The Inner West Courier

By Craig Vaughan

There will be hot dogs and a reggae band on the hallowed turf of Sydney University this Sunday (August 17) when the University Lions take on the Central Spears for the National American football Club Championship.

The undefeated Lions will be chasing back-to-back NCC wins on University Square, taking on a Canberra team that has gone through the ACT season without a loss.

Long-time Lions coach, Andrew Ogborne, said the teams are the top two out of 56 Amercian Football teams that play in state-based competitions across the country.

“We won the inaugural Champsionship Game last year, beating the Gold Coast Stingrays,” Ogborne said.

“But this year we are up against a much larger side, so we will have to play quicker and smarter.”

Ogborne started as a player in 1984, the year the University first formed an American Football club, and has been coaching for ten years.

The Lions are the only team to have competed in every season of the Gridiron NSW competition. They have played in 24 championship games in 30 years and won 15 NSW titles — the most by any club.

“The sport is pretty low key at the moment but it is growing all the time,” said Ogborne.

“Our team only has one expat American, but the rest are all locals and most of the other teams around the country are pretty similar,” he said.

Ogborne said the championship game is supported by the University’s United States Studies Centre and will be a celebration of gridiron and American culture.

“We are going to have hot dogs and other food, a reggae band and flag football demonstrations,” he said.

“It will be a real family event.”

Gates will open at noon for a 2pm kick-off. There will be entertainment and food for families, including live music from reggae band, Freida’s Boss.

This article was originally published in the Inner West Courier