2017 Nashville Kangaroos USAFL Nationals team

The USAFL has unveiled the competing fields for the 2017 National Tournament in San Diego, CA, and history will be made in more ways than one. While the USAFL’s yearly national championship tournament is already known as the ‘World’s Largest Footy Tournament,” the 2017 event is set to surpass all previous ones in every respect. This year’s tournament, taking place on October 21 and 22, 2017, will feature 53 teams, 7 divisions, and more than 1,250 footballers, both men and women. All this action will go down on SIX ovals! Incredible!

The Nashville Kangaroos will be competing in the red-hot Division 3, and will be clashing with the likes of the Seattle Grizzlies, the Philadelphia Hawks, the San Diego Lions, the Arizona Hawks, the North Carolina Tigers, the Columbus Jackaroos, and the Baton Rouge Tigers. The road to the Grand Final will be difficult and not for the faint-of-heart. No doubt it will take a monumental and cohesive effort by your Roos to win the flag, but the boys are jazzed up and ready for the challenge.

These are the Nashville Kangaroos who are bringing the fight to the west coast this year, in search of the club’s first premiership:


Phil “2 Foot Phil” Lavis
Jumper number: 2
Country, state, city of origin: Adelaide, Australia
Position you typically play: Forward
Years you’ve played footy: 20
Years you’ve played for the Roos: 1
What’s your ‘footy motto’? It’s all about keeping up the work rate
Best footy memory (on field): Playing the full season in my final year of high school
Best footy memory (off field): All the mates!
What AFL team do you support? Sydney Swans

USAFL Scouting remarks: “Phil is tall timber in the forward areas for the Roos, and adds to their arsenal of big, handy forwards. His 20 years of experience adds seasoning to his willingness to contest every ball within his area. He’ll kick a bag of goals at Nationals, no doubt.”


Nathan Caldwell
Jumper number: 4
Country, state, city of origin: Alamo, TN - USA
Position you typically play: Ruck/full forward
Years you’ve played footy: 5 years
Years you’ve played for the Roos: All 5
What’s your ‘footy motto’? Keep the momentum going to achieve your goals.
Best footy memory (on field): Defeating the top ranked Orange County Bombers on a last second goal at the 2012 National Tournament.
Best footy memory (off field): Training camp with the US Revolution National Team
What AFL team do you support? North Melbourne Kangaroos

USAFL Scouting remarks: “Nathan has one of the best athletic skill sets in the entire country. Huge jumps, big kicks, great hands, height, and intensity. When he’s on his game no one in the country can stop him.”


Cliff “Nugget” Cosnahan
Jumper number: 5
Country, state, city of origin: Fort Lauderdale, FL - USA
Position you typically play: Forward pocket
Years you’ve played footy: 8 years
Years you’ve played for the Roos: 8 years
What’s your ‘footy motto’? Fight hard for the ball, and play smart/accountable footy
Best footy memory (on field): Winning the 2016 Central Regional Tournament even though we were massive underdogs
Best footy memory (off field): 2013 Grand Final party that had over 300 attendees from all over the Southeast and Midwest
What AFL team do you support? Adelaide Crows

USAFL Scouting remarks: “In addition to assuming the coaching duties for the Kangas this year, Nugget has maintained his stalwart presence in both the middle and forward areas. A natural left foot still sends the footy better than 60 meters, and his ball hawking skills are second to none. Opposing sides had better find this bloke on the oval or he will inflict serious damage, per usual.”


Evan “Colonel” Ling
Jumper number: 6
Country, state, city of origin: Melbourne, Australia
Position you typically play: Forward
Years you’ve played footy: 18
Years you’ve played for the Roos: 17
What’s your ‘footy motto’? Don’t think, act.
Best footy memory (on field): I had a great game against Atlanta one year in the half back line. Every time the Kookaburras went forward, the ball came to me, and it seemed each time I kicked it direct to Grant White at half forward. It might have been Whitey’s last game, so I hope he remembers as well as I do!
Best footy memory (off field): I have some great memories of Friday night games at the MCG. North were the pioneers of Friday night football, so I saw them against all comers even though I didn’t support the Kangaroos way back then.
What AFL team do you support? I’ve followed the Swans since they played at Lake Oval in Albert Park, Melbourne. They were the struggling South Melbourne Swans back then, not the Sydney glamor team they are now.

