Click on the image below to download the Match Day Programme for the London Blitz double header on 20th May 2018
(File size: 1 MB).
Click on the image below to download the Match Day Programme for the London Blitz double header on 20th May 2018
(File size: 1 MB).
Last Sunday, the London Blitz U19s side faced their South London rivals in their first game of the season. The game was held in great anticipation following the success of last year’s Championship-winning side, but with lots of fresh faces and the departure of many successful players, question marks remained if they could maintain last year's form.
The defence was headed up by a strong Defensive Line, who piled on the pressure against a mobile Quarterback, resulting in 2 fumbles - both returned for touchdowns (although one was flagged for an early celebration), and also 2 INTs, with one being returned to the house by John Pablo. The DB team gave great coverage and, combined with constant pressure, gave the opposition QB few options, giving up just 90 yards off 19 attempts. This meant the opposition relied heavily on their run game, which proved a bit more successful, but still failed to score, rushing for just 56 yds. The defence allowed just 9 first downs.
On the other side of the ball, after struggling to adjust to an unbalanced 30 front on the first drive, the O-Line managed to start opening holes for the run game, yet it was on a pass play that saw Marco Livi throw a dime into the hands of Leonardo for the only offensive score of the game.
It’s safe to say the opening game was a defensive slug match which showed a preview of what a promising Blitz defence could achieve this season, especially when supported by a strong punt team offering some great field position. Although points came slowly, the offense seems to be a few refinements away from producing similar numbers to last season. This Sunday the squad faces the Sussex Thunder away, with hopes of securing a 2-0 start to the season.
Blitz reporter: Fergal McArdle
A team in the U19 competition can change an awful lot in the offseason, with players leaving for university, or graduating to senior teams. Blitz reporter Fergal McArdle chatted to U19s Head Coach Jason Henry about the recent squad changes, and his plans for the upcoming season:
“On average we lose around a third of our U19 squad every year. During the offseason we normally have to find around 4x as many new players to fill their shoes, because the reality is that Football is about dedication, and many new players just don’t have the passion to stick with it.
“This season we are fortunate to have a great core of returning players, some great players joining as rookies and a couple of great players joining us from other teams.”
Last season the Blitz U19s were crowned National Championships (Coach Henry's fifth championship trophy), losing only one game during the whole season - a mistake the team swiftly rectified in the semi-finals.
Many of those who are now no longer eligible to play in the U19 league have continued to play the sport at the senior level, and perhaps most notable of those is Aaron Mahoney-Jones, who is now representing Garden City Community College - one of the top teams in the NJCAA.
Coach Henry has worked with many successful players over the course of his career, with recent players including Kobi Champion and Domonyc Steer, who represented the Europe Warriors U19s with Aaron in Mexico. Coach H comments on what it means to him to see individual players develop:
“It should make anyone connected with Football in the UK proud when someone plays at the next level. Having the honour of coaching players that have played at every level, it always validates why I turn up every Sunday. We measure success not by winning, but trying our best to have a club and teams which learn, grow and turn up each Sunday to have fun.”
Coach Henry continued to emphasise the importance of young players enjoying the game with regards to his outlook on this season;
“Our objective for the season is always built around what players want, and also about their commitment. The coaches always look for the players to enjoy the sport, to meet new people, and to grow as a person and as a player. Each year our aim is to increase the number of players enjoying football, and that’s no different for the upcoming season.”
Coach H continues to make it clear to the team during training that it is up to them to set the tone, and to use the opportunities to take them as far as they want to go. If that means another National Championship, it's down to the players to train hard and to have great dedication to get themselves there.
Coach Henry has also taken on the role of Head Coach of the Great Britain U19 program, while still maintaining his incredible dedication to the Blitz. When asked about how he manages to juggle his two footballing roles, as well as his family, he responded:
“Running the youth and junior elements of the Blitz has taken up much of my free time for several years, and taking up the role of GB Head Coach was always going to be a challenge. The amazing support of my family, including my late mother who encouraged me to help others achieve their dreams, was all the motivation I needed. So, planning is key.”
Good luck for the upcoming season!
TEAM, PRIDE, BLITZ, BROTHERS.
The London Blitz B's began the season with a solid 38 - 20 win over the Norwich Devils.
