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The Saint John Bulldogs practice every Wednesday night. Image: Submitted/Steve Weaver Crawford

First Australian rules football team in N.B.

By Brad Perry Aug 28, 2023 | 1:16 PM

New Brunswick has its first Australian rules football team and is looking to expand.

Steve Weaver Crawford is the founder of the Saint John Bulldogs team.

Originally from Australia, Weaver Crawford said he got the itch to play the game again last year.

“I looked up all over social media and found the Halifax team and decided to just go and join in with them for a game last summer,” said Weaver Crawford.

“I loved it so much that I basically came home saying that I needed to get something set up closer to home.”

Weaver Crawford said the interest level in the sport is really high once people give it a try.

While it has some resemblance to American football, Australian football is very different in a lot of ways.

“It’s played on a big circular field, there’s 18 players per side on the field, there’s no offside so anyone can run anywhere, the ball is able to be passed around in any direction,” said Weaver Crawford.

The Bulldogs are in a building phase at this point and train once a week on Wednesday nights.

Weaver Crawford said their main focus is growing a consistent base of players and getting them familiar with the game.

“I think next summer, in 2024, we should be able to have some sort of friendly scrimmage games with the Halifax and Sydney teams. Hopefully, we can get a round-robin tournament where everybody plays everybody and maybe even host one here in Saint John or in New Brunswick,” he said.

The Bulldogs practice at 6 p.m. every Wednesday at the Millidgeville North Field #3 in Saint John. Newcomers of all genders and skill levels are welcome to attend.

“Everybody loves it, to be honest. Everybody who I’ve had out to training is really keen on learning more.”


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