The Atlanta Kookaburras kicked off their 2019 season with a solid home game win against long time rivals the North Carolina Tigers, taking the honors by 62 points. Playing a full scale game for the first time at NH Scott Park in Decatur, the Kookaburras hit the scoreboard early and never looked back.
With a mixture of past players returning and some new recruits the Kookaburras lead at every change and broke up the game in the third term with a 6 goals to 1 quarter. New players Seth Stokes & Tanguy Peres combined well with the returning George Huntzicker in the center and Chase Trujillo who was playing his first game back in two years.
Up forward Asst Coach Linley Laverdure helped himself to 4 goals from as many shots and was well supported by Tom Gultom and Chase Trujillo with 2 and 3 goals respectively. Holding steady in the backline were Club Captain Ryan Downey and his Vice Captain again Braden Medders who used their experience to thwart many NC Tigers attacks. The visiting team put up a valiant effort and kept the Kookaburras honest at every chance however fell short on the day.
The Kookaburras next game is their first trip up the road NW to Rome GA on May 11th to take on the Redbacks. A team they helped start last year and got beat twice for the effort, so some redemption we are sure is on the cards.
Atlanta 15 goals.10 behind. 100 points.
NC Tigers 5 goals 8 behinds 38 points
Goalkickers: Laverdure 4, Trujillo 3, Gultom 2, Huntzicker 2, Peres 2, Johnson & Ridenhour 1 each.
Best Players: Downey, Peres, Trujillo, Huntzicker, Medders, Stokes.
The Atlanta Kookaburras are very pleased to announce Linley Laverdure as the appointed 2019 Kookaburras Women's Head Coach with Wayne Kraska set to again take on the men's team coaching role this year.
Linley Laverdure who came to the USA on a college soccer scholarship has since settled into life in Atlanta and has been a regular on all parts of the field for the Kookaburras for several years. His accuracy and long kicking has made him a vital cog in the Kookaburras on field performances and the club wishes him well in the challenging role of heading up the resurgence of Women's Aussie Rules Football in Atlanta. Laverdure will also be the direct assistant coach to Kraska on the men's team as will Kraska be for Laverdure's women Kookaburras.
So yes, Wayne Kraska returns again as head coach of the men's team, with 17 years experience alone in USAFL games and over 450 games of playing and coaching in Australia and the USA, the club is in good hands again.
In addition to these appointments the club wishes to also announce the appointments of Jim Batten & Braden Medders as women's team skills and development assistants, for 2019 season. We welcome Jim & Braden's efforts and experience in ensuring the women's team is well prepared for their first games in Kookas colors in 9 years.
Practice for both teams starts this week March 16th at NH Scott Park 9.15am. Also midweek training sessions in Midtown and the Alpharetta/Cumming areas will begin the week after.
The 2019 Kookaburras will play the Ohio Valley River Rats for the first time in a home and away series. Also on the 2019 schedule is a game versus our old rivals the North Carolina Tigers to kick off the season and a new kid on the block Savannah. The Kookaburras will travel to Savannah late June with men's and women's teams in their plans to expand the teams in Georgia. With games v Rome GA like in 2018, the Kookaburras schedule shows shorter travel distances and an emphasis on regional development.
Exciting news as well added to that is the Women Kookaburras are back in 2019. The Kookaburras women's team last played as a group in 2010 at the USAFL Nationals joined up with Sacramento, in what was the first Nationals appearance of the Sacramento Suns Women's team. The early Women's Kookaburras were 3 time National Champions and are looking to get back to that standard in as short a time as possible.
The Kookaburras and it's new women's team for 2019, are excited to help the fantastic growth of women's footy in the USA and around Georgia in 2019. The Kookaburras men's team look to continue their journey back to Division 1 of the USAFL.