After scoring on the opening drive, the Blitz B's looked like the favourite, but they remained focused, knowing that Devils weren't going to give up without a fight.
Blitz QB Timothée Liechti had a great afternoon, always staying calm in the pocket, and often keeping drives alive with surgical passing or by weaving through the Defense to rush for a first down. He finished the day with 4 TDs, finding WRs Jacob Howard, Junior Juneweather, Henry Charlton-Weedy and Simon Cruise in the end zone.
The Blitz also demonstrated versatility with a strong running-game, with solid rushing performances from both Rayann Thor and Adokla Adesona, who finished with two TDs between them.
However, the Devils were never far behind, able to exploit favourable match-ups and finding success with long balls down the sideline, resulting in two TDs of their own. A fumble on a Blitz kick-return resulted in another Devils TD, demonstrating the difference that Special Teams can make to a score-line.
Commenting on the win, Blitz QB Timothée Liechti said: "Sunday's win was a perfect start to the season. Norwich came out fighting, and we were ready for them. Our O-Line was holding their blocks well, the WR helped drive the ball down the field, and the RBs had some strong carries. As an Offense, we have a lot to improve on and we'll keep working every day, but it's great to get that first W under our belt."
Team Captain and ILB Alex Igoh said: "It was a good solid win today against a decent Norwich Devils team who look as if they will be able to compete very well this season. I thought we looked particularly impressive on Offense where, for the majority of the game, we were unstoppable. Also, aside from the two splash plays I thought we were in control defensively. We know what we're trying to achieve this season and now that the 'first game jitters' are out of the way we will be looking to push on against an Essex Spartans team who we've become very familiar with."
It’s a journey that started with a bang! After a broken collarbone forced him to change career path, Adrian has spent the last 20 years forging a sporting legacy up in Finsbury Park. It’s a legacy built on teamwork and community both on and off the field, and his story is not about what he has achieved for himself, but about what he has done for others. This is what defines him as a generous and a selfless gentleman.
A long way from his native Australia, Adrian (otherwise known also as Coach K) is in his 20th year coaching the London Blitz American Football Club. He first joined as a coach of the adult squad, there being no youth program at the time, and after just one season was promoted to Head Coach at the age of just 23. He has since been instrumental in building the club into the national powerhouse it is today, taking the team to their first National Championship win in 2007.
Adrian then moved to the U19s program, where he continued to make waves, taking the team from winning just a handful of games a year, to a team that has now won five of the last seven National Championships.
Adrian has had an unparalleled impact on the London Blitz, and on the British American Football community, and the achievements of the London Blitz U19s are a testament to his hard work and dedication. However, while most might might stop for a breather at that point, Coach K was just getting started, and every season he has continued to add to his dynasty.
Off the field, Adrian’s work in the wider community centres around the Dynamic Sports Academy (DSA). Adrian founded the DSA in 2007 as a way to engage predominantly young people through multi-sport training. The goal is to get young people to make more positive and productive life choices, and to give focus to their lives. Demonstrating their success, 97% of DSA members go onto further/higher education, compared to a local average of just 35%. The DSA’s Total Athlete Development Program includes speed, strength, performance vision, sport psychology, and workshops on a range of topics including nutrition, sleep & injury prevention.
Furthermore, Adrian is helping young athletes in the community to reach new heights by helping them to secure places at US High Schools and Universities (ranging from Junior College to NCAA Division 1). He is helping others by giving them the tools to realize their dreams.
In addition to his roles at the London Blitz and Dynamic Sports Academy, he is also a trustee for the Finsbury Park Sports Partnership charity, of which he is a founding member. When Finsbury Park Stadium was due to be closed due to council cutbacks, Adrian and others from local clubs formed a charity and took a 35-year lease on the facility. This has allowed the facility to not only stay open for the local community, but they have also managed to raise over £1 million in funding, enabling them to renovate the gym, as well as having a new track and field installed.
Adrian’s incredible achievements were recognised on Thursday March 8th, where at Wembley Stadium he was selected from over 300 nominations to be awarded the Volunteer of the Year Award.
Adrian has high hopes and optimism for the future, stating that he hopes “receiving this award will bring the organisations I work with into the spotlight for the incredible work they do, and lead to further funding and connections with others who can help them achieve their goals”. However, Adrian is still not done, and he’s looking for “more funding, more volunteers and more connections” to grow these organisations to help “as many people as possible and have a positive impact on their lives”.
