to 64-point advantage at the big break. That margin included shutting Miami out completely in the 2nd frame.

After a fiery intermission talk by Ft. Lauderdale club founder Cameron Pinnock, the Saints came out of the break with a renewed attack and disciplined approach, as savvy veterans Anthony Colarusso and Gavin Caddy guided the young Saints to the first two majors of the second half before St. Pete regained momentum and scored the stanza’s final 29 points.

As Greg Bray captained the Bloods back to life in the fourth period, St. Pete amassed a 7.4.46 – 3.1.19 edge, although that tally doesn’t accurately portray Miami’s impressive second-half fight.

Newcomer Jeremy Tartt was most impressive in his debut on the St. Petersburg backline, with Danny McDonald also contributing a solid performance in his season debut. Youth players Jackson Bray and Amaran Subramanian made the very most of their minutes as well, with both making outstanding plays in the effort.

Leading scorer Jake Keglor added to his tally with a several long-range majors on the evening.

The St, Petersburg Swans return to practice Thursday evening at 6 PM, with the next full training Saturday, April 29 at 10 AM – on the Rollbotto Oval on the Common at Crescent Lake in St. Petersburg. The next Swans match is May 6 at Baton Rouge.

1 2 3 4 F    
Miami 1.1 0.0 2.0 3.1 6.2.38    
St. Petersburg 5.2 6.3 4.5 7.4 22.14.146

WINTER WONDERLAND: FLORIDA FOOTY EYES EXPANSION

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Metro Rules is Australian Football evolved for play on American football fields, with a typical match of 9-a-side teams.

Having seen unprecedented success in a 2016-’17 Inaugural Season that saw the St. Petersburg Swans defeat minor premiers Suncoast Suns to claim the Florida Winter League flag, Major League Footy – The Florida Winter League of Australian Football – has announced the beginning of active recruitment for clubs across Florida.

Launched with seven metro rules sides, and with players selected in an innovative draft-process from the senior co-ed player list of the USAFL’s Tampa Bay ARFC, the November-February off-season circuit is now seeking committed club managers, players, coaches and referees to stock new clubs throughout the state.

While Tampa Bay ARFC will itself launch new metro sides in the Greater Bay Area communities of Memphis, FL (Sarasota/Bradenton) and San Antonio, FL (Pasco County / New Tampa), the winter footy circuit is currently gauging interest from prospective club admins in: Melbourne (FL), Jacksonville, Gainesville, Fort MyersTallahassee and Pensacola.

Additionally, proposed clubs representing Buffalo, NY,, Lehigh Valley, PA., and New Jersey and competing in a limited, Florida-based schedule in 2017-’18 are expected to join the Pittsburgh Blackbirds in representing their regions in the Florida Winter League. These clubs are also open to all independent players, as well as Australian ex-pats visiting Florida and any registered USAFL players.

There are no player participation fees for the Florida Winter League, and committed club managers will be provided with start-up training jumpers and footies.

Clubs must demonstrate the ability to recruit and retain a minimum of 7 local players. Players must be able to travel to away games in Florida from – February for a 10-match season. The 2017-’18 season will include a break mid-December thru mid-January.

The league is administered by the USAFL’s St. Petersburg Swans / Tampa Bay ARFC, and Major League Footy is recognized by the USAFL as the Florida Winter League of Metro Rules Australian Football.

‘BIRDS WILL DON ICONIC #STEELCITY KITS

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Metro rules training side Pittsburgh Blackbirds will wear experimental ‘Rugby-style’ jumpers inspired by the Geelong Cats’ AFL pre-season kits, but with #steelcity theme.

2017 Major League Footy metro-rules training side Pittsburgh Blackbirds have unveiled a jumper kit that combines a ‘rugby-style’ t-shirt popularized by the Geelong Cats’ pre-season gear with a definitive #steelcity theme.

Sporting the iconic ‘Black and Gold’ color combination common to all Pittsburgh major league sports teams and dramatic hoop socks, the Blackbirds will take it to the ground in the St. Petersburg Swans 2017 Home Opener, April 8 at Four ‘N Twenty Field at Campbell Park in downtown St. Petersburg. First bounce is 7 pm.

The Blackbirds are the 8th metro rules side comprising Major League Footy – the Florida League of Australian Football.

All 2017 Pittsburgh players drawn from the player list of the USAFL’s St. Petersburg Swans / Tampa Bay ARFC club.