ST. PETERSBURG SWANS - 2018-19 MAJOR LEAGUE FOOTY PREMIERSHIP SEASON

MAJOR LEAGUE FOOTY 2018-19 SEASON OPENER: ST. PETERSBURG SWANS V. STARFISHFC – OCTOBER 27 – 7 PM

BELLHOPS BARRACKS FOR YOUR SWANS!
BELLHOPS 18-19

The St. Petersburg Swans are pleased to welcome Bellhops as a 2018-19 Swans Presenting Partner.

Founded in 2011, Bellhops is a tech-enabled platform that streamlines every step of the moving process.

With St. Pete and Tampa Bay among the newest of the 26 cities now served by this innovative platform, we’re pleased to see another forward-thinking corporate partner get behind the footy!

For more information on Bellhops Moving in the Tampa-St. Pete area, please visit getbellhops.com.

SWANS ON BOARD WITH WINTER SWITCH

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Mustapha Turay of the St. Petersburg Swans vs Miami. The Swans and Saints will play year-round as a result of the competition’s switch to an October – March Premiership Season schedule. FILE PHOTO: KATE MATSON

With the rigors of an arduos 26-week schedule of footy only just in their rear-view, the St. Petersburg Swans are gearing up to do it all over again.

As the world’s most demanding team sport continues to take root in West Florida, the Swans will join the Miami Saints and other MLF sides as Major League Footy pivots to an October – March Premiership Season.

After a four week ‘offseason’ of sorts, the Swans will return to action October 27, coincidentally in a rematch with Starfish FC.

The Swans’ ‘cross-town’ rivals ran out with the MLF Summer Premiership flag in a thrilling 120-114 win, Saturday, September 29.

While the challenge of rebooting after such a short break presents its own set of issues, those are expected to be offset weather much more conducive to footy.

After battling game time temperatures consistently over 100 F all Spring and Summer (the ‘feels like’ temp at ball up Saturday was 108 F, or roughly 51 degrees hotter than Saturday afternoon in Melbourne.

Even against the backdrop of the elements, footy in West Florida has continued to grow, with the Swans counting record numbers by the end of the summer season.

With that track record, a move to ‘footy weather’ should continue to see the Swans continue their pace as the flagship club of independent Aussie Rules in the States, and for #theburg to carve out its place as the ‘Victoria’ of footy in Florida.

FOOTY SHINES BRIGHT IN #THEBURG

ST. PETE SWANS - TAMPA BAY ROWDIES

The United Soccer League’s Tampa Bay Rowdies hosted the St. Petersburg Swans for Cultural Appreciation Night, July 7 at Al Lang Stadium in downtown St. Pete.

Australian Football has taken root in West Florida.

Half a world away from the sport’s storied home, ‘footy’ is growing in the Sunshine City, as the St. Petersburg Swans continue to gain a place in the ultra-hip city’s sporting and cultural scene.

As Swans have taken practices and matches to five venues around the city during 2018, and hosted kids’ footy camps at local public youth rec centers and private schools, the independent club has set its sights on making the city by the Bay – affectionately known as ‘The ‘Burg’ by locals – a hub for Australian Rules Football in the state.

A Swans’ visit to the region’s pro soccer team, the Tampa Bay Rowdies, for the team’s annual Cultural Appreciation Night kick-started the Bloods’ outreach efforts, as an opportunity to increase footy’s exposure in the community increased an awareness in the sport.

That elevated profile has seen the Swan partner with an array of local, regional and national businesses who see the potential for the Swans’ unique position in this most appropriate of cities.

Hailed by an array of lifestyle magazines as one of the ‘hippest’ cities in not only Florida or the United States, but globally, St. Petersburg’s growth into a cultural mecca for millennials, while of course remaining a leading destination for beach-goers, has the region primed for footy’s immense appeal.

And, thanks to the area’s storied winter weather, the locals will have an opportunity to take in football year-round, as Major League Footy pivots to an October – March Premiership Season schedule.

With an eye on carving its own niche on the global footy scene, the independent circuit exclusively plays an export version of Aussie Rules.

Game play is on a 120 yard x 60 yard rectangular field, with seven players aside. That differs from the traditional 18-a-side on a cricket oval of Australian football.

This abbreviated form of footy has found a natural home in St. Petersburg, as the Swans successfully completed a summer season featuring 26 consecutive weeks of training and competitive play, all while experiencing impressive growth.

With the league making the move to a more conducive spot on the weather calendar, the Swans will embark on a 2018-19 season that begins October 27, with games played on selected Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

The Major League Footy 2018-19 Championship Final will also be played at a Pinellas County venue, where the two best sides in the burgeoning competition will face off.

In continuing footy’s march into the mainstream of St. Pete’s sport and culture scene, the Swans will also hold their 2018 Awards Night in conjunction with a pub crawl through the city’s Edge District and downtown, October 13 at 7 PM.

BLOODS ON COURSE UNDER AUSSIE RULE

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Head Coach Gregory Bray roused his charges to new heights – on the field across the Swans’ culture – in an impressive 2018 campaign. PHOTO: KATE MATSON

The St. Petersburg Swans are on course for a raft of achievements in 2018-19 after a solid summer firmly under Aussie Rule.

One of the keys to the scintillating summer of footy in Florida – in which 26 consecutive weeks of head-to-head footy and nearly 100 combined practices (April-September) saw Aussie Rules take center stage at four venues across the region – has been the firm leadership of coaches Greg Bray and Matt Elliott.

The two Eastern Football League veterans (Bray hails from North Ringwood, Elliott from Waverly) stepped into full-time roles as the Bloods’ skippers, and immediately went to work building footy fundamentals that led to a 7-4 mark.

They also pulled the club light years along in establishing a St. Petersburg footy culture.

With the task of building and managing a group of players mixing Australian imports, Yanks fine-tuning their game…and also brand-new American players, the duo set out work in the spring on installing a wholly-new coaching regimen.

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Swans Assistant Coach Matt Elliott went the extra mile, inserting himself in the Bloods’ line-up when needed. His three goal performance in the Season Opener, April 14 vs Miami was a season highlight. PHOTO: KATE MATSON

Introducing new drills, emphasizing conditioning in the often-intense Florida weather and overseeing a rigorous competitive schedule, Elliott and Bray established a new standard that saw the club’s numbers increase to record levels as the season progressed.

Often joined in their efforts by South Australia native and long-time juniors coach Budgie Hombsch, the presence of solid and experienced footy veterans was akin to adding gasoline to the smoldering West Florida fire for footy.

Both traveling back to Victoria at various times over the summer did not slow the club’s progress, although Elliott did suffer a serious knee injury requiring surgery after inserting himself in a losing cause at Miami mid-season.

The challenges of building an independent football organization with a focus on a particular playing format that is definitely new territory to the duo, who as players of course came up on traditional 18-a-side footy on an oval, did present their own learning curve.

Finding the right mix to instill the principles and strategies of Australian football in an ‘export’ format of the game requires a bit of walking a tightrope for Victorian-born coaches a world away from home.

Likewise, playing virtually year-round presents its own set of nuances to be navigated.

And, after an incredibly successful summer, it appears that the Bloods will sail into yet new uncharted waters when the competition pivots to an October – March Premiership Season when the Swans take on Starfish FC in a rematch of last weekend’s Summer Final.

For footy players, fans and supporters in Florida, the right hands are at the coaching helm.

SWANS’ KUGLER CONTINUES TO BUILD ON ’16 ROTY

2018 AUSTEN KUGLER

St. Petersburg Swans 2018 Rookie of the Year Austen Kugler continues to hone his craft as an emerging Bloods’ leader.

Brand-new to footy when he first appeared at a Swans training session, 2016 club Rookie of the Year Austen Kugler has continued to evolve as a pillar of the Bloods’ young core.

In a stellar season highlighted by strong performances throughout the campaign, Kugler has shown a tacit ability to rise to any big-game situation.

