It’s been 30 years since the South City Chiefs were formed and have since had a strong history of winning and developing players. Eleven Chiefs represented this state in the recent Australian Gridiron League. Recent campaigns have seen the Chiefs fall to eventual winners Hogs, including last year’s semi-final defeat.
Nicholas Caputo threw for 21 TDs and only 8 Interceptions, leading the best aerial assault in last season’s competition. On the end of those TDs were Andrew Benjamin and Alex Thorpe, with the former finding the endzone 9 times and accumulating 400 yards.
Whilst the passing game out-shone the rushing attack, Hamish Robbins averaged a stellar 6.4 yards on 98 carries. Sam Meyers led the league in interceptions providing six takeaways for the Chiefs defensive unit.
It’s a year of change for the Chiefs with key offensive and defensive players taking up coaching roles. QB Caputo has become the QB and Receivers coach (as well as Assistant Offensive Coordinator), whilst John Francisco is now Defensive Coordinator.
Success this term, will rely on the returning seniors providing solid leadership to a large rookie class, with half of the starters on day one expected to be rookies. As such, the Chiefs will begin to see the fruits of their investment in the junior program.
Coach Drew Akin signaled an intention to improve in the ability of his side in stopping the run after ranking 4th in the league in rush defense last year. Akin also credited the club and the new additions for “the best preseason they have had in the last 4-5 years.” The first game of the season for the Chiefs is on Saturday at 3pm when they face the Oilers, who the Chiefs split wins with last year and so provides an intriguing first test for Akin’s side.