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Milwaukee Bombers arrow News arrow Club News arrow 1999 End of Year Report
1999 End of Year Report
This is the End of Year Report for the 1999 season.


Well the 1999 season has come to a close for the Milwaukee Bombers. The year was even better than 1998 with 8 games being played against various opponents and another Nationals appearance to end the year. This year saw our numbers rise to a credible 20 players although getting more than 12 to show up for any given game proved to be the challenge.


Below is a collection of our match reports, special events, and the season summary.



Friday April 30, 1999


Early in the Bombers season Paul Roos paid a visit to Bombers training to work through the basics with the team. On what was a great night the fundamental skills of kicking and handballing were taught as was some basic strategy of the game. Paul Roos did a great job with the team and we thoroughly appreciated his time and help. As well as the training Paul proved to be a really "good bloke" joining the team for a drink and travelling to Chicago on the following day for our first game. Again thanks to Paul Roos.

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Milwaukee vs. Chicago

Naperville, Chicago - May 1, 1999


Well the new footy season has finally begun, and after a very short pre-season for most (no Ansett Cup matches here). On a glorious late Saturday afternoon, and at the new (for Aussie Rules) venue in Naperville Illinois, the Chicago Swans and your mighty Milwaukee Bombers came together for the "Clash of the Titans".


Unfortunately for us the final scores didn't really reflect the great performance put up by the Bombers. We went down 8 goals 20 behinds (68) to 8 goals 6 behinds (54).


We held a special training run on the Friday before the game and were very privileged to have Paul Roos, ex Sydney Swans & Fitzroy and now the AFL's official USA coach, in attendance and trying very hard to teach some old dogs a few new tricks. Affectionately known as Roosey, Paul spoke to us about basic tactics and to our local US players, he gave a few valuable pointers on the skills of the game. He was then asked to give Plugger a few extra pointers in a special "one on one" coaching session as it became apparent that the skill level in Broken Hill is not quite up to our expected standard.


The coaching certainly helped and we nearly pulled out a surprise first up victory over our local rivals from down the asphalt highway. Although Milwaukee was very undermanned for this first outing, we were bolstered with players from Kansas City (Mark, Andy and Dave), Detroit (Neale), Cincinnati (Ruben, Paul and Mark) and Chicago (Dave and Glen). Thanks to these guys for making such a dedicated effort to get to the game. And finally, congrats to Chicago Swans for the great day they organised. Both the venue and the organisation were top class. It looks like Aussie Rules has a real chance of securing a foothold in the Mid West. - Rob Parry (Coach)



Milwaukee - 8 Goals (6 pts) / 6 Behinds (1 pt) 54

Chicago - 8 Goals (6 pts) / 20 Behinds (1 pt) 68





Milwaukee vs. Chicago

Madison, WI - May 22, 1999


Our first game in Madison was an enormous success with 14 Milwaukee Bombers turning out against the Chicago Swans. While we will not report on the first quarter (it saw us behind 60-0 as we acquainted ourselves with our new players) the last three quarters of the match saw the Bombers settle to prove a handful for the more experienced Swans. A fantastic turn out by our Madison based players, many who were making their debut meant that we were able to put a full team of our own players on the field.


The new players combined with old to match Chicago in the third and fourth quarters although the deficit was a little large to overcome. All in all there were plenty of encouraging signs for the Bombers as we look forward to the next match in Milwaukee on June 12th. Great games from Gary Hill and Mike Shedivy as well as solid efforts from the new "Mad Squad" (Madison) of Greg, Ric, Chris, Phil, Brian & Nick and the usual honest effort from Dave, John, Paul, Rick & Dale. Also on debut for the Bombers were Andy F and Dave Martinez - welcome aboard !


A big thanks to our legion of new (and regular) fans who made the trek to Rennebaum Park for the match. The ground was perfect and weather great, both of which I am sure the credit will be taken by Nick Bower and Gary Hill.



Milwaukee - 4 Goals (6 pts) / 2 Behinds (1 pt) 26

Chicago - 15 Goals (6 pts) / 22 Behinds (1 pt) 112






Milwaukee vs. Chicago

Milwaukee, WI - June 12, 1999


Finally the Bombers came home to their beloved Kletzsch Park for a game against the interstate rivals. With a little bit of help from the Swans the game saw two solid teams in action on quite a hot afternoon. Without Coach Rob Parry and Captain Gary Hill the Bombers were in much better form than their last outing in Madison. The debut of Justin Todd for the Bombers (2 goals) also added to the ranks. Unlike the first game in Madison the Bombers opened the scoring with 2 unanswered goals before the Swans settled into their rhythm closed the gap and went ahead. While the Swans lead at every break Milwaukee certainly kicked more goals than their last outing. It was great to see Ric Martinez back on the field for the Swans as they prepared for the Kansas City the following weekend. Little space should be given to the fourth quarter "cuddlefest" only to note that as the temperature rose so did the tempers. All in all another solid game with Milwaukee gradually improving game to game. The challenge is obviously to put numbers on the field as our Illinois neighbours grow increasingly strong.



