IFAF World Championship: Australia & United States Celebrate July 4th Together

The Australian and United States squads have united for a combined training session at the University of Akron on Saturday.

Australia Chief De Mission Elissa Manera organised the scrimmage as part of a tour day for the squad falling on the 4th of July holiday in America, with a visit to the Pro Football Hall of Fame coming in the afternoon.

Australia - Aus, US joint training2

Todd Bell, CDM for the American squad, was incredibly happy with how the session went, citing the two teams’ unity and togetherness as a major factor for its success.

Bell following practice,

“Thought it was a lot of fun. We did something like this with Sweden before the junior tournament in 2009; it was probably the most enjoyable pre-tournament practice we’ve had. This was the same thing.”

“It’s great to see two countries mingling like this… For two teams who don’t see each other much, it’s neat to see how quick these guys pull together.”

The teams conducted what was a normal session with double the players; individual drills, full unit practices and walkthroughs as well as plenty of humorous challenges.

Australia - Aus, US joint training

However, with the quality of the American squad, it was a real eye-opening experience for the Australians as they witnessed high-level skill and execution first hand. According to the player’s accounts of the session, they loved the challenge.

USA Head Coach Dan Hawkins was pleased with the session in general, and was generous in his opinion of the Australian players. Hawkins said.

“(There’s) some really good players, really good attitude; a lot of really good athletes just learning how to practice fast. It’s just the speed of how you practice and run around… I’m sure if we went over there and played footy, we wouldn’t be quite up to scratch.”

Normal practice resumes Sunday morning following a night off to observe the holiday.

Photos: Elissa Manera

Chris is an Australian gridiron journalist who has just started covering the sport at local, state and international levels within his home country. He's passionate about the growth of the sport in Australia as well as around the world.