Hot on the heels of the succesful Womens full kitted Silver medal campaign last month, it’s the turn of their colleagues in the Flag Europeean Championships. The tem flew out on Tuesday and after a nice settling in period and a light but smart training session, they are getting close to their opening game on Thursday morning. The team is quietly confident they can make an impact, and maybe match if not better the second place the tackle team had. Recently weve managed to speak with both the Head Coach and the team captain about what it means to be part of the Flag setup. In this update you will find the list of players that carry our hopes, as well as the schedule, and a few words from the Offesive coordinator, James Wilford.   Players The team was selected by a basis of an open trial date, at this open trial date a number of the players were put through their paces in a number of skill based stations. Finishing with a number of games. After this date 36 individuals were invited to the final round of trials. This trial involved numerous games to test the players on their ability to react and work as a team. After this trial date 15 ladies were then selected by the coaches for the Great Britain squad. We have only had opportunity to have 3 practices as a full squad before heading to Pinto.   Photo courtesy of Garry Charles Photography   Name                                                                  Squad No.             Team Louise Nicola Lee (Team/Defence Captain)          1              Warwick Wolverines Kellie Barrett                                                                2            Coventry Cougars Amelia Emily Barrett                                                  3             Coventry Cougars Tanya Paige Boyes (QB)                                            4              Sheffield Hallam Women Warriors Tendai Rosemary Mushauri Chieza                        5               Coventry Jets  Jennifer Anne Cooper                                            6                Warwick Wolverines Angelie De La Cruz (QB) (Offence Captain)           7              Solent/Icini Rebecca Hazel Haw                                                    8             Coventry Cougars April Heath                                                                  9             Gloucester Centurions Sophie Rhian Louise Jones                                      10             Coventry Cougars Jennifer Jane Macchia                                            11              Warwick Wolverines Hannah Smith                                                           12               Northampton Titans Lucille Mary Stewart                                                13              London Warrioirs Sarah Elizabeth Wakelin                                          14             Coventry Cougars Stephanie Jane Warren                                          15              University of Nottingham   Staff Staff                                                                Position     Andrew Gambrill                                           Head Coach           James Anthony Wilford                                Offensive Coordinator    Gloucester Centurions André Nicholas Phillip Clarke                     Defensive Coordinator    London Warriors Danika Louise Scargill                                  Team Manager                  Manchester Titans Naomi Helen Maycock                                Sports Therapist                Gloucester Centurions   Tournament Schedule Thursday September 17th v Spain 10am v Germany 4.30pm Friday September 18th v Israel 10am v Austria 6pm Saturday September 19th v Italy 10am v Switzerland 1pm v Denmark 6pm Playoffs dependant on final group position, and will be played on Sunday September 20th. James Wilford is Head Coach for the Gloucester Centurions Mixed Flag team and University of Gloucestershire Gladiators, he is also the Great Britain Women’s Flag teams newly appointed Offensive Coordinator, who, at present, is with the rest of the team in Pinto, Spain for IFAF’s 2015 European Flag Championships. Having helped out with BAFA’s Opal Series and Topaz events last year GB Head Coach Andrew Gambrill liked what he saw and in appointing James he can confidently ensure attacking flare is brought to his offense. “Andrew has been great at supporting me through this whole process [of readying the team] and as such we will be a unit that loves competition; we aim to play fast and aggressively, and as a result of the players working hard over the last few weeks and months the unit has progressed well.” Marrying a defense that shares the same attributes, Wilford is anticipating best efforts from his offense: “…my hopes are that we compete and perform to the best of our ability in each and every game. We face some big challenges along way, including the heat and climate and how we adapt to it, and the volume of games in such a short space of time but this will affect all participants so we just need to go out, focus on ourselves and try and do everything we can to win the Championship.”   May we take this time to wish them all the success in achieving their goals and consider the state of women’s American Football in Britain a very exciting and positive affair right now…and long may this continue.
Article by Gary Jordan Photos courtesy of Louis Lee and Garry Charles   Over the past few weeks I’ve managed to ask questions to a few people regarding the future of British Football and how it can progress. With many varied platforms of the game now and its rapid growth – in particular at University level – just how easy is it to get involved? With this in mind and knowing that Flag football is perhaps the quickest way to get introduced to the game, I was fortunate to get the chance to put a few questions to Louise Lee, an integral part of the Women’s Team GB Flag Football Team that is set to go to Spain this September in search of European Championship glory. So just how did she get involved in the game? Was it easy to pick up? How does she feel about Team GB’s chances in a couple of months? And how would she encourage someone to play the game? Read on to find out all this and more…   How long have you followed the sport and when did you become aware that you could participate? I didn't know much about American Football (if anything at all!) until my first year at Warwick University. Having been pushed towards Cheerleading by other members of my Halls of Residence, I had made good friends with many American Football players. The Super Bowl 2012 was the first game I ever saw, and I had only gone along to watch in order to see friends. Following numerous cheer practises where many American Footballers provided some additional man power, they told me it was time to return the favour. That meant training with the Wolverines; the first Women's University American Football team who were busily recruiting for more players.   