Milwaukee - 8 Goals (6 pts) / 6 Behinds (1 pt) 54

Chicago - 17 Goals (6 pts) / 14 Behinds (1 pt) 116




Milwaukee vs. Cincinnati

Chicago, IL - June 26, 1999


This game was a modified or tournament game of two twenty minute halves. Cincinnati had already played against Chicago and were a little battered and bruised but they still were as competitive as always. Milwaukee certainly put on their best display of footy in the first half of this match leading a team for the first time this year by 3 points. A lapse in concentration (and maybe the excitement of leading) got to the Bombers in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Cincinnati managed to take advantage and get the lead. While the Bombers kicked a few late goals it was a little late going down by 13 points. There was some promising signs for the Bombers as we reached the halfway point of the season. Justin and Kurt while playing injured both put in 110%, Gary Hill returned with a great goal right on the half time siren, our Chicago helpers were great especially Bernie in the forward pocket. The stand out was Dave Martinez with some tenacious tackling, strong defense and an all round good game. We kicked only 1 less goal than Cincinnati and while they booted a few more behinds the score certainly shows that this one was a competitive game from start to finish. The signs are there that with each game we improve and do the basics a little better. Our next game is on the same ground against Chicago and we need to really put the pedal down for the rest of the season to make the best showing we can (and maybe score an upset win along the way).



Milwaukee - 6 Goals (6 pts) / 3 Behinds (1 pt) 39

Chicago - 7 Goals (6 pts) / 10 Behinds (1 pt) 52




Milwaukee vs. Chicago

Naperville, IL - June 26, 1999


On a day well into the 90's the Bombers went to Naperville once again for a re-match against the Swans of Chicago. There was no backing down from the incredible heat with a full game of 4 20 minute quarters on offer.  With the help of some visiting students from the University of Queensland and some new found talent care of Dave Martinez the Bombers had a squad of 17 for the match. As usual we had our first quarter "get to know your team" issues which saw us behind at quarter time by about 30 points. But from then on it was almost goal for goal as the Bombers put on a couple of fine goals in the searing heat. Certainly the most popular people at the ground were our two water girls who kept the team hydrated throughout the match.


Justin Todd was best on ground with another great game with a couple of goals, plenty of marks and great work in and around the ruck. Our visiting Queenslanders also pitched in with a couple of goals. To the guys from UQ a huge thank-you for spending the day in the Chicago sun rather than the sports bar (which is where most of us would have liked to be). The game was taped by "Wild Chicago" a PBS cable channel from the windy city so to have such a great turn out was excellent for both Chicago who are using it to promote the game and ourselves. We might even be able to use the video replay to adjust the score at a later date !


This was our smallest losing margin against the Swans this year and without the first quarter we certainly are getting closer each game. The challenge now is to be on the ball from the first whistle and keep the intensity throughout the match. The continual improvement augers well for the last 3 games of the season vs. Chicago and we need to keep our numbers up for these last 3 games.



Milwaukee - 5 Goals (6 pts) / 9 Behinds (1 pt) 39

Chicago - 13 Goals (6 pts) / 10 Behinds (1 pt) 88




Milwaukee/St. Louis vs. Chicago

Naperville, IL - August 14, 1999


A great effort by all of our guys who went down to play in a combined Milwaukee/St. Louis team. The game was much closer than our Southern rivals had expected and it was only our first quarter "get to know your team" session that held us back. The game was quite even through 3 quarters however with the combined Blues/Bombers team having a stellar third period.


The final quarter could have gone either way but the Swans still had the advantage of a weakening breeze. It was an exciting last term and Swans took early ascendancy only to see the Blues/Bombers bounce back to get within a straight kick near the finish. Unfortunately Chicago hung on for a win.



Milwaukee - 13 Goals (6 pts) / 12 Behinds (1 pt) 90

Chicago - 14 Goals (6 pts) / 17 Behinds (1 pt) 101




Milwaukee vs. Chicago

Rennebaum Park, Madison, WI - September 11, 1999


Football returned to Madison in a big way on September 11th. It was certainly a day of the "red and whites" with Ball State playing against the Wisconsin Badgers as a curtain raiser up the road. It was pleasing to see 40-50 of the 75,000 make the trek to the main event at Rennebaum Park that saw the Chicago Swans return to Madison to play a full team of Bombers.