As he’s become a scoring threat from anywhere on the rectangle, Kugler’s rock-steady presence in midfield keyed countless passages of excellent football during the Swans’ 7-4 2018 Summer Premiership Season, while a developing knack for booting 10-point ‘supergoals’ worried defenses every time out.

His continuing emergence surely makes Austen a candidate for year-end honors at the side’s Awards Night, Saturday, October 13.

Kugler and the Swans will return to action October 27, in the 2018-19 Winter Season Opener.

LOOKING AHEAD: SWANS HAVE PLENTY TO BUILD ON

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Robbie Scarallo in action for the St. Petersburg Swans in Saturday’s MLF Championship Final in St. Pete. PHOTO: KATE MATSON

Although the last-minute loss to Starfish FC in Saturday’s Major League Footy 2018 Summer Championship Final is sure to sting a bit longer, all indications see the Swans on an definitively upward trajectory going forward.

As the club has seen a dramatic infusion of new talent – both homegrown Americans and Aussie imports – the 2018 Summer Premiership Season has been nothing short of a success, despite the results the last time out.

With an offense that generated over 3 points per minute, the side has acquired confidence exclusively playing an export version of Aussie Rules, with players adjusting to the specifics of the 7-a-side, rectangular field format.

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One off-season task for Swans coaches Greg Bray and Matt Elliott will be identifying a candidate to work under the tutelage of stalwart Jason Blackbourn. PHOTO: KATE MATSON

The results after a season of 26 consecutive weeks of competitive football have been encouraging across the board, although there’s surely room for improvement.

One of the challenges coaches Greg Bray and Matt Elliott will look to address over the winter will be containing the impact of the opposition’s talls in the tight confines of 7-a-side footy.

Although St. Petersburg was able to eke out a 2-1 mark against a Miami Saints side that features several big players, including the circuit’s #2 scorer in Neil Cohen, the Swans typically had difficulty countering the Saints’ attack.

While the presence of the Swans’ veteran ruck Jason Blacbourn countered the Saints’ talls led to the two wins against Miami, his absence over large parts of the summer exacerbated the issue.

Other options in the ruck would appear to be stalwart Jake Keglor, who’s typically been deployed at full forward, with occasional duty in the back.

His performance on taps in last Saturday’s Championship Final stabilized the Swans’ midfield, while Curtis Speller also demonstrated a growing ability to handle the task.

With only four weeks to brood over their season-ender, the St. Petersburg Swans are in good position to get the shock result out of their collective system ahead of a rematch with Starfish FC on October 27.

SWANS’ ROUN CATCHES FIRE IN ’18

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Since being named the St. Petersburg Swans’ ‘Most Improved Player’ after the end of the 2016 season, Kyle Roun’s development as an all-round player has only accelerated. PHOTO: KATE MATSON

The steady progress of St. Petersburg Swans’ Kyle Roun from his first year in footy (2015) earned him the nod as the club’s ‘Most Improved Player’ in 2016.

It’s only been all upward since then for the lightning-fast 26-year old.

With his on-ball skills, game-changing speed and kicking accuracy becoming rounded by four years in footy, the soccer convert has also evolved into a more engaged amd emerging leader – on and off the ground.

His fiery play against the Swans’ cross-state rival Miami Saints demonstrated a new-found emotive style of play that emerged as the 2018 Major League Footy season went on.

In fact, it can be noted that side of Roun’s development first showed bloom during a hard-fought July 14 match that the fleet wing won in the waning moments, virtually single-handedly.

That performance turned a significant page in Roun’s development, and marked a key milestone in channeling a red-hot will to win.

That evolution was also on display in the Swans’ Championship Final match vs. Starfish FC Saturday, as Roun repeatedly opened on-point passages of play that saw St. Petersburg surge to a 92-85 lead at three quarter time.

Although FC would storm back to win the Final in the closing moments, the continuing emergence of St. Pete’s young leaders in Austen Kugler, Nick Whiteside, Roun and others will surely write a new chapter in the 2018-19 season.

Fortunately, footy supporters on Florida’s West Coast won’t have to endure much of an off-season, as the Swans and Starfish FC will face off in a rematch Saturday, October 27 in the Season Opener as MLF pivots to an October-March regular season.

McINTOSH WRITING OWN FLORIDA FOOTY HISTORY

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Queensland native Ben McIntosh set a record scoring pace for 2018, kicking a remarkable 75.12 across 16 games. PHOTO: KATE MATSON

Perhaps no other event highlighted the St. Petersburg Swans’ successful run to a 7-4 mark that saw them finish as Major League Footy minor premiers and runners-up in the Championship Finals quite like the arrival of Queenslander Ben McIntosh.

With an exceptional 75-goal tally over 16 games – including 11 in the Red and White – McIntosh set a new scoring mark in taking full advantage of the circuit’s 120 yard x 60 yard ground.

In all, McIntosh registered an unprecedented 86% accuracy rate, as only 12 of his 87 scoring shots went as behinds.

His ability to also capitalize on the format’s 10-point ‘supergoals’ from beyond 40 also helped the Swans pace the competition in scoring, as St. Petersburg notched 754 points on the campaign.

The Swans’ average of 69 points a game is especially noteworthy when viewed in the context of the league’s standard game play of two 10-minute halves per match.

That’s a lot of scoring in precious little time.

McIntosh’s ability to score from anywhere on the ground helped elevate the overall offense, as his influence spread like wildfire throughout the Swans’ developing player roster.

If scoring is indeed contagious in footy, St. Petersburg’s season-long pace of 3.45 points per minute of play is a virus welcome in any rooms.

In an early-season run that saw him average 11 majors a game, McIntosh eclipsed Miami’s Neil Cohen – also a prolific kick – and he never looked back.

With six majors in the Major League Footy 2018 Summer Premiership Championship Final, McIntosh once again led all scorers, despite missing the entire second quarter and part of the fourth due to injuries to both heels.

That missed time loomed large in St. Petersburg’s last-minute 120-114 loss to Starfish FC in the Final and likely will reverberate as a key ‘what if’ for Swans’ coaches Greg Bray and Matt Elliott.

Fortunately, he skippers won’t have to ponder what ‘might have been’ very long.

The Swans will open the 2018-19 Premiership Season in a rematch with the ‘Fish, Saturday, October 27, as Major League Footy pivots to an October-March season schedule.

Odds are the Swans will be coming with their gunner locked in as they look to avenge last Saturday’s result – and an eye on writing his own piece of Florida footy history.

HEART & HUSTLE: SCHEIDT EXEMPLIFIES BLOODS’ ETHOS

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St. Petersburg’s Ken Scheidt in action in the MLF Championship Final, Saturday, September 29, 2018. PHOTO: KATE MATSON

Having just finished a 26-week season of head-to-head footy after transitioning to what amounts to a year-round schedule, it could be said that no footy club on the continent works harder than the St. Petersburg side.

But, there’s no ‘could’ about the Swans’ hardest-working member, Kenneth Scheidt.

The American footy veteran has appeared in nearly every weeknight kick around and every Saturday match or training three years’ running.

Returning this week after a very rare off-week, Scheidt anchored the defensive effort for the Swans in the Major League Footy 2018 Summer Premiership Championship Final, Saturday in St. Pete.

And, while the Bloods did not get the results they were looking for in a 120-114 loss to Starfish FC, Scheidt’s work in the backline likely prevented further damage on a day when offenses ran amok.

Often charged with tagging the opposition’s top forward, Scheidt’s dedication to improvement and scrappy, never-say-die style of play has become the de facto blueprint for Swans’ defenders.

Having earned the nickname ‘Mole’ earlier in his footy career, Scheidt happily wears the mongrel identity for a Swans’ side that has continued to improve as footy takes hold in Florida.

Often tasked with organizing weeknight drill sessions, and having also become an accredited umpire, Scheidt selflessly gives his all to the Red and White.

