The Liverpool Raptors American Football team are still relatively new as they enter their third year as a team, but since their inception in 2015 they have surpassed expectation. Finishing 3-3 in their second season and going on to headline a narrow varsity loss as well as coming out on top in the 2017 Christie Cup.
Competing in the BUCS 2A North West Division, the raptors will be playing 7 games over the upcoming season, with transport provided for both home and away games. Games take place on a Sunday and training on a Thursday at the University’s Wyncote facilities (allowing players to take part in other university sports as well as American Football), with training usually lasting around 2 and a half hours, including a film session to target progression, as well as scout tactics ahead of matches.
In the upcoming season, as a tight-knit team with a desire to be the best, we are striving for progression and ultimately promotion to 1A, which wasn’t expected for quite some time and this is due to investment during its inception and first season plus a great team of coaches. Training and coaching are provided by coaches and player-coaches from the local senior football team, the Merseyside Nighthawks, who are a highly successful team competing in the Premier North division, and winners of back to back division 1 titles before their promotion.
The nature of an American football team means any and all body types are welcome and more than 22 players see action come game time and no matter what your size, shape, athletic ability or background in sports or American football itself, anyone can carve out a consistent role for themselves on the team. The BUCS American Football league is also mixed and has cultivated a great culture of inclusiveness and no judgment in its short life, meaning all are welcome to come and compete. Respect is earned on the field, and there is no judgment.
The team can provide kit for 40-60 people per game, and the more people we can get in kit and competing, the better. The upkeep costs of the team, however, are relatively high, and therefore, as with almost all American football teams, the team has a subs policy on top of the standard AU fee that all sports team members must pay. Subs cover: transport to and from games; yearly kit hire (helmets, jerseys and pads) and in the coming year a strength and conditioning programme, involving weekly professional coaching in lifting. The only pieces of kit you will need to provide yourself is game pants, secondary (leg) pads, and cleats, which the committee will arrange a kit shop for you to purchase these.
As expected with university life, there is a great social side that comes with American Football. Taking part in monthly athletics union as well as weekly trips to the Liverpool Bierkeller to watch NFL games on a Sunday night, the group spends a lot of time together both on and off the pitch. 2017 saw the first American Football tour and it was a huge success and a plan for 2018 is in the pipeline already.
We are looking forward to further pushing the team in the 2017/2018 season, with a mix of experienced returners and newcomers we hope to achieve success and the foundations to push the team even further in the years to come.
The University of Liverpool Raptors.