ST. PETERSBURG SWANS - 2016 USAFL DIVISION IV GRAND FINALISTS
17 Mar, 2017
12 Mar, 2017
FINAL TUNE-UP: AUSSIE RULES CLUB PREPS FOR TEST
With one final practice session before Saturday night’s International Rules Test Match vs. Tampa Bay Gaelic, the St. Petersburg Swans will take to the training ground Thursday evening at 6 PM in one last preparation for the match.
Having emerged with the win in last year’s Exhibition, the Bloods will look to fine-tune their approach to the compromise rules tomorrow night.
While St. Pete figures to have superior numbers for Saturday’s test, the head into the affair with an unsettled situation at goalkeeper, due to the unavailability of last year’s minder, Arthur Beredjick.
The Swans are also at a disadvantage for the tilt, as the Test Match is during the club’s Aussie Rules pre-season, forcing players to re-acquaint with International Rules while still in early-season prep for their own regular season.
Thursday’s Practice is 6 PM – on the Common at Crescent Lake in St. Petersburg. All trainings and practices are always free, and are open to co-ed players of all ages and skill level.
CRACKING THE CODES: SWANS PREP FOR INT’L RULES TEST
The St. Petersburg Swans 2017 Pre-Season Series Presented by Rollbotto continues next Saturday night in downtown St. Pete. This time, with an international flavor.
In the 2nd Annual International Rules Test Match, the Red and White host Tampa Bay GAA in a exciting match that pits the region’s best Aussie Rules players against the area’s premier Gaelic footballers.
International Rules football is a hybrid combining rules from both Australian Rules and Gaelic Football, and offers lightning-fast and hard-hitting that showcases the best of two of the oldest codes of football.
Last year’s match was taken by the Aussie Rulers, as the Swans ran out with a 108-67 win highlighted by big matches for CJ Morton and goalkeeper Arthur Beredjick.
The reprise is set for Saturday, March 25 at 7 pm at Richard ‘Dick’ Turner Field at Campbell Park (adjacent to Tropicana Field). Admission and parking are free!
YOUTH SERVED: YOUNG GUNS SHINE IN PRESEASON ROUT
But, while the final tally may have indicated otherwise, St. Pete senior coach Dustin Jones came away from the affair with a more balanced view.
‘We wanted to see the younger guys step it up, and it’s great to see them starting to gel,’ Jones said in an interview during the halftime break.
‘The pressure was good, and with experience, everyone’s starting to get into the flow better.’
One of those emerging players is certainly Jake Keglor, Saturday’s Best On Ground with an astounding 11 goal night – just short of half the Kangas’ majors.
While regular season contests generally see second-year man Keglor on the back line, Pre-season is a time of experimentation, and for the evening Keglor showed himself capable as a chaos-causing forward.
Scoring both on long bombs, but also a number of crumbs, Keglor notched the combined club’s best single game scoring output.
That result was helped by superb evenings from Ben Walker – still recovering from hamstring issues, but able to control possession throughout – and Adham Makki.
Making his first appearance since the 2016 USAFL National Championships last October, Makki was a notable presence up front, coming up with a number of solid marks.
Kyle Roun and Austen Kugler also had strong performances, while Jones and fellow veteran CJ Morton flashed throughout the night, highlighted by Morton’s ace boot from 45 meters.
Morton’s major came in a tight first stanza that ended with Orlando up just nine, but a 7.4.46 – 1.2.8 second quarter turned the tide.
A rally to begin the proceedings after the big break saw the Bloods chip away at that deficit, as the won the 3rd quarter 5.3.33 – 4.5.29.
The final frame saw Orlando’s youth wear down the Swans’ veteran side, pulling away with a back-breaking 8.3.51 – 1.1.7 line in the fourth.
The St. Petersburg Swans continue their 2017 Pre-Season Series, Presented by Rollbotto, with the 2nd Annual International Rules Test Match vs. Tampa Bay GAA, Saturday, March 25 at 7pm. Admission to the International Rules Test at historic Richard ‘Dick’ Turner Field is free.
ST. PETE SET FOR PRE-SEASON TILT
The St. Petersburg Swans open the curtain on their 2017 USAFL Pre-Season – presented by Rollbotto – Saturday, March 11 at 7 pm vs Orlando AFC.
The match is also the club’s 2017 Home Opener at Richard ‘Dick’ Turner Field at Historic Campbell Park.
This pre-season match will be broadcast live on radiostpete.com, with Rich Libero and Miro Gladovic calling the action.
Looking to build on an exciting 2016 season that saw the club go 13-8-1 on the season – including a trip to the USAFL D4 Grand Finals in the Inaugural Season – the Red and White add six new recruits into the mix as the team prepares for another hardware push in ’17.
Campbell Park is located immediately south of Tropicana Field in downtown St. Pete. Admission and parking are free to the March 11 match, as well as the March 25 International Rules Test Match vs. Tampa Bay GAA.
The 2017 regular season will begin Saturday, April 8 at 7pm, as the St. Petersburg Swans unveil Four ‘N Twenty Field. Regular season general admission tickets are just $10, and season ticket and membership packages are now available.
EXPECTATIONS HIGH AS ST. PETE RAISES ’17 CURTAIN
The 2016 St. Petersburg Swans – a Cinderella Story of the 2016 USAFL Season – are prepared to write a new chapter in team annals.
The club begins the next installment of St. Pete’s footy history Saturday, March 11 at 7 pm, when the Rollbotto Pre-Season Series opens with a metro-rules match vs. Orlando AFC.
In their first USAFL season, the Red and White compiled a 13-8-1 overall record, as the club roared out of the gate with a resounding win over cross-state brethren Ft. Lauderdale and worked their way to a full slate of metro rules (9-a-side) footy.
While impressive, the squad’s regular-season growth and improved play truly paid dividends at the 2016 USAFL National Championships.
In a Division IV pool that included traditional powerhouses, the Bloods powered their way to a victory over Nashville and a razor-tight draw with Tulsa before downing the Denver Bulldogs in the Preliminary Final.
In both the Nashville and Denver matches, St. Pete battled back from big early deficits – punctuated by defensive shutouts in the second half in both contests.
While the magic ran out of clock in the Grand Final, as five-time Premiership winners Cincinnati took the flag, 2016 was certainly a USAFL debut that put St. Petersburg – and footy in Tampa Bay – back on the map.
Now, after a 10-round ‘off-season’ competition that saw the Swans run out as Premiers in the Inaugural Major League Footy Florida Winter League, St. Pete is poised to raise the curtain on a season with heightened expectations.
With continued experience and improved play from the team’s young guns – paired with the veteran leadership from the side’s USAFL veterans, 2017 promises to end in fairy tale fashion.
ST. PETERSBURG SWANS PRE-SEASON, PRESENTED BY ROLLBOTTO
Orlando AFC at St. Petersburg
Saturday, March 11, 7 PM
Four ‘N Twenty Field @ Campbell Park, St. Petersburg
Admission and parking are free / Listen live on radiostpete.com
SWANS EYE FIRST FLORIDA WINTER LEAGUE FLAG
Just a few days ago, the St. Petersburg Swans were facing elimination in their quest for the Major League Footy Florida Winter League Championship Final.
A nine-major outburst in the late-going changed all that.
Having scratched back in ‘win-by-attrition’ fashion against a Redbacks side that had thoroughly dominated last Saturday’s proceedings before succumbing to a rash of injuries – the Swans (2-1) lived to tell the tale, and will square off with the undefeated Suncoast Suns for the winter circuit Premiership.
They can expect another nail-biter this Saturday.
After successfully navigating their way to a 3-0 tally in the Inaugural Major League Footy Florida Winter League season, the Suncoast Suns are also aiming to take care of business Saturday
Finishing at the top of the ladder, and with the only unblemished mark in the seven-side competition, the Suns also lead all clubs in scoring and point differential, although St. Pete is close behind in both categories.
In order to capture the winter season premiership, the Swans will have to rely on the players captain Jake Keglor selected in the 2016 Winter Footy Draft.
Those players, including Aaron Crittenden, Jason Kofender and Austen Kugler – form the nucleus of the Red and White’s emerging talent base – and are certainly capable of taking control of the offensive attack.
The Suns, meanwhile, will be without winter captain Kenneth Scheidt – a big loss on the Suncoast backfield.
Game time Saturday on the Common at Crescent Lake is 11 AM. The match will immediately follow the combined club’s 10 AM weekly training. All trainings, practices and competitions are always free, and are open to co-ed players of all ages and skill level.
Following an off-week, the combined club will begin 2017 weekly Saturday trainings with a pre-season match vs. Orlando AFC Saturday, March 11 at 7 pm.