That willingness to share his personal standard for self-improvement as well as a deep-rooted passion for footy makes his example one every St. Petersburg player and supported can identify with.

Prioritizing having fun while improving his own skills in the world’s greatest team sport, Scheidt is a leader-by-example who continues to stir the Swans’ on- and off-field success.

KEGLOR SHOCK MOVE TO RUCK PAYS DIVIDENDS FOR ST. PETE

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Jake Keglor made an unexpected move to ruck in the second half of Saturday’s MLF Championship Final, helping fuel a 42-point third quarter for the Swans. PHOTO: KATE MATSON

Trailing by 24 at the big break in Saturday’s Major League Footy Championship Final, Swans Assistant Coach Matt Elliott made the call to move fiery forward Jake Keglor to ruck, in part due to injury to Queensland gun Ben McIntosh.

With Keglor booting four goals in the first half, but with the Bloods down by an equal tally, the move was a surprising turn of events.

And, perhaps a risky strategy, given the game situation.

Instead, the tactic stabilized the Swans’ attack that saw the side win the frame 42-15 to take control of the contest.

Winning the tap and distributing effectively, Keglor solidified the middle in McIntosh’s absence.

Although St. Petersburg would ultimately fall short, dropping the match 120-114 in the wake of a shock last-minute scoring run by FC, the strategy of deploying Keglor as an option in ruck seems to have possibilities going forward, as the club contemplates moves ahead of the Winter Season launch in October.

Long one of the side’s leading scorers up front, and also flexible as an option at full back, Keglor’s game continues to evolve as he enters his fourth season.

The St. Petersburg Swans will meet Starfish FC in a rematch to open the 2018-19 Major League Footy Premiership Season, as the circuit pivots to an October-March schedule.

SWANS FALL SHORT IN THRILLER; 120-114

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Kyle Roun teamed with Jake Keglor and Ben McIntosh to spearhead an explosive attack for the Swans in 2018. A late Starfish supergoal undid their run to the flag, Saturday in St. Petersburg. PHOTO: KATE MATSON

A prolific St. Petersburg Swans offense came up one goal short in Saturday’s Major League Footy 2018 Summer Premiership Championship, as the Bloods fell to a surging Starfish FC side, 120-114 in St. Pete.

Posting 754 points to pace the competition – including 114 in Saturday’s Final – the Swans showed no signs of wilting under the intense Autumn heat, racing to a 92-85 lead after three periods.

But, it was one Starfish defensive stand – later punctuated by two last-minute goals that the Swans couldn’t answer – that will stick in the Swans’ collective memory during the short ‘off-season’.

Mounting relentless pressure in a third quarter that saw them put up 42 points, the Swans were unable to convert an extended opportunity deep in the FC half that likely would have been the dagger.

Instead, the sequence would come back to haunt.

When a Clint Jones supergoal with less than two minutes left saw FC comeback to unlock a 108-108 tie on their way to a one-goal win, the Swans’ efforts to mount an offensive attack that at times seemed simply overwhelming ultimately came undone.

Finishing the campaign at 7-4 and falling short in the Final is sure to occupy the Bloods’ thoughts during an abbreviated off-season.

The two St. Pete sides will begin the Major League Footy 2018-19 Premiership Season in an October 27th rematch to kick off the circuit’s new official October-March schedule.

SINCE ’15, SWANS 19-5 AT THE ‘C’

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Ben McIntosh helped lead the St. Petersburg Swans to wins over the Miami Saints and Florida Lions in the MLF Showdown Carnival, September 15 at Crescent Lake Common in St. Pete PHOTO: KATE MATSON

The St. Petersburg Swans are looking for a serving of home cooking this Saturday’s 2018 Major League Footy Summer Championship Final, when the Bloods take on StarfishFC in an 11 AM tilt at the ‘C’.

With roughly half the side’s home matches since 2015 being played at Crescent Lake, the Swans have racked up an impressive 19-5 mark at the historic ground.

Since the Swans moved weekly training sessions from downtown St. Pete’s Campbell Park (the club continues to hold some night matches at the iconic gridiron), the importance of Crescent Lake has increased – leading to a naming rights partnership that sees the club refer to the ground as Rollbotto Oval at Crescent Lake Common when in use for Aussie Rules.

Adham Makki

With 2018 night matches held at the Largo Sports Complex, Crescent Lake Common hosted most Swans matinee matches.

During the 2018 Major League Footy Summer Premiership Season, the Swans took the field as the home side on six occasions, coming away with a 5-1 mark that has the side confident in their ability to navigate the ground’s well-known quirks.

Of concern, however, is the fact that the Red & White’s only loss at Crescent Lake in 2018 came at the hands of this week’s Finals challenger.

Starfish FC clobbered the Swans 142-78 on May 12 – the only blemish on St. Pete’s record at Crescent Lake this season.

2018 MAJOR LEAGUE FOOTY SUMMER CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL
St. Petersburg Swans v. StarfishFC
Saturday, September 29, 2018 – 11 AM EDT

SWANS SEEK CROWN IN BATTLE OF THE ‘BURG

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CARN THE SWANS: Head Coach Gregory Bray looks to implore his charges across the finish line in the 2018 MLF Summer Championship Final, this Saturday in St. Pete. PHOTO: KATE MATSON

With a regular-season highlighted by big wins over cross-state brethren the Miami Saints, the St. Petersburg Swans enter Saturday’s 2018 Major League Footy Summer Season Championship Final with revenge on their minds.

At 7-3, the Swans reversed a mid-season swoon in turning back the Saints and Florida Lions in an exciting Super Saturday Showdown Carnival two weeks ago, and return to the Common at Crescent Lake with only one black mark on their 2018 Summer Campaign left to correct – a 142-78 drubbing at the hands of Starfish FC on May 12 stands as the side’s worst loss of the season.

While Coaches Greg Bray and Matt Elliott may have expected to reach the Summer Final, virtually no one in St. Pete would have thought they’d be facing the Starfish in the Championship.

The rout by the ‘Fish was the Blue and Gold’s only win on the year heading into the run home, when St. Petersburg’s original footy identity suddenly charged to life late, posting five wins on the trot to make the Final.

On a day made for footy glory, the Swans will look to lock up the summer crown with a win Saturday, though they won’t have much time to reflect on the 2018 campaign.

The circuit’s move to an October – March head-to-head season means Florida footy will see only a four-week break before action begins anew.

Major League Footy’s 2018-19 campaign will kick off October 27, 2018 – coincidentally, with a rematch of this weekend’s tilt by the lake.

MLF 2018 SUMMER CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL:
ST. PETERSBURG STARFISH FC (6-4) v. ST. PETERSBURG SWANS (7-3)
Saturday, September 29 – 11 AM EDT

SWANS-‘FISH CLASH IN MLF SUMMER FINAL

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The St. Petersburg Swans (7-3) will meet the late-surging Starfish in this weekend’s Major League Footy Championship Final in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Twenty-five weeks of Major League Footy 2018 Premiership Season footy come down to a tangle between hometown sides this weekend, as the St. Petersburg Swans (7-3) take on Starfish FC (6-4) at Crescent Lake in St. Petersburg.

Ball up is 11 AM EDT at the historic ground, just north of Downtown St. Pete.

While the Swans come into the match having survived a late-season scare of two consecutive dispiriting losses before righting their affairs in the Super Saturday Showdown Carnival two weeks ago, Starfish FC comes in at full-charge.

The original St. Petersburg footy club, Starfish FC began this season on a horrid 1-4 pace that saw them more likely to capture the Wooden Spoon.

Rattling off five straight wins – including a season-defining 91-55 victory over the Tampa Bay Bombers last weekend – clinched a berth for the ‘Fish.

The loss knocked an equally-tough Bombers side out of this weekend’s proceedings.

