North against West as the felines go head-to-head on ladies day
It doesn’t get a whole lot bigger than Saturday’s match-up between two AFL London powerhouses, as North meets West in the match of the round at Dukes Meadow in Chiswick.
The West London Wildcats will be out to regain top-spot from their rivals in Wandsworth after the Demons took pole position from them with a strong win against the Wimbledon Hawks last Saturday, but the third-placed North London Lions will be out to upset the European Champions and solidify their own finals position.
The Wildcats have been beaten just once in 2018 and look on top of their game coming into the match after accounting for the London Swans in brutal fashion at their last outing, with club President Chad Sellenger expecting a well natured but physical contest.
“Against the Lions, it is always a physical contest, and while we are happy to enjoy plenty of beers together off the field there are plenty of players from both sides with white line fever, so the aggression and banter always goes up a level,” Sellenger said.
“Our priority is obviously to keep winning and securing a top 2 spot [across all teams] and we will look to build some consistency with our performances and fine tune our fitness levels [heading into finals],”
“With the teams being so evenly matched up the top ladder positioning almost becomes irrelevant as on the day anyone could turn it on.”
The day will double as ‘Ladies Day’ for the Wildcats, who are another of the London clubs who are throwing significant support behind worthy causes in season 2018 as they look to raise money for Breast Cancer Care.
Sellenger says the club look forward to putting on a show and are hoping to double last year’s tally of £1,000, saying that any contributions to the cause from the AFL Europe community will be “very much appreciated.”
“It’s a big day for us with our annual Ladies and Past Players Day coming together this year where both get to drink plenty of free drinks thanks to our good friends at Topdeck, and we are also celebrating our 10-year sponsorship with Vibe Teaching.
“We have plenty of entertainment booked in for afterwards as we draw our Reverse Raffle with a £300 cash prize up for grabs so make sure you keep an eye out for a ticket.
The increased donation drive coincides with a big transformation for women’s football at the Wildcats in the past year, with women’s coach Ben Beaston describing the exceptional levels of growth in women at the club.
“The entrance of a premiership team to complement our conference team and has seen 65 girls playing a game for the club this year, and while it would have been easy for the club to go another year with just a conference team, we just couldn’t turn down 15 or 20 girls for a game of footy each week,” Beaston said.
“It’s been a challenge in the first-year fielding two teams but a challenge which has come with great rewards for the club both on and off the field, and this Saturday we have for the first time this season two full squads of 24 girls in prems and 24 in conference which means 48 girls playing the great game of footy on ladies day for the West London Wildcats! It doesn’t get much better than that.”
Riley Brettell – AFL Europe