Old boys, new tricks in footy competition

This article has photo gallery Published on CPL Max Bree (author), ABIS Bonny Gassner (photographer), ABML-C Ben Marshell (photographer)

Location(s): Sydney, New South Wales

A player from HMAS Albatross (white jersey) attempts to push through the defence from HMAS Waterhen during the Grand Final at the Adelaide Cup touch football competition held at Queens Park, Sydney, NSW. (photo: ABIS Bonny Gassner)
A player from HMAS Albatross (white jersey) attempts to push through the defence from HMAS Waterhen during the Grand Final at the Adelaide Cup touch football competition held at Queens Park, Sydney, NSW.

HMAS Albatross took top spot at the recent Navy East Coast touch football championships for the second year running.
 
A field of 19 teams from different ships and establishments battled it out for the coveted Adelaide Cup at Queens Park in Sydney on 15 June.
 
Albatross
 travelled to Sydney with 'Young Guns' and 'Old Boys' teams but experience was the deciding factor according to Old Boys’ player Chief Petty Officer Aviation Technician Aircraft Raimund Winkler.
 
“A few of us have played together for the best part of 20 years and, when combined with a few others, they made up half our team,” he said.
 
“We know how to play to each other’s strengths and managed a lunch time training run leading up to the event.”
 
HMAS Kuttabul beat HMAS Choules in the runners-up final 3-1 to win the Benny Hill plate before it was on to the grand final.
 
The Old Boys from Albatross clashed with a team from HMAS Waterhen and Chief Petty Officer Winkler knew it wasn’t going to be an easy run.
 
“They had a very good team and were certainly capable of beating us as they scored first when we met during the pool games,” he said.
 
“We didn’t take them lightly as they had broken our defensive line earlier in the day. 
 
“We had to be fully prepared going into the grand final.”
 
The Waterhen team proved to be a worthy opposition, but after some continued pressure, the experienced Albatross Old Boys team managed to break Waterhen’s line to win the game win 3-0.
 
“It was always going to be a tough game with limited scoring opportunities due to the strong defensive efforts displayed by both teams,” Chief Petty Officer Winkler said.
 
“It wasn’t about speed but more experience that got us across the line. We had a couple of moves up our sleeve that we could come out with on the day.”
 
Chief Petty Officer Winkler also won the competition’s most valuable player meaning he will finish his Navy touch football career on a high as he retires from the Australian Defence Force in July.
 
“You don’t go up expecting to win, you go up hoping to win but it was certainly nice to finish on top,” he said.