The newly formed Midwest Conference has finalized the schedule for its inaugural season in the American National Rugby League.
The new conference will take the shape of a developmental league in 2012 in keeping with the AMNRL’s expansion strategy.
There are three startup teams in the Midwest - Chicago Stockyarders, Iowa City Crash and Western Storm.
They will play each other twice in a home and away format during the regular season, which is due to run from late May through mid-July. The two teams with the best records at the end of the regular season will meet in the Grand Final to determine the Midwest champion.
"The Stockyarders are very excited about the 2012 AMNRL Midwest Conference as this gives us a chance to compete without the huge cost of travelling to the east coast regularly,” says Chicago’s Mike Featherstone. “The development of the Iowa City Crash and Western Storm teams is the best thing that could have happened for us."
“The Iowa City Crash are looking forward to playing in the first expanded Midwest Conference,” adds Iowa City’s Brad Fuhrmann. “The buzz created by being affiliated with the AMNRL has led to interest from around the world, and from potential players as young as 11. The green and black shall show the Midwest how to play the game!”
And similar enthusiasm from Kellen Smith of the Western Storm. “The Western Storm RLFC are looking forward to being a part of the AMNRL Midwest Conference's inaugural season and we are excited to see what the future holds for rugby league in the USA.”
2012 marks the second year of the AMNRL’s expansion strategy and locking in the Midwest’s schedule is just one of an ever increasing number of tasks for recently appointed Operations Manager Phil Shipos. He is responsible for formatting schedules for the League’s established conferences, as well as its developmental programs and regional exhibition games.
“Working diligently on what I believe will be a competitive and exciting 2012 schedule,” says Shipos.
Midwest Conference Schedule 2012:
TBC: Chicago Stockyarders @ Western Storm
June 2: Chicago Stockyarders @ Iowa City Crash
June 9: Iowa City Crash @ Western Storm
June 16: Western Storm @ Chicago Stockyarders
June 23: Iowa City Crash @ Chicago Stockyarders
June 30/July 1: Bye week for Holiday
July 7: Western Storm @ Iowa City Crash
July 14: AMNRL Midwest Grand Final @ Venue TBD