Football: AFL welcomes two new teams as season opens

Since this blog is football-centric right now, some might be curious to know that club football is booming in the Maritimes in the Atlantic Football League, now with five teams, one more team than the AUS. Between 1200 and 1500 fans were at Chapman Field in Fredericton Saturday night to watch the Dalhousie Tigers defeat the UNB Red Bombers 22-19. This event marked Dal's first football game since 1976. There was lengthy above the fold coverage in today's Daily Gleaner.

At the same time some 2000 fans watched the first college game played in Charlottetown in 31 years, as the expansion Holland College Hurricanes defeated the Moncton Junior Mustangs in a 44-33 shootout played at the UPEI turf field. The Hurricanes include many players from UPEI and the Moncton team is made up of university age players from Moncton (which would include UdeM and Crandall University, formerly known at Atlantic Baptist University).

I'm sure there are some CIS squads that might dream about those kind of attendance numbers, but we'll have to see if the pent-up demand and novelty wears off. For example, UNB had several hundred more fans at their season opener last fall than this past Saturday and casual fans in Fredericton grumbled in the off season about the quality of the football, and the lack of touchdowns (which certainly changed Saturday evening).

Pelly's TD makes for successful grid debut for Tigers (Bruce Hallihan, The Daily Gleaner)
Hurricanes roar back in AFL action (Michael O'Grady of Holland College for the Charlottetown Guardian)
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