SENIOR | 2017 Highlights

21 Oct

Ahead of next month’s Open Sessions, you can check out the Ouse Valley Eagles highlights from the 2017 season here:

Open to those interested in playing for the Ouse Valley Eagles senior (18+) or Bedford Blackhawks Youth (13+) full contact teams as well as the Blackhawks senior flag (16+) team, we will be running four Open Sessions during November:

– Sunday 5th November | University of Bedfordshire, Bedford (10am-12pm)
– Sunday 12th November | Stantonbury Campus, Milton Keynes (12pm-2pm)
– Sunday 19th November | Northampton High School, Northampton (10am-12pm)
– Sunday 26th November | Lealands High School, Luton (10am-12pm)

Register your Interest

To register your interest in our Open Sessions please complete the form below, get in touch via Twitter or keep your eye out for the events on our Facebook page.

I am happy to receive correspondence related to the Open Sessions and training.

Ouse Valley Launch Player Development Programme

05 Oct

The Ouse Valley Eagles are delighted to announce the launch of our Player Development Programme.

Aligned with the club’s focus on performance, the coaches at Ouse Valley Football have built a programme designed to provide all players at the club a pathway to becoming the best players they can be.

The programme will focus on four key areas; strength & conditioning, diet & nutrition, football education and skills measurement. Players will be provided with training programmes as well as nutritional advice to help them achieve their goals. It will also focus on assessing each player’s skills, providing them with specific feedback as well as access to a video library so they can learn more about the game to help them make the right decisions on the field.

Ouse Valley Coach Jon Chilton explained:

“We’ve partnered with some great companies to help build the best programme possible. Fab Gargiulo, who is a qualified S&C coach with an MSc in Sports Science, will be administering the S&C programme whilst Ben Coomber from Body Type Nutrition will be speaking at the launch event, providing players with nutritional guidance on how to prepare and eat like an athlete.”

The programme will kick off with a launch event on Wednesday 18th of October at Bedfordshire University. All Ouse Valley Football members are able to join as well as players interested in joining the club for the 2018 season.

To find out more and register your interest you can visit the programme information page at ovfootball.com/pdp.

NEWS | 2017 Award winners revealed

30 Sep

The Ouse Valley Eagles and Bedford Blackhawks 2017 Player of the Year Awards took place last night at Revolution Milton Keynes.

For the Bedford Blackhawks Youth team Fin Jones was named MVP, Oliver Chester Lewis the Coaches Player of the Year and Sam Butterwick the Players Player.

Harrison Reed and Connor Perrett won the Offensive and Defensive MVP awards respectively, Alex Gedny picked up the award for Offensive Rookie of the Year and Rom Dougla was named Defensive Rookie of the year.

Oliver Crampton won the Most Improved Player award, and the first recipient of the Dhesi Award – presented to the player who best promoted the spirit of the sport and named in memory of former MK Pathfinders, Peterborough Saxons and Northampton Nemesis player Jay Dhesi – went to Harrison Smith.

For the Blackhawks Flag team Matthew Couldridge was named MVP, Jake Cooper Offensive MVP, Jed Parisi the Defensive MVP and Zech Smith picked up an award for Exceptional Contribution.

Kase Chibwe and Stu Holland were the big winners for the Eagles. Chibwe was named Team MVP and Players Player of the Year, and Holland won the Offensive and Special Teams MVP awards as well as Lineman of the Year.

Mike Turner is the Defensive MVP, Ryan Bowtell the Most Improved Player and Stuart Cooper won the inaugural Coaches Award.

2017 Winners

Bedford Blackhawks Youth

MVP – Fin Jones
Coaches Player – Oliver Chester Lewis
Players Player – Sam Butterwick
Offensive MVP – Harrison Reed
Defensive MVP – Connor Perrett
Offensive Rookie of the Year – Alex Gedny
Defensive Rookie of the Year – Rom Dougla
Most Improved Player – Oliver Crampton
Dhesi Award – Harrison Smith

Bedford Blackhawks Flag

MVP – Matthew Couldridge
Offensive MVP – Jake Cooper
Defensive MVP – Jed Parisi
Exceptional Contribution – Zech Smith

Ouse Valley Eagles Senior

MVP – Kase Chibwe
Players Player – Kase Chibwe
Coaches Award – Stuart Cooper
Offensive MVP – Stuart Holland
Defensive MVP – Mike Turner
Special Teams MVP – Stuart Holland
Lineman of the Year – Stuart Holland
Rookie of the Year – Bobby Benney
Most Improved Player – Ryan Bowtell

The Eagles and Blackhawks are running a series of Open Sessions throughout November in Bedford, Milton Keynes, Luton and Northampton, aimed at anyone interested in playing for the club during the 2018 season. Click here for more information.

NEWS | 2017 Awards Night

29 Sep

The Ouse Valley Eagles 2017 Player of the Year Awards take place tonight at Revolution Milton Keynes.

