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Milwaukee Bombers arrow News arrow Club News arrow Overseas Move Pays Dividends
Overseas Move Pays Dividends
The decision by former West Perth player Brett Cousins to move to the U.S.A. to play Australian Rules has proved a winner, with Cousins leading the Milwaukee Bombers to their inaugural Mid-American Australian Football League (MAAFL) title on Sunday. (Milwaukee, WI) - The decision by former West Perth player Brett Cousins to move to the U.S.A. to play Australian Rules has proved a winner, with Cousins leading the Milwaukee Bombers to their inaugural Mid-American Australian Football League (MAAFL) title on Sunday. The Bombers are undefeated after five rounds and with a solitary game remaining, cannot be displaced from top spot on the ladder.

The 29 year-old Cousins was approached by long-time Falcons’ sponsor and supporter Tony Fairhead about the move earlier this year. “In late 2005, I met Rob Parry, a great Subiaco supporter in Fremantle through a mutual business acquaintance. He was involved with Aussie Rules in the USA with the Milwaukee Bombers and they were looking to get a high quality footy person, a good bloke and good player, over for a season.”

Fairhead cleared the idea with Falcons CEO Ken Torrance, and after constant talks with Bombers officials over next few months, they set up a sister club arrangement between the Bombers and the Falcons. The deal involved Cousins, a 114-game WAFL veteran, moving to Milwaukee to help with coaching the team, as well as helping the American players understand the culture and history of Australian Rules. Aside from assisting Bombers coach Colin Langley at training and on match-days, Cousins has also taken over the coaching role of the Milwaukee women’s team.

The partnership between the Falcons and the Bombers has started on a promising note and Cousins feels there is potential for an American player to make the step up to WAFL level in the near future. “There are a lot of potentially good footballers here, in Milwaukee especially. The hardest part is exposing Australian Rules footy to these kids while they young so they can learn the skills and game from a younger age.” With the skills component of our modern game becoming more important every year, Cousins sees this as the only potential downfall of the American players. “The good players here are still hard at the ball and aren't afraid of going in and getting it, but lack in footy skills and smarts when they get it.”

Aside from Cousins relocating for this season, the Bombers will return the favour, with Milwaukee brothers James and Jared Brunmeier on track to start pre-season training with the Falcons in November this year. At this stage of the MAAFL season, James, 21, leads the Most Valuable Player award for the league, with Jared, 23, in third, just behind Cousins. James Brunmeier is a tall, mobile centre half-forward, who Cousins says has great hands and a fantastic work-rate, while Jared is a winger/half-forward that is very athletic and has good endurance. According to Jared Brunmeier, the opportunity to play Australian Rules in Australia is too good for he and his younger brother to pass up. “We are incredibly excited about the opportunity to play footy in Australia, especially for a club with as much tradition as West Perth.” While under no illusions as to the mammoth task ahead of them, he also hopes the talents of the visitors will pleasantly surprise his Australian peers and supporters. 
 

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