The Ottawa Swans men’s and women’s Australian Football teams showcased their skills and determination in a thrilling set of matches held on July 8 at the Manotick Polo Grounds. The men’s team emerged victorious against the Grand River Gargoyles in the Canada Day Cup, while the women’s team secured their second win of the season against the Quebec Saints in a 16-a-side exhibition.
In the Canada Day Cup clash, the Ottawa Swans men’s team put on an impressive performance, defeating the Grand River Gargoyles with a final score of 9.9 (63) to 5.2 (32). Christopher Savov, who received the Men’s Players’ Player of the Match recognition for his three-goal performance, shared his thoughts on the game.
“The game was truly a hard-fought battle. We faced some intense challenges, including the scorching sun and high humidity, which added an extra layer of difficulty to the match. It definitely tested our endurance and made the game even more memorable,” said Savov.
Savov also emphasized the significance of participating in the historic Canada Day Cup and how it brought the team together.
“Participating in the historic Canada Day Cup brought us together as a team to celebrate two real Canadian clubs. Additionally, the match coincided with Jacob’s (Latimer) 150th milestone, which further fueled our team spirit. Receiving the Players’ Player of the Match recognition was truly humbling. I’m proud of my performance and the contributions I made to the team’s success,” he added.
Women Beat Quebec Saints
On the women’s side, the Ottawa Swans secured their second win of the season in a 16-a-side exhibition against the Quebec Saints, with a final score of 3.2 (20) to 2.3 (15). While the Quebec Saints and Ottawa Swans were headlining the exhibition, players from Toronto and Hamilton also participated in the exhibition on both teams. Yaser Abou Elenein, the Club President and women’s team coach, expressed his satisfaction with the team’s performance.
“The game really showcased the quality of football in Ontario and Quebec and that footy has a very bright future if things continue this way. All the players enjoyed the extra space with the proper size field and having a full side.” said Abou Elenein.
Nancy Lee, who was named the Women’s Players’ Player of the Match, reflected on her performance.
“I had a great experience playing in the exhibition match. I am still new to the sport, but I performed better than I expected. I was better at defense, specifically tackling and hustling to take possession,” said Lee. She also acknowledged areas for improvement, stating that she could work on her kicks and marking the ball.
Lee highlighted the lessons she learned from the game and her plans to implement them into the team’s future matches.
“I think I learned a bit about where to place myself to better compete. I will further improve this to give the rest of the team more chances to score points.”
Looking ahead, Lee expressed her enthusiasm for more exhibition matches during the season.
“I found this experience very positive and would want to practice more throughout the season, as I feel the Quebec team is on par with our team’s expertise and experience,” she said.
Coach Abou Elenein echoed Lee’s sentiment, emphasizing the importance of continuous improvement. “We will continue working on pressuring the opposition as well as contested footy. The constant tackling pressure from our side meant the opposition never felt comfortable to hold the ball for too long and ended up kicking the ball directly to our backline where Charlotte and Kyla had a better time reading it,” he concluded.
The Ottawa Swans’ recent victories have injected a wave of confidence and motivation into both the men’s and women’s teams. With their determination and the lessons learned from these matches, the Swans are poised to make a significant impact as the season progresses.
The Ottawa Swans battled the Grand River Gargoyles at the Manotick Polo Grounds in a Canada Day Cup match July 8. Roman Romanovich photo