Adrian’s passion for the game of American Football and his hard work for the wider community exemplify his legacy. Anyone can see that he is a generous kind-hearted gentleman. He strives for the success of others, builds talent and helps others accomplish their dreams. He does all this with such humility, always praising the support he receives from his team at the London Blitz, Dynamic Sports Academy, Finsbury Park Sports Partnership, and most importantly from his wife, who takes the lead on raising their 3 children aged 2, 3 and 5.
Through all of the personal, professional and political hurdles that Adrian has has overcome to build his legacy, he has never backed down, choosing every time to face them head on. Has has cemented his place in the club’s history, earning the love and respect of the entire organisation - we will be forever grateful.
We're pleased to announce the official 2018 schedules for the London Blitz A and B teams.
For those looking to get their full fix of Blitz football, three of the weekends are double-headers, with both A and B teams hosting opponents at our home ground in Finsbury Park: 20th May, 3rd June and 24th June.
Lock the dates in your diaries now!
Blitz reporter Raphael Uribe chats to London Blitz A's Head Coach, Damian Anderson, about all things football:
I got into coaching after playing the game for 12 odd years. When I finally hung up my cleats, it was just the natural progression. Football is a huge part of my life, so to walk away because I couldn't play just didn't feel right. Since that time, I've grown to love the coaching side and what that brings working with players in the sport.
London Blitz has a great catchment area, and access to more players should mean more wins. However, if you look at the coaches, the admin and the players, you find a passionate bunch of people, all willing to do their job at the best of their abilities. You get that kind of commitment, and it's hard not to produce good results. Speaking as the A team Head Coach, we still have one more hurdle though.
I think everyone knows what we want this season... it's a National Championship. The problem is, we're not the only ones after that. So we need to focus on being successful at each practice until the season starts...then each game...and you can see where this is going.
I think the biggest thing in coaching that's changed over the last decade is the education of the players. We don't just teach the plays anymore, it's now about player safety, tackling techniques, training for your sport and the tactics of the game. Those are all positive changes, and that's why the players are now branching out into Europe and/or the US.
Outside of football, I'm an easy-going guy. Give me a beer and let me just chill the hell out, watching the world walk by.
Food wise - anything Mexican. Give it a little kick and a beer on the side.
Music? No clue. I keep having to listen to some crazy stuff at our practices, and I don't have a damn clue what the hell these people are shouting about! Think next practice session I'm putting on some Otis Redding.
Favourite NFL team is the Steelers. I've followed them for 20 odd years. They've gone a little O oriented nowadays, but I'll let them off for that.
Favourite player of all time is Casey Hampton - Former NT for the Steelers, 6-1 330lbs, just eats and hits... friggin' hilarious! (Nickname Big Snack).
Can't say I look up to any player. Just because you're a football player doesn't make you a role model or some form of idol. I do respect a lot of guys for what they seem to do outside football and how people live their lives. I guess I'll go with Dick Lebeau....played the game, now coaches the game, but just holds himself like a man. No BS about him.
We were very proud to have three members of Jason Henry’s U19 National Championship-winning team represent the Europe Warriors in Mexico against the Mexican U19 team in December.
We interviewed Aaron Mahoney-Jones, Domonyc Steer and Kobi Champion about their experience, and about how they first got into American football.
Domonyc: I was always a big kid who liked contact. I never really enjoyed soccer because they would always call fowl, and I found rugby boring, so my cousin started to train me in American football.
Kobi: I watched a YouTube video of college football and thought to myself: 'I could do that’
Aaron: I started playing properly for the Blitz in 2014. I was actually thinking of joining the Warriors after seeing my uncles play, but a friend from school told me I should join the Blitz instead.
Domonyc: I started playing in 2014 at the Warriors, but in 2017 they didn’t have a full team, so I transferred to the Blitz.
Kobi: I started playing July 2015.
Kobi: Bart Iaccarino, the athletic director of the Europe Warriors, messaged me on Europlayers asking me if I wanted to play for them.
Domonyc: Aaron told me that the team needed a player like me, so I enquired and they gave me the opportunity.
