After a busy start to the USAFL season with the mens team having 5 away games in 6 weeks and the Lady Pies travelling for 3 tournaments, this Friday sees the start of local AFL action for 2012 with the New York City AFL (“NYCAFL”) competition beginning. Played over 4 nights in June and July with each night consisting of 2 mens gamesÂ and 1 mixed Recfooty game, the NYCAFL allows all New York Magpies players to get some more games under their belts and to hone their skills and fitness for the second half of the season.
For the mens games players are drafted into 4 teams, the Village Bohemians, Suburban Tollmen, Times Square Tourists and Hudson River Rats to compete in 8-10 a side games on a soccer field. The Recfooty game allows new Lady Pies to get a feeling for AFL without the pressure of avoiding tackles and gives all players interested in improving their fitness and skills the opportunity to do so in a less physical version of the game.
As is always the case, there have been several departures and new arrivals to the New York Magpies and the defending champions the Village Bohemians will face some different looking sides in this years competition. Below is a brief preview for each team:
Village Bohemians -Â After some strong recruiting over a couple of years Boho (as they are affectionately known) completed a dream 2011 NYCAFL season going from worst to first, beating the Suburban Tollmen in a close final. This year Boho has a new captain in Jordan McIntyre with previous skipper and current New York Magpies president Nick Walker handing over the reigns. McIntyre will have the benefit of retaining almost the same squad as 2011 excluding 2010 first round draft pick James ‘Pistol’ McLaughlin who has returned to Australia. The Boho’s will be impacted by availability in the first couple of rounds of the season with Jack Taylor and McIntyre unlikely to play due to injuries, ruckman Eddy Buckingham busy managing the newly opened Liberty and Nick Kerr off on the other side of the world digging up rocks. McIntyre recruited athlete Dylan Martin with his first pick in the 2012 draft and also added Aaron ‘Hawk’ Hawkins, Paul ‘Marto’ Martin, Brent ‘Monkey Wheeldon, Zach Katsof, Tai Scott and Joel Schultz through the draft.
Suburban Tollmen -Â The NYCAFL’s most successful team, locally known as the Trash, came close to adding another title in 2011, going down by a goal to the Boho’s in the final. The Trash are the only team to retain their captain for 2012 with New York Magpies stalwart Ojas ‘Juice’ Desai returning and having the benefit of Â having a similar squad to 2011. Success will always come down to luck with injuries and availability however the Trash have a good balance of talent and experience and will look to be right up there again in 2012. The team added former rugby player Hamish Keith with their first round pick after his dominant second half performance in Philadelphia as well as Jason Clifford, Nick O’Sullivan, Barry Dry, Ben Rohr, Stephen Bennett and the brother of New York Magpies president, Andrew Walker.
Time Square Tourists -Â After going close to a NYCAFL title in 2010 the Tourists were significantly impacted by availability during 2011 and fell down the ladder before managing to salvage some pride in the 3rd vs 4th playoff and win the rights to the number 1 draft pick in the 2012 NYCAFL draft. Unfortunately the team has been devastated by departures with club luminaries such as Andy Brennan, Walt Lin, Joel Keating, Joel Danniher and Chris Georgiou all leaving New York. New skipper Sam Mitchell will have the task of rebuilding the Tourists into a great team and took a big step first up drafting Alex Kwiatkowski with the number 1 draft pick. Kwiatkowski had been dominant in several games for the Magpies before going down with an ankle injury. Mitchell also added Joseph Hocking, Chris Walsh, Mike Fraietta, Chris Casey, Michael McGuire, Troy and Carl Danilo, Richard Marian, Simon Cobbold, Darryl Jones, Chris Lambert, Brian Jeep and Josh Auchetti to his team.
Hudson River Rats -Â The Hudson River Rats went into the 2011 NYCAFL season as hot favorites following the return of some gun players to their list and the addition of several more in the 2011 draft. Unfortunately availability proved to be an issue and the River Rats couldn’t string enough victories together without their full roster to win a place in the final. With talent such as Nick Stone, Andy Bowen, Glenn Ormsby, Scott McMaster and Dan Lehane on his roster, new Rats captain Jeremy Spiteri has a great chance to jump way up the ladder, as long as he can get his full team to Hoboken (easier said than done on a Friday night). Spiteri added some talent to his team in the 2012 draft taking Brett Felsenthal with his first round pick and also adding Andrew Solly, Tom Burke, Brendan Murphy, Nick Brooks, Oliver Tresco, Peter Limon and Blake Boles.
If you’re in New York all are welcome at Debaun Field, Steven’s Institute from 7pm on Friday June 15th, June 22nd and July 13th for the games and at after-match drinks at the Wicked Wolf Tavern on the corner of Sinatra Drive and 2nd St in Hoboken. The final will again be held at Pier 40 in Manhattan from 6pm on Saturday July 21st with the presentation and aftermatch function to be held at The Australian on 38th St between 5th and 6th Avenues. Keep an eye on the New York Magpies Twitter feed, Facebook andÂ nyfooty.comÂ for game scores, match reports and photos.