The Bombers first quarter syndrome was well and truly in gear today with Chicago racing to an early lead after the opening goal was scored by the Bombers (if we had of called the game after 5 minutes we were the winners !). The first quarter also saw the loss of Dave Martinez with an injured shoulder and he was sorely missed in the defensive line.


The second quarter saw a much tighter Bombers outfit that held the Swans for most of the quarter and certainly made them work for the goals that they scored. A number of first timers again graced the Bombers and they started to settle well in the third period.


The ground is great for football but a lack of rain over the past month saw one of the hardest surfaces you can get. Maybe that was the reason for the weary legs, or maybe we are just that out of condition that the slightest excuse will be taken ! With one game to go the Bombers are yet to register a win - but boy are we having fun !



Milwaukee - 4 Goals (6 pts) / 5 Behinds (1 pt) 29

Chicago - 22 Goals (6 pts) / 10 Behinds (1 pt) 142






Milwaukee vs. Chicago

Nicolet High School, Milwaukee, WI


This game was our first chance to play the modified game of AFL 11's. Played on an American football field all AFL rules applied except for the fact that there was no behinds and no bounce downs. The game was seen as a success by both Chicago and Milwaukee who agreed that it was a great to hone the skills of the game, especially hand passes, leads and short kicks.


The game also provided the closest match of the year between Chicago and Milwaukee with only 7 points dividing the teams at full time. After the first quarter Milwaukee led by a single point before falling behind for the next 2 quarters. The Bombers rallied to lead with 5 minutes to go but the Swans came home with a wet sail kicking two late goals to win the match. The crowd was one of the best we have had this year and a close match provided plenty to cheer about.


The defense of Paul O, Chris A, Bill O and Dave Mead provided the catalyst for some great scoring by Geoff, Jason (on debut had an awesome game) and Dave Martinez (playing with a broken collar bone !) Great efforts too from Rick L, Stuart S and the always reliable Gary Hill.


This was a game that showed the skill and athleticism similar to that watched on Friday night as North Melbourne beat Carlton in the "real thing". Obviously it was disappointing to finish the regular season "so near yet so far away" from a win but this game represented the hard work from the guys all season and put our "regulars" on the field against their Southern rivals. Only the Nationals remain for the 1999 season.



Milwaukee -  Goals 13 (6 pts) / 2 Behinds (1 pt) 80

Chicago -  Goals 14 (6 pts) / 3 Behinds (1 pt) 87







Games Played 8

Games Won  0

Games Lost   8


Points for                    48 (6) 43 (1)              411

Points against           96 (6) 103 (1)            766




Major Goolsby's Milwaukee

September 24, 1999


Major Goolsby's was the scene of our 1999 Grand Final Party. While there was nowhere near the emotion of last year (Gary's Crows didn't even get close) there was a bigger crowd and a good night was had (even though they kicked us out with 8 minutes to go !) Maybe next year we will find an establishment with a greater respect for the game.


It wasn't quite the close game we had all hoped for but it was still great to see the Grand Final live from Australia. We really do miss that "special" commentary from Bruce McEvaney. Thanks to all those who attended the night (especially those that made the trek from Racine, Beloit and even Chicago).






Cincinnati, Ohio - October 16-17, 1999


The National Tournament was held in Cincinnati, Ohio for the second year running and the Bombers sent 9 players in 1999. Milwaukee combined with Dallas to form the MD Redbacks for the competition. Playing in Division 2 the MD Redbacks played three round robin games.


GAME 1 vs. Louisville Cats


What a way to start the tournament. The Dallas/Milwaukee combination took the field for the first time and they looked like a team that had played together all season. Some fantastic passages of play and a fast start saw the Redbacks get an early lead in this match and never be caught. The backline did a fantastic job of denying the Louisville team the ball and the forward line made the most of the opportunities with some great kicking for goal. The Redbacks had a half time lead of 29 to 6 and went on with it in the second half allowing no points by Louisville in the second period. Justin Todd was Best on Ground pumping the ball consistently out of the centre square and into the waiting hands of the forward line.


Match Results

MD Redbacks           7 goals           10 behinds                 52

Louisville                    1 goal             0 behinds                   6


Goal Scorers : Mark Manoel, Khan Sharp, Dave Mead, Chris Adams (2), Chris Adams, Stuart Smith.

Best on Ground : Justin Todd (3 pts), Mark Manoel(2 pts), Stuart Smith (1 pt).



