Marking the official halfway point of the 2016 Thunder Road Brewing Company VFL Season, the 19th Fistivus will be hosted by the Fistroy Lions on July 2nd at a location still TBD (but will hopefully be Inner North).
Fist off will be at 10:30am; the earlier starting time designed to allow for a time gap between the tournament and the following 2nd Annual FiFA Trivia Night fundraiser for the Women’s National Fistball Team later in the evening.
Will the Bay City Fisters continue to rise like a phoenix from the ashes of the wooden spoon and take a third PNT for 2016? Their ability to field a consistent and improving side has surely been their driving force this year. Or perhaps the confidence gained from nearly claiming all the KK Medal Night awards on offer (VFL Most Improved Player, National Team MVP, National Team Best Team Man) has them punching out of their skin? The pressure is now on them to continue their hot form and increase their lead at the top of the table. Of course, if they start losing again they can just claim they’re only in it for a bit of fun anyway.
Despite mostly staying under the radar, The Fist & The Furious are sitting pretty in second place, simmering silently away and waiting patiently for the final tournament of the year to roll around so that they can win their first PNT of the year and go back-to-back on the Roger Willen Shield. Presumably. Desperately missing the absent Lee ‘The Power Station’ Morony from Fistivus XVIII, they will be hoping to bring him back into the fold for Fistivus XIX to regain some much-needed firepower at the net.
Holding onto 3rd place on the ladder, the Fistroy Lions have been able to weather a mixed season to remain in striking distance despite rarely seeming able to field a full team. While a shared PNT win with Das Fist FC in Fistivus XVII has wet their appetite for a standalone, less tainted PNT win… it is likely most of their focus in the build up with be on player recruitment and making sure there’s enough beer on the day.
Perenial powerhouse Fist Club have likely been disappointed with their start so far in 2016, but this is probably unjustified. Always wary of the next big run of Fist Club PNT victories, the competition will be hoping luck does not bounce their way anytime soon. Always beware a sleeping giant. Also, rumours are abound that Fist Club will be parading fancy new playing shirts on the day. Have they designed highly reflective uniforms to distract the opposition and give them the competitive edge on sunny days? We’ll see.
Three tournaments in, and not only have 2016 newbies FistStorm claimed 2 victories (both against their apparent arch-rivals – the Westside Wombats), but they’ve also found themselves sitting in 5th position on the ladder! Improving with each Fistivus, they will be looking to solidify their place above the struggling Wombats and perennial basement dwellers Das Fist.
Rounding out 6th and 7th positions are the two establishment clubs Das Fist FC and Westside Wombats. After claiming their first ever PNT victory (albeit, shared with the Fistroy Lions), Das Fist immedately poured cold water their hot form by both losing their superstar attacker – German Lukas Klinger – and then not fielding a team for Fistivus XVIII, dropping them below FistStorm on the ladder. On the other hand, the never-absent Wombats have had to field a mostly novice team this year, and have struggled for consistency in form. With several players on the National Women’s Fistball Team making up the Wombats roster this year, they will be looking to improve as national team training continues.
Will Sydney Fistball Club be back for Fistivus XIX? We hope so. After making their much-hyped debut at Fistivus XVIII, the ‘Boys from Bondi’ (or thereabouts) showed that fistball training in optimal beach-side conditions can reap impressive returns. Just pipped from the semi-finals on points percentage, we can only hope they’ll return to Melbourne again in July to show us what fists look like when subjected to a higher cost of living.
Also note that July 2nd is Federal Election Day, so don’t forget to get to a voting both pre-Fistivus and mark your vote for the Australian Fisters Party! This is a community service announcement.
The 2016 VFL standings, as they currently stand…