American Football has been growing in popularity for the past few years. Leeds University has always had one of the best teams in their league, getting into the playoffs last season. However the greatest challenge lies in Varsity and so LS Sport decided to catch up with Club Secretary Michael Calvert to find out how preparation is going.
How did Varsity go last year?
Last year we didn’t partake in varsity, something to do with people not being ready for contact that early in the year. Instead we ended up playing Met at the end of the year. In fact due to delays with the weather we ended up playing both Met and Hull on the same day back to back – winning them both 7-0 which was pretty sweet.
What have you done to retain the title?
So far this year we’ve had a much more extensive focus on pre-season training, meaning we’re in a stronger position now than we were at the same point last year – which will hopefully mean we are decently prepared when we play Met in varsity (The game itself isn’t contact, it’s flag which is a bit like tag rugby but with more contact) and should beat them again.
How was last season?
Last season we ended 4th in the league, with 6 wins and 2 losses, which made us to the playoffs where we got knocked out by Edinburgh. – We’re looking to do better this season, to get into the cup playoff rather than the plate. We’re in a higher league (geographically – so we play more northern teams) so we’ll have a chance to test ourselves against new teams.
How was pre-season?
We have been training pretty heavily for the past 3 weeks and we’ve had a decent crop of rookies in this year who are shaping up really well and all seem to be committed. We’ve had a coaching change because our old head coach couldn’t stay due to work, the new head coach is really focused and I reckon he’s going to lead the staff well.
What are your expectations for the year?
This year we’re new to BUCS so hopefully we’ll be able to do as well as or better than last year. We’re potentially looking at getting Gryphons status in the next few years so the committee will be working on the criteria towards that throughout the year as well.