How did you first get involved in playing the game? I went along to a Wolverines training session alongside three other girls from cheerleading. Having played netball, rugby and football at school, I found I got back into a team sport pretty easily. Having really enjoyed our first session, we all headed straight into town, bought football boots and committed to joining. Coach Gaydon threw us in at the deep end with a mixed tournament straight away, which meant before we knew it, we were fully fledged Rineys.   Were you apprehensive going into your first practice session? I remember walking over to the training pitch on that first (rainy) Wednesday wondering what on earth I had agreed to. I didn't know the rules for a start - so much so that the first time I caught a ball I proceeded to throw it straight on to someone else. However, as soon as the drills and the passing trees were over and we were into our first practise game, any sign of lingering apprehension had left and the adrenaline kicked in.   What was the first position you played, and did you settle in ok? I was primarily an offence player (mainly at slot) at the beginning. I could run, I could catch and there wasn't much more to think about (Coach Gaydon had already decided I should probably steer clear of throwing so my QB dreams didn't last long). Thanks to the closeness the Wolverines share with the men's club, and Coach Gaydon's expertise, I settled in immediately. It was a nice group of girls, playing a sport that put everyone at the same level. We were all there because we had chosen to be, not just because it was the only sport we had played back in secondary school.   As an individual how competitive are you and how do you transfer that into a game? Anyone who knows me will say that I am a fiercely competitive person. Perhaps when I was younger this was transferred into sport through passion, which could mean getting angry to the point of tears. However, as I've matured and learned the technicalities of the game, I use that competitive nature now to push myself into performing to the best of my abilities on each and every play of every game. My focus is no longer on what the score is or how badly I disagree with a referee/coach's decision, it is about making each decision count. I am more than happy to lose to a good team knowing that we played our tightest defence and our most accurate offence. Competitiveness to me now is about the quality of play, the communication within the team, jumping a little higher for that catch, running a little faster for that tackle.     How important do you see Flag Football for the growth of the game in the UK? Having been a member of the first University team set up for women, I can see first-hand just how important Flag Football is for the growth of the game in the UK. In the last three years it has changed from five of us in a field, occasionally playing the Coventry Cougars, to a National tournament with thirty teams around the country and a full GB set-up. Flag Football serves so many purposes. As a game, it teaches you rules and tactics. It teaches you to think through every play, to observe and judge what is going to happen, and react to it before it has even happened. It is a sport for people who want to swap to contact football, and it is a sport for people who wish to swap from contact football. Importantly, it can also be played by anyone at any age. What sort of set up can be more conducive to growing a game in the UK?   Have you played tackle football and to what level, if not would you consider it? I haven't yet tried tackle football - but not for lack of trying. I missed numerous open sessions due to 8 weeks out with a broken tooth and swollen face, and a few more after being advised not to play due to a concussion the previous week. It seems that fate has not yet allowed me to give it a go. My loyalty however will always lie with Flag Football as I love the community that has been built, but there will always be a part of me that wants to give Tackle Football a go. I just have to find an injury-free period in which to try it.   Did you expect to get picked for Team GB for the coming Championships, and describe the moment when you received the call that said you was in the squad? Team GB is something I have been involved with right back to when Coach Gambrill ran the Elite Women's Program in the hope that it would one day become Great Britain Women. This gave me a taste of the GB coaching and I knew I wanted more, but never in my wildest dreams did I think it would really become a reality. When I received the call to say I had been selected for the squad going to the European Championships, I was sitting in the lounge with my Dad. I made him pause the TV and then proceeded to spend fifteen minutes shushing him whenever he tried to ask why I was so excited. Excitement, panic, butterflies, shock, you name it. It certainly took a few days for it to sink in.     What are the teams ambitions and goals (apart from obviously winning it all) for the Championships? For me, the most important thing is that we play well as a unit, consistently across the championship. My goal would be for a team that plays well, both on and off the field. I want us to be able to celebrate every person's achievements and to pick people up when mistakes are made. A team will not succeed without respect for one another, so as a new squad that would be my first ambition. When players respect each other, they will naturally play well together, and that is when we become unbeatable. I want everyone to come away having had the best experience possible.   If you were to encourage someone who wasn't sure if this sport was right for them, how would you convince them? American Football is a team game, it only works if every single person carries out their role correctly. It is a game of tactics where whatever route you are running, or whatever zone you are covering, it is for a reason and it's crucial. I don't think there are that many other team sports whereby every player matters, at all times. In addition to this, there are so many skills needed that there is also a position that suits you. If you are fast, have quick hips and feet, if you are tall, if you can catch, or tackle, or have quick reactions and instincts, whatever skill set it is that you have, there is a position in American Football for it. That and it is the most addictive sport in the world...   Anything else you wish to add? The Flag Football community is one of the most inclusive sporting communities I have ever come across. It is packed full with people who care about each other, and about the game. The coaching is great, the support is unwavering and you meet so many fantastic friends along the way, from all over the country. The game is exciting, and with the increased interest in American Football currently in the UK, there is no better game to be getting involved in at this moment in time!    
