The NSW team attended a Fuel TV function where everyone gathered to watch the recent All Stars game between the Western and Eastern conferences. During the evening each team member introduced themselves to the applause of the crowd.
Once the game had finished the squad were called onto the stage and along with everyone in the room listened closely as the MC for the night Jimmy White read out a statement from LFL Founder and Commissioner Mitchell Mortaza.
“Unfortunately, we could not join you on this incredible and historic evening as we formally launch our New South Wales team of LFL Australia.
We could not be more proud of the excitement and enthusiasm you ladies have shown already in preparation of the 2013 inaugural season.
Sydney has already proven how much it loves LFL Football, now its time for you to win the love of all of New South Wales!
It is now with great pleasure and honour that we formally announce the name of the team and kickoff a new era in Sport throughout New South Wales…….history will be named tonight as you ladies are the first-ever roster of the……… NEW SOUTH WALES SURGE.
The ‘Surge’ was chosen for the power and determination of the Ocean that each you will possess on the football field”.
The crowd burst into thunderous applause and cheers at the mention of the new name. The players and supporters were all in agreement that this was a great name and would see the girls using it as a reminder of the relentless drive and force required to over power and dominate the opposing team.
At present there is a squad of 30 girls that will eventually be cut down to a roster of 20 who will go on to play in the 2013/14 season. The girls are currently training together as a squad every Sunday as well as doing their own personal fitness during the week. They plan to increase training to two sessions a week in the near future. These girls mean business. Just look at Courtney ‘cork’ Tildsley to see how serious they are. She drives a ten hour 740 kilometre round trip every Sunday to train with her team mates. That is commitment.
And to think that there is still 18 months until the season gets underway! One thing is for sure, these girls are committed and determined to be ready. It is not just about wanting to play in the Australian LFL for these girls. They want to win it and own it.
The girls owe a lot of thanks to their two coaches who have been putting in a lot of hours to get them to where they are in such a short period of time. Jason Gaffey is the defence coach while Teren Tan watches over the offensive plays. Both coaches bring their extensive knowledge of the game to the table. Jason has represented Australiain Gridiron as both a player and coach.
I was present on the night of 7th June when the LFL held the trials for the NSW squad. To see how far these girls have come in such a short period of time is simply unbelievable. They have really embraced the LFL and to see the talk between themselves both at training and on social networking sites like facebook and twitter is very encouraging.
The girls all have back grounds in other competitive sports which has seen them all climb to great heights in those fields. It is because of this experience that they are all so committed and passionate about the game and one another. They bring that level of professionalism to LFL which can only be a huge positive.
You can teach the game of Gridiron however you can not teach athleticism and this NSW Surge team has that in abundance. A quick look at a few of the girl’s sporting bios shows just how good they are and what they can offer both the team and game.
*Renee ‘the assassin’ Straumietis. Played in three baseball World Cups for Australia as a pitcher and had the fastest pitch in the country at 76 mph. She could be the next Ashley Solerno.
*Bonnie ‘lil nug’ Gillespie. Originally from New Zealand she was a fantastic track cyclist who won a gold medal for her country. Has a real cheeky side. Will be a crowd favourite.
*Amanda ‘AJ’ Janes. Played competitive basketball for NSW and used to play with Lauren Jackson. Was also in the Sydney Flames squad.
*Jess ‘the flash’ Hamilton. Came from a surf lifesaving background where she won 5 national gold medals in beach sprinting.
*Shari ‘amazon’ Onley. Out and out athlete who used to be Amazon on the TV show Gladiators. She will be the Liz Gorman of the Australian LFL. One highly motivated and inspirational player who will lead by example both on the field and off.
This is just a small sample of what the NSW Surge team have to offer. I am unaware of what the other Australian State teams are doing in regards to training and preparation at present however you would want to hope they start soon as the rest of the country is now on notice……… The News South Wales Surge plan to be on top in 2013 and welcome anyone to try and knock them off!
Photos- Shane Jackson