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USA Vs. Cairns Women’s AFL A Player's Perspective

Game 2 was like taking our first couple of steps. We played an even tougher team than the Sydney Shamrocks, called the Cairns Bombers, but after some adjustments by the coaches and some post-game/pre-game pep talks, we certainly began to capitalize on our strengths and exploit the weaknesses of our Aussie counterparts.

I must give our coaches credit because they have done an excellent job in helping many players to reach their greatest potential. They are honest about what our shortcomings are as a team, but they have also helped us to realize our gifts and use them to the best advantage possible on the field. Considering that our most experienced players have played no more than 18 games over a span of five years, it is a spectacular feat that we were able to hold the Cairns Bombers –who average anywhere from 20 to 40 games a year-- to a 28-11 win.

The girl that I personally guarded was about a half a foot taller than me, and with 8 years of experience [which I calculate to be roughly 320 games for her alone]. While I hate to lose, I’m proud of the fact that we were able to give a good run to a clearly more-experienced team. We’re supposed to be playing “developmental sides” as we are a developmental side. However, I’d bet my next paycheck that in an effort to avoid embarrassment on one’s own turf, we’ll find ourselves playing that last two game s against more experienced sides….especially in Melbourne where Footy thrives the most. That’s okay by me because I’m not here to scratch my own back. I’m here to learn as much as I can about Footy. If that means taking some bruises and harder hits along the way, so be it. Who said that learning to crawl and then run was easy?!?

Stats for the aficionados: Score- USA 1 5 11 Cairns 3 11 29 Goals- Kathryn Hogg Behinds- Tina Arend, Rushed, Denise Lafaver, Kelli Modica, & Judith Stein (1) Bests- Jenny Sarbacker, Andrea Casillas, Denise Lafaver, Denielle Beilfuss, Nikki- Nicole Peoples

Sincerely,

Nikki nnpeoples97@hotmail.com