ANZAC Day bash in Chicago, April 28
The rivalry between the Nashville Kangaroos and Chicago dates from 1998, when the Kangaroos defeated a combined Chicago and Milwaukee team at USAFL Nationals. From 2000, the fledgling Chicago Swans and the Kangaroos played every year in the Mid-American Australian Football League, with the two teams winning a combined nine MAAFL premierships over the next 13 seasons.
Since 2013, the Chicago Swans have been consistent Division 2 competitors at USAFL Nationals. In 2017, they took two decisive victories over Columbus, the reigning Division 2 champions, including an 87-point trouncing in Columbus with the help of a few energetic Kangaroos.
The Swans started their 2018 preseason at the end of March, and have three metro games and a weekend training camp to prepare for this season-opening match. They will do all they can to defend their home ground. Dangerous playmakers like Pedro Jiminez will look to deliver to potent forwards like Stu Nicol. The addition of Christoph Odenthal from the German national team provides yet another key player to watch. If all else fails, the Chicago defense is anchored by USA Revolution full back Jeff Kraemer providing the Swans with opportunities to rebound.
The Kangaroos started preparation with Recruitment Day on March 24, introducing some exciting prospects, and throwing them into an exhibition game that afternoon. Since then, training intensity has steadily increased as head coach Jeff “Peeps” Persson and training manager John Freeman advance the team toward game-like pressure.
Veterans like team captain David “Frosty” Harris, vice captain Tim Dunn and goal-kicker Nathan Caldwell might have a decent feel for their individual preparedness, but the match will be a tough test for the Roos with some very promising but unseasoned first-year and second-year players.
The Kangaroos have a winning record against Chicago of 12-10 beginning with that first meeting in 1998, but the record in Chicago is a less impressive 1-7.
What: ANZAC Day Bash - Chicago Swans host Nashville Kangaroos for the Wayne Schwass Cup.
When: Saturday April 28, 2018.
Where: Waveland Park, 3700 Recreation Drive, Chicago, Illinois.