GAME 2 vs. Southern Crusaders (Tri Cities / South Carolina / Atlanta)


Maybe the Redbacks had spent themselves in the opening game or maybe we had gone to sleep in the first half but the Southern Crusaders took an early lead in this game that would prove to be just enough to get over the line. Some terrible goal umpiring ended costing us this match but we also had some lapses that contributed to the loss. The Southern Crusaders lead by 31 to 10 at half time after getting the jump in the first half. After the half time break the Redbacks found the form they had in game 1 and began to claw back the deficit pulling with 5 points by the end of the game. With 5 more scoring shots than the opposition, accuracy became the telling factor. Even late goals by Gary Hill were not enough to pull back the lead.


Match Results

MD Redbacks                       5 goals           8 behinds       38

Southern Crusaders           7 goals           1 behind          43


Goal Scorers : Gary Hill (2), Dave Mead, Mark Manoel, Chris Adams.

Best on Ground : Khan Sharpe (3 pts), John Battaglia (2 pts), Gary Hill (1 pt)



GAME 3 vs. Traveling Wallabies (Baltimore / Lehigh Valley)


This game was the "do or die" game for the Redbacks - a win seeing us advance to the final and a loss meaning it was time to go home. The rain had started to fall but the Redbacks came out of the gates firing with the best tackling of the season stunning the Division II favorites and taking an early lead. Again goal umpires appeared to control our destiny as a few calls went against us once  more. With a 20 to 1 half time lead the Redbacks looked good although it turned out that we hadn't scored quite enough points with the strong wind at our backs. The Wallabies came back with some quick goals early in the second half and the Redbacks could not clear the ball into the forward line. A sole behind was all that the Redbacks managed which was not enough to get over the Wallabies. This turned out to be another heart wrenching loss - so near, but yet so far away.


Match Results

MD Redbacks                       3 goals           3 behinds       21

Traveling Wallabies             3 goals           5 behinds       23


Goal Scorers : Gary Hill, Justin Todd, Geoff Swanton

Best on Ground : Gary Hill (3 pts), Justin Todd (2 pts), Paul O'Keeffe (1 pt).




Nationals Squad (Milwaukee Players) - Dave Mead, Justin Todd, Gary Hill, Paul O'Keeffe, Jason Becker, Chris Adams, Stuart Smith, Rick Lopponow, Dave Martinez, Rob Parry (Coach).




To the Bombers that made the journey South to Cincinnati thank-you for such a great weekend and such a competitive attitude. Our for and against record (111 - 72) shows that we really did score some points against our opposition but the losses by 2 and 5 were unfortunate and extremely tough on the side. The Dallas guys were a pleasure to play beside and the opportunity may arise in the future to join forces once again. To all involved a great effort and I'm sure everyone enjoyed the weekend.





9 Milwaukee players made the trip to Cincinnati for the third USAFL National Championships, where we combined with 8 players from Dallas to form the Division 2 team called the MD Redbacks. In a "round robin" tournament we played 3 games and came away with a 1-win 2-loss record - BUT - Oh what it could have been.  The two losses were both by less than a goal - a single straight kick, and our one win was a comprehensive victory by 46 points. We were fighting in game three for a place in the Div.2 championship playoff, and the team played an inspired first half. Unfortunately fatigue finally caught up with us, and combined with a most unfortunate goal umpiring decision we finally succumbed by 2 points to the Travelling Wallabies, the eventual Division winner.  In the end we probably finished with the next best percentage, but in footy it's not always the best team that wins through, and so we were left to ponder that great unknown -"If only!". To the guys from Dallas, thanks for joining with us. You were fantastic to have as teammates, and you played your hearts out for the  Redbacks. We certainly wish you all the best for next season in establishing your own team. You can count on your mates from Milwaukee to give you plenty of support. To Dave Mead, our illustrious organiser, a great job well done, and to all the guys who made the trip we have something to look forward to in our planning for next season.


THE 1999/2000 OFF SEASON


To be successful in 2000 the off-season presents us with an opportunity to build for next year. It should be every player's responsibility to recruit for the 2000 season. During the winter we will make sure to get together and repeat activities such as our indoor cricket days.


During early 1999 the Bombers held 3 indoor cricket afternoons at a local school in a gym, perfect for the indoor version of this great game. Apart from Paul O'Keeffe's poor dress sense the days were great and a number of East vs. West games were played. Our American members also jumped at the opportunity to have a go at our great sport and thoroughly enjoyed the game. It was a great way to keep fit and we will be sure to add it to the off season activities.



The Year 2000


The year 2000 should provide even more opportunities. The three R's are going to be vitally important (recruiting, registration and running !). Some more 11s games to get the skills up to date early in the season along with some different opposition should allow 2000 to be yet another great year. Thanks to all those who have made the bombers a success on a local level and to Jeanette Curwood (our Bombers contact at Essendon) for her help in 1999.


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