Aaron: I’ve been preparing for two years for situations like this with likes of Germain, Dom, Mike, the rest of DSA, and the Blitz, so it was the same prep, and then 2-a-days and film when we hit Mexico.
Domonyc: We would train together outside of the scheduled training, working on routes and foot drills. Aaron and I would work each other to our limits to ensure we were totally ready.”
Aaron: Not being able to speak Spanish.
Domonyc: Forming a team with people you don’t know in a week.
Kobi: Mentally preparing for the game.
Aaron: Being able to play 11-a-side for my first time, being on the starting line-up, and making new friends.
Domonyc: Playing and training one last time with my boys, and knowing that I was representing Jamaica and Britain.
Kobi: Meeting new people, making new friends, and playing in México
Aaron: Understanding football from an 11-a-side perspective at a high level.
Domonyc: “That this is just the beginning, and I can go a lot further than where I am right now.
Kobi: The new techniques our DB coach taught us, and an understanding of where football can take me in life.
The Final score in the game was 57-7 to Mexico. Whilst the final result was not what the team had hoped for, considering they had only met and trained together for the first time that week, they put in an incredible performance. The experience itself will be something Aaron, Domonyc and Kobi will remember for a long time, and could well be the stepping stone to further experiences and success at an even higher level.
After his experience with Europe Warriors, a successful season with the London Blitz U19s, and training with DSA, Aaron will be joining Blitz alum Bamidele Olaseni at Garden City Community College in Kansas. He has already flown out and is working hard to establish himself. Aaron also wanted to thank the DSA and the Hertfordshire Hurricanes for helping him prepare for the trip.
Kobi is currently rehabbing from an injury he sustained during the Mexico game. He plans to attend the ‘pro football hall of fame’ camp he was invited to, and then to take it from there. It’s a really exciting opportunity for Kobi and we wish in all the best.
Domonyc’s plans for the year are to go to America, and he will be training with the London Blitz senior team during pre-season.
We will be following the guys in their quest to be part of the next group of successful Brits to make it in the US, and will be routing for them all the way!
All are welcome to come and try their hand at American Football with the London Blitz. Whether you are an experienced player or keen to play for the first time, come down to the session to become part of the club.
The sessions will take place at:
Market Road Pitches
Market Road, Islington
Please see the Facebook event below for more detail and the dates below:
January 21st 11:30-14:00.
January 28th 11:30-14:00.
Just come along with football boots, warm sports kit and water, everything else will be provided.
Visit http://londonblitz.com/recruitment/#seniors for all the information you'll need.
Got two minutes to spare and want to help us out?
As we prepare for the 2018 season, we want to know YOU think about the club, and what you want to see more of next season, so we've created a really short survey:
It only takes two minutes, and one person will be selected at random to win a £25 Amazon voucher.
The London Blitz Marketing Team
London-born star of the Miami Dolphin's running game, Jay Ajayi, surprised two of his biggest fans by turning up to training while in town to promote the upcoming London NFL games.
Click on the image below to watch their reaction.
'The Jay Train' was a huge inspiration to the players, showing that with enough hard work and dedication, anything is possible in this great sport!
We can't wait to see him back in his home town on October 1 when the Dolphins take on the Saints at Wembley Stadium.
Click on the image below to check out all of the big plays from the London Blitz's final regular season away against the London Warriors, which finished 21 - 40, crowning the Blitz as division champs after a tough season.
We're proud to announce that Blitz LT Bamidele "Bam" Olaseni is departing this weekend for Garden City Community College, to pursue education and football.
The Garden City "Broncbusters" are currently the #1 ranked Junior College in the USA, winning their first ever national championship last season, beating Arizona Western in the El Toro Bowl in a nail-biting finish.
Bam, 21, joins a growing list of talented and dedicated Blitz alumni who have risen through the Blitz Under 19 programme, and who have gone on to pursue careers in American Football outside the UK. We're incredibly sorry to see him leave, but we know he has a bright career ahead of him. We look forward to watching many highlight reels of him 'pancaking' edge rushers in the very near future!
Click on the image below to download the match programme for the London Blitz A vs. the Bury Saints on 02/07 (1.1 MB).
Click on the image below to download the match day programme for our match against the Bury Saints on 18th June (8 MB).
A couple of weeks ago, the London Blitz partnered with a UK-based tech consultancy called Fanview to help them show off their ground-breaking real-time 3D scanning technology.
