PREGAME: Australia v Finland play for 5th place

The last 18 days of Outback camp and IFAF Women’s World Championships (WWC) tournament has been a roller coaster journey for not only the players, but also the coaches and the support staff.

There isn’t one person who has been a part of this squad for the last 18 months who hasn’t been tested in one aspect or another, who hasn’t learnt something to take back home. For the US coaches, Welter, Konecki and Stone, learning the way the Australians work both from a coaching perspective and understanding the ‘digger mentality’.

The biggest hurdle for the girls in preparation for this competition was not being together, being scattered around the country. Struggling to form the bonds that ultimately make a team a ‘football family”, but since the Outback arrived at Simon Fraser University (SFU) two weeks ago, the trust and teamwork is finally showing through the hard work, preparation and learning to work as a unit.  Here in this team lie the foundations for the entire women’s program back home,  creating a unit and network of talented athletes to continue the work that Welter, Stone and Konecki have worked so hard to instil.

As the girls take the field for the final practice before facing Finland, battling for 5th placing in the 2017 WWC the energy is better than ever before. With some pressure of the team’s first international competition lifted slightly, you can see that the girls finally feel comfortable. Both with each other and with themselves. They look focused, and ready to finish the competition on a high note.

Watching the coaches reflect on what has been, and looking ahead to the next piece of business, Finland will be no easy opponent. But it’s the culture of the Aussie way that will make all the difference. Determined, underdogs, and lead by fiery US coaches – could this be the Outback Women’s greatest moment of the 2017 tournament?

As QB #14 Casey Cubis takes the starting snaps in practice, she is holding herself better than the previous few games. The offence looks back in rhythm, having the QB step up in control and to be given the chance to lead. This is the time to not hold anything back on offence, and given the opportunity each player could potentially provide something we haven’t seen yet, which makes the offence a much bigger threat.

The Outback defence is still standing strong being lead by #45 CJ Sims, and they have proven their worth in the past two games against Canada and Mexico. The score line for each game doesn’t reflect the game that was on the field. If Coach Stone’s staunch DL unit, and the much improved secondary can hold, the Outback will be in with a fighting chance against a run heavy Finland offence.

This will be THE game to watch for the Aussies, with nothing to lose and everything to gain, watch as the Outback come alive to finish out this tournament with everything that is left in the tank.

Australia v Finland (5th Place Final)

Friday 30th June – 11.30am PDT
Saturday 1st July – 4.30am AEST

Watch the stream here: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/tfsetv/portal.htm

By Stacey Speer.
Photographs by Andrew Wills

 

 

 

POST GAME – Outback losing out to Mexico

The lyrics to ‘You’re the Voice’ echo out of the Outback change room before heading out to the field to face the next opponent in the Women’s World Championship, Mexico who have been a surprise entry into the competition – holding the reigning champions USA to a 29-0 in their first game, the USA scoreless for the first 21 minutes of the first half.

The energy finally feels familiar among the Outback, the girls are settled, confident and singing, dancing, getting into the zone is key. But also running through their ears, songs from home, cheers from parents and supporters and this feels like it could be it. The first win for Australia in the series, and a win that would put them into bronze medal contention.
The first quarter was hard fought with the passing game getting the better of the Outback secondary resulting in a Mexico TD. But it was still anyone’s game.

Kristy Moran again took the field in at QB for the Outback, running the wildcat formation against the hard hitting Mexican defence. In the press conference, Mexico understood that the Outback personnel outweighed them in both stature and in power and had studied scout footage intensively to counter the heavy ‘Michigan’ set by the Outback which held strong while the offence was settling into QB #14 Casey Cubis being on the field and linking up with receivers for the passing game.

The Outback defence stood strong and the DL was again one of the strongest performing personnel groups on the field, #93 Jasmin Collins scored the game MVP with a huge sack in the backfield, scoring a safety for Team Australia and putting them on the board 7-2 at the half.

The girls returned at the half, still confident, still ready to go and as #6 RB Kristy Moran broke free for a 42yd run off the outside of the ‘Michigan’ formation resulting in a TD. The sideline, supporters and fans at home erupted, hoping this was the start of a rolling offensive unit.