With the independent circuit of 7-a-side Australian Football about to formally transition to an October-March head-to-head season, Major League Footy will close the books on a third successful campaign, one marked by an unprecedented run of weekly head-to-head footy that began in April.

The 2018-’19 Major League Footy Prermiership Season will kick off with a rematch of this weekend’s opponents, as the Swans and Starfish will renew their nascent rivalry on October 27 in the Winter Season Opener.

DATE WITH DESTINY: SWANS AWAIT FINAL FOE

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Ben McIntosh and the St. Petersburg Swans will face the winner of the Tampa Bay Bombers – StarfishFC clash in this weekend’s Major League Footy Preliminary Final. PHOTO: KATE MATSON

Saving their season with a sweep of the Major League Footy Showdown Carnival – knocking out the Miami Saints and Florida Lions in the process – the St. Petersburg Swans now await their opponent for the 2018 MLF Championship Final.

A year that began with a torrid 5-1 start nearly went off the rails in two consecutive losses to the Saints and Tampa Bay Bombers, only to see the Bloods regroup in the #supersaturday event, with a 1.10.5.75 – 3.1.19 rout of Miami followed with a nerve-wracking 25-point win over the Lions.

Earning a 7-3 mark in a Major League Footy 2018 Premiership Season that spanned 24 weeks, the Championship Final – Saturday, September 29 – will see the Swans match up with either Starfish FC (5-4) or the Bombers (6-2).

With the circuit transitioning to an October – March schedule, the winner won’t have long to savor their victory, as the 2018-’19 Season will kick off October 27.

SCENES FROM #SUPERSATURDAY

Major League Footy Super Saturday!

One of the key advantages of the Common is the ability to configure the ground for gridiron, soccer, AFLX – all the way to a full footy oval.

On this particular day, it was more suited for #junglewarfare.

SWANS ROLL TO SHOWDOWN SWEEP

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Ben McIntosh helped lead the St. Petersburg Swans to wins over the Miami Saints and Florida Lions in last Saturday’s MLF Showdown Carnival. PHOTO: KATE MATSON

The St. Petersburg Swans saved their best for last.

Entering Saturday’s Major League Footy Showdown Carnival on the heels of two losses that threatened to derail their once-promising 2018 campaign, the Swans came out firing on all cylinders against cross-state rival Miami Saints.

Ripping to a 25-0 lead on their way to a convincing 1.10.5.75 – 3.1.19 win to salt away this season’s edition of the Florida Derby, two games to one.

That result also extended the Bloods hope going into their nightcap versus a resilient Florida Lions line-up laced with young guns.

After a creaky start that saw both sides tentative going forward, crawling to a 1.5.11 – 1.0.6 score at the break, St. Petersburg turned on the offense in the second half, as Aaron Crittenden, Jason Blackbourn and Ben McIntosh ignited the attack with three quick strikes to open the frame.

The homestanding Swans would go on to turn back a brave Lions side, 5.8.38 – 2.1.13.

In sweeping both games of the Showdown Carnival, the Swans finish the Major League Footy 2018 Premiership Season at 7-3, 28 points, and atop the MLF ladder as minor Premiers.

The St. Petersburg win also punches the Swans’ ticket for the 2019 Major League Footy Championship Final.

An end-of-season shock result, perhaps – the Swans had lost by 51 to Miami earlier in the summer, and also blew a late lead to fall to Tampa Bay 110-100 in back-to-back collapses that blemished an early season run of success.

Those troubles are now in St. Pete’s rear-view, and the next clash awaits.

Next Saturday’s Preliminary Final will see the Tampa Bay Bombers (6-2, 24 points) take on Starfish FC (5-4, 20 points) in a matinee twin bill, with the winner facing the Swans on September 29.

TODAY’S VENUE: ROLLBOTTO OVAL @ CRESCENT LAKE

09-15 ST. PETERSBURG v. MIAMI

Today’s Major League Footy Triple-Header sees the Miami Saints visiting for matches with the Florida Lions and hosting St. Petersburg Swans. Game One begins at 4 PM.

The footy returns to historic Crescent Lake in St. Petersburg, as the St. Pete Swans (5-3) host a three-team ‘triple-header’ with the Florida Lions (4-2) and Miami Saints (3-1).MLF-PLAYING FIELD

Game One (Lions v. Saints) is a 4 PM ball-up.

All three sides are in a race for one of only three berths in the Major League Footy Championship Finals, and today’s action should determine each side’s playoff fate.

Having dropped two straight, the Swans’ season hangs in the balance, as the club can potentially clinch a berth or be eliminated from the Finals, depending on today’s results.

Rollbotto

Rollbotto is a Presenting Partner of St. Petersburg Swans Footy.

Crescent Lake Park is the historic Spring Training home of the New York Yankees and New York Mets, and has served as the Swans’ training ground since 2014.

Although Rollbotto Oval at Crescent Lake Common can be configured as a traditional, full-sized footy oval, today’s matches will be played in Major League Footy regular season dimensions of 120 yards long x 60 yards wide.

Teams will be seven players on the ground, with three in interchange, and each game will be played as 2 x 10 minute halves.

This is the Saints’ second visit to Central Florida on the season, having split matches with Starfish FC and the Swans on April 14.

The Saints (3-1) won home matches in Ft. Lauderdale this season, trouncing both the Swans and the Clearwater Kangas at Croissant Park.

Today’s match is only the second 4 PM start time for a home game in Swans history, and the first three-team carnival with an afternoon start.

 

SWANS-SAINTS SET FOR EPIC CLASH

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The St. Petersburg Swans at Miami Saints will meet for the 9th time Saturday, when the Swans host a Showdown Carnival in St. Pete.

The St. Petersburg Swans (5-3) and Miami Saints (3-1) will conclude this season’s Home and Away Series between the two Florida rivals when the Swans host a Showdown Carnival, Saturday at 4 PM in St. Pete.

PRE-12

Austen Kugler wins the tap to start the Swans’ 146-38 win over Miami to start the 2017 season.

The results will likely have direct impact on the Swans’ Major League Footy Championship Finals hopes, as the Saints’ 100-49 win in Ft. Lauderdale on April 23 – coupled with a 110-100 loss to the upstart Tampa Bay Bombers –  took the shine off the Bloods’ scintillating start.

MT-2017

Mustapha Turay nearly willed the Swans to a victory in Ft. Lauderdale in 2017, but a late surge assured the hosts a 57-21 win

The Swans defeated Miami 66-11 in the MLF Season Opener, April 14 at Largo Sports Complex.

Those results follow a definitive pattern in the 5-year rivalry between the clubs – each team nearly always wins at home.

That’s a trend St. Petersburg will be looking to continue this Saturday when the club’s meet in this season’s ‘rubber match’ between the to sides, with a positive result quite likely assuring the Swans a playoff opportunity.

Since the series began, both sides stand level at 5-5, with Miami never scoring more than 77 points in a game played on Florida’s West Coast.

Concerning for the Swans, however, is that those points came in a 37-point Miami win at Crescent Lake Common, where the sides will meet this Saturday.

That result marked the first time the Swans had scored fewer than 100 points in a home match-up with their Southern brethren, including the highest scoring match in St. Pete history – a 146-38 season opening win in 2017.

While the Swans have typically had Miami’s number in games played in St. Petersburg, Miami has lost only a 42-28 decision in the St. Pete side’s first-ever match at Central Broward Regional Park and Stadium in 2014.

Since that inconspicuous start, the Saints have dominated their home ground, and – other than that slip-up at Crescent Lake last season, the Swans have likewise defended their neighborhood with aplomb.

Saturday’s match between the Miami Saints and St. Petersburg Swans will come in Game Two of the Showdown Carnival. Ball up is 4:45, after the conclusion of the Miami – Florida Lions 4 PM match that starts the series.

A win for the Swans could mean more than bragging rights – it could punch their ticket to the MLF playoffs.

