August 5, 2023
Roving Roo Reporter
When it comes to playing at the top of your sport, nothing is better than representing your country and that means wearing the Red, White, and Blue. In the USAFL the Men’s team is known as the USA Revolution and in Canada the Men are the Northwind. Since 2002 these teams have met in friendly competition to prepare for the AFL’s International Cup of Australian Rules Football with this event known as the 49th Parallel Cup (the 49th parallel represents the border between the two nations).
With the IC being held every three years, the USA and Canada agree to each host the Cup on the two off years, once in each country. In 2023 the event was held in Racine, WI on August 5th. Team representatives must be from that country and cannot have footy experience in Australia when they grew up. After all, the whole idea is to have representatives who truly have adopted the sport from their home country and not Aussie ex-pats who happen to be in that country at the time.
To qualify for the Revolution, players must be part of one of the USAFL teams and be evaluated by the Revolution coaching staff and then selected to participate in camps where they must demonstrate skills, ability to learn from the coaches, and then prove themselves on the field of battle. All this cost must be borne out of pocket, so it is no small commitment (both in terms of time and cost) in order to be considered for selection to the USA Revolution National Team.
This year two Kangaroos were selected to represent Nashville for the Revolution. Second year star Andrew “OD” O’Dwyer and Rookie sensation Thomas Procter. Congratulations to both!
The weekend consisted of two matches, one for the Cup itself (referred to as the seniors match) and one for the development squads (sometimes referred to as reserves). OD played in the seniors match and Procter in the reserves match. Both Kangaroos played extremely well, with OD and the Revolution earning a hard fought and narrow victory over the Northwind by a mere three points, 5.9.39 def 5.6.36! Then, in the reserves match, Procter truly stood out with three goals while serving in the forward line and grabbing more than a few contested marks in the backline, for which he was awarded the match footy as second best on ground! The Revolution rezzys dominated the Northwind side 13.4.82 to 1.7.13.
One other note on the weekend: long-time USAFL umpire, Jeff Persson, was selected to field umpire both games on the weekend, so there were actually three Rooboys representing Nashville.
Huge kudos to both OD and Procter for their commitment to footy and the Roos and congratulations on a successful weekend representing their country. Next step for both Rooboys is to be selected to the final squad to wear the USA on their chests in 2024 when the AFL hosts the IC Americas Regional competition, tentatively scheduled for August (and the location most likely to be in the USA!). When the AFL announces the details we will be sure to keep you informed.