QB #14 Casey Cubis followed up Moran’s triumphant run with a solid 2pt conversion to WR #89 Mel Kelly in the endzone, putting the Outback on the board again bringing the score to 10-13 chasing a unwavering Mexico unit.  
#4 Illiana Mulraney a rookie from South Australia took advantage of the Mexican QB, earning her first career interception, giving the Outback defence more fire early in the 3rd quarter.

Injuries started to take its toll on each side, Australia losing #54 OL Jess Johnson to an ankle injury and LB #63 Kristie Bridge with a facemask penalty resulting in a helmet to the chest ruling her out for the rest of the game. The Mexican offence continued to utilise the long passing game to get the best of the Outback secondary, using play action and their speed on the outside to eventually take the game at 31-10 at the final whistle.

Overall, the Outback felt the fire and haven’t been closer to a win and Welter expresses at the press conference “there isnt a game we have played so far where I didn’t feel as a coach that we couldn’t have won”. The score doesn’t reflect at all the game that was played on the field, and the stats of the QB’s #14 Cubis and #7 Evans aren’t at all reflective of their ability to continue to lead this offence.

Cubis has one of the strongest arms in this competition, and is also consistently accurate. She needs to air out her arm early, and settle into a rhythm with her receivers in order to execute the no huddle offence of Coach Konecki that has won many championships for his team’s Chicago Force and the 2010 and 2013 Team USA.

One of the critical factors of football is momentum, and unfortunately due to numerous penalty flags, incorrect down markers and injuries stalled the momentum the Outback had on offence leading into the second half, the officiating was definitely a talking point among the fans, coaches and players.

Head Coach Jen Welter was questioned at the press conference around the amount of flags and penalties that had been thrown during the game and mentioned “as the players develop and learn more, the game will become safer.”
Welter also spoke about the importance of taking the experience of the Outback program back to clubs to continue to develop players for future Outback selection; “I truly hope that the ladies who have experienced this (the WWC) will be the ones to carry the torch and fuel the fire of the clubs there (in Australia) – as coaches from the US, we see the potential and …we see flashes of brilliance”

Team Australia will take on Finland on the 30th for a 5th place finish in the 2017 Women’s World Cup tournament. Game details posted soon!

Written by: Stacey Speer
Photographs by: Elissa Manera

Pre-Game – The Outback Women take on Mexico

It’s the day after the Outback’s unfortunate loss to Canada and the girls are back at work doing walkthroughs and film review. The energy is strong among the girls, each of them looking to secure a starting spot on Tuesday when the Outback will take on Mexico.   

Having rested and recovered the coaches are now looking at how the Outback will approach the game and adjust to Mexico’s outside speed. Working on containing the run, and ensuring the secondary is solid against the pass option we saw in the Mexico v USA game.

A few on-field adjustments against Canada in key positions bolstered defence with more strength in the secondary. #10 Ella Briscoe was called up at Safety against Canada and made a big impact after #27 Jordan DiMizio was unfortunately injured – she looks to stay in that position (previously playing linebacker) while DiMizio is in recovery.

Game 1 MVP – #45 CJ Sims mentioned that the key to ensuring the Outback come up strong against Mexico is that “they play their game and the D-line have that covered”, being the standout group in the previous game.

With Sims and #99 Megan Wills stacking up on the ends, the Outback defence stands strong with linebackers #63 Kirstie Bridge and #22 Rachelle Ware and look to improve even more against Mexico.

The quarterbacks #14 Casey Cubis and #7 Lauren Evans look calm and settled in practice which is a good feeling to have after being rattled against Canada and will be looking to finally settle into a rhythm against Mexico.  Evans is strong and confident, her head is always in the game and she excels at the reading of the defence. If she can shake the nerves of the last game she will be a force to be reckoned with.

Cubis looks like an unassuming threat, towering over 6ft her eye for the field and strength of her arm has gotten her to this point. Once Casey gets into game mode her head clears and she throws consistently well placed and timed balls.

Each QB will be given a chance to take control of the offence against a strong defensive front that Mexico has displayed, but both Evans and Cubis are up to that task.

This team has a strong offence, given the chance to settle. A few key players to watch out for on offence #15 Kestra Triasmono, #28 Theresa Ealdama and of course the only score from the last game, #6 Kristy Moran.