B-MAC UNTOUCHABLE FOR MLF SCORE LEAD

2018MLFSCORING
Ben McIntosh enters Week 23 action with a momentous lead in overall scoring (61.8.374) for the 2018 MLF Season, but there’s plenty of room for change in the Top 5 before the Finals begin.

Miami’s Neil Cohen (90 points) has a tenuous hold on the 2nd spot, with Aaron Crittenden charging close behind with 84 – and a solid shot to finish the season as the runner-up.

Usually a backliner due to superior on-ball skills, American footy veteran Kenneth Scheidt of the Swans’ has an outside shot to pass teammate Jason Blackbourn and Cohen for #3, providing he has opportunity over the final three weeks of the season.

The Swans’ Ken Scheidt looks to finish Top -5 in overall scoring for the 2018 Major League Footy Premiership Season.

With McIntosh, Crittenden and Scheidt all expected in the St. Petersburg line-up Saturday, odds are the goals will come in bags.

Saturday’s first match is a 4 PM ball-up when the Saints visit the Swans.

The Florida Lions (4-2) will also take part in the three-game Carnival at Rollbotto Oval at Crescent Lake Common.

PLAYER GOALS BEHINDS POINTS
MCINTOSH, ARFC 61 8 374
COHEN, MIAMI 13 12 90
CRITTENDEN, TAMPA BAY 12 12 84
BLACKBOURN, ST. PETE 9 4 58
SCHEIDT, SUNCOAST 9 3 57
LUMSDEN, ST. PETE 3 1 19

BLOODS SEEK SPARK IN SUMMER SEASON FINALE

0915-STPS-MIA

The St. Petersburg Swans host cross-state rivals the Miami Saints, this Saturday at Crescent Lake.

Looking to turnaround a 2-game losing skid that began with a 51-point road loss in Ft. Lauderdale on June 23, the St. Pete Swans hope to take advantage of expected sultry conditions in a 4 PM start at Rollbotto Oval at Crescent Lake Common this Saturday.

ST PETE SWANS

St. Pete will look to avenge a 100-49 loss at Miami, June 23.

Needing a positive result from the weekend, the Red and White will be seeking to emphasize team speed and forward pressure in an effort to neutralize Miami nemeses in tall Neil Cohen and stalwart Tom Hecker.

With the Florida Lions (4-2) also joining the three-game late-season carnival at the historic ground, the Major League Footy 2018 Finals picture will see a bit of clarification this Saturday, as the Swans in particular can either clinch a berth or be eliminated from contention.

Riding a 2-game losing streak after starting the campaign 5-1, St. Petersburg’s time for an emphatic statement is now.

And it’ll need to begin with a spark.

#SUPERSATURDAY OF FOOTY IN THE ‘BURG!

SUPER SATURDAY

The St. Petersburg Swans host the Florida Lions and Miami Saints in a ‘Showdown Carnival’, Saturday in St. Pete. Ball up for Game One is 4 PM at Rollbotto Oval at Crescent Lake.

With Major League Footy 2018 Premiership Season Finals berths on the line, the St. Petersburg Swans will host the Florida Lions and cross-state rivals the Miami Saints in a Showdown Carnival, Saturday in St. Pete.

Ball up for Game One (Lions v. Saints) is 4 PM at Rollbotto Oval at Crescent Lake Common in St. Petersburg.

Admission is free and all are welcome – and join us after the footy for Aussie teapot cocktails at the Crafty Squirrel in downtown St. Pete!

The Swans (5-3) look to return to their winning ways, needing at least one victory – and possibly two – to assure a berth in the MLF Championship Finals.

The upstart Lions (4-2) and the always-tough Saints (3-1) stand in the Bloods way, setting up what’s sure to be a ripping day of footy at the ‘Lake’.

St. Petersburg Swans home matches at Crescent Lake are presented by Rollbotto.

MIDWEEK REPORT: BLOODS BACK IN ACTION

Austen Kugler / St. Petersburg Swans

Austen Kugler and the St. Petersburg Swans look to secure a Major League Footy Finals berth with positive results Saturday. FILE PHOTO: KATE MATSON

Six weeks ago, the Swans’ place on the 2018 Major League Footy ladder seemed all-but-secure.

Cruising to a 5-1 mark entering a midsummer clash with the MLF debutant Tampa Bay Bombers, the Bloods held a 6-point lead with less than two minutes between themselves and a sure lock on a Finals berth.STPSMW

That midsummer night’s dream turned into a nightmare when the Bombers stormed back to take a razor-tight affair, 110-100.

The loss, coupled with a blowout defeat at the hands of the Miami Saints, made the road to the Finals significantly more fraught for the Red and White.

Now at 5-3 (20 points), and having fallen to third on the ladder, the Swans are seeking to recapture their early-season magic when the Saints and Florida Lions visit Rollboto Oval at Cresent Lake Common this Saturday.

The final two matches of the regular season loom like a pendulum for St. Petersburg – win and they’re in, lose and go home.

The St. Petersburg Swans will take on the Saints 1t 4:45 PM in Game Two of Saturday’s ‘triple-header’ carnival. Game Three will see the Swans tangle with the Lions at 5:25 PM.

BLOODS-‘FISH TO OPEN MLF WINTER SEASON

SWANS v STARFISH FC

The St. Petersburg Swans will tangle with Starfish FC to open the 2018-19 Major League Footy Premiership Season.

The St. Petersburg Swans will take on Starfish FC in the opener of the 2018-19 Major League Footy Premiership Season, October 27 at Largo Sports Complex.

Ball-up will be 7 PM, and tickets ($10 general admission) will go on sale September 4, 2018.

The match will mark the first in the circuit’s adaptation of an October – April season schedule, with the Swans on tap for an 8-game schedule, culminating with an April 27, 2019 Championship Final.

The full Major League Footy 2018-19 Season Schedule will be released Tuesday, September 4.

AUTUMN PRESSURE SQUARELY ON SWANS

KEN SCHEIDT

September footy in Florida promises to be a high-stakes sojourn into Autumn, as the St. Petersburg Swans suddenly find themselves in a three-way battle for a Finals berth.

After a sparkling 5-1 start to the 2018 Major League Footy Premiership Season, St. Petersburg has dropped their last two outings, while both the Tampa Bay Bombers (6-2) and Florida Lions (4-2) have come on strong in the late days of summer.

Tampa Bay’s Week 20 double-header sweep over the Clearwater Kangas put Tampa Bay in first place on the ladder for the first time this season, and has positioned the Bombers for a sparkling September.

While that result has pushed the Swans out of the top-spot they’ve occupied since the start of the 2018 campaign, St. Petersburg can control its own destiny.

Wins over Lakeland and Miami in the season’s closing weeks will propel the Bloods into a sure spot in the MLF Finals.

CRUCIAL MIAMI-ST. PETE TILT SET FOR SEPT 15

ST PETE v MIAMI, SEPT 15A critical late-season match-up between the St.  Petersburg Swans and Miami Saints has been rescheduled for Saturday, September 15.

With just two matches remaining in their 2018 Major League Footy Premiership Season, St. Petersburg stands atop the ladder at 5-3, and have occupied the top position wire-to-wire.

That said, the Tampa Bombers and Florida Lions (both 4-2) have joined the Swans’ cross-state rivals from Miami in a hotly-contested run home.

The Saints (3-1) will visit the St. Petersburg Swans Saturday, September 15 for the latest installment of #footynightinflorida, with the Lakeland Tigers also competing in a round-robin evening.

SWANS READY FOR FIGHT TO FINISH

ST PETERSBURG SWANS - CLINT JONES

CLINT JONES in action against Curtis Speller of the Tampa Bay Bombers.

With the 2018 Major League Footy Premiership Season now well into the run home, the St. Petersburg Swans – at 5-3, and in first place on the ladder – are in need of one more positive result in order to lock up a berth in the MLF Finals.

Having led the table wire-to-wire since April, that state of play would have been hard to imagine earlier this summer.

