Brotherhood

20 04 2012

We play this sport because we love it.

Some eat, drink and breath it.

Every team thinks they’re the ultimate and nobody can beat what they have, what they’ve experienced together, the memories they’ve made.

The Staffordshire Stallions are no different.

Credit goes to Moses Ogundeji and Lewis Bayley.





Sit Down

12 03 2012

We’ve all faced a player,

who likes to trash talk,

just that little bit too much…

 

 

 





Richard Adiyia Interview

2 03 2012

America is the birthplace of this great sport we play and to grace any sort of pitch over there would be a dream come true. One GB Youth running back has done exactly that, but unfortunately for him, he now resides in Stoke-on-Trent.

Richard Adiyia, 18, currently plays for the Staffordshire Stallions in BUAFL; something nobody would have wished or hoped for after growing up in Philadelphia, USA.

Richard Adiyia

“I first played football when I was 8 years old in a Pee-wee league for a team called Crispin, across the pond in Philadelphia. I only played one season for them, because the year after my mum decided to move us to England”.

Richard and his family eventually settled in Leicestershire meaning football had to take a back seat for a while;

“Despite being in the UK where the recognition for the sport was not great at the time, I still wanted to carry on playing football but being told I was too young to play was hard. I decided to change my sporting path and turned to athletics”.

Thankfully athletics didn’t keep this talent from us for too long as Richard represented the Lincolnshire Bombers during the summer before joining up with the Stallions in September.

Game MVP in pre-season contest vs Crewe Railroaders

Averaging 4.7 yards per carry, Adiyia’s rookie season has personally been a successful one, even if his team has struggled in the harsh climate of the Midland Athletic Conference.

“It definitely hasn’t been the season I wanted it to be with some tough losses and wanting more yards and trips into the end zone, but I have still done well. We have one more game to go and I’m definitely looking for some big runs and the win”.

Adiyia heard about the GB Youth trials after fellow Stallions Moses Ogundeji and Julian Myles attended the senior event in Doncaster.

“With Julian and Moses going along to the senior trials, it influenced me to represent the Stallions at the junior trials. I also felt the need to prove to myself, I can do what I put mind to with some hard work and determination”.

Adiyia dominated the trials but only received confirmation of his selection recently.

“We had combine style tests such as the 40 yard dash and I posted the fastest times in my group for all 3 tests. We were assigned to our positional coaches where we did more drills and paired up with the linebackers for some contact. Finally we finished with a scrimmage, running the plays that were given to us in an earlier meeting.

Richard Adiyia versus Crewe Railroaders

I was checking my emails constantly after the trials, once they sent the email I didn’t even want to open it, I felt that nervous. When I eventually read that I was selected for the program I was elated, it felt like all the hard work and  preparation before the trials had paid off”.

Having been selected, Richard cannot wait to represent the Great Britain Youth team in Italy next season.

“Now that I have been selected I have to go to three training sessions in March, May and August. The session in August is the travelling squad selection practice, where they chose the game day team to travel to Italy to qualify for the 2013 European Junior Championships.

To get on that plane and represent the country would definitely be a once in a lifetime experience”.

FightForTheYard wishes Richard and the entire Great British Youth team the best of luck in the coming months.





The Next Billy Elliot?

28 02 2012
Worcester Royals
lineman forgets
where he is.





Lateral Fail

28 02 2012

Epic Lateral Fail from the Staffordshire Stallions 36-0 win over Worcester Royals at the weekend.

Linebacker Moses Ogundeji plucked the ball from the air on a kickoff and preceded to run down the sideline evading numerous tackles before attempting a lateral to a non-existant team mate.

The ball was recovered by the Royals, who somehow fumbled the ball and it rolled out of play.

Lateral Fail

If you don’t laugh you’ll cry!





Who Rules the MAC?

9 12 2011

‘It could not have been tougher’.

Those are the words of one offensive lineman who goes into the Christmas break on the back of three successive losses, two of whom can lay claim to being the country’s powerhouse programmes, while the third team are making waves in the Midland Athletic Conference.

The Staffordshire Stallions schedule before the festive break was not one to envy by any means. Away to the Derby Braves, Loughborough Aces and Birmingham Lions are daunting trips at any time of the year but all in the first half of the season and one after the other is some going.

Michael Gill, offensive lineman for the Stallions says, “The MAC is a very tough place to be at the moment with plenty of quality teams, it is probably the most competitive in the league”.

“With previous national champions, large universities and many players who play senior league for some of the best teams around, the rest of the conference face an uphill task to make the post season”.

Week one saw the Stallions faceoff against the Derby Braves in a night game that many predicted would be a close but high scoring encounter. Unfortunately it wasn’t close.

Derby’s offense is nothing spectacular but it is effective. They have a young American quarterback who can throw well but their main weapon is the run. They won’t blow you out of the water but they will make three to four yards at a time by running through the middle which will be enough to get the first down.

Derby Braves

The game plan results in the opposing defence staying on the field for long periods of time an exhausting themselves while their own defence can rest.

Gill is a third year veteran and rates the Braves highly, “I’ve been playing for a while now and Derby is one of the most physical teams that I have come up against. They play hard and hit hard. I think they will give the top two a run for their money”.

On paper the second away game in a matter of weeks was a step up for Staffordshire but Loughborough Aces triple option offence posed less problems than expected and although the Aces took a 17-0 lead into the half, it was a positive performance for the Stallions who were unlucky to be that much behind.

Loughborough Aces

The game plan was to stop the run to the outside and in the first half that worked resulting in two sacks and a fumble return for myself while the rest of the team also made plays, yet it wouldn’t be enough as Loughborough regrouped and came out firing ending any hope of a comeback with a touchdown on the first drive.