Three players, Temi Oduyemi, Jamie Charles and Oliver Bishop volunteered to take part in the trial, hosted at Repronauts’ 3D content creation studios in North London.
The technology itself is a bespoke, highly portable, high speed scanning rig, optimised for 3D body scanning. It lets you capture high accuracy, full photorealistic colour scans, on location, quickly. Together, Fanview and Repronauts have developed an efficient process which allows them to rapidly rig and animate the models to produce high quality virtual characters, which can be used for 3D broadcast as well as game engines.
In just a couple of days, Temi, Jamie and Oliver were transformed into 3D digital versions of themselves, which look like they’ve come straight out of the latest Madden demo.
Click on the images below to see the 3D models for yourselves. We think you’ll agree that they look fantastic!
Blitz overcome shaky start to beat Aztecs
London Blitz A continued their #perfect season after a fourth quarter Oliver Bishop sack, safety and Kyle Jervier kick return sealed a tight game.
The Blitz v Aztecs game started brightly for the Blitz defence who picked up a fumble and gave the ball to their offense on their 29 yard line. The offense, led by Joe Thompson, couldn’t capitalise on the opportunity and turned the ball over on downs after going for it and missing on 4th down. On the Blitz’s next drive, things took a turn for the worst as a fumble gave the ball to the Aztecs’ offense in the redzone. Two pass interference calls on the defence had the ball inside the 5 for the visitors and they took full advantage, scoring the first TD of the game with a run by #34. Aztecs missed their PAT and led 0-6.
With the Blitz down, Remmy Ezeabasili returned the kick-off to the 31 yard line. The offense moved the ball well and on 2nd down at their own 44 yard line, with Remmy Ezeabasili in at RB, they broke off a 56 yard TD run to put 6 on the board for the Blitz. With the PAT converted, they led 7-6. The game remained 7-6 for the majority of the 2nd quarter and with the clock winding down, Mike Aboujaoude converted on 4th down with a pass from QB Joe Thompson. Then with only seconds on the clock, a pass interference foul called on the visitors’ #4 on Sam Rodgers gave the Blitz a chance to hit a field goal. Jasper Van-Dooren converted the field goal and the Blitz went into the half 10-6 up.
The 3rd quarter went scoreless as both defences dominated with the offenses concentrating on their run game. Into the 4th quarter and the Blitz put Temi Oduyemi in at RB. Oduyemi carried the ball a few times before breaking a 25 yard gain to put the ball in the redzone. After a holding call pushed the offense out of the redzone, the Blitz had a 3rd and 17 on the 27 yard line. The Blitz couldn’t pick up the 1st down but set up a 30 yard field goal which Jack Daley converted giving the home side a 13-6 lead. After both offenses punted on their next drives, the Aztecs’ offense started from their 15 yard line. A big sack by Oliver Bishop on 3rd down forced the Aztecs into a punting situation. On the 4th down, a high snap over the punter’s head and out the back of the endzone resulted in a safety which made the score line 15-6 in favour of the home side. On the ensuing kick off, Blitz WR Kyle Jervier returned the ball for another TD and after the PAT, the Blitz lead stood at 22-6.
The Aztecs offense took the field with hopes of a miracle but the Blitz’s winning mentality shone through as Kodjo Davis came up with the interception to end the game and give the Blitz a 22-6 win.
Blitz reporter Yonis Aden
Click on the image below to download the match day programme for Sunday's Double Header against the Wembley Stallions and Bristol Aztecs (1.2 MB).
On 13th May 2017 the London Blitz under 17 kitted team welcomed the Hertfordshire Cheetahs, Wembley Stallions and the London Warriors to Finsbury Park for their home tournament. This was the second tournament of the season for the London Blitz team, as three weeks before the Hertfordshire cheetahs had hosted the season's opening tournament. There the London blitz had started the season 2 and 1, losing their final game to their hosts the Cheetahs in a close fought contest following wins over the Stallions and Cougars.
The London Blitz started the tournament in Finsbury Park against the Wembley Stallions, and going into halftime the game was tight with the Blitz leading by 1 touchdown. However, the Blitz pulled away in the second half and ended up comfortable winners with a final score of 38-12.