Two consecutive losses after a sizzling 5-1 start have allowed the Tampa Bay Bombers and Florida Lions  to climb into the thick of things at 4-2, with each having ample remaining opportunities to take over the league lead.

With a reschedule of a crucial match with cross-state rivals the Miami Saints (3-1) still pending, the St. Petersburg side has a distinct disadvantage, as both Tampa Bay and Florida have at least six more matches remaining – plenty of chances to pass the Swans by.

As MLF sides begin to coalesce into set roster lists for the 2018-19 campaign, the Swans side is also beginning to gel around a young core.

That young group will need to find its footing as the 2018 summer season comes to end – and before the MLF 2018-19 Premiership Season kicks off, Saturday, October 27.

BLOODS AWAIT MAKE-UP DATE FOR SAINTS CLASH

St. Petersburg Swans v Miami Saints

Patrick Bilder and the St. Petersburg Swans await the reschedule of last week’s postponed rematch with the Miami Saints. (FILE PHOTO: KATHERINE MATSON)

Likely needing a strong finish to maintain their wire-to-wire hold on the top of the Major League Footy 2018 Premiership Season ladder, the St. Petersburg Swans now await the reschedule of their rematch with the Miami Saints.

Originally scheduled for August 11, the next installment of the club’s ‘Footy Night in Florida’ Twilight Series will be announced in the coming days.

At 5-3, but losers of two straight, the Swans are precariously holding on to their first-place standing, and will benefit greatly with positive results in their season-ending slate.

BLOODS OBSERVERS AS SAINTS LOOM

As the 2018 Major League Footy Premiership Season storms into Week 17 with a Florida LionsLakeland Tigers clash, the St. Petersburg Swans are in ‘watch and wait’ mode ahead of their rematch with the Miami Saints.

The Swans’ cross-state rivals will visit Saturday, August 11 in a 7 PM ball up.

Until then, St. Pete can only await the result of the weekend’s action.

A sweep of this Saturday’s twin-bill would move the Lions (2-0) into sole possession of the 2nd position on the MLF ladder – a spot claimed only last week by the surging Tampa Bay Bombers.STPSMW

That result would also keep the Tigers (0-3) pinned to the bottom of the standings, while a split or a Tigers’ sweep would prove of great benefit to the Red and White – at least for the time-being.

At 5-3 and still atop the table, St. Petersburg can virtually ice the Eastern Conference minor premiership with a positive result against the Saints, but that’s far from assured in a run home that’s just heating up.

While the Swans trounced Miami 66-11 in their first match up, the Saints returned the favor in the last meeting – routing St. Petersburg 100-49 in Ft. Lauderdale.

For now, St. Pete is forced to watch and wait in hope of a result that keeps the charging Lions at arms’ length on the ladder.

The Florida Lions will face off against the Lakeland Tigers Saturday, April 4 in St. Petersburg. Game One will ball up at 11 AM.

DOES PHOENIX WIN FORETELL FINALS FUTURE?
MAJORLEAGUEFOOTY

With a resounding 120-84 win over the West Side Bombers (1-3), the Phoenix Scorpions (4-1) have risen after a season-opening loss to win four straight – sealing the 2018 Major League Footy Western Conference minor premiership.

The St. Petersburg Swans now look for an invite to the MLF finals party, which could see them take on the surging Scorpions.

Locked in a tit-for-tat with the scrappy Tombstone Marshals throughout the Summer Series, the Scorpions leveraged a schedule quirk in being first past the post.

With the minor premiership secured, the Scorpions will take on the Tempe Devils (0-3) in the Summer Series finale in Tempe, Saturday, July 28.

Saturday’s result also pushes the Scorpions past the Miami Saints, and into the #2 seed on the overall MLF ladder, trailing the Swans by 4 just points.

With the Swans set to host the Saints in an August 11 rematch – and the third match of the season between the cross-state rivals – St. Petersburg (5-3, 20 pts.) likely needs just one win in their final three matches in order to lock up a spot in the Eastern Conference finals – and perhaps a berth in the MLF Championship Final.

In the MLF finals format, the #2 and #3 seeds will meet in a win-or-go-home playoff, with the winner then taking on the #1 seed for the Conference championship.

With the East premiers slated to take on the West champs – now very likely to be the Scorpions – the Swans are hoping their recent two-game slide is an aberration, and not a ‘swan song’ on the 2018 campaign.

The Florida Lions (2-0) and Tampa Bay Bombers (2-2) join the Saints (3-1) as the true threats on the horizon, as both sides have six games remaining – even with this Saturday’s weather postponement in St. Petersburg.

StarfishFC – currently 1-2, but also with six games left – can also make a late-season move to wind up representing St. Petersburg in the finals.

SWANS FEELING SUMMER HEAT

Adham Makki’s body language sums up the St. Petersburg Swans’ midsummer frustrations.

An early stretch of Red and White dominance now faces the test for the run home, as the ladder-leading St. Petersburg Swans have dropped consecutive games for the first time this season.STPSMW

Holding a 2-point lead with under 90 seconds to go, the Bloods were unable to hold on to the win Saturday vs. the resilient Tampa Bay Bombers.

A costly midfield turnover resulted in Kyle Roun’s booming goal to put the Bombers ahead, and a disastrous ensuing kick-out was intercepted to seal the Same Olds’ thrilling 110-100 comeback win.

Now sitting at 5-3, the Swans to-date wire-to-wire reign on the 2018 Major League Footy Premiership Season ladder is suddenly looking perilous, in part due to circuit’s unbalanced schedule format.

With just three games remaining on the schedule, the Swans likely can maintain a Finals spot with any victory – but it may not work out that way.

The second-place Miami Saints are of course a major threat, but the upstart Bombers (2-2); as well as the Florida Lions (2-0) and Starfish FC (1-2) also all loom large for the stretch run, as each has up to six games remaining, and each could pass the Swans up on the chase.

St. Pete’s slumping score differential also lurks as a potential hazard, with two blowout losses (to Starfish FC and Miami) make the Swans’ current view from atop the ladder one full of dangers from below.

While the Swans will not return to MLF action until August 11 in a rematch with Miami (3-1), the ladder battle will heat up Saturday, July 21 when the Lions take on Starfish FC in a matinee twin-bill.

A sweep of this weekend’s affair would rocket the Leos to 4-0, into second place and easily within striking range.

For nearly a full month, the Bloods can only watch and hope for the best.

CHRIS GILLIGAN’S BIG INTERCEPT

CHRIS GILLIGAN'S BIG INTERCEPT

St. Pete’s Chris Gilligan goes high over Starfish FC’s Marc Karver for the intercepting mark.

HIGHLIGHT: In this look back at the St. Petersburg Swans’ Opening Night sweep of the Miami Saints and StarfishFC, Chris Gilligan boots a major from long range in the Bloods’ 63-13 win over the ‘Fish at the Largo Sports Complex in Largo, Florida.

The St. Petersburg Swans return to Major League Footy action Saturday, June 2 when they host the Lakeland Tigers in a special matinee double-header at Crescent Common in St. Pete. Ball up is 11 AM.

SWANS HOST MIAMI IN ’18 OPENER

MLFSTPS-MIA

The St. Petersburg Swans kick off the 2018 Major League Footy Premiership Season Saturday, April 14 at 7 pm, as cross-state rivals the Miami Saints come to the Largo Sports Complex.

The match will be broadcast live at swansradio.us, with Rich Libero calling all the action.

SWANS CLINCH WINTER LEAGUE MINOR PREMIERS

By virtue of a three-goal win Saturday at Crescent Lake Common, the St. Petersburg Swans have clinched the 2017-’18 Major League Footy Winter Minor Premier, running out 66-48 winners over Pittsburgh.

The result eliminates the Orlando Kangas from contention to overtake to the top of the ladder.