As with the Braves, Loughborough’s main strength is the run and they do it well. At quarterback they will need to improve a lot to make a serious challenge in the post season . . . should they get there.

With only a few days to recover from a demoralising defeat, the Stallions headed south to the home of the 2010/11 finalists, Birmingham Lions. When you’re involved in the MAC the first team on the fixture list you look out for are the Lions due to the legacy and history they are creating.

Birmingham Lions

The game as a whole was no a contest as the Lions brought their ‘A-game’ to the table and blew the Stallions out of the water with a mixture of running and passing plays.

Staffordshire Stallions tight end, Lewis Bayley complimented the Lions on their preparation, “Birmingham has a massive roster but every player seems well drilled and they execute the plays technically very well”.

After facing all three teams, the general consensus around the camp is that the Birmingham Lions have the best chance of going all the way in the play-offs. They are a big outfit with the quality to dismantle teams.

Derby is a physical unit but probably do not have the players to reach the latter stages of the play-offs. Unfortunately for them, they lost under unusual circumstances at the weekend with their game against the Nottingham Outlaws being abandoned at the half because of a serious injury to a player. That loss opens up a potential spot in the plate for teams such as the Stallions who have favourable schedule after Christmas.

Loughborough have the pedigree, but do they have enough about them this time around? My guess would be no they don’t. The clash against Derby will decide who joins Birmingham in the post season.

You can guarantee that as soon as you finish debating with your friends who will top the midlands conference, the Northampton Nemesis will go and win another game.

 

 





BUAFL Week Four

26 11 2011

Week four of the British University American Football League (BUAFL) sees some games that could shape a few team’s season. Although the season is in its early stages a victory for one team could mean the opposition faces an uphill battle to make the playoffs, something every team in the league believes they can achieve at the start of the campaign.

Here are five games that I believe will have a big impact on the league.

Nottingham Outlaws @ Birmingham Lions (Midland Athletic Conference)

The outlaws travel to the home of the Lions on the back of a drumming from another division favourite Loughborough Aces. Should they be on the end of a similar score line against one of the elite BUAFL teams then they could be looking at a very long and hard road to success this year.

With a schedule that includes matches against Derby Braves and Nottingham Trent, a loss could be too much to overcome for the Outlaws.

Birmingham Lions

Birmingham on the other hand are expected to beat Nottingham comfortably and if they were to lose, it would send shock waves through the league, but they won’t.

Prediction – Outlaws 7- 42 Lions

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Staffordshire Stallions @ Loughborough Aces (Midland Athletic Conference)

The Stallions have played one and lost one so far this season yet they have plenty of time to turn their fortunes around. Facing them is a schedule that would strike fear into most teams. A defeat away at Derby and then huge trips to Loughborough and Birmingham means they immediately start with an uphill task to reach the playoffs.

Staffordshire Stallions with Mayor of Crewe

With Loughborough and Birmingham unlikely to lose many, you would think they will have to get a result against either the Aces or Lions.

Loughborough have blasted out the blocks with two wins from two and will see the Stallions as a walkover and the rest of the conference is expecting them to win. Being a favourite is nothing new for the Aces and they should overcome a spirited Stallions outfit.

Prediction – Stallions 14 – 28 Aces

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Imperial Immortals @ Portsmouth Destroyers (Thames Valley Conference)

A matchup between two undefeated teams at the home of the reigning champions, you couldn’t script it any better.

The Immortals have overcome two decent teams and the Surrey Stingers to reach their impressive total but the Destroyers will be a very different test.

Imperials vs Surrey Stingers

Boasting their own winning record and the small matter of being the reigning champions, Portsmouth will not fear the opposition but they will have to have respect for them.

The winner will be in pole position to win the conference with only the  Southampton Stags holding any realistic chance of challenging them.

A tight encounter but you cannot ignore the pedigree of the Destroyers.

Prediction – Immortals 14 – 21 Destroyers

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Glasgow Tigers @ Stirling Clansmen (Borders Conference)

The Clansmen have yet to concede a point all season which is impressive, but scoring 166 points in three games is possibly more of a thing to talk about.

Stirling Clansmen

Beating the UWS Pyros 90 – 0 is almost unbelievable, before it happened you would ask yourself, is that even possible but Stirling pulled it off and credit to them for not stepping off the gas and putting the sword to an extremely poor UWS defence.

Glasgow have a winning record so far but have not dominated teams in the same fashion. Scoring 36 and conceding 28 in three games doesn’t sound like a playoff team but if they manage to become the first team to reach the Clansmen then they have chance of heading the conference going into the second half of the campaign.

Stirling’s defence will be too good for the Tigers and will run out comfortable winners.

Prediction – Tigers 0 – 35 Clansmen

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Bangor MudDogs @ Sheffield Sabres  (Northern Conference)

Bangor are quite likely the surprise package of the season so far. While they haven’t played any big teams to date, they are remarkably 3-0 for the season which is quite honestly astonishing considering their record last season when they failed to win a game.

A recent boost in funds and recruitment because of the rugby teams folding has given fruit to the idea that Bangor could be serious challengers in the Northern Conference.

This week they finally face a contender for the title in the Sheffield Sabres. The Sabres themselves are unbeaten so far after big wins against Huddersfield Hawks and York Centurions.

Sabres opening win vs Hawks

The Sabres schedule is fairly straight forward with the exception of their varsity encounter with Sheffield Hallam, so a win on Sunday will ease them towards the playoffs.

Prediction – MudDogs 28 – 31 Sabres