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Leadership Ground Making Waves

Club captain Adam Jack recently formed his leadership group going forward for the club and already they are stamping their mark on the club and driving standards and building a structured culture.

In discussing the members of the group Jacko said this – “Its a pretty well-rounded group and one I think will help to shape the club in a positive direction. We all bring something else to the group – Competitive passion, Calm and Calculating, charisma, and in-depth knowledge of the game. I challenged them early to set standards while keeping things open to the whole group and I feel they have done that, making the playing group know there are penalties for being late to training and making sure when Stevie (the coach) is talking everyone is listening.”

Daniel Connor, James Hancock, John McIntyre and Adam Jack form the four-person leadership group and as said above have already put some rules/standards in place first of which was being late at training. Being late to training (missing the start of the warm up) will result in two laps of the full pitch being trained on (3 laps if you also didn’t notify anyone you would be late).

The group are looking forward to the year ahead and hope that continued driving forwards of these standards will help build a positive culture around the club.

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Preseason Interclub Game

The Sharks held a pre-season interclub friendly Saturday 18th of November at GHA Rugby Club.

The club tried out the new AFL-X rules in the game with an eye on fine tuning how the CAFL would function in 2018.  AFL-X is a shortened format of Aussie Rules.  Designed by the AFL as the way to play the game on Soccer and Rugby fields around the world (which are more accessible than the cricket pitches AFL is normally played on) the game is played with 7 players on the field (two defenders and two attackers must stay within each of the marked out 40 metre arcs before the central bounce) 3 players on the bench.  There are two 40 metre arcs, around both goals, normal scoring is seen within the arcs though and goals scored from outside 40m arc are given 10 points instead of the normal 6.  Quarters are 10 minutes long, the last person to touch the ball before it goes out of play has a free kick payed against them and kicks to team mates behind the kickers position does not incur a mark, instead play continues.  After every goal and behind play starts from a kick in that must be taken from behind the goal line i.e. no goal square.

The interclub game was a fast, free flowing affair with a soft ground everyone tired quickly.  Lots of new faces along mixed with experienced heads meant that there was plenty of opportunities to for our leaders to show how the game is played.  Our more seasoned players took the lead during the game and helped to highlight just how much the AFL-X is focused on quick scoring, end to end football where turning the ball over is much more costly than ever.  Though more impressively our newer players stole the limelight.  Adapting to the sport very quickly and showing a willingness to take the game on was very encouraging.  The game ended in a one point victory with the siren making the last kick of the game, though would have meant a draw, wasn’t counted.

After the game and discussing some aspects of play that suited and those didn’t the CAFL and it’s intention to improve players game understanding, knowledge and skills some of the rules will be adapted for the next outing.

Stephen Connor, Head Coach and umpire during the game said “The style and format of the game was really exciting, scoring was high and I definitely saw that people were encouraged to have a shot from 40m when presented with the option of 10 points and most had the ability to do so, this may help players feel more comfortable scoring from distance. All in all I think this was a great game to watch.”

The club is still looking for newer players and with another interclub game set during December and a few Tuesday trainings between now and then it’s a great time to get along and see what the sports all about. Make sure you let anyone interested know about how to contact us.

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CAFL for 2018

The CAFL (Caledonian Australian Football League) is our own interclub league designed to help improve the game knowledge and understanding of our players in a proper game environment while still being fun and non-competitive.

For 2018 we will be taking some aspects from the new AFL-X competition. Designed by the AFL as to how the game should be played on soccer pitches this new format looks fast and free flowing. With 7 players on the field, 3 on the bench, kick ins after goals, last person to touch the ball before it leaves the field of play has a free kick awarded against them and 10-minute quarters, it certainly won’t look too similar to the normal game. Some of the rules we will adopt and some we will trial out.

The dates for our CAFL games have been selected (though we are waiting on final confirmation from GHA rugby club on some dates) these are listed below.

January 13th – Round 1 – GHA Rugby Club – 11am ball up – Makos v Cards

January 27th – Round 2  – GHA Rugby Club – 11am ball up – Cards v Tigers

February 10th – Round 3 – Toryglen Regional Football Centre (Indoors) – 12pm ball up – Tigers v Makos

February 24th – Round 4 – GHA Rugby Club – 11am ball up – Cards v Makos

March 10th – Round 5 – GHA Rugby Club – 11am ball up – Tigers v Cards

March 24th – Round 6 – GHA Rugby Club – 11am ball up – Makos v Tigers

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2018 Memberships

Prices for memberships in 2018 will remain the same as 2017. Though with expected price rises from AFL Scotland/SARFL registrations fees and our public Liability Insurance costs also this will be reviewed for 2019 should these costs be increased.

