A new Australian Rules Football team will soon be hopping into action after setting up in Fife.
Kingdom Kangaroos are the first and only Aussie Rules side based in Fife, and will be playing in Scottish National League next season.
The team has grown from originally just a couple of friends with an interest in Australia’s national game to a 16-strong squad that includes players from Kirkcaldy, Burntisland and Dunfermline.
Ian McGarry, one of the team’s founding members, told the Press: “It all started off as just myself and two mates kicking balls to one another in a public park.
“Dougie Hunter, who used to play for Glasgow Sharks, placed an advert for players on Gumtree to try and set up a team in Fife because there’s no Aussie Rules team between Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
“It’s just snowballed from there and we now have 16 players training with us, and only two are Australian; the rest are Scottish.”
The Kingdom Kangaroos take their name from AFL franchise North Melbourne Kangaroos who, upon hearing of the new start-up team in Scotland, donated a set of guernseys, the name given to Aussie Rules kit, to the value of £2000.
The team is currently training every Tuesday in Rosyth, and on Thursdays at the Beveridge Park in Kirkcaldy, and they secured a victory in their first ever challenge game against the Tyne Tees Tigers in Newcastle at the weekend.
“We’re still looking for more guys to come in and try it,” Ian added. “It’s a niche sport – not the most recognisable in this country.
“It’s a combination of football, rugby and basketball and it’s really good – there’s more skill to it than people realise.
“I started playing because I wanted to try something new and get involved in the team spirit and dynamics.”
The team has successfully registered to play in the 2014 Scottish National League alongside established clubs Glasgow Sharks, Edinburgh Bloods and Aberdeen Eagles.
“This season, we’re just training to get our skills and fitness up,” Ian added.
“We’re also allowed to play for other teams this season because league rules state teams must field two Scottish players at all times.
“That won’t be a problem for us, but other teams struggle for Scottish guys so I’ve been playing for Edinburgh this season so I’m not thrown in at the deep end next year.”
More information on the Kingdom Kangaroos Aussie Rules Football Club can be found online at kingdomkangaroos.com.