USAFL Scouting remarks: “Ling is like a cagey old fox out there roaming the forward areas. He has an uncanny ability to find the weak spots in the opposition defense, and with nearly 20 years of experience, he knows how to use it to his side’s advantage. Class act.”


Joel Thornton
Jumper number: 8
Country, state, city of origin: Fremantle, Western Australia
Position you typically play: Centre half forward
Years you’ve played footy: 10 years
Years you’ve played for the Roos: 1
What’s your ‘footy motto’? Be accountable.
Best footy memory (on field): The one win my team had in a one-win season in 2009. We won the game by a point after the other team kicked it out on the full with a shot after the siren. We celebrated like we had won the Grand Final.
Best footy memory (off field): The West Coast Eagles winning the 2006 Grand Final by a point.
What AFL team do you support? West Coast Eagles

USAFL Scouting remarks: “Joel brings an Australian veteran’s experience to the Roos’ center half area, and he has shown that he has the speed, hands, and skills to dominate there.”


John Freeman
Jumper number: 10
Country, state, city of origin: Crozet, VA - USA
Position you typically play: Rover
Years you’ve played footy: 1.5 years
Years you’ve played for the Roos: All with the Roos
What’s your ‘footy motto’? Chase the ball until it chases you
Best footy memory (on field): Crushing the Tulsa Buffaloes at the 2016 National Tournament
Best footy memory (off field): Feeding my team whole wheat pasta the night before a game and seeing them like it.

USAFL Scouting remarks: “John Freeman is a freak of nature. He’s a newcomer to the game of footy, but he has somehow nevertheless marshalled his stellar athleticism and intensity into a formidable footy skill set. This guy was chosen as one of the best players in the country and selected to represent the USA in the 2017 International Cup Tournament… in only his second season of footy ever. Incredible.”


Tim Dunn
Jumper number: 11
Country, state, city of origin: Brentwood, TN - USA
Position you typically play: Half forward/midfield
Years you’ve played footy: 3 years
Years you’ve played for the Roos: 2
What’s your ‘footy motto’? Be assertive, play tough, never quit
Best footy memory (on field): First USAFL game ever played in Little Rock, Arkansas vs. Tulsa. Despite having only 8 Roos on the trip and knowing the Tulsa Buffaloes were about to put a beating on us, the boys went out and fought like hell regardless. No one was playing their usual positions and the Tulsa boys were hitting us hard. Very hard! But every Roo kept getting back up and kept sprinting, hitting, and attacking until the final whistle. No one quit, no one let up, no one packed it in. We got crushed but that performance revealed the character of my teammates and made me damn proud to be a part of a club with boys like that.
What AFL team do you support? Adelaide Crows

USAFL Scouting remarks: “Tim Dunn has revealed through his 2017 play that he has a big and accurate kick. He’s also got a high level of footy intelligence, which makes him lethal with the ball in his hands. Natural leader and a big pickup for the Nashville side.”


Maurice “Slow Mo” Howell
Jumper number: 12
Country, state, city of origin: Lumberton, NC - USA
Position you typically play: Wing, on-ball, midfield
Years you’ve played footy: 9 years
Years you’ve played for the Roos: 4 years
What’s your ‘footy motto’? Hit first and always give the second effort
Best footy memory (on field): Scoring a left footed goal in Atlanta in the pouring rain
Best footy memory (off field): Post game glow paint party in Louisville – 2015. Epic.
What AFL team do you support? Richmond Tigers

USAFL Scouting remarks: “Mo Howell is likely the fastest guy in the USAFL. He wins the ball often on cyborg-like second and third efforts, and never quits on a ball. The bloke is fearless.”