However, for 2018 our costs will remain the same as before. At the club we try and minimise the financial restraints in participating in sport by keeping our membership costs low but asking that everyone attends our annual Race Night fundraiser. Without these two revenue streams we wouldn’t not be able to provide access for people to experience and learn our great sport and at the end of the day that is what our club is about getting more people participating in Aussie Rules.

There are two main kinds on Memberships – Playing Membership and Social/Supporting Membership.

Playing members are those who train regularly and intend on playing in at least one of the organised games the club facilitates, be that CAFL, SARFL, Haggis cup or some other tournament. The cost for a playing membership helps to fund and pay for the costs to – AFL Scotland and SARFL registration fees – GHA Rugby Club membership – Public Liabilities Insurance – Costs for umpires from out with the club – Club Trophies/Awards for the Presentation Night. The cost of a playing membership is £50 (£25 if you are a student/apprentice).

Another option for playing members is a Great White Membership. This covers the costs explained above but also covers all your training sessions for the year (01/12/17 – 30/10/18). All indoor and outdoor training sessions on Tuesdays and Saturdays (any other training sessions organised out with these dates would not be covered). A great White Membership costs £150 and can be paid over three instalments.

Social/Supporting Members are those who perhaps cannot commit to training regularly and will not intend on playing any organised games during the year but still wish to contribute to the club. a social/supporting membership is £10.

Memberships will be able to be purchased from the 5th of December at training, you can still forward the monies straight into the club bank account (which is the preferred option) so long as you use your name as a reference and inform either John McIntyre or Daniel Connor that you have taken this option.

All memberships for 2018 must have been bought by February 10th or you must have spoken with John McIntyre or Daniel Connor to discuss how and when you intend to pay your membership.

The Club bank account details to forward your membership payments to  – HSBC  – Sort Code 40-22-47 – Account Number 51196286 – Remember to use your full name as a reference.

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2018 Season Look Ahead

Coming off a busy 2017 the club is taking its deep breath to prepare for the 2018 season.

Although we are not officially taking a break as we normally do through November, we have had many newer players along to training in the recent weeks and we are getting more and more enquiries every day from people wanting to take up the sport. This is encouraging with numbers of participants set to increase again going into 2018, training has had a certain buzz around and its certainly got something to do with the outlook going into the new year.

The new CAFL season is due to start off on the 13th of January at GHA Rugby Club but with so many newer players coming along a rethink may be in order looking at increasing the number of game days and possibly entering a new team into the competition. With the rules set to reflect the new AFL-X competition, being championed by the AFL as the way to play the sport on soccer sized fields, we will be locking in seven aside games, with games spaced two weeks apart. If we continue to attract as many newer players as recently there will be more women competing in the mixed league than ever before.

We are looking to participate in two – one-day cup tournaments early in the year. As with previous years we will be looking to field a team in the Haggis Cup tournament on April 14th, as always it should be an enjoyable day and a good warm-up for the start of the SARFL season. On March 24th we will be hoping to get a team together for the Leprechaun Cup in Belfast. This would be the first time the club competed at the tournament but by all accounts, it is a fantastic day out and great tournament.

Building from the official start of our pre-season in December Stephen Connor and his coaching staff will be putting the playing group through a lot of fitness work mixed into game play drills, with playing style, structure and tactics being a key focus from February to reinforce how we want to play football in SARFL and going forward.

Our annual race night was revamped this year and was a considerable success, thanks go to both Adam Jack and Robert McKinlay who put in a lot of hard work to make our essential fundraising event as entertaining as it was. A big push and effort will be made in 2018 to see as many people along to the night as possible with plans already being discussed as to how to make the night bigger again! Watch out for news on when this must-see night will be.

Our Sharks females did the club proud this year, cementing the club as one of the biggest women’s teams in the UK with 7sharks representing Great Britain at the International cup in Melbourne with the GB Swans. We will be looking to push forward with their success and try and organise some Sharks women’s games home and away against some of the other women’s teams in the UK.

Lastly with our sponsorship deal with TopMark Claims Management we currently have a local company designing our new playing kit, this will be ready for the start of the 2018 season!

Keep an eye out for more updates in the coming weeks with news on Memberships, merchandise and the coming CAFL fixtures!