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May 12, 2011
AIR Force women's coach WOFF An-
drew Giacomo has nothing but praise
for the way his heavily outnumbered
players performed at the Australian
Services Australian Football Associa-
tion (ASAFA) tri-service titles in Mel-
bourne last month.
"They played out of their skins and
tackled their hearts out," he said.
History will show that the Air
Force women were thrashed at the
Air Force did not score at all
against Army and only scored one
point against Navy.
But that does not tell the whole
In a game where 22 players is the
full complement of players on each
side, Air Force went in against Army
and Navy with only 15 players (and lost
one to injury in the first quarter of the
Army game). Further, two of the Air
Force players were public servants who
had never played the game before.
"We played reduced numbers in
the forward line and our intent was
to try and play towards the boundary
line," WOFF Giacomo said.
"From there we could re-group
with our on-ball players and then try
to force the ball forward.
"Our players did this quite well in
game two (against Navy), however,
free players a kick behind the play,
which basically had the play rebound
into our back line."
Air Force did have some silver lin-
ings.Team captain SGT Katie Staines,
who is a veteran of eight carnivals,
was also named as the ASAFA Most
Valuable Player in the Air Force team.
FLGOFF Kylie Wilson was named
Air Force's Most Valuable Player
and she was also named to represent
the ASAFA women's All Stars side.
Others picked to represent the ADF
in the ASAFA All Stars side were
FLGOFF Aimee Slocombe, LACW
Emily Currer and CPL Trudi Lines.
SGT Staines was unavailable for the
All Stars team as were SQNLDR Mina
Roberts, FLTLT Debbie Herberz and
OFFCDT Bayleigh Potter, who were
also strong contenders for further hon-
Navy went on to win the ASAFA
title by beating Army by two points.
Air Force fared better in the men's
division, though it lost to both Army
Army beat Navy by 19 points to
claim back-to-back titles.
CPL Nigel Peacock was awarded
the ASAFA award as Air Force's best
player of the carnival.
CPL Jebal Williams, CPL Shannon
Burke, OFFCDT Nick Downward,
LAC Glenn Meulendyks, LAC Jadan
Morton, SQNLDR Anthony Calliess,
CPL Jacob Berry were named in the
ASAFA All Stars men's team.
WOFF Giacomo, who became
coach of the women's team after serv-
ing as team manager last year, started a
recruiting drive in early February and
had 23 keen players lined up to play.
That was whittled away because
of work commitments and personal
reasons and he approached the other
services to play 16-a-side games, but
that did not succeed.
"Both services, however, were
very supportive after the event to try
and help us recruit numbers for future
tournaments. I think we just have to
advertise more and ensure we get the
message out," he said.
"Some ladies feel intimidated to
play football, thinking it is a hard
game or they aren't good enough.
However, once new people come into
the side they have been welcomed
with open arms.
"The girls have an awesome posi-
tive outlook and love their footy. I
would say they are very passionate
St Albans Oval, April 12 -- Women: Army
14.7 (91) b Air Force 0.0 (0); Men: Army
12.15 (87) b Air Force 6.11 (47).
St Albans Oval, April 14 -- Women: Navy
18.8 (116) b Air Force 0.1 (1); Men: Navy
14.18 (92) b Air Force 11.2 (68).
Whitten Oval, April 18 -- Women: Navy 5.3
(33) b Army 4.7 (31); Men: Army 12.7 (79) b
Navy 8.12 (60).
DOWNFIELD TARGET: CPL Trudi Lines.
Photos: LS Paul McCallum SLIP-SLIDING AWAY: Glenn Meulendyks scrambles
for the ball in the wet. CPL Stuart Bond lurks behind.
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