Meet the Steelheads: Portland’s Aussie Rules Football Team
The Portland Steelheads are an Australian Rules Football team located right here in the Portland Metro area. The Steelheads were founded in 2003 when a few Aussies and some American footy enthusiasts met up to share their passion for the sport. The club has grown steadily each year since its foundation. In 2010 the Steelheads sent their first full team to their first national tournament, and in 2012 the Steelheads had won their first trophy at the Golden Gate Invitational in San Francisco.
The most recent additions to the Portland Steelhead club were to introduce their first women team in 2014 and sending their first member, Terence Brasch, to Australia to play footy here at the end of this month. You can read more about his adventure here.
Currently the club runs a local metro league called the Portland Australian Football League (PAFL) at Clinton City Park. Members of the Portland club are split up into four separate teams; the Cascades, Brewers, Loggers, and the Ospreys. New players are drafted onto a team led by a veteran player from the club. Going along with the club’s mission, this league is focused on teaching new players the skills, rules, and building passion for this amazingly athletic game of Aussie Rules Football.
Each year the PAFL teams come together to form the Portland Steelheads to play in full 18v18 matches. The Steelheads host a large tournament called the Stumptown Throwdown here in Portland each summer. The rest of the summer the Steelheads travel much of the west coast to play in other tournaments hosted by teams in the United States Australian Football League (USAFL), but the team is always looking forward to their matches against their natural rivals the Seattle Grizzlies.
The Portland Steelheads are a nationally well-respected team, led by Martin Coventry and the 2014 Paul O’Keefe Administrators Award winner Andrew Daniel. They look forward to building on a tradition of winning, friendship, and a common love for Australian Rules Football.