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Their season started with rookie try outs, an intense camp and a friendly match against Kingston. They train tirelessly on Thursdays and Sundays, with the first hour of each session being in a classroom where they evaluate and discuss games and tactics before moving out onto the field to put those ideas into practice. The large number of coaches in the club mean that members are trained effectively in their disciplines and there is a clear structure set in place.
One of these coaches is alumni Jordan Metcalf, who won MVP last season for the London Warriors. His knowledge of the club and individual players, means he has a huge sense of connection and dedication, which translates onto the players. He coaches alongside Warriors coach Chris Herbert.
The club started off their season with a bang, winning their opening fixture 12-6 at home against Sussex, who were fierce opposition. The Eastfields viewing area contained a lively and consistent crowd throughout the fixture, providing support to the energetic match-day squad and plethora of coaches.
Olan Moonwhite, Sam Hyde, Josh Johns and Jack Henley were the MVP’s for the game after performing excellently. It was the first American Football fixture I had watched at the University, and I was interested to see how the atmosphere and speed of play differed to that of the professional American football matches you see on TV.
I was incredibly impressed with the atmosphere created by the players and coaches during a fixture. The unity of the players, the intense nature of the coaches, the dedication to success and the emphatic celebrations (both on and off the field) were very apparent and made the game a joy to spectate.
The club then turned their attention to the next fixture, where they faced a strong KCL Regents team who had one win and one loss in their opening two fixtures.
Eddie Kelsey, the club Secretary, said the following about the game: “Our game against KCL this weekend could very well prove to be the league decider even at this early stage of the season.”
This was to be a pivotal game, even so early on in the year. Watching the game this Sunday gone, it seemed the players were, too, aware of this fact. The usual intense and determined atmosphere was apparent, however. you could sense the nerves from the players and coaches. A fantastic turnout from friends and family cheered the Bears on as they fought to gain control against a frustrating opposition. Unfortunately, two very well timed interceptions from the opponents, which led to two touchdowns, hindered the chances of a win. Despite a strong collective effort from the Bears, it was not to be on this day and KCL left with a 14-2 victory.
The hopes for the season are incredibly high and there is plenty of time for the team to bounce back from this result. They look to their next fixture early in second term and I am extremely excited to be in attendance once more. I would certainly advise you to go down and at least watch a quarter of an American football fixture on a Sunday, so that you can appreciate the amazing ethos of the team and support the Bears on the side of Eastfields.
I have been extremely impressed by the players, coaches and committee of American Football so far this year and look forward to following their progression both on and off the field of play.
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