It is the first time the awards have covered all three teams associated with the club: the Eagles (senior), Blackhawks (Flag) and Blackhawks (Youth). We’ll announce the results with a detailed report here over the weekend, but in the meantime here’s a reminder of the previous winners:

2016 Winners

Players Player of the Year – Ross Hubbard and Danny Cousins
Most Valuable Player – Ross Hubbard
Defensive MVP – Gareth Pullen
Offensive MVP – Ross Hubbard
Lineman of the Year – John Rudgard
Rookie of the Year – Nathan Spencer
Most Improved Player – Rhian Shirley

2015 Winners

Players Player of the Year – Justin LaRoda
Most Valuable Player – Justin LaRoda
Defensive MVP – Gareth Pullen
Offensive MVP – Justin LaRoda
Lineman of the Year – John Rudgard
Rookie of the Year – Danny Cousins
Most Improved Player – Martin Day

2014 Winners

Players Player of the Year – Gareth Pullen and Darren Gregory.
Most Valuable Player – Chris Parr
Defensive MVP – Darren Gregory
Offensive MVP – Dale Hawes
Lineman of the Year – Andy Larwill
Rookie of the Year – John Rudgard
Most Improved Player – Vasco Dias

NEWS | 2017 Open Sessions confirmed

25 Sep

The club are very pleased to be able to confirm the details of this autumn’s Open Sessions ahead of the 2018 season.

Open to those interested in playing for the Ouse Valley Eagles senior (18+) or Bedford Blackhawks Youth (13+) full contact teams as well as the Blackhawks senior flag (16+) team, we will be running four sessions during November:

– Sunday 5th November | University of Bedfordshire, Bedford (10am-12pm)
– Sunday 12th November | Stantonbury Campus, Milton Keynes (12pm-2pm)
– Sunday 19th November | Northampton High School, Northampton (10am-12pm)
– Sunday 26th November | Lealands High School, Luton (10am-12pm)

American Football is one of the fastest growing sports in the country, and with the success of the NFL International Series interest in the game has never been higher.

If you have always fancied having a go why not try it out and see how you get on? No previous experience is necessary, as our team of qualified coaches will put you through your paces running a series of passing, catching, running and blocking drills designed to give you a real taste of American Football.

The Eagles were formed in 2013 with the aim of becoming one of the leading lights for American Football in the UK. We are the only senior full contact team playing in the BAFA National League in Beds, Bucks and Northants, recently announced a partnership with the Bedfordshire Bulls, and with plans to grow the club further in the coming months there really has never been a better time to join!

Register your Interest

To register your interest in our Open Sessions please complete the form below, get in touch via Twitter or keep your eye out for the events on our Facebook page.

I am happy to receive correspondence related to the Open Sessions and training.

NEWS | Eagles announce partnership with Bedfordshire Bulls

18 Sep

The club are delighted to announce a partnership with the Bedfordshire Bulls.

With a number of campuses across the area and more than 24,000 enrolled students, the University of Bedfordshire is a modern, innovative university with a heritage of top quality education.

The Ouse Valley Eagles were formed in 2013 with the aim of becoming one of the leading lights for American Football in the UK. Members of our club come from a wide range of backgrounds and over a large geographical area to be part of one of our three teams:

– Ouse Valley Eagles (Adult Kitted, age 18+)
– Bedford Blackhawks (Adult Flag, age 16+)
– Bedford Blackhawks (Youth Contact, age 13-16)

As part of the agreement our teams will enjoy use of the University’s grass and artificial pitches at the Bedford campus as well as classroom facilities, and Eagles coaches will work with the Bulls as they embark on their first BUCS Division 2 Midlands Conference campaign.

Eagles Chairman Michael Dilley said:

“We are incredibly excited to be teaming up with the Bulls and hope it is the start of a long-term partnership between the programmes.

“With campuses in Luton, Milton Keynes and Aylesbury as well as Bedford, working with the Bulls offers us a fantastic opportunity to help grow the sport in our area, and hopefully inspire future generations of players and coaches”

Beds SU Vice President of Sport, Kieran Nixon added:

“I will be trying a sport for the first time, like so many of the University of Bedfordshire students. It’s a proud moment to be facilitating the opportunity to try something new, as that’s what its all about.

“I hope that this model of partnership between student groups, local organisations and passionate individuals can be replicated to other areas of the sporting landscape within the Bedfordshire Bulls, as we look to develop our sporting programme in an organic and sustainable way.

“The future of sport looks extremely positive, both in the local area and particularly here at Beds.”

Open Sessions for players interested in joining the Eagles for the 2018 season will be taking place during November. Further details will be announced shortly, but to register your interest in the meantime please get in touch via Facebook.com/ovfootball or Twitter.com/ovfootball.

Taster Sessions for University of Bedfordshire students interested in joining the Bulls will be taking place over Freshers Week at the end of September. Further details can be found via BedsSU.co.uk/sport or Twitter.com/BedsBullsAmFoot.

SENIOR | New coaches wanted

12 Sep

The Eagles Senior team are looking for a number of new coaches to join Head Coach Neale McMaster’s backroom staff for the 2018 season in the following positions.

