Source: CBR Pigskin Review
The wait is over – this Saturday (August 19) sees the return of the ACT Gridiron Senior season.
While 5 teams will vie for the right to hoist the Capital Bowl trophy in November, skeptics say the race may actually be down to much fewer teams than that.
Below are the pre-season power rankings for the Seniors.
1. UC Firebirds
With the Spears not entering a team this year (or maybe even if they had), the Firebirds are the front runners to take the Capital Bowl in 2017. If they do so, it will be their first back-to-back Capital Bowls since 2010/2011. But hey, if it wasn’t for that pesky 4-peat from the Spears, the Firebirds may have won all but one of the last 10 Capital Bowls.
But it’s not all smooth sailing for the Birdies – word on the street is that the coffers at UC are empty after splurging on championship rings last season, leaving little to spare in the ongoing contract negotiations with key players.
Watch out for: Veteran Quarterback Luke Job, who in combination with the ghost of former Coach Shawn Willis’ training regime should see the Firebirds as a well drilled unit and the one to beat.
The not-sure-where-they-are-from Centurions went tantalisingly close to tasting success last year before ultimately succumbing to the ‘Close enough is good enough’ mentality that has seen them narrowly lose games in seasons gone by.
With Peter Lilley not forming part of the coaching staff this year, the Centurions are suffering from a serious lack of players imported from the United States. New HC Josh Gargiulo says that the Cents have a plan to get by, however asking former College punter CJ “Sunshine” Laros to speak in an American accent wherever possible so that the boys don’t find themselves in unfamiliar territory.
One to watch: Playboy Quarterback Beau Kennett – a journeyman that now sees himself settling into season 2 with the Cents. Can he steer the team one step closer to a Capital Bowl appearance this year?
3. Woden Gladiators
Coming off the back of their successful 2015 recruitment campaign the Glads are locked in a tight battle with the ‘nadoes as to whom will field the oldest side this year. Club stalwarts Dom Radman and George Stosic will no doubt go around for their 48th and 46th seasons respectively, but all everyone wants to know is “Will Finlay play?”
The Glads are going to have to come out firing early – will they be serious Capital Bowl contenders or risk becoming Canberra’s most disappointing team in Green.
One to watch: Who will start at QB? Also, watch that guy who plays in the Orange Helmet – deceptive.
4. Tuggeranong Tornadoes
The Tornadoes are back! One of the oldest clubs in the league and arguably the country make their return to ACT Gridiron football after a year in the wilderness.
However, the question on everybody’s lips is – who still plays for them?
2017 sees a new logo (above) for the ‘nadoes. And 2017 also sees new recruitment strategies from the boys in blue. Following on from the success of the Tornadoes Women recruiting on Tinder, we assume that the Seniors followed suit and bombarded Tinder, Uber and Grindr in an attempt to bolster numbers.
One to watch: Head coach, captain, Club President, ACT Gridiron President Cody Field. Is there any position on the field he doesn’t/hasn’t play/ed?
5. Gungahlin Wildcats
Remember that year the Wildcats played for the Capital Bowl? Me either.
Actually, I do. It was 2011 – back in the T-Mac and Joe Taula days. How long ago that must seem.
Gungahlin enters this year’s competitions as favourites for the wooden spoon. There is nothing that this reviewer would like to see more than the Wildcats being contenders – but I just can’t see it being this year. But hey – get out there and prove me wrong Wildcats.
One to watch: Club stalwarts, the Amsteins brothers – they keep turning up and delivering week-in week-out.