SENIOR | Head Coach Vacancy

08 Aug

Following last month’s announcement that Senior team Head Coach Neale McMaster will be stepping down at the end of the season, the club would like to invite applications for the position of senior team Head Coach from the 2019 season. It is hoped to select and appoint the successful candidate during the autumn of 2018 to allow for a full pre-season preparation.

About Us

The Eagles were formed in 2013 following a merger between the Milton Keynes Pathfinders and Bedfordshire Blue Raiders, initially as a Senior contact team based in Bedford offering football to those in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire.

The club also consists of the Bedford Blackhawks and Milton Keynes Redwings youth teams and Bedford Blackhawks senior flag team and aspire to develop the game throughout the region.

The senior team was promoted from Division 2 to Division 1 following the 2014 season and currently play in SFC1 Central.

The Role

The Head Coach of the OVE Senior Team is responsible all senior team football preparation, development and outcomes. This will include, but is not be limited to:

  • The development and implementation of the pre-season programme
  • The appointment of co-ordinators and positional coaches including from the existing coaching group
  • Practices scheduling, frequency and format
  • Player evaluation, retention and recruitment
  • Player coaching and development
  • Developing youth / junior pathways into the senior team
  • Playbooks
  • Off field activities e.g. game film evaluation, team film study, gym, workouts
  • Game day coaching
  • Building appropriate football relationships and networks
  • Liaison with coaching staff and Club Management Team
Requirements

The Head Coach of the OVE Senior Team is responsible all senior team football preparation, development and outcomes. This will include, but is not be limited to:

  • Proof of Level 1 BAFCA Coaching Qualification in American Football – essential
  • Proof of Level 2 BAFCA Coaching Qualification in American Football – preferable
  • Previous experience as a Head Coach or Co-ordinator
  • Presence for practice and games
  • Priority focus on Ouse Valley Eagles senior team
Selection Process

A short-list will be created. An interview panel will be convened for those short-listed. We’d like any interview to be a free form discussion about football and your approach. Please be prepared to talk about:

  • Your football philosophy
  • How you would improve Ouse Valley Eagles
  • How you structure your approach to games, practices
  • Your expectations of the players in terms of capability, effort, work / life balance
  • Expectations of remit, autonomy and Management Team support
  • Your football experience and network
  • How you work with and develop players
  • How you run game-day
  • Thoughts about recruiting and developing players
  • Year 1 programme plan
  • 3 year development plan
Application Process

Please mail mark.chilton@oveagles.com in the first instance to declare your interest. All correspondence will be treated in confidence.

FLAG | Blackhawks confirm post-season place

29 Jul

The last regular season game day of 2018 offered up a touchdown fest for the “Bombastic” Blackhawks…

Blackhawks 54-0 Coventry Cougars Ladies

The first game of the day was against friends of the team the Cougar ladies. Never a game you can take lightly but the Blackhawks came out firing on all cylinders producing another biggest points total in successive game days.

Blackhawks 47-19 Leicester Huntsmen

The second and final game of the day saw the Hawks face off against the Huntsmen. The Blackhawks offense soared through the game dominating the Huntsmen for the second time this season. The Hawks #18 Callum Papworth dropped bombs all over the Huntsmen’s struggling defence and despite scoring 19 points never felt threatened.

Thank you to the Cougars for hosting.

That closes the book on a memorable 2018 regular season and third year as a team finishing 9-3. Thank you for everyone who has supported us this season but we aren’t done yet.

Playoffs baby!

#PlayToWin

Bedford River Festival 2018

12 Jul

Players, coaches and officials from the Eagles, Blackhawks and Redwings teams are going to be attending the 40th Anniversary Bedford River Festival this weekend (14th and 15th July) in the Sports Village.

Recognised as one of the largest outdoor events of its kind in the UK, the 2016 festival saw over a quarter of a million people enjoy the events, entertainments and activities on Bedford’s beautiful Embankment.

Programme of Events

To have an insight into the layout of the site before you arrive, to locate your favourite stage or to plan your festival weekend hour by hour, take a look at the 2018 River Festival programme here.

For full details on the River Festival click here.

Win an NFL Hat

Would you like to win your favourite NFL team’s hat? Visit us in the Sports Village and complete one of your entry forms to enter a free prize draw.

When you complete the form we will ask for consent to contact you regarding upcoming events. For more information about how we use your personal data, please read our privacy notices here.

SENIOR | McMaster to step down as Head Coach

09 Jul

Eagles Head Coach Neale McMaster has announced that he will be stepping down at the end of the season.

Following a successful playing career in Scotland with the University of Glasgow Tigers and East Kilbride Pirates, McMaster moved south of the border in 2012 and joined the Bedfordshire Blue Raiders initially as a player, before becoming Offensive Line coach ahead of the 2013 season.

He became Chairman of the newly-formed Eagles following the merger between the Blue Raiders and Milton Keynes Pathfinders, and was named Offensive Coordinator by former Head Coach Will White.

In Neale’s three seasons as OC the Eagles posted a combined 19-11 record which included a record 75-6 win against the Ipswich Cardinals in 2014 and play-off appearances in 2014 and 2015.

He became senior team Head Coach ahead of the 2017 season going 4-6 in his debut year, and has an overall record as HC of 6-11 heading into this weekend’s visit to Solent Thrashers.

Speaking on the decision, Neale said:

“After 5 years with Ouse Valley, 3 as Chairman and 2 as HC, I’ll be stepping away from the club after this season. We have had a progressively worse winning %, year on year, within that 5 years, so it’s time for someone else to step up and drive the club forward.

“What I am pleased about is that I’m leaving a tremendous group of guys, who are very tight knit, and love a bit of hard graft, so whoever takes over will be in a very fortunate position.

“Whilst our winning percentage hasn’t been great, I remain incredibly proud of what we have accomplished at OVE, and will fondly remember my time with them.”

PREVIEW | Eagles vs Sussex Thunder

20 Apr

The Eagles kick off the 2018 season at home to the Sