Australian national squads announced for 2018 Trans-Tasman tournament

The Fistball Federation of Australia (FiFA) is pleased to announce the official selections for the Australian national men’s and women’s fistball teams that will be competing on January 26th-28th at the 2018 Trans-Tasman Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand. This will be the second time Australia has faced New Zealand on the international fistball scene, and the first time an international fistball tournament has been held in New Zealand.

All in all, FiFA will be sending 2 strong national squads to New Zealand to contest the Pavlova Plate. After four intensive selection trainings over two months, the men’s initial squad of 20 fisters has been trimmed back to the required 10 – a difficult process in it’s own right, and one only made harder by the strong showings of all the potential representatives. On the plus side, these strong showings across the board only reinforce the belief that FiFA will be putting forward its strongest men’s national fistball team to date. FiFA will also be putting forward a strong 8-person women’s national squad for the tournament, with a combination of experienced veterans and exciting new talent filling out the roster.

After an impressive VFL showing, the newest club on the block – the Mutt Fisters – have injected some fresh blood into the Australian national team, with captain Jason Hughes and his brother Ben both making the final squad. While their volleyball background will surely add spice to the game style of the Wombats, they also have the distinct honour of being the first players under the age of 30 to make their debut for the Australian men’s fistball team in our short but storied history. We can only assume their father Mervyn is proud as punch to have yet another Australian sporting representative in the family.

Rounding out the 10 man squad are some familiar faces. This series will mark the 4th international tournament for veterans Chris ‘Super Mario’ Milne and Lee ‘The Power Station’ Morony, the two remaining stalwarts from the 2014 Asian Championships campaign, while the respective captains of South Melbourne & Fist Club – Jason ‘Butchers’ Beelders & Bryce ‘Pope’ Griesheimer – will be making their 3rd international appearances. The 2018 Trans-Tasman campaign will also see the return of fan-favourite Carl ‘Carlossus’ Creasey for his 2nd showing, after missing from the 2017 tournament due to injury, lining up alongside returning 2017 debutants Derek ‘Fist Fillet’ Dobson, Paolo ‘Pablo’ Nicolas and Rod ‘Inanimate Carbon’ Matthews.

All in all, the club representation of the VFL Men’s Division on the squad will be coincidentally appropriate when considering the year’s results – 2017 Roger Willen Shield winners South Melbourne Green Demons will have 3 representatives, last place-getters Fistroy Lions will have just the 1, while the other 3 clubs will have 2 each.

Previous national team representative and Bay City Fisters captain Brent ‘Jellyfist’ Lehmann has assumed coaching duties, and will be looking to guide this exciting unit of fisters towards back-to-back Pavlova Plate victories. Creasey has been awarded the captaincy by his peers, while Milne will resume his role as vice-captain.

After an impressive VFL Mixed League season in which they won their final 12 sets in a row to pinch the 2017 Karl Weiss Shield, the Bay City Fisters have been rewarded with 4 national team debutants for the Kiwi battle. Returning to the fistball field after successfully doing her part for the Australian fistball breeding program, Lyndelle Dobson quickly integrated herself back into Geelong fistball scene, helping the Bay City Fisters taste ultimate success in 2017. Making her debut for Australia alongside her husband Derek in New Zealand, she will help add to the ongoing legacy of fistball partners playing for Australia.  In addition, continuing a very recent theme for national team debutants, siblings Brooke and Carley McKay will bring their considerable sporting backgrounds to this new Possum unit after strong showings for Bay City during the 2017 season. We can only assume their father Mike is proud as punch to have yet another Australian sporting representative in the family.

Experienced Possums Jessie ‘Lyonheart’ Lyon, Erin ‘Sister Fister’ Donnellon and Lindsey ‘The Fistress’ Lehmann will be returning for their 3rd national team appearance, while 2017 debutants Alex ‘Rage’ Sinclair and Clare ‘Housey’ Woodhouse have returned to lend their fighting fists to the squad. All in all, the full squad will have representatives from all 4 mixed league clubs.

Malcolm ‘Mr Fister’ Donnellon – Westside Wombats captain, former men’s national team captain and current FiFA Vice-President –  has taken the rein from since-departed coach Helene ‘Hellfist’ Göppner, and will be looking to reverse the fortunes of the 2017 Trans-Tasman and bring the trophy back to Australia. Lyon has been voted in as captain once again, ensuring that she will lead the Possums into battle for the 3rd year running. Lehmann will be her second-in-command.

Hoping to repeat the success of their arch-rivals Fist Club at the previous Trans-Tasman Club Championship, the 2017 Roger Willen Shield winners South Melbourne Green Demons have committed to contesting the club trophy on behalf of FiFA, this time in Christchurch. The Green Demons will have their consistent starting five available for selection, with 3 national team players in attendance, in addition to experienced national team player Jason ‘Richo’ Denholm and reliable swingman Michael Alesich.

FiFA will also be sending a Masters team to officially compete for the first time at the 2018 Trans-Tasman, (re)birthing the newest mascot for the mantlepiece – the Fisting Dugongs! For anyone that bought one of those Fisting Dugong t-shirts back in the day, congratulations – they’re now relevant again! As well as Denholm and Alesich, the Masters team will also feature FiFA President Rolf ‘Godfister’Petersen, FiFA Vice-President Malcolm ‘Mr Fister’ Donnellon, FiFA Treasurer Brent ‘Jellyfist’ Lehmann and FiFA Head of Security Paul ‘Micro’ Trask.

