Four Brits part of winning Israel American Football

April 29, 2010
Girl power: Team SWAN finished the job at the Kraft Stadium in Jerusalem

Girl power: Team SWAN finished the job at the Kraft Stadium in Jerusalem


Four olim have helped Team SWAN clinch the Women's American Football Israel League.

Tammy Hammer and Tali Stemmer from Hendon, and Daniella Kon and Leora Fidler from Golders Green – were key players for the squad set up last summer. Little was expected from them at the beginning of the season but they lifted the league trophy in front of a capacity filled Kraft Stadium in Jerusalem.

Team SWAN, taking their name from the German Colony ladies gym that sponsors the team, defeated the 2008-9 champions, Big Blue, in a 28-0 demolition, in what was one of the most one-sided finals in recent memory.

Their improbable rise to victory is made all the more remarkable considering that at their first training session, several players had never played American Football before, and were completely unaware of the rules. But weekly training from their coach, Yarden Avihod, himself a semi-professional American footballer, enabled the team to display a cohesiveness and understanding of the game that far surpassed their opponents.

The team's four other players also have Anglo connections. The parents of Yael Freedman, the team's top scorer, originate from London. Shana Sprung the wide receiver, born in the US, moved to Israel aged five, and the New York born quarter-back, Shoshana Mendelson, and guard, Aliza Black, are married to Londoners.

Last updated: 12:15pm, April 29 2010