Coach McMaster is looking for new QB, WR, DL and LB coaches to work with his existing team of coaches to develop our players and each other, as the team looks to build on last season’s 4-6 record in BAFANL Southern Football Conference 1.

The successful candidates will be qualified to BAFCA Level 1 (or be willing to obtain that qualification almost immediately), and will have previous coaching experience.

If you are interested in one of these positions please contact Coach McMaster via neale.mcmaster@oveagles.com.

PREVIEW | Eagles ready to renew Solent rivalry

28 Apr

The Eagles are back in SFC1 Central action this weekend when they travel to the South Coast to meet the Solent Thrashers on Sunday (12.30pm).

It is the fourth meeting between the two sides, with the Thrashers running out winners in each of the first three contests – including eliminating the Eagles from the play-offs in 2014 and 2015.

In the first game of the season three weeks ago an under strength Eagles side ran out 14-12 winners in a competitive game away to South Wales Warriors.

The Thrashers meanwhile went down 23-0 at home to early pace-setters Sussex Thunder last weekend, and will be looking to bounce back in what is their second of three games in successive weeks.

Team News

Head Coach Neale McMaster reported no new injury concerns following the opening-day victory over the Warriors. A number of players who missed the Warriors game are set to make their first appearance of the season, including linebackers Gareth Pullen, Fabrizio Gargiulo and Paul Mountford, and wide receivers Troy Mayer, Ryan Bowtell, Chris Gains and Rich Batten.

Andrew Oliver and Gareth Thomas will be late decisions, but longer term absentees Peter Howgego, Raul Fernández, Oliver Latimer, Jack Noblest, John Rudgard and Darren Willison are still out.

Head Coach Neale McMaster

“Really excited to renew what has been a bit of a one-sided rivalry with Solent over the past few years. Given the changes both teams have gone through since we last played it’ll be interesting to see how teams have changed and improved.

“I’m excited by the improvements we’ve made ourselves since the South Wales game – continually focusing on developing our players – and I think we’re in a good position to get a ‘W’ for the first time against the Thrashers, although as is the case with all Steve Rains-coached teams I’m expecting it to be a tough fight.”

Directions

The Thrashers play their home games at Test Park, Lower Brownhill Road, Southampton SO16 9BP:

Game Coverage

If you can’t make it to Southampton to watch the games, we will be providing live play-by-play updates via our Twitter page.

YOUTH | Blackhawks schedule confirmed

16 Apr

The Bedford Blackhawks Youth schedule has been confirmed, and sees the young Hawks kicking off the season next week hosting Berkshire Renegades, Buckinghamshire Wolves and Solent Seahawks.

A fortnight later they travel to Farnham to meet the Knights, Cobham Cougars Blue and the Wolves, before mini-tournaments hosted by Cobham Cougars Blue on 10th June and Buckingham Wolves on 22nd July.

Bedford Blackhawks Youth (U17) 2017 South Conference Regular Season Schedule

Saturday 22nd April (hosted by Bedford Blackhawks)
vs Berkshire Renegades
vs Buckinghamshire Wolves
vs Solent Seahawks

Saturday 6th May (hosted by Farnham Knights)
vs Cobham Cougars Blue
vs Buckinghamshire Wolves
vs Farnham Knights

Saturday 10th June (hosted by Cobham Cougars Blue)
vs Cobham Cougars Blue
vs Farnham Knights
vs Solent Seahawks

Saturday 22nd July (hosted by Buckinghamshire Wolves)
vs Buckinghamshire Wolves
vs Sussex Thunder
vs Swindon Storm

FLAG | Stratford named Blackhawks Head Coach

14 Apr

The Club are delighted to announce that Jonny Stratford has been named the new Head Coach of the Bedford Blackhawks adult flag team.

Stratford claimed the vacant spot having previously been held temporarily by Coach Ian Papworth, and says he can’t wait to get to work:

“It’s a great privilege to be named as the new Head Coach of such a great bunch of players. The potential which I have seen throughout the squad we have can I believe lead to great things for the club.

“I featured last year as a player and I’m delighted to make the move into building a coaching team to take us to new heights. The team chemistry is amazing and I can’t wait to get started on what I believe is going to be a great season for the Blackhawks!”

Jonny began his affiliation with the Blackhawks last year playing the entire debut season in the crucial linebacker role. Despite playing such a fundamental role within the Blackhawks defensive set up, Jonny also managed to put up three touchdowns in his debut season.

Speaking on the appointment, Flag Football Coordinator Jake Cooper said:

“Jonny possesses incredible amounts of natural raw talent which we are extremely looking forward to seeing implemented on the team. Despite being relatively new to the sport it was clear to see that Jonny has great ability to read the game and implement strategical changes to suit.

“We would like to thank him on the magnificent season he put up for the Blackhawks last season.”

The 2017 season gets underway for the Blackhawks this weekend when they travel to the West Essex Showboats, where they will also play Aylesbury Vale Spartans and Ware Wolves.