|Full name||Hamilton Wildcats AFC|
|Sport||Australian rules football|
|League||Ontario Australian Football League|
|Home ground||Mohawk Sports park|
|Head coach||Matt Lowry|
|Black with yellow diagonal claw marks (based on the Richmond Tigers)|
Formed in 1990, the Hamilton Wildcats are a member club of the Ontario Australian Football League (OAFL). Currently the Wildcats boast a playing membership of some 32 players who are drawn to the unique game of Australian rules football from many regions of southern Ontario, Canada. Currently, the Hamilton team continues to develop in strength both on and off the football field as the team is backed and encouraged by loyal supporters, families and sponsors.
The Hamilton Wildcats was founded by Bill Frampton who took a keen interest in Australian football and was inspired by the rapid growth of other OAFL teams throughout the GTA in the late 1980s. Following local promotion and recruiting, the Wildcats established a team of keen ground-roots players who played their OAFL inauguration match in the 1990 summer season.
In response to enormous efforts made by the club's governing body, the Wildcats grew in strength during the early 1990s and hit new peaks in the seasons of 1995 and 1996. In July 1995, the Wildcats demonstrated the game of Australian rules football in front of a crowd of 21,000 during a half-time break of a CFL match; following this, they established a deal to broadcast home games for the 1995 season on a local cable TV channel. Local support and tangible success was carried through to the 1996 season, where the energized team went on to become runner up in the league's premiership season.
Since this time, the OAFL has grown in scope and depth; in the face of increasingly tough competition from teams in the GTA, the Hamilton Wildcats has proved its mettle. Hamilton has had local players such as Charles Thompson, Reuben Sculthorp, Nick Dirago and Justin Settle selected for Canada's men's national Australian football team, Northwind (Australian rules football team), and Kendra Heil, Jodie Fluit, Candace Kwan and Danielle Comolli selected for Canada's women's national team, Northern Lights. These national teams have played in many widely attended international series at home and abroad such as the Australian Football International Cup and the 49th Parallel Cup. Furthermore, the men's team reached the OAFL final series in 2007 and the women's team has reached the OAFL grand final all 3 years of its existence 2012, 2013 and 2014.
The Wildcats continue to foster new local talents in this burgeoning game. Club members relish the opportunity to teach game skills to newcomers and are strong proponents of Canadian players of Australian rules. As a club that values community and team spirit, the Wildcats hold several annual events including the Sponsor's and Family Appreciation Day, the Jumper Presentation Night, and the Final Presentation Night, and it is an active contributor to local food-banks such as Neighbour-to-Neighbour.
The season commences every May with the Grand Final being played in September. The Wildcats home oval is Mohawk Sports Park.
The club is always looking for new recruits to join the team. Players have come from a variety of athletic backgrounds including soccer, rugby, basketball, volleyball, and track and field. The 2015 Pre-season training starts in January 2015 and rookies train for free so check out the website or the facebook or twitter pages for up-to-date information.
- Official Hamilton Wildcats website
- OAFL Website
- Official Hamilton Wildcats facebook page
- Official Hamilton Wildcats twitter
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