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Nashville Kangaroos vs Columbus Cats, April 22, 2023

The Nashville Kangaroos are proud to bring you the 2023 season of Nashville Kangaroos AFL football and what better way to kick off the season than hosting long-time rival the Columbus Cats!

This is season number 26 for the Kangaroos and since the return to playing footy post-covid the Kangaroos across two seasons are 14-5-1 with a Division IV National Championship (2021) and a near-miss at the title for Division III (2022). So it is not a stretch to say that the club is looking forward to taking another crack at a national title in 2023 and with the addition of a number of new players this year, they look to be able to bring home more hardware!

This season begins at 2 pm on Saturday, April 22, in the friendly confines of Elmington Park when the Kangaroos take on the always strong Columbs Cats. A loss to Columbus was the only blemish on the 2021 National Championship season and the Roos lost both the home and away matches in 2022 as well, which means that it is no exaggeration to say that the Roos are hungry to make amends.

A bit of background: in the first 25 years the Kangaroos went 182-126-2, a very respectable 59% win percentage. Against the Columbus club, the Roos are 13-10 overall, going 6-3 at home and 7-7 on the road. But as mentioned above the last three matches have all gone to Columbus, a reversal of the prior five-match win streak.

Looking at the team roster for 2023, we are excited to see a number of returning faces, led by 2022 Best and Fairest winner Saul Camarena, Best and Fairest Runner-Up Cody McLain, and leading goal kicker Andrew "OD" O'Dwyer. In addition, we will be seeing new team captain James "JD" Duty, taking over for long-time captain and 100-gamer David "Frosty" Harris, both of whom will anchor the backline. Having all your award winners and team leaders back is a fantastic sign for the new year! Rounding out the returning veteran squad will be Evan "Colonel" Ling, Jeff "Peeps" Persson, Maurice "Slo Mo" Howell, Ross "Rosscoe" Flemming, Brad "Chambo" Chamberlain, and Cameron Atlas (2022 Rookie of the Year). In addition, the Roos welcome back veteran Colt Atwell (from Louisville).

Joining the Rooboys in 2023 we will see a couple of 'boomerangs' with Joel "Finemaster" Thornton making his return and Matt Filchak (returning to Nashville from his stint in Chicago playing with the Swans after last playing for the Roos in 2016!). The true Kangaroo rookie class will include a bunch of guys we are excited to see make their USAFL debuts: Luke Henry, Brett Philpott, Jonny Guider, Chris Marquardt, Luke Chadwick, Thomas Proctor, Max Brett, David Gonzalez and Hayden Sloane. They are looking good on the training track and you should be there to see them all get their first taste of White Line Fever! (For the uninitiated - white line fever is the infection one gets when playing their first game of footy: you step across the sideline onto the field of battle and the fever takes over, transforming you forever more!)

Wow! The Rooboys are starting the year with a full squad, all the retuning anchors from the past two successful season, a good mix of Aussie and American players, and slew of newbies to continue the growth of the club. That bodes well for Nashville and if I were Columbus, I'd be looking at returning to Ohio with an "L" to start the season. So come on out and join the fun. See you at Elmington Park on Saturday April 22, at 2 pm!

Roving Roo Reporter


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