Cardiff back out of the blue

‘Newest Team in Town’ introduces some of the upcoming Australian Football clubs who have recently joined their respective league’s around Europe.

Reporter for AFL Europe, James Brosnan, recently spoke to club president of the Cardiff Double Blues, Rhys Silver, on the clubs revival.

After six years in recess, the Cardiff Double Blues have returned to the Welsh Australian Rules Football League (WARFL).

The Double Blues are now the second team in the Welsh capital along with the Cardiff Panthers, joining the Bristol Dockers and Chippenhan Redbacks to make up the league.

The Double Blues were an original club in the WARFL when it formed in 2007 and have been revived by former player, Rhys Silver.

“The Double Blues were my starter club when I first started playing AFL, they introduced me to it,” Silver said.

“I played for them for about six years and we slowly disbanded due to people leaving and other commitments. It got to a point where we had to close up shop and combine with the Cardiff Panthers just to be a stronger squad.”

After taking a break from the game for three years, Silver returned to the field, playing a number of seasons with the Panthers.

“I won a grand final with the Panthers and it got to a point where the league was strong enough to support another Cardiff team. So I went away from the Panthers and tried to bring back the original club I started at,” Silver said.

“We are just looking to improve AFL in Wales constantly.”

The club had a small number of training sessions prior to the COVID-19 lockdown. With the Welsh Government restrictions amongst the toughest in the UK, the Double Blues are eager to get back into some training.

“I started recruiting around December getting ready for February to start training, but with everything on lockdown we put the brakes on it for a bit but are now progressing into training in the next couple of weeks,” Silver said.

“We are working out how to keep people safe and what sort of drills we can do.”

The Double Blues had some clear goals for the season ahead prior to the lockdown. For now, the focus continues to be on recruitment for when a restart is approved.

“Originally the goal was to introduce a whole new team of players to the sport, there is a huge potential in Wales for the rugby and football players who come in and enjoy the sport,” Silver said.

“I wanted us to get to a stage where we were competitive this season, and hopefully next year be competing for the season title.

“Now it’s all about getting the recruitment back up which has been going really well since we have started the uni teams.

“We are looking to compete in a tournament or two in the winter or compete with any team who wants a practice match and then hopefully next year we will be back up and running properly.”

The Double Blues pictured in 2014.

The Double Blues pictured in 2014.

The Double Blues have connected with a rugby club in Cardiff, which has helped drive interest along with social media, and flyers scattered around Cardiff.

At this stage, Silver is the only Double Blue who played for the club before it disbanded, but he has been in touch with some of his old teammates.

“It’s sort of come full circle that we can bring back the original club, it will be great to make it happen,” he said.

To learn more the Cardiff Double Blues, find them on Facebook.

To find a club near you, check out our Find Your Club page.

James Brosnan – AFL Europe