Coach Jen Welter is confident that the Outback will be able to match up with Mexico and will lead the team out again on Tuesday 27th 11.30am PST/ Wednesday 28th 4.30am AEST.

Check out the livestream here-> https://portal.stretchinternet.com/tfsetv/

Written by: Stacey Speer
Photo by: Elissa Manera

The Aussie Women arrive at WWC 2017

Australian Women’s Outback Arrive in Langley!  The buzz around Trinity Western is electric. The Outback girls arrived today after a long week in camp at Simon Fraser University with 2-a-day practices, battling jet lag, cases of vertigo and lost luggage.

The last week at training camp has been an eye opening experience for many of the team. Being at a national competition with training’s that match the intensity that you would expect from a team that is representing Australia. The squad are also meeting together as a team for the first time since February, and getting familiar with each other again.

From a sideline perspective the team have finally come together, the offence under Coach Konecki’s guidance and defence being lead by Coach Stone, all being held together by Head Coach Jen Welter. The girls are displaying the kind of energy and fire one would expect from a national representative team.

The journey  for most of the girls since Outback selection started in 2016, has involved many sacrifices; some recovering from injuries sustained in club competition, others struggling with the financial side of competing in an unfunded sport, but it has all lead up to this moment.

Coach Welter was very clear that despite whathappens over the next nine days, “Team Australia has already won, just by getting this far”.  Many of the foundation players in this team are from the clubs that started the women’s competition in Australia over 5 years ago and are looking at this as the last opportunity to represent their country.

Women’s gridiron players across the country are faced with the same reasons that women stop playing sport in general, such as; family commitments, finances, age, injury recovery. It’s important that these players take this experience back to their clubs and states.

Armed with the connections and benefits of the WWC environment, coaching, and being among some of the alumni of women’s football from across the world. With an aim to develop the game from a club level and ensure sustainability for the next generation of Outback Women.

As young as the Women’s Outback team are in terms of international competition. Team Australia arent just here to participate. When the Outback face Canada on Saturday 24th 7.30PT it will be a hard fought battle until the end and but one thing for sure is, it’s not in the Aussie nature to go down without a fight.

Written By: Stacey Speer
Photographs by: Elissa Manera

2017 WWC Australian Officials

Gridiron Australia would like to congratulate the following Australian Gridiron Officials Association (AGOA) Officials on their appointment to represent Australia at the 2017 IFAF Women’s World Championship to be held in Langley, Canada from 24th-30th June 2017.

There can be no greater honour than to represent your country and being selected to officiate at this event should be considered an excellent achievement.

We wish you all the very best of luck!

BARBARA JOHNSON – Barbara Johnson is a long standing state and national official with previous experience at International level. Barbara comes from the Australian state of Queensland, where she likes to tell us the weather is beautiful one day and perfect the next.  She has been officiating in Australia since 1993 and has previously worked in the Australian Gridiron League including the Junior National Championships on the Gold Coast in April this year, where she was on the Finals crew. As a result of this tournament she qualified as a National level official.  Barbara has previously worked the Women’s Word Cup in 2009 and the World Games in 2005.  Barbara is also the Deputy General Secretary of the IAFOA (International American Football Officials Association) and Secretary of the Queensland Gridiron Officials Association.


CLAUDIA RESSTEL DE MEDEIROS – 
Claudia Resstel De Medeiros is from the Australian state of Victoria where she is an active and experienced Official. She started officiating games in Melbourne in 2011. She has previously worked in Australian Gridiron League competitions including the Senior Men’s competition in 2014, and the Junior Men’s competition in Perth in 2015.  She also worked the ACT/NSW/Victoria interstate women’s game in Canberra in 2016. This is Claudia’s first international competition. Claudia is looking forward to experience of Canada and the camaraderie of the IFAF Women’s World Cup 2017.


ANTHONY CONNOR – 
Anthony (Tony) Connor is from the Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory where he is a regular state level official frequently working in Referee, Umpire and Centre Judge roles. Tony has been officiating since 2003 first as a part time official and in the past four years he has moved into full time officiating.  He has worked in the Australian Gridiron League at the Junior Nationals in Perth in 2014, Senior Men’s Nationals in 2016.  He qualified as a National level official in 2016. This is Tony’s first international competition.  He believes his strength in officiating is “… being able to build a rapport with both teams, the ability to show control and poise when dealing in often tense and elevated situations, and the ability to accurately and apply the rules and penalties.”