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Article and Photos by James Brewerton   Shortly after I wrote the last article we had the first training of the Cheshire Cavaliers 6 keen players pulled on tag belts for the first time and had a great session. I took some pictures during the training and put my next plan in place. During the winter I am to be found pitch side of various hockey and rugby games in Crewe & Nantwich and many of these images are used by my local paper the Chronicle, I contacted the sports editor and wrote a short introduction to flag football and the cavaliers and attached some pictures. The following Wednesday the article ran with our contact details and we had an immediate response with a young man asking if he could attend training that evening.   Training numbers have grown each week and last session saw 13 players pulling on flag belts. Training is slowly becoming more structured as our Club Captain Matt Ambrose slowly adds more details to each week the latest was a set of basic offensive plays. The team is gaining strength with a few players who have played flag joining plus ex -contact players mixed in with total novice’s and rugby players.   This last weekend saw 6 of the Cavaliers head up to a sunny Salford to a joint training session and a friendly game with the Manchester Crows Flag Football team, the response from the flag community and the wider football community has been mostly positive with just a few not seeing the positives of bring in new blood to the game. The Crows have opened their training up to us and started what will be a long friendship between the two teams. The day was a huge success with Matt having this to say about the friendly game.   ”I think the game finished 34-26 in favour of Manchester but they were made to work for it.We picked them off twice, had four turnovers on downs scored from passes and from runs (including Sergio practically running the whole length of the field to score)All in all, a great day.”   Next up for the Cavaliers will be to arrange a training session and friendly game with the Surge Academy and beyond that we have taken up a place at The Summer Shield hosted by Nuola Custom Clothing. It was by finding this competition that the Cavaliers also found their colours, the teams kit has been designed and produced by this fine company.   So already the Cavaliers are feeling strong and secure they have an identity and goals both long and short. We even have a fantastic venue to host our home games with the Crewe & Nantwich RUFC agreeing to let us set out our pitches on their ground.   We will not be resting on our laurels each chance we get we spread the details of our training on social media platforms we will continue to try and get coverage in our local paper and as always will use the word of mouth by always making our training fun and constructive because players will always spread the word to friends and family when they are having a blast and can see a team that is going places.   So if you are keen to get a flag team started in your area then I can only offer this advice. Do it make it fun and make full use of social media (which means get pictures taken or sessions filmed). But most of all do not be afraid to as the Flag community for help or advice these guys and girls rock they love the game and will want you to succeed. Peace James
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The Flag season is coming to a lose much like their tackle colleagues. As we’ve mentioned before this is a great entry level to the game, but having said that it is still very competitive. Our friends over at have kindly given us permission to guide you to their site which is the hub of all things Flag related in the UK. Here are the latest results from around the country And those scores relate to the latest standings like this   We will bring you another update soon.
So what does it take to get to the top of your field and be named a Great Britain Head Coach? And once there how far can you push yourself and your ambitions? Andrew Gambrill will be known by many in the BAFA and Britball community, and we were fortunate enough to have him answer a few of our questions as to how and why he got into the game.   UKFD - When did you first start following the game? AG - I was part of the Channel 4/Nicky Horne generation. Although I also remember watching the Super Bowl highlights on ITV’s World of Sport with my brother. UKFD - When did you realise there was football activity in Britain? AG - That’s such a long time ago! I honestly, can’t remember. I know a friend and I trained for about 18 months with the Leamington Spartans. They had one helmet. The Head Coach, poor chap, qualified for the position because he had an American accent. UKFD - What made you get involved in the UK game? AG - Such a hard question, I just loved the sport from the first time I saw it. UKFD - At what point did you realise you could make a difference in the game and how it's structured? AG - Fairly early on, in my time at Leicester Eagles, I had the coaching bug. There was always a group of lads who came to watch the seniors train and so the idea of setting up a youth team came from that. As for getting involved at a National level, I realised that I knew the answers to rookie’s questions, but I would also hear veterans complaining about the BAFA, but equally those same veterans wouldn’t do anything to rectify things. I had a lot of experience and ideas and more importantly the motivation to help out.  