Super Bowl LII preview

It is almost the end of this year’s NFL season which must mean the Super Bowl is close. For some people it’s the chance of a lifetime, the one shot of taking home the Vince Lombardi trophy. We say for some, for the New England Patriots Super Bowl Sunday is all too familiar. We speak to Gur Samuel, AFD’s Vice Chairman to give us his thoughts about this weekend’s game.

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Cynon Valley Celts

Our February Club of the Month takes us back to Wales and to the Cynon Valley Celts. A new team, but have built up quite a player base in a short space of time and are building up to their first BAFA Flag league this Springtime.

 

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Kent Exiles aiming to take the women’s game by force

The Sapphire Series starts again this weekend and many eyes will be focused on the Premier Division and whether the all conquering Birmingham Lions will be heading towards their fifth consecutive crown.

But as the women’s game continues to grow year on year, so too does the amount of women playing and one of the heartening things to see is the rise of a new program in Kent, as the Kent Exiles Women prepare to do battle in their first official tournament. And believe me, they’re not just here for the experience or to make up the numbers!

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Wildcard round whips up some interesting contests!

The wildcard weekend on the road to this year’s Super Bowl took place this weekend and the cast of twelve has been reduced to eight. Four different games took place and while four teams start their preparation for next season, for other teams, they live for another round. We take a look at the four games and what lies ahead. continue reading…

Hertfordshire Hurricanes

As we start the New Year we have our first university team to be profiled. Hertfordshire Hurricanes are well known within Britball with a number of national titles, but if you’re weighing up your options for uni, then it might be one to consider. Former player and now one of the Special Teams Co-ordinators for the team Jordan Legge, gives us more of an insight into the Hatfield based side.  continue reading…

The Playoffs are here!

After one of the most exciting NFL seasons to date, week 17, the last week of the regular season provided us with non-stop, play-off dream making or dream crushing for far more than the eventual 12 teams whose seasons continue.

Of the teams that made it through to the playoffs in the NFC, half actually come from the same division, the NFC south, being the New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers and the Atlanta Falcons. The playoff teams in this division, where the only team that did not make the playoffs were Tampa Bay Buccaneers, all have at least 10 wins this season. It must be noted that three years prior to this impressive feat, the team with the most wins in the division had 7, losing 9 and having a negative win/loss ratio. continue reading…

Primary school thoughts on flag

We love getting feedback from schools and hearing how much the children we coach love playing American Football.

One of our primary schools in Buckinghamshire asked their Year 4 pupils to provide us with some feedback on their most recent block of coaching and it was lovely hearing how much they are learning.

Getting training!

“In American Football we played quite a few interesting games. Our coach’s name was Matt. In our warm up we had to do a lot of exercise including running backwards! Once we also had five areas and in them we did lot’s of different things. We played sharks and fish,everyone’s it, we played mini matches and we practised throwing the ball. The ball is shaped like an oval and looks a bit like a rugby ball. There are lines at each end of the ball that are like bumps sticking out a little bit from the ball. You can put your fingers between these lines and that is how you hold the ball then you can throw the ball. The way you can catch the ball is you have to make a diamond shape with your fingers and then the pointy end of the ball is caught through the diamond.”

We’re back next term to teach another year group and hope to bring another new group of enthusiastic young players!

Bournemouth Bobcats

Bournemouth has a history of American Football dating back to the 1980s, with a number of different names but always a passion for the sport. The current Bobcats were reformed in 2009 and are looking to build once more and are looking ahead with determination to 2018. Keith Barnes, the club’s General Manager, gives us an insight into the club and why you should come and join them!

 

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Bryant, Bills and Great British success – a look at 2017 with Phoebe Schecter

Ever thought you had a busy footballing life? Then spare a thought for Phoebe Schecter who this year has been a real trailblazer for women in the sport.

 

After leading the GB Women’s team to a 4th place at the World Championships, she took up a coaching intern position at the Buffalo Bills, returned to be part of the Women’s GB Flag Football squad which gained a bronze medal at this year’s European champs before heading out to a coaching role with Bryant University. And the year hasn’t even finished yet!

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MEDWAY SCHOOLS GET READY TO TOUCHDOWN!

Ten secondary schools in Medway will be making their first steps towards the NFL from January when they receive coaching and equipment boosts thanks to a grant from Sport England.

Working with AFD, local Sports Partnership Manager for schools in the Greenacre Sport Partnership Vikki Bell was keen to see the sport grow in the secondary schools as it had done through local community activities.

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FLAG FOOTBALL COMPETITION FOR PRIMARY SCHOOLS RETURNS!

Following the success of the first flag football School Games competition this year Kent Sport have confirmed it will be returning for 2018!

After hosting a full day of skills training and competition in April this year, which saw Lady Boswell’s School from Sevenoaks crowned the inaugural winners, the event will return to the University of Kent on Thursday April 26th 2017.

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AMERICAN FOOTBALL RECEIVES OVER 120K IN A YEAR!

Following the launch of AFD’s Club Support Scheme at the end of 2016, the organisation has generated over £120,000 of funding into the sport in less than twelve months.