In the second game the Blitz faced off against long time rivals the London Warriors for the first time in the 2017 season. The Blitz started strongly and at half time the Blitz had built a commanding lead of 25-7. However some errors in the second half from the Blitz and a never-say-die attitude from the Warriors saw a tight finish to the game, with the Blitz able to knee out the game with a 38-34 victory.
In the final game of the tournament the Blitz faced the Hertfordshire Cheetahs who had beaten them in the previous tournament. The Blitz went into the game looking for a perfect 3 and 0 for their home tournament and to avenge their only defeat of the season so far. The Blitz started strongly and pulled out to 25 - 0 lead, and in the second half the Cheetahs pulled a couple back for a final score of 25 - 12 to Blitz.
The Blitz finished the tournament 3 and 0 which takes them to 5 and 1 on the season and the early pace makers in their division.
Written by Alex Wingrove
On a sunny spring afternoon in North London, London Blitz marked their return home after a year away from Finsbury Park with a hard fought win over cross-city rivals London Warriors in front of an atmospheric crowd. Having played “home” games at three different pitches last season, their much-anticipated return home didn’t disappoint as the A team moved to 3-0 whilst the B team beat the Essex Spartans to move to 1-1.
London Blitz B team kicked off proceedings for the day with a come from behind win against the Spartans. A low scoring first half finished 0-3 to the visitors but a second half rally from the home side saw the B team score 19 unanswered points to win 19-3.
This set the stage for the season’s first meeting between London Blitz and the reigning champions London Warriors. The game got off to a slow start with both teams going 3 and out on their first drives. But things didn’t take long to get going as Blitz linebacker Luke Prendergast picked off Warriors quarterback Jerome Allen inside the Blitz 10-yard line. The Blitz offense couldn’t capitalise on the opportunity and was forced to punt. The Warriors got an interception of their own but also couldn’t put points on the board as the Blitz defence stood firm.
Running backs Temi Oduyemi, Glen Toonga and Gabriel Quartey ground out yards on the ground; the Warriors offence dinked and dunked in the pass game, but both defences remained resolute. The Warriors deepest drive into Blitz territory was ended by an interception from cornerback Dotun Ademiju – his second in his first two games for the Blitz. The Warriors took a deep shot at the end of the 2nd quarter but what looked like a certain TD was broken up by Sam Jeater in the endzone, to end the half 0-0.
The second half started as the first ended, as the two teams offenses were met with strong defensive stands. The breakthrough came in the 3rd quarter as the Warriors capitalised on a Blitz turnover and running back Dwayne Watson found the endzone. With the PAT converted, the visitors lead 0-7.
With the Blitz pushing to put points on the board in the 4th quarter, a fumbled snap turned the ball over to the visitors who couldn’t take advantage. As always, the Blitz ‘never-say-die’ attitude shone through and the home side finally put their own points on the board with a screen from QB Joe Thompson to RB Dwight Caulker who took it to the house, the second year Blitz Juniors graduate scoring touchdowns in consecutive games. London Blitz went for two after the TD and RB Gabriel Quartey ran the ball in and the home side led 8-7.
The lead didn’t last long as the Warriors returned the ensuing kick off for a TD, after a missed PAT, the score line read Warriors 13 Blitz 8 deep into the 4th quarter. The Blitz drive started from their 34-yard line and had to go for it on 4th down to keep their hopes of a comeback alive. Joe Thompson converted on 4th down with a pin-point pass to Mike Aboujouade. The Blitz then needed to convert another 4th down with Gabriel Quartey coming up with the yards after being hit in the backfield. Quarterback Joe Thompson then found Mike Aboujouade down the sideline for a long completion. Swift feet from Aboujouade led him into the endzone, finally giving the Blitz a well deserved lead. Blitz went for two after the TD and couldn’t convert.
The Warriors once again had a big return on the kick off, after a Blitz penalty was added to the return, the Warriors offence started within field goal range with little over a minute on the clock. The Blitz defence stopped the Warriors from advancing much further and it was left to Warriors kicker Ian Jacquet. As the Warriors attempted their field goal, the Blitz side line called a time out to freeze the kicker, this piece of game-management paid dividends as the Warriors missed their field goal and Blitz won a nail biting game 14-13.
London Blitz move to 3-0 and on to the next game, away to Farnham on May 21.
Written by Blitz reporter Yonis Aden