Now at the top of the table with a 4-1 record and a 139.6 percentage, St. Petersburg will finish the 2017-18 Major League Footy winter campaign with next Saturday’s match, looking to repeat with a Premiership flag after last season’s 3-1 mark and victory over the Suncoast Suns in the Winter Championship.

The Swans host the Kangas, Saturday, March 24 at Crescent Lake Common in St. Petersburg. Ball up is 11 AM.

THRICE AS NICE: SWANS GO TO THREE-A-WEEK TRAININGS

PRE-12

The St. Petersburg Swans will host the MLF Miami Saints in an exciting 2018 Home and Away Series.

With daylight savings time now in effect, and with Spring knocking on the door, the St. Petersburg Swans will begin preparing for a very busy 2018 Major League Footy schedule.

March does an about-face and goes ‘out like a lion’ this year, as the second half of the month features an elevated footy schedule.

MARCH 13 – KICKAROUND (CRESCENT LAKE – 5 PM)
MARCH 14 – THURSDAY TRAINING (CRESCENT LAKE – 6PM)
MARCH 17 – TRAINING AND SCRIMMAGE (CRESCENT LAKE – 10 AM)

MARCH 17 – ST. PATRICK’S DAY PUB CRAWL (MEET AT FERG’S – 7 PM)

MARCH 20 – KICKAROUND (CRESCENT LAKE – 5 PM)
MARCH 21 – THURSDAY TRAINING (CRESCENT LAKE – 6PM)
MARCH 24 – TRAINING AND SCRIMMAGE – CRESCENT LAKE (10 AM)

MARCH 27 – KICKAROUND (CRESCENT LAKE – 5 PM)
MARCH 28 – THURSDAY TRAINING (CRESCENT LAKE – 6 PM)

DETAILS FOR MARCH 31 – FOUR ‘N TWENTY BOWL – WILL BE ANNOUNCED FRIDAY, MARCH 16.

PLEASE NOTE: All events are always posted on Facebook, Teamer and Pitchero + the St. Pete Swans app (Android devices). Players are encouraged to follow events via SMS.

Free parking is available in the neighborhoods to the East and West of the Crescent Lake Common. The Common is located on the North (22nd Avenue N) side of the lake.

The 2018 match schedule is currently being updated at stpeteswans.com, and tickets for all Twilight Home Games at Four ‘N Twenty Field at Campbell Park will go on sale from 19 March. General admission tickets are $10. Proceeds directly fund the growth of Australian Football in Florida.

ALSO, PLEASE NOTE: It is anticipated that the Wednesday training sessions will switch to TAMPA beginning in April. Details and venue are TBA

INJURY SIDELINES SWANS’ STALWART KEGLOR

STPS082617

St. Petersburg Swans’ stalwart Jake Keglor – seen here in 2017 USAFL action vs. Ft. Lauderdale – will miss 8-10 weeks

St. Petersburg Swans veteran and 2016 and 2017 high scorer Jake Keglor has been diagnosed with a Grade III LCL sprain. He is expected to miss 8-10 weeks of footy as he recuperates, although surgery is not required.

The injury befell Keglor in last week’s match at Crescent Lake Common.

Keglor’s ability to score from virtually anywhere on the ground – along with his defensive prowess when needed – makes him a key component of Bloods’ success.

With the Swans’ 2018 schedule looming, the loss of Keglor is a significant blow to the Bloods’ line-up, although a June return brings hope for the season’s stretch run.

SWANS’ 2018 SCHEDULE INCLUDES LA, JACKSONVILLE, MIAMI

2018SCH

The St. Petersburg Swans 2018 Major League Footy season schedule showcases a full slate of Twilight Home Games at Four ‘N Twenty Field at Campbell Park, along with exciting road trips to new footy clubs in Jacksonville, Miami and Los Angeles.

St. Petersburg will play a 6-match season series with the upstart Miami Saints, topped off by the 2018 Florida Cup in Ft. Lauderdale, September 22.

The Jacksonville Demons will take the ground for the first time, as they bow into MLF action July 28, hosting the Swans at 9A/Baymeadows Park.

St. Petersburg will go cross-continent to take on the home-standing Los Angeles side on August 25. LA will be stocked with NFL-level American football players new to footy at the MLF Los Angeles Combine on June 3.

Other highlights include two ‘State of Origin’ style matches with the Pittsburgh Blackbirds and Greater Northern Philadelphia, both featuring Pennsylvania-born players representing the Keystone State.

General admission tickets to all St. Petersburg Swans 2018 are just $10, and go on sale Monday, March 19. Season Memberships and a $25 Season Ticket to all Twilight Matches will also be available. All proceeds directly fund the growth of Australian Football in Florida.

Four ‘N Twenty meat pies are available hot and ready at all St.Petersburg Swans Twilight Home Games.

A full selection of St. Petersburg Swans custom team gear, Sydney Swans fan merchandise and AFL-licensed gear is also available in the Team Store.

SWANS, MLF GET BEHIND AUSBALL

AUSBALL

Major League Footy has committed to the Ausball format for non-contact, co-ed footy

The St. Petersburg Swans have joined Major League Footy in announcing a new initiative to leverage the Ausball format of non-contact, co-ed footy in an effort to enhance the recruitment and growth of Australian Rules Football in MLF youth, scholastic and collegiate programs.

Ausball provides a fun, standardized environment for participants of all ages to discover our great sport, while developing footy skills and teamwork. These skills are essential, should players choose to continue to play at a higher level.

Under the guidance of Ausball orignators Denis Ryan and Matt Bishop, Ausball has long been a part of club footy in the United States, and Major League Footy is very proud to make Ausball part of our development, education and youth programs going forward.

The Ausball Academy website will re-launch soon, while MLF clubs in St. Petersburg, Jacksonville and Los Angeles will immediately make the Ausball format part of their own clubs’ development efforts.

All MLF clubs will operate a league-wide Ausball program under standardize rules going forward.

Come have a kick, and stand by for more info – soon!

 

MLF ANNOUNCES FOUR ‘N TWENTY BOWL 2018
FNTBOWL

Major League Footy is pleased to announce that Four ‘N Twenty Bowl 2018 is coming to American Integrity Stadium at Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Florida, Saturday, March 31. Game time is TBA.

The Inaugural Four ‘N Twenty Bowl at American Integrity Stadium will feature MLF clubs battling for the Winter Season Premiership at the fabulous purpose-built soccer facility at Premier Sports Campus.

Four ‘N Twenty USA / USAAPI support the St. Petersburg Swans of Major League Footy, and the Swans offer hot Four ‘N Twenty pies at all 2018 Twilight Series home games.

American Integrity Stadium at Premier Sports Campus will host the Inaugural Four ‘N Twenty Bowl, Saturday, March 31, 2018.

American Integrity Insurance is one of Florida’s most respected and fastest-growing insurers, and has partnered with Premier Sports Campus on naming rights for the stadium at PSC.

Located in Lakewood Ranch (Sarasota/Bradenton), Premier Sports Campus is one of the nation’s leading multi-event sports facilities, and has hosted soccer, rugby and Australian Rules Football matches and tournaments, plus much more.

The 2018 Four ‘N Twenty Bowl will be broadcast live – broadcast details will be announced as soon as available.

SWANS CAST WATCHFUL EYES ON  MLF CLASH

MAJORLEAGUEFOOTYAlthough the St. Petersburg Swans enjoy a bye week in the chase for the MLF premiership standings, the first-place side will be keeping their eyes on the action.

As 2016-17 Grand Finalists Suncoast Suns seek to climb their way out of contention for this season’s wooden spoon, the Swans (3-1, 12pts) will participate in a joint training session before tomorrow’s clash.

The Suncoast Suns (0-1) host Orlando Saturday, February 17 at 11 AM in St. Petersburg.

Currently sitting at 9th on the MLF ladder after a thorough 48-point lashing from contending StarfishFC January 13, the Suns can scratch all the way to 5th – and suddenly climb into the mix – with a record-leveling win tomorrow at Crescent Lake Common.