Looking at ways to help more clubs and schools grow their organisations AFD, the UK’s leading American Football coaching company, created the Club Support Scheme to help teams get the funding boost to match their organisation’s ambitions. continue reading…

Swansea Hammerheads

Our November Club of the Month takes us to Wales and we profile our first ever Welsh team. Swansea Hammerheads may have only been going for a year but are already growing in number and ready to take on their first BAFA competition. Read more from player and head coach Paul Labbatt about the Hammerheads.

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Colts loss is a definite gain for the Vikings

Like many people who will be coming into American Football this season, they may well pick their team based on the strength of who they see performing on TV in the London series.

That’s certainly something that a young Adam Chapman would be able to relate to as it was a chance football game, not long after he started playing the sport itself, that led him towards the Vikings. continue reading…

Feeling ‘Browned’ off at the not always lovable Cleveland losers

Paul McFadyen doesn’t mince his words when it comes to talking about his favourite NFL team. And for many people reading this blog who are strong followers of the NFL, they would think nor should he.

For being a fan of the Cleveland Browns, for thirty years (no really) he has seen plenty of lows and lows and plenty of opportunities that got away. In fact that was the start of his love affair with the sport, when the Browns were in their hey-day but just weren’t able to get over the line. Literally. continue reading…

Rams charged at the Bears to become David’s first love

David Stead’s love for the LA Rams started back in the mid eighties when he made a conscious decision to not follow the herd and go with a completely different team. The Chicago Bears were the hot favourite at David’s school fielding legends of the game such as Walter Payton, Jim McMahon and William ‘The Fridge’ Perry, but David decided to be a little less fashionable.

 

“Everyone at school became a Bears fan because they were such a great team then. But I decided to go with the Rams as they had a great running back in Eric Dickerson. Typically they were shut out of the NFC Championship Game by the Bears which was disappointing but I’ve stuck with them ever since.”

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How Tom became ‘Madden’ enough to build a birdgang

How many hours have you spent on Madden and how has it affected your football choices over time? Well for Tom Donlan, who is a big Arizona Cardinals fan, it helped cement in his mind the NFL team that he was to follow.

 

“I hadn’t any particular affiliations to the Arizona Cardinals but they happened to draft the player I had in Madden 09 and that seemed as good a reason as any to follow them. It worked out well, I do love supporting the team and five years ago I set up the British Bird Gang (@BritishBirdgang) to find likeminded Cardinals fans in the UK.”

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Late night video request leads to long term sport love

Late one evening back in 1985, Chris Fellowes’ brother in law asked if he’d tape a show on Channel 4. It was the weekly NFL highlights show and very quickly a 13 year old Chris was transfixed.

 

One of the teams being profiled was the LA Rams who had played the Green Bay Packers and one particular player, Ron Brown had returned two KO’s for scores as well as a deep pass for a score. In that moment, the Californian sunshine and the blue and gold uniforms of the Rams had secured another fan.

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Iceni Spears

They may have only been formed in 2013, but the Iceni Spears from Norwich are growing in strength year on year and have both a flag and contact football team. Read more about how you can get involved with the team and get playing American Football in Norwich.

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How a splash of TV coverage turned to a Dolphins following

It will come to no surprise to football fans of a certain age that Channel 4 had a lot to do with getting people into the game. And Chris Fells is one of those people. Back in 1991, 10 year old Chris came across the televised game of Miami Dolphins against the New England Patriots. The Dolphins were victorious on that occasion with a 20-10 result and for Chris the deal was done. A Dolphins fan he would be.

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As the Saints marched into Idris’ life and never left

For many of the fans that we have featured during our London Games season, their journey into supporting their team came almost by accident. A chance late night television viewing it would seem for many, but for Idris Lawal it was a completely different set of circumstances.

Idris used to live in America and as a boy spent many years living in Louisiana and so became a Saints fan due to them being his home team. So for Idris he grew up with the game as his main sporting choice and he brought it back with him when he came to the UK. But for him the differences are still quite clear between the two countries.

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A ‘Walker’ on his high flying date at Wembley

For Ravens fan Joe Walker, the date of the 24th September is a day he’s been waiting half his life to happen. Finally he will see his beloved birds, the Baltimore Ravens play a live game of American Football and it couldn’t come soon enough.

 

He’s seen them play loads of time, he’s even influenced the way they play. Well haven’t all Britball fans who’ve played Madden? Because that for Joe, like many other people in the game fell upon a team almost by chance, by being one of the first teams they both encountered, and liked. continue reading…

No bandwagon for Matt as he finds the Wright team to support

The Jacksonville Jaguars are fast building a fan base in the UK as one of the mainstays of the London Games as the NFL rolls back into London next week. But for Matt Wright, his support of the Jags goes back much further, when a trip to America in 2003 resulted in him starting his love for the side.

 

“I’d been to the States and among my souvenirs I had a Jags hat and a Tampa Bay Jersey. After doing some research when I got back home I discovered that Tampa had won the Super Bowl the year before. I didn’t want to be a bandwagon fan so I decided to go the way of the Jags.”

 

Clearly plenty of NFL fans will be reading this now and having a little chuckle as the Jags history is certainly not one for the bandwagon fans – so in that respect Matt made a good choice! But in recent years, with the Jags clear interest in the UK market, it’s a good decision as he’s had the opportunity to watch them four times already.

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