Less than 3 months until the Aussies will be taking it to the Kiwis once again, and this time on their home soil!

January 26th – 28th, 2018 – mark it in your calendars, fistball lovers.

Full details on the squads can be found below.

Fist on!

Men’s National Team

1Bryce GriesheimerAttackerFist Club12
2Lee MoronyAttackerSouth Melbourne FC15
3Rod MatthewsDefenderFist Club3
5Carl Creasey (c)AttackerBay City Fisters9
6Jason HughesAttackerMutt Fisters0
7Paolo NicolasDefenderSouth Melbourne FC3
10Derek DobsonAll-RounderBay City Fisters3
16Jason BeeldersSetter/DefenderSouth Melbourne FC12
18Ben HughesAll-RounderMutt Fisters0
20Chris Milne (vc)Setter/DefenderFistroy Lions15

Head Coach: Brent Lehmann

Fisting Wombats 2018 TTFC

Back Row (L to R): Ben Hughes, Bryce Griesheimer, Carl Creasey, Lee Morony, Jason Hughes
Front Row (L to R): Rod Matthews, Paolo Nicolas, Jason Beelders, Chris Milne, Derek Dobson

Women’s National Team

1Jessie Lyon (c)All-RounderWestside Wombats11
2Lindsey Lehmann (vc)All-RounderBay City Fisters11
3Alex SinclairSetterFistStorm3
5Lyndelle DobsonAttackerBay City Fisters0
6Clare WoodhouseDefenderDas Fist3
7Brooke McKayAttackerBay City Fisters0
9Carley McKayAttackerBay City Fisters0
10Erin DonnellonDefenderWestside Wombats11

Head Coach: Malcolm Donnellon

Fisting Possums 2018 TTFC

Pictured (L to R): Lindsey Lehmann, Erin Donnellon, Lyndelle Dobson, Jessie Lyon, Brooke McKay, Alex Sinclair, Clare Woodhouse
Absent: Carley McKay

South Melbourne Green Demons – VFL Club Champion

2Lee MoronyAttacker
7Paolo NicolasDefender
10Michael AlesichDefender
14Jason DenholmAttacker
16Jason Beelders (c)Defender

South Melbourne 2018 TTFC

Pictured (L to R): Paolo Nicolas, Lee Morony, Jason Beelders, Alfredo Sandoval, Jason Beelders, Michael Alesich.

Men’s Masters Team

6Rolf PetersenDefender
9Brent LehmannDefender
14Jason DenholmAttacker
37Paul TraskAttacker
44Michael AlesichDefender
77Malcolm DonnellonAttacker

Head Coach: Chris Milne

Fisting Dugongs 2018 TTFC

Pictured (L to R): Malcolm Donnellon, Michael Alesich, Jason Denholm, Paul Trask, Brent Lehmann
Absent: Rolf Petersen

Full scores from the 2017 tournament below:

Match 1 – 10:00, Saturday, 4th February, 2017
Trans-Tasman Women’s Fistball Championship
New Zealand def Australia 4:1 (11:5, 9:11, 11:2, 11:1, 11:6)

Match 2 – 11:30, Saturday, 4th February, 2017
Trans-Tasman Men’s Fistball Championship
Australia def New Zealand 4:1 (12:10, 11:6, 6:11, 11:7, 11:9)

Match 3 – 14:00, Saturday, 4th February, 2017
Trans-Tasman Women’s Fistball Championship
New Zealand def Australia 4:0 (11:4, 11:3, 11:3, 11:4)

Match 4 – 15:30, Saturday, 4th February, 2017
Trans-Tasman Men’s Fistball Championship
Australia def New Zealand 4:1 (11:7, 11:8, 11:9, 8:11, 11:5)

Match 5 – 11:00, Sunday, 5th February, 2017
Trans-Tasman Club’s Fistball Championship
Fist Club (AUS) def Fists of Fury (NZL) 4:1 (11:8, 7:11, 12:10, 11:8, 12:10)

Match 6 – 13:10, Sunday, 5th February, 2017
Trans-Tasman Women’s Fistball Championship
New Zealand def Australia 4:0 (11:5, 11:7, 11:6, 11:6)

Match 7 – 14:40, Sunday, 5th February, 2017
Trans-Tasman Men’s Fistball Championship
New Zealand def Australia 4:2 (11:7,13:11, 11:8, 5:11, 7:11, 11:6)

Men’s Trans-Tasman Fistball Championship: Australia won series 2-1 (4:1, 4:1, 2:4)
Women’s Trans-Tasman Fistball Championship: New Zealand won series 3-0 (4:1, 4:0, 4:0)
Continental Club Trans-Tasman Fistball Championship: Fist Club (AUS) won series 1-0 (4:1)

  • The men’s national teams of the 2017 Trans-Tasman Fistball Championships
  • The women’s national teams of the 2017 Trans-Tasman Fistball Championships
  • The men’s club teams of the 2017 Trans-Tasman Fistball Championships