The Suns enter the contest with bottom-dwelling Orlando with an unsightly point differential, and will be without captain Kenneth Scheidt for this week’s match.

Orlando (0-1) is likewise coming off a massive 16.9.105 – 5.6.36 loss to the Swans early in the season, but both clubs still have time to right the ship and get back to level. Both Orlando and Suncoast will have two matches remaining in the 2017-18 Winter Season after tomorrow’s result – plenty of time to challenge St. Petersburg.

That effort begins tomorrow following a joint training session. Training begins at 10 AM, with the match following at 11 AM. Training drills will be streamed lived on Periscope (Twitter).

SWANS WELCOME ZOEBLUEPRINT

ZBP

Zoe Blueprint is a 2018 St. Petersburg Swans Supporting Partner

The St. Petersburg Swans are proud to welcome Zoe Blueprint as a 2018 Supporting Partner.

Based in downtown St. Petersburg’s burgeoning Innovation District, zbp is a tech start-up currently developing web and app solutions designed to change the student scheduling narrative.

The company is currently gearing up for launch, and the Swans are pleased to engage with forward-thinking companies in #DTSP!

CHECK OUT THIS WEEK’S ‘RUSHED POINTS’ PODCAST

SWANS WELCOME BODYARMOR FOR 2018

BODYARMOR2

The St. Petersburg Swans are pleased to announce our 2018 partnership with Body Armor. Body Armor is available naturally, including Publix stores across Florida.

The St. Petersburg Swans are pleased to announce our 2018 partnership with Body Armor – More Natural – Better Sports Drink.

Body Armor is available nationally, including at Publix throughout Florida and the Southeast.

Body Armor is also available at all 2018 St. Petersburg Swans Home Games, and the partnership includes new advertising in the Swans’ game program, sidelines and across the club’s web properties.

Thanks to the nice folks at Body Armor and SevenUp/Snapple for supporting footy!

drinkbodyarmor.com

COMING SOON: 2018 FAST FOOTY CARNIVAL

With special thanks to the support of the SANFL, the St. Petersburg Swans will trial the SANFL’s ‘Fast Footy’ format in a special carnival event later in February 2018.

In addition to trialing this exciting new version of footy – which the SANFL will officially unveil this weekend at Norwood Oval – we’ll have great Aussie-themed vendors and fun under the Florida sun.

DETAILS – DATE AND VENUE will be announced February 16, 2018 – stay tuned. This is a one-time special event that may become an annual carnival, so let’s make it a success!

We’d like to thank the South Australia National Football League for their support.

Check out more about Fast Footy here!

AFLX, FOOTY 9s + MORE – THIS WEEK’S ‘RUSHED POINTS’

AGGRESSIVE SWANS TURN BACK PHILADELPHIA, 127-95

JHAYES

Swans rookie Jesse Hayes helped St. Pete over Greater Northern Philadelphia, Saturday in St. Petersburg.

A monster second quarter helped the St. Petersburg Swans to a 32-point decision, Saturday at Crescent Lake Common, besting a Greater Northern Philadelphia ‘State of Origin’ representative side 127-95.

In the season’s highest-scoring match to date, the Bloods – propelled by veteran midfielder and former Sandringham trainee Jason Blackbourn, promising rookie tall Jesse Hayes and the always-steady Aaron Crittenden and Austen Kugler – posted a devastating 6.5 onslaught in a furious fifteen minutes that seemingly all but decided the affair.

NW-PB 02/03

Nick Whiteside (#5) evades Philadelphia native Pat Bilder, Saturday in St. Petersburg.

Nick Whiteside attempts to evade Philadelphia-area native Pat Bilder in Saturday’s debut of the Greater Northern Philly representative team.

Philadelphia-region natives Dustin Jones, Pat Bilder and Dionne Jones regrouped at the big break, however, closing to within ten points early in the final stanza.

The aggressive play in midfield created opportunities for the Green, with Kyle Roun, Kenneth Scheidt and David Senko all notching multiple majors in the second half.

A Blackbourn supergoal and a series of neutralizing 70-yard clearances from Jake Keglor as the clock became a factor iced the affair.

With the win, St. Petersburg moves to 3-1 on the Major League Footy winter season, strengthening their hold on the top of the ladder over StarfishFC and Clearwater.

The Kangas (2-0) will have an opportunity to respond Saturday, February 10, when they host Pasco BlackDog in an 11 AM start at Crescent Lake.

RACE TO WINTER FLAG TIGHTENS AS FOOTY RETURNS

MAJORLEAGUEFOOTY
With three new recruits making their Florida footy debuts following the Holiday Break, the St. Petersburg Starfish overcame a tight first half contest to run out 66-18 winners over the hosting Suncoast Suns Saturday in St. Pete.

The result puts Starfish FC level in the won-loss column with the Swans, who remain atop the 2017-18 Winter Premiership Season table on percentages.

With blustery game conditions after an extended joint training, a low-scoring affair seemed in the cards, as the two sides traded blows throughout the first 15 minutes, with the ‘Fish up 24-18 at the break.

The second half would tell another story, as the Suns became the first side in MLF competition to be shut-out over the course the second half, with St. Pete notching seven majors to cruise to the finish line.

Major League Footy action continues January 20, as the Swans (2-0) host the Lakeland Tigers (0-1)

MLF ANNOUNCES CHAMPIONSHIP VENUE

 

American Integrity Stadium at Premier Sports Campus will host the 2018 Major League Footy Championship Game, March 24, 2018.

MLF CHAMPIONSHIP GAME COMING TO AMERICAN INTEGRITY STADIUM

Major League Footy
has announced that the 2018 MLF Championship Game will be held Saturday, March 24, 2018 at American Integrity Stadium at Premier Sports Campus.

The state-of-the art soccer-specific stadium is located in Lakewood Ranch (Bradenton/Sarasota), Florida, and is convenient to the entire West Central and SW Florida regions.

AIS

The 2018 Major League Footy Championship Game will match the two top-seeded teams from the MLF First Division, based on results and percentages.

The match will be the first-ever footy match at the main stadium at Premier Sports Campus, which also hosted the USAFL National Tournament in 2016.

PSC hosts hundreds of sporting events annually, with over 200,000 visitors to the acclaimed campus participating or attending events yearly.

American Integrity Insurance (AI) is a premier Florida-based property insurance provider and official naming rights partner of the Premier Sports Campus stadium facility, which was christened in October 2017.

LIBERO, GLADOVIC RETURN FOR SWANS BROADCASTS

St. Pete Swans Interview Rich Libero and Miro Gladovic

The St. Petersburg Swans welcome back the radio broadcast team of Rich Libero and Miro Gladovic for the 2017-18 Major League Footy Winter Season.

With former MLS commentator Libero (play-by-play) bringing an American perspective, and long-time footy exec and personality Gladovic (color commentary) supplying an Aussie’s view of the action, the duo will call all five St. Pete Swans twilight matches, beginning November 18, when the Red and White host Orlando in St. Petersburg.

SWANS RETURN TO TRAINING AS PRE-SEASON OPENS

PRE-12

The St. Petersburg Swans return to training as the 2017-’18 Major League Footy winter season looms.

With the 2017-18 Major League Footy winter season on the horizon, the St. Petersburg Swans return to training this week, as Senior Coach Greg Bray looks to lead his charges to a repeat of last year’s winter premiership success.

With the club having aligned its primary schedule to October-March, the Major League Footy circuit takes on new importance in its second season, as the Swans will tackle clubs in an 18-week schedule in a race for the MLF flag.

Major League Footy is presented in part by Aussie Sports USA.

All St. Petersburg Swans trainings and practices are always free, and are open to co-ed players of all ages and skill level, and Major League Footy player memberships are free for the 2017-’18 season.

The club trains weekly on the Common at Crescent Lake in St. Petersburg.