Jeff “Peeps” Persson
Jumper number: 13
Country, state, city of origin: Pleasant Hill, CA - USA
Position you typically play: Half back flank
Years you’ve played footy: 18 years
Years you’ve played for the Roos: All 18
What’s your ‘footy motto’? Have fun while working hard
Best footy memory (on field): Playing for the US Revolution National Team at the 2008 International Cup in Melbourne.
What AFL team do you support? North Melbourne Kangaroos

USAFL Scouting remarks: “Peeps has been around a long time and has played at a high level for most of those years. He’s mastered the umpiring side, and he’s got deep footy skills to match. He’s a foundational player for Nashville and that program has benefitted from his longevity and leadership.”


James Mitchell
Jumper number: 16
Country, state, city of origin: Perth, Western Australia
Position you typically play: Center, rover
Years you’ve played footy: 15
Years you’ve played for the Roos: 2
What’s your ‘footy motto’? If you go in hard, you won’t get hurt!
Best footy memory (on field): Winning a premiership with my mates in junior footy
Best footy memory (off field): Winning MVP for West Perth rookies
What AFL team do you support? West Coast Eagles

USAFL Scouting remarks: “This kid is one of the best footy players we’ve ever seen play on American soil. What’s more to say? We’ve seen him completely take over games and just burn down the opposition. But perhaps yet more valuable than his unmatched skills is the fact that he’s an excellent and unselfish team mate, and that his Roo mates love him, and would no doubt take a bullet for him. Classy kid. Otherworldly footballer.”


Clint Milner
Jumper number: 17
Country, state, city of origin: Melbourne, Australia
Position you typically play: Midfield
Years you’ve played footy: 25 years
Years you’ve played for the Roos: 4 years
What’s your ‘footy motto’? Greatest team sport in the world. Individuals don’t win footy games. It’s what you do when you don’t have the footy that matters.
Best footy memory (on field): Too many to mention - knocking off red hot favs in OC at the 2012 Nationals after a massive night, proved we were one of the best teams in the country at that time. Beating Chicago for the Wayne Schwass Cup in Chi town, had never been done by the club before.
Best footy memory (off field): Footy trips in Oz and US. Always a blast!
What AFL team do you support? North Melbourne Kangaroos

USAFL Scouting remarks: “Milner has been playing footy longer than some USAFL blokes have been alive. Eternally youthful, this fella has high level skills and intelligence for the game. He’s a banner footballer for this side and will be a major factor in their quest for a premiership in 2017.”


Kyle “Denver” Li
Jumper number: 17
Country, state, city of origin: Hong Kong
Position you typically play: Wing, back line
Years you’ve played footy: 1
Years you’ve played for the Roos: 1
What’s your ‘footy motto’? Go hard always!
Best footy memory (on field): Scoring a left footed goal!
Best footy memory (off field): Learning that Coach Nugget invented Uber (after a few drinks)

USAFL Scouting remarks: “Denver brings extraordinary quickness and agility to the Roo roster. Among one of the better first year players you’ll see, and as his skills compound, he will be a force to reckon with.”


Brian Domin
Jumper number: 18
Country, state, city of origin: Atlanta, GA - USA
Position you typically play: Ruck/full forward
Years you’ve played footy: 2 years
Years you’ve played for the Roos: 2
What’s your ‘footy motto’? Play physical, always rise to the challenge
Best footy memory (on field): Wrecking Columbus at the home oval in 2017 (with Chicago)
Best footy memory (off field): The 2016 Nashville Grand Final Party
What AFL team do you support? Hawthorn Hawks

USAFL Scouting remarks: “This kid is young, but he’s become a rucking and contesting force of nature. He has superior height and vertical jumps which serves him and Nashville well. The sky’s the limit for this young player.”


Eric “The Red” Toepfer
Jumper number: 20
Country, state, city of origin: Nashville, TN - USA
Position you typically play: Forward, half forward
Years you’ve played footy: 3 years
Years you’ve played for the Roos: 3
What’s your ‘footy motto’? Crackin’ skulls and kickin’ goals!
Best footy memory (on field): Winning the 2016 Central Regional Tournament
Best footy memory (off field): Those memories are all a lovely blur.