 

 

Support the Australian Outback Women’s National Team

The Australian Outback National Women’s Gridiron Team will be competing for the very first time in the IFAF Women’s World Championship of American Football which will be held in Langley, British Columbia from the 24-30 June 2017!

This is a historic event for the sport of Gridiron in Australia – the FIRST EVER Australian Outback Women’s National Gridiron Team to compete on the world stage!  American Football in this country is a minority sport and the sport for Australian women, is very young with the first clubs commencing only around 7 years ago – funding is very scarce.  All of the travel squad including players, coaches and support staff will pay their own way to attend the preparation camp and tournament – this will cost thousands!

Much needed funds are required to assist the team and any media exposure, donations or sponsorship would be gratefully appreciated.  In turn, we would certainly ensure that the Australian Outback National Team and Gridiron Australia Social Media accounts and Websites give thanks and visibility to any company or person who has supported us.

SUPPORT THE AUSTRALIAN OUTBACK WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM

SUPPORT A STATE

If you wish to support SA, NSW, WA or ACT please go to the individual players account.

SUPPORT AN INDIVIDUAL

Applications for Head Coach Women’s Australian National Representative Team

womens world championshipGridiron Australia is calling for applications from suitably qualified coaches who are interested in becoming part of the Women’s Australian National Representative Team which will be looking to compete in the 2017 IFAF Women’s World Championship. Applicants are being sought for Head Coach, Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Coordinators and Positional Coaches.

Continue reading

IFAF Women’s World Championship 2013 Application Procedure

After mutually agreeing with Football Canada on cancelling the plans to host the event in Canada, IFAF is reopening the application process to host and organize the

2nd IFAF Women’s World Championship 2013

Application deadlines:

  • August 15, 2012: Formal application together with an application fee of 500 Euros

Application Content

Applications must include a minimum of the following points:

  1. Application letter indicating which tournament applicant wishes to host
  2. Application fee of 500 Euros
  3. Signed hosting contract
  4. Hosting concept
  5. Host city and international airport
  6. Game venues
  7. Practise venues
  8. Accommodation
  9. Meals
  10. Local transportation plan
  11. Host Broadcaster (*)
  12. Environmental plan
  13. Budget
  14. Hosting concept of IFAF Congress

(*) All games must be produced at a minimum through an internet feed.

Applications may not include personal benefits to IFAF executives or other promises not directly involving the competition in question.

Minimum Hosting Requirements

Local Organizing Committee (LOC) will provide the following:

  1. Residence and lodging for the (45 players + 15 coaches/staff) for the participating
  2. Federations/Associations for the time of their stay in the hosting country starting with the evening of the day of arrival and ending with breakfast on the day of departure.
  3. Bus transportation to and from the nearest international airport to the hosting city, Bus transportation to and from the hotel to game venues.
  4. Organization of the stadium.
  5. Advertising and public relations.
  6. Residence and lodging for referees (no per diem).
  7. VIP-hospitality.
  8. Pay a sanction fee to IFAF of 5,000 Euros (minimum).
  9. Conference room for 2-3 days for IFAF Congress including lunch.
  10. IFAF Congress Dinner.
  11. Airport pick-up service for IFAF member federation representatives.

In return the host receives all income from ticket sales, local sponsorship revenue, catering and marketing according to the IFAF regulations.

There remains the option to charge accommodation costs to the participants.

The IFAF Executive Committee expects to have a tournament based on minimum of six (6) teams.

The decision on the hosting country will be taken by the IFAF Executive Board of Directors latest in September 2012.

Special financial policy for Women’s Tournaments

At the first edition of the Women’s World Championship the participating teams paid their own accommodation costs. IFAF will still accept valid applications, which include this policy, but prefer applicants to offer to pay for the accommodation of the participants.

Remark on the deposit

The deposit will be kept by IFAF as application fee. The applicant can use in the application phase the wording: “Official applicant city of IFAF Women’s World Championship 2013”.

Remark on the sanction fee

The sanction fee has to be paid for the right to host and organize the tournament. The sanction fee is a separate fee from application fee.

Attachment:  Women’s World Championship 2013 Reopening Applications