Juniors crowned conference champs with unbeaten regular season

Juniors crowned conference champs with unbeaten regular season

Last weekend, the U19 team faced off against the 4-1 Solent Seahawks looking to end the regular season with a perfect 6-0 record.

The game ended 58-0 with the Blitz storming into the post-season in good form.

With 3 TDs through the arm of Leonardo Sophoclis, the receiver corps had a field day with TDs from Brandon Evans, Malachi Marquis-Adams, Kelvin Sebastian and rushing TDs from RBs Ifouma, Lennox Osei-Biney and Nathan Oti - the run game in the first quarter produced 172 yards off of 8 carries and 311 off 25 on the day.

All this success was really a result of a tremendous effort by the O-line with outstanding performances from James Faminu, Jacques O’Dywer and Oliver Joseph Wilson.

On D, the Line stood strong again to keep a clean sheet with Joseph Hurley causing hurt with 8 tackles and 3 for a loss.

The secondary took 2 picks - with Matteo Mcdowell bringing in a pass ricocheting off a helmet.

On special teams Malachi Jameson and J Hurley proved too much for the Solent punt unit with 2 fumble recoveries, and the Blitz kick-off team recovered two kicks.

With this win the Blitz celebrate winning the South Division 1 title while also preparing for what will be a challenging post-season with a return trip to Sixways on the line.

 Image courtesy of Jody Demay-Davies

Image courtesy of Jody Demay-Davies

Tigers and Saints Match Programme (Free)

Tigers and Saints Match Programme (Free)

Click on the image below to download the match-day programme for the London Blitz double-header hosting the Thames Valley Tigers and Bury Saints (File Size: 2.2 MB).

DSA 2018 Combine now open for registration

DSA 2018 Combine now open for registration

Dynamic Sports Academy are hosting their next American Football Combine for 14-24 year olds on Sunday, Sept 16th, 2018.

Tickets available here

The DSA are also proud to announce that Football America UK will be sponsoring the event once again.

The Combine will consist of speed and power measurables, positional work, and inside and outside skellys, as well as coaching by some of the best coaches in the UK.

  • Ages 14-24 years
  • The event is NON-KITTED
  • Date – Sunday, Sept 16th, 2018
  • Time – 10:30 check-in; 12:00-16:00 on-field work
  • Location – Crystal Palace Indoor Dome, London
  • Cost – £45 (plus booking fee) and includes exclusive Combine Shirt & Shorts*
  • Only 80 SPOTS available - with limited spaces per playing position
  • Registration closes Sunday August 12th, 2018 @9pm
  • Attendee's to WEAR WHITE SOCKS (due to filming) and appropriate footwear for ASTRO TURF

*Only provided gear may be worn during the event

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Warriors and Sabres Match Programme (Free)

Warriors and Sabres Match Programme (Free)

Click on the image below to download the match-day programme for the London Blitz double-header hosting the London Warriors and East Essex Sabres (File Size: 1 MB).

Blitz announce partnership with The Big Bottle Company

Blitz announce partnership with The Big Bottle Company

The London Blitz are very excited to announce a new partnership with The Big Bottle Company.

The partnership will see The Big Bottle Company supply their signature bottle in Blitz navy to the London Blitz players, helping them stay hydrated both on and off the field.

A spokesperson from The Big Bottle Company said: “At The Big Bottle Co we are passionate about hydration, living well and your health. We want to support YOU on your individual journey and help you to easily achieve your daily water intake in a fun and sustainable manner. We believe that the better ones health, the better one can live life to the fullest.

“Like everyone who chooses the Big Bottle Co, the London Blitz are ready to embrace their health, the health of the planet and live life to the fullest. They are ready to embrace every moment and dream bigger with each new day. They Live BIG!”

Jamie Charles, London Blitz Head of Sponsorship, said: “We are very proud to have this fantastic partnership opportunity with The Big Bottle Company. They are a fantastic brand with a very innovative approach. We look forward to seeing our Blitz Family with The Big Bottle in everyday life.”

Jack Daley, London Blitz Club Chairman, commented: “Hydration is a vital part of match-day preparation, so we are delighted that our players will find it much easier to stay hydrated at home, at work, at the gym, when they’re out and about, and of course on the pitch. We believe that this partnership will lead to better performance, and more wins for the club.”

For more information on The Big Bottle Company, please visit their website or find them on Instagram and Facebook

#TPBF #LiveBig #OneDayOneBottle

[Header image courtesy of The Big Bottle Company]

London Blitz U19s vs. London Warriors U19s: Match Report

London Blitz U19s vs. London Warriors U19s: Match Report

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

Season Preview with U19s Head Coach Jason Henry

Season Preview with U19s Head Coach Jason Henry

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.


 

Blitz B's vs.Norwich Devils: Match Report

Blitz B's vs.Norwich Devils: Match Report

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. 

 QB Timothée Liechti sliding for a first down

QB Timothée Liechti sliding for a first down

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. 

 C Matthew Rose celebrating his blocks

C Matthew Rose celebrating his blocks

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."

 DB Jack Morrisey with an INT

DB Jack Morrisey with an INT

Photography credits: Phillip Rocker and Jody Demay-Davies

Adrian Klemens: Legacy builder

Adrian Klemens: Legacy builder

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.

 2017 National Champions

2017 National Champions

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.

 DSA

DSA

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.

 Winning the Volunteer of the Year award

Winning 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.

London Blitz 19+ Schedules Announced

London Blitz 19+ Schedules Announced

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!

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Interview with Blitz A's HC, Damian Anderson

Interview with Blitz A's HC, Damian Anderson

Blitz reporter Raphael Uribe chats to London Blitz A's Head Coach, Damian Anderson, about all things football:

Why did you become a Football Coach? What makes being a football coach so appealing?

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.

What makes London Blitz such a successful team at junior and senior level?

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.

What are your hopes and aspirations for the upcoming season?

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.

How has American football changed in the UK since you became head coach at the London Blitz?

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.

Quick-fire round: What is your favourite pastime outside of football?

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.

Favourite food?

Food wise - anything Mexican. Give it a little kick and a beer on the side.

Favourite music?

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 football team?

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?

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).

Football player you look up to the most?

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.

Thanks Coach, best of luck for the upcoming season! #TPBF

Football at the next level: Team Europe vs. Mexico U19s

Football at the next level: Team Europe vs. Mexico U19s

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.

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How did you first get 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’

When did you start playing, and when did you start at the London Blitz?

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.

What was the selection process for the Europe Warriors?

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.

What were the preparation in the run up to the Mexico game?

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.”

What were the most challenging parts of the experience?

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.

What were your favourite parts?

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

What will you take on with you from the experience?

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!

TPBF!

Rookie sessions for Over 19's: Join the Blitz in 2018

Rookie sessions for Over 19's: Join the Blitz in 2018

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
N7 9PL
London
United Kingdom

Please see the Facebook event below for more detail and the dates below:

January 21st 11:30-14:00.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1935637363429962/

January 28th 11:30-14:00.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1580263612066968/

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.

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2 min survey - Win a £25 Amazon Gift Card

2 min survey - Win a £25 Amazon Gift Card

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:

https://goo.gl/forms/UKG7EIDtFtsynVDn2

It only takes two minutes, and one person will be selected at random to win a £25 Amazon voucher.

Thanks!

The London Blitz Marketing Team

Surprise visit from Miami Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi

Surprise visit from Miami Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi

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.

 Group photo with the players

Group photo with the players

Match Highlights: London Blitz @ London Warriors

Match Highlights: London Blitz @ London Warriors

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.

Blitz player off to USA's #1 ranked Junior College

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!