USAFL Scouting remarks: “Toepfer is a tall forward with a huge kick. He can play feature or support with equal skill and tenacity. His willingness to contest hard for the ball and never give up wins an extraordinary amount of possessions for the Kangas.”


Brad “Chambo” Chamberlain
Jumper number: 22
Country, state, city of origin: Charlotte, NC - USA
Position you typically play: Center half back
Years you’ve played footy: 1
Years you’ve played for the Roos: 1
What’s your ‘footy motto’? I want to frustrate my opponent. Tag him everywhere he goes and completely take him out of the game. 100% balls to the wall effort
Best footy memory (on field): I’m a rookie, so still working on this one!
Best footy memory (off field): Road trips with the boys!!
What AFL team do you support? Fremantle

USAFL Scouting remarks: “One of the best and most natural first year defenders we’ve ever seen. A great sense of the ball and a high physical motor. On an already defensively strong club, this bloke is another fearless addition to those ranks.”


Saul Camarena
Jumper number: 23
Position you typically play: Defender
Years you’ve played footy: 1
Years you’ve played for the Roos: 1
What’s your ‘footy motto’? Never give up.

USAFL Scouting remarks: “Saul has been an excellent addition to the Nashville side, and his soccer background has helped him develop a huge right foot kick that can send the footy 60 meters up the wing. He’s a smart and tenacious defender, and he will undoubtedly make a big impression at the National Tournament.”

David “Frosty” Harris
Jumper number: 25
Country, state, city of origin: Huntsville, AL - USA
Position you typically play: Defender
Years you’ve played footy: 7
Years you’ve played for the Roos: 7
What’s your ‘footy motto’? Intensity and second effort wins the ball. Never quit, and never leave your teammate in jeopardy
Best footy memory (on field): Tie – 1) Winning the 2016 Central Regional as huge underdogs; 2) Smashing Columbus on their home ground this year.
Best footy memory (off field): 2012 road trip to Denver to play Denver and Boston. The footy was fantastic, but the after activities were memories of a lifetime. We swam naked in a freezing mountain lake at 10,000+ feet elevation, then the whole team chartered a guided white water raft tour down the mountain! There were gnarly level 4 complex rapids going on, and a couple of Roos were thrown out of their boat. Was an amazing time that I’ll never forget.
What AFL team do you support? Geelong Cats

USAFL Scouting remarks: “Frosty is a pure defender, and full forwards across the country know him to be tenacious, skilled, and perhaps the strongest tackler in the league. He earned his place as team captain by his dedication to his team and teammates, and by way of his steely, gritty, lights out approach to defending his lair in the back lines. Nashville’s reputation as a strong defensive side begins with Frosty.”


James “JD” Duty
Country, state, city of origin: Raleigh, NC - USA
Position you typically play: Ruck/center half back
Years you’ve played footy: 7 proud years
Years you’ve played for the Roos: 7 proud years
What’s your ‘footy motto’? Leave everything you got on the field, don’t worry about your skills but focus on getting after the footy
Best footy memory (on field): 2016 Central Regional Tournament Div 3 Champions. I played the ruck all tournament and just dominated possession of the ball….felt good man!
Best footy memory (off field): After-game parties where we drink away the pain of our battle wounds!
What AFL team do you support? North Melbourne Kangaroos

USAFL Scouting remarks: “I’ve witnessed JD play at a very high level in the ruck and center half areas. Nashville was fortunate to get JD back despite the fact that work took him out of state. With his superior height and knowledge of the game, JD elevates his team mates every time he’s on the field.”


Get around these boys and let them know Nashville, Music City USA is behind them all the way. Go the Roos!!! Get that flag!!!

There is 1 comment for this entry. Leave a comment below »

  1. Will McClean October 05, 2017

    Great to see Lingy still having a kick .Please give him my kind regards from Woodside S.A.

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