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Captain's Log

Now that we have had a chance to catch our breath during our breakneck tour. We would like you to get to know our captains.

Jenny “Sarbs” Sarbacker

How is it you came across Footy?

I went to watch my brother, Dan, play this “weird new sport” once and then next thing I knew he volunteered me to play with a team in the national tournament in 2005. I’ve been hooked ever since.

Tell us a little about yourself?

Back home I work in a psychiatric nursing home as recreation therapist, part time I work for my dad’s business (aAa- Animal Analysis Associates), and I also coach high school girls soccer. Much of my family lives very close by so I enjoy being able to spend quite a bit of time with them.

Is your work place supportive of your Aussie Footy passion?

Yes, I’m very fortunate to have the flexibility to travel when I need to and I’m even taking lots of pictures while on the tour so I can share them with all my residents when I return.

Is there someone Stateside that you would like to say hello to?

Ooo, too many people- Hi Mom and Dad, Kyle, family (you know there’s too many of you to mention!), and friends (2nd place ribs? I’m gonna have to disagree!).

How long have you played footy?

I’ve played since 2005.

Do you play other sports?

I’ve played soccer since I was a little ankle kicker (Dan’s got the scares to prove it) and all through college at Ashland University (Ohio). I still continue to play recreation soccer as well as coach.

What are you looking forward to while in Australia?

Besides getting to play some more footy, I really like to experience the culture and enjoy the differences from what the US has to offer.

How do you like being coached by your brother?

I really enjoy it, and I’m very proud to have him as our coach. He’s very knowledgeable and brings a lot of experience to the team. He also knows me personally very well (obviously), so he knows when he can push me harder for example. I think we both do a good job of maintaining our coach/player and brother/sister roles when it’s appropriate.

Tina “Brooza” Arend

How is it you came across Footy?

Was introduced to the sport by Andrea Casillas in Arizona in 2005.

Tell us a little about yourself?

I am 30 years old, have one 11 year old son Tylar, recently engaged and planning a destination wedding to the Bahamas next June. I live in Mesa, AZ and work for the Social Security Administration as a Title 2 Claims Representative.

Is your work place supportive of your Aussie Footy passion?

I am very fortunate to have an employer that is very supportive of my involvement with US Footy. My entire office was very excited for me to be able to compete at this level and everyone has helped to cover my workload while I am away. They look forward to hearing stories and seeing pictures upon my return. They are hoping for no injuries as my fingers need to be able to type when I get back. LOL!

Is there someone Stateside that you would like to say hello to?

I would like to say a big Hello and I LOVE YOU to the two most important men in my life. Tylar and Brian I miss you and I need a massage when I get home! Also a big shout out to my Lil Sister Audi, the Freedom Ladies miss you and the tour is not as exciting without you. Got you jersey in my bag for luck and I will hip check a few Aussies for you no doubt! Give Kenzie a kiss for me Mommy Audi!

How long have you played footy?

This is the beginning of my 5th year in footy and is my second tour with Team USA.

Do you play other sports?

I have always been involved in athletics. I played volleyball, basketball, softball and ran track growing up. Basketball and softball were my two main sports and I use a lot of the same skills in footy as it combines many aspects of these sports.

What are you looking forward to while in Australia?

Everything really, I have never traveled overseas. I am amazed by nature and its wonders. It is a great opportunity to see parts of the world that I know little about and enjoy the Australian culture and all it has to offer.

Who is your favorite Aussie Footy Player in the AFL?

I am a fan of Jonathan Brown of the Brisbane Lions.

How did you get your nickname?

My nickname is two-fold. On one side I tackle hard and so they say I am a brooza and on the flip side I am usually covered in bruises all over my body after a game due to the fact that I bruise very easily.

Helen “Hels” Spink

How is it you came across Footy?

In the spring of 2007, a co-worker of mine who played for the Baltimore-Washington Eagles was assembling a team for “Ausball,” an intramural, non-contact version of footy. I am lover of all sports and really just like to get outside and be active. I thought it would be fun to try something new, so I signed up. From that first intramural game in the cold Washington D.C. March, I fell in love with the sport and faithfully attended every week. When the season was over, Amy Bishop, who was keen on bringing a women’s team from D.C. to nationals that year, suggested I stay on and train with the club over the summer. I made the commitment and played my first game of “real” footy at nationals in Louisville that October.

Tell us a little about yourself?

I am 25 years old and I live in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I am currently a graduate student at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. I am studying Molecular Epidemiology and working in the UM Medical School’s Cardioprotection Research lab. Every Saturday in the fall you can find me in the Big House or in front of the TV cheering for the Michigan Wolverines (American) football team, GO BLUE!!

Is your work place supportive of your Aussie Footy passion?

My lab director is very supportive of my participation in footy and enjoys my post-match stories, however, I was not always so lucky. When I lived and worked in D.C. I often had to miss practice out on the National Mall to work late.

Is there someone Stateside that you would like to say hello to?

I would love to give a shout out to Amy and Matt Bishop in Sacramento, CA for their tireless effort and dedication to the sport. US Footy is better for their involvement and they are great ambassadors for their country. Also, a big hello to my family and Paul!

How long have you played footy?

2.5 years

Do you play other sports?

In college I played club field hockey for the University of Virginia, and now I’m part of the University of Michigan Club Field Hockey team. I also play lacrosse, beach volleyball, softball, and swim when I have the opportunity.

What are you looking forward to while in Australia?

Aside from touring the country, I am looking forward to bonding with my fellow US Freedom team members in Australia. Most of these ladies are normally the competition, and being located all across the country we have not had much opportunity to get to know one another. Developing these friendships can only work to strengthen and grow our young sport in the US.

Who is your favorite Aussie Footy Player in the AFL?

I don’t want to play favorites, but seeing AFL games will be a welcome change.

How did you get your nickname?

My nickname, “Hels,” comes from my first year DC Lady Eagles teammates, more specifically Amy Bishop and Lisa Chou, who decided my five letter first name was just too long.