I soon realised there wasn’t a BAFA ivory tower and it was just guys like me who saw beyond their own team and wanted to see the British game grow. We’re all BAFA. UKFD - What is your current role in BAFA and how did you work up to that? AG - I’m the Head Coach of the Great Britain Women’s Flag Football team, and yeah, it still feels great to say that. As well as the GB team I have a wider developmental role organising and participating in the Topaz development days and of course The Opal Series. I’m also looking to support BAFCA a little more; in fact I’m giving a talk at the convention on the Friday. UKFD - What is your biggest BAFA achievement to date? AG - In 2003 my Leicester Eagles cadets, juniors and youth team all won their respective national titles, but I think winning the European Junior Flag Football Championship as OC for GB tops that, also in 2003. UKFD - If you could change two things within BAFA what would they be? AG - BAFA is such a big beast now, I’m sure there is room for improvement in some areas. However, in my field I see the Women’s game growing and flag football in general bigger than ever, so whilst I recognise a lot of people have worked really hard to get us where we are and we need to continue with that, I’m pretty happy with the ways things are going. UKFD - What is on the immediate horizon for you? AG - I’m off to Chorley on Saturday for a Topaz development day. That will include a morning coaching session focusing on catching the football, snapping the football in Shotgun formation and blitzing. In the afternoon there will be a three team tournament between Chorley Bucs, Northants Titans and The Black Widows. The Black Widows are made up of players from all over the country who have attended the day, but their respective team hasn’t. On June 27th we have the final selection day for the GB women’s flag team. We have to select 15 players from the 32 that have been invited back to this, the second round in the selection process. And then the small matter of the European Flag Football Championships in Madrid this September. UKFD - What are your long term goals for BAFA? AG - I want GB women to be the dominant force in European flag football and the Opal Series to be the biggest flag football league in Europe. Oh, and world peace.   We want to thank Andrew for taking time out of his busy schedule, and wish him every success in the future.
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The Flag season is well under way and our good friends at have kindly agreed to let us share the latest results and standings from their pages. They are the best resource for all things Flag football with constant updates and news of events. The latest scores – with remaining fixtures can be found here - with the current standings here - We will bring you updates throughout the season.
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Article by James Brewerton   So why would you want to read about a team that has not even had a meet up yet?, well if this game we all love is to grow in the UK many more people will find themselves at the same point I am at and if they can read my trials and tribulations it may help them avoid any problems I may encounter. Why a flag team? If the pinnacle of our sport in the full contact adult game at the Britbowl then its roots and foundation has to become the young school kid pulling on his/her flag belt ready to take on the team from the next school. It is my opinion that to create a new age in British American Football we need to get schools playing flag. First things first while Manchester and Wigan have a few flag teams Cheshire and North Staffordshire has none, so first we need a team. My first port of call was my local clubs committee to find out if they have any plans in place for a flag team. The Crewe Railroaders have plans for flag but not for a few years yet so I asked for their blessing to start an independent team. Why would I not want to create a Railroaders flag team, the answer is simple in Cheshire and North Staffordshire we have 3 adult contact teams Chester Romans, Crewe Railroaders and Staffordshire Surge what I have planned is to benefit the whole game not just one club if through flag I can interest young players who want to progress up to full contact then they will have plenty of choice.   So here I sit a long term goal of getting flag football into local schools and a short term goal of an active adult flag team to compete in the league in 2016. In this day and age social media can be the making of any team/club so for me I wanted to create a brand/image first. I put out feelers and had enough positive response from regular players that I could produce a team, so encouraged I started my planning. A name is a big part of a club and one thing I love about my local area is the huge amount of history connected with the English Civil War, I did not think Roundheads was a good name so Cavaliers it had to be, so we will not be tied to one town/city I went with Cheshire Cavaliers. I contacted a design studio about creating a logo and was very pleased with the result, I have a friend who has agreed to go on this journey with me who has created a Facebook Page and Twitter feed and contact email for the team. Facebook:  Cheshire Cavaliers Flag American Football Team Twitter:  @CavaliersFlag Email: So what next? Well it’s all about getting together; in the next few weeks we shall get as many players as possible together and get playing flag. Long term I have registered for a level 1 coaching course and when I have that I can look at a DBS check  (A DBS check may be needed for certain jobs or voluntary work, e.g. working with children or in healthcare) after that it’s all about creating a taster session that can go into schools. I guess I had also best let you know a little about myself, my name is James Brewerton and while I love sport I am one of guys each club has, committed and keen but always getting injured. Last year I called time on every being able to play contact sport again and returned to an early love Photography I have been following several American football teams since and love the respect you receive from all players and coaches. While not in education myself I am in fact the only member of my family and in-laws who is not working in education. I have a natural ability to organise and coach over the years I have organised several charity event and help create a few clubs I in my second hobby miniature wargames (think Bloodbowl). As you can see I may not have the experience of playing the game but I feel I have all the skills needed to start something long lasting and a benefit to the game, you never know I may even get on the playing field for a few snaps. Watch this space to see the rise of the Cheshire Cavaliers Flag Football Team. Peace James

BAFA 2015 Flag Football Introduction

Flag Football is one of the `”easier” formats of the game to play and a great way to be involved in the sport. As well as being fast paced and fun, it’s still very competitive and more players and teams are set up in the league than ever before. As the season progresses we aim to give you features on the teams and personalities that are involved. To begin our coverage we give you an introduction, starting with how the league is setup for this year.

HNC NORTH                                                                                      

Glasgow Hornets            

Dunfermline Revolution             

Aberdeen Oilcats           

West Coast Trojans        

Carnegie Steelers           

Dunbeth Dragons           


HNC SOUTH                                                                                                      

Grangemouth Broncos 

Edinburgh Outlaws        

Newcastle Blackhawks 

West Lothian Astros      

Carnegie Reapers           


MEC NORTH                                                                                                      

Woodham Warriors      

Sheffield Vipers

Calderdale Knights        

Leeds Samurai 

Burnley Tornados           


MEC SOUTH                                                                                                      

Sheffield Predators       

Mansfield Honey Badgers          

Beeston Bears  

Manchester Crows         

Manchester Titans         


SEC NORTH                                                                                                        

West Essex Showboats

Ware Wolves   

Westcliff Storm               

Aylesbury Vale Spartans             

Reading Lions 2


SEC SOUTH                                                                                                        

Reading Lions 1

Victoria Park Panthers  

London Rebels 

Chichester Sharks           

London Barracuda          


SWC NORTH                                                                                                     

Birmingham Lions          

Leicester Eagles              

Northants Titans             

Coventry Cougars           

Northants Phantoms     


SWC SOUTH                                                                                                      

Cardiff Hurricanes          

Solent Thrashers             

MT Thunder Ducks         

Gloucester Centurions


As in 2014, the ‘British Regional Playoffs’ will be split into two meets, with the 2 most Northern Conferences (HNC and MEC) and 2 most Southern Conferences (SWC and SEC) meeting.

The top two teams from each Division will progress to the post-season and take part in the ‘British Regional Playoffs’, with each Conference seeding their teams #1 through #4. The team with the best record in the Conference will be the #1 seed and the winner of the other division will be the #2 seed. The #3 and #4 seed are determined by record.

Tie-breakers in order are - ‘Win Percentage’, then ‘Head-to-Head’ record (wins, not aggregate points), followed by ‘Division Record’, and ‘Points Scored’ and lastly ‘Net Points’

The hosting of the two British Regional Playoffs will be offered to the highest seed across the 2 Conferences, based on the tie-breakers above, however they are NOT obliged to host.

At the British Regional Playoffs, the #1 seed from 1 Conference will play the #4 seed from the other conference and so on. Once down to the final 4 teams the highest seed will face the lowest remaining seed and the two other seeds will play each other. The higher seed is always the home team. At this point, should two teams have the same win percentage, the preference will be for teams to play Out of Conference matches, as long as the top two seeded teams that remain do not face each-other.

The two winners of these games will get two of the four spots at the 2015 BAFA Championships

At the Championships the 4 teams will gather for an official draw with the semi-finals drawn at random and all games played on a single pitch.  The winner of Match 1 will be the home team in the Final and the loser will be the home team in the 3rd placed playoff, which will precede the final.

The hub for Flag Football is and we will be linking to their site for regular updates of scores and standings. It is also the place to visit for more details in how to get involved in the game.

We thank Neil Warren, of the West Lothian Astros, for his help in compiling this report.

International Two-Touch Football

To get my weekly fix of football, I pack my camera bag and usually travel to a local BAFA game and this season it has taken me to see my local teams.

For a change, last weekend I was invited to a two-touch football game organised by my friend William Jeffrey in Portsmouth. Will is that rarity of being a Cleveland Browns fan so he deserved not only sympathy, but my support. The chance to play in a game I love was certainly a lure for a Bank Holiday Sunday.

After I accepted the invitation to play, it was then revealed that I was needed more for my officiating skills than my playing ability. I guess Will wasn’t impressed by the influence of record breaking Ben Roethlisberger on my passing ability. He was relying more on my skill in throwing a flag than a ball.

When BritBall first began in the mid-eighties I officiated for many years. Every Sunday, it would be off to somewhere or other to listen to abuse for sixty minutes.

My ears may appear to be a funny shape now, but that’s because they were bent and battered for years with abuse from the sideline. Of course the coaches knew the rules. They watched the NFL highlights every week. Unfortunately, the British game played basically collegiate rules and at that time, there was no coverage of college football.

I’m not sure why I still have my BAFRA shirts with their number 21 emblazoned across the back. Sentimentality is a strange characteristic, so with eagerness I tried the shirts on, but that enthusiasm soon faded as it became apparent they had shrunk over the years. Not sure how shirts lying dormant in a drawer can shrink, but no matter how much I persisted, I couldn’t get them on.

Will lent me his official’s shirt, so I found myself marking the field out as the players arrived. Will had friends over from Australia, so the participants were divided into two teams; England vs the Rest of the World (ROW). In addition to Australia, ROW also had an American lady and a Scottish gentleman, so it was good to see the SNP finally achieving their independence from England. As it was a family affair, children were also encouraged to take part.

A coin toss usually determines who will receive the ball for the opening series, but in this case when England won the toss, their captain did a jig the Irish would have been proud of confirming that it would still be a competitive game while being played in good spirit.

Playing five a side, ROW scored first to dampen English spirits, but the score was soon tied as the lead then flip flopped between the teams. The youngster joined in the fun and I’m sure they enjoyed the occasion of overweight adults pretending to be athletes.

With time running out, England took a slender 26-22 lead that their exhausted bodies managed to defend until time expired. Even more celebratory dancing took place as the victors

For everyone who took part, including the referee, it was definitely an enjoyable experience and if any of our readers want to join in the fun and want to begin with flag football; please check out the BAFA site