NEAFL take on Sydney University in Opener.
The Tigers open the season of the new NEAFL competition on Saturday against a Sydney University team that has been bolstered by a number of experienced former players from both the AFL and WAFL competitions.
Matches for all grades are at Dairy Farmers Park with the Under 18 Rising Stars and 1st Grade playing Eastlake at 9.30am and 2.30pm respectively with the NEAFL at 12 Noon. The Tigerettes also play their first match of the season on Sunday against Molonglo at Stirling commencing at 10.00am. However they will be part of the Tigers day at DFP on Saturday with the raising of their 2013 Premiership flag at 11.45am.
NEW NEAFL Competition
The North East Australian Football League has undergone another structural change during the off season and now comprises just one competition with 14 teams. The NEAFL is a developing competition and with that goes many changes as it progresses towards becoming a second tier competition to the AFL – similar to the SANFL, VFL and WAFL competitions.
The Tigers along with other Canberra based Clubs – being Ainslie, Eastlake and Belconnen signed three year license agreements recently to play in the NEAFL but enter the first year of the arrangement with much speculation about the strength of the Queensland teams. Belconnen certainly felt the strength of the Aspley Hornets in their opening round match last weekend in Brisbane.
Ainslie host the other Brisbane based team Redlands this Saturday which will be a gauge for what lies ahead for the Canberra based teams when playing the Queensland Clubs.
Game Day – Saturday
For the Tigers a number of new faces should line up against the Students in what should be a great opening game of the season. A feature of the day will be the availability of new facilities for players of both teams, spectators and our umpiring fraternity.
(An official opening of the grandstand renovations was to take place but unfortunately heavy rain has delayed the completion of all works with the opening being postponed – with a date to be advised in the near future).
University have been bolstered by former Swans players Ryan Brabazon and Matt O’Dwyer after their move from Eastlake over the summer. They have lost few players from their list that accounted for Queanbeyan on two occasions last year.
A number of losses from the Tigers have occurred during the off season including Kaine Stevens to West Adelaide and James Kavanagh who is in “semi” retirement.
But the return of co-coach Josh Bryce after a season on the sideline from knee surgery and the inclusion of a number of other quality recruits will again see the Tigers field quality teams through the grades. At the time of writing this article possible new inclusions into the team are 17 year GWS Academy player Darcy Spinks, Levy Power, Jake Hiep and former Tuggeranong Hawks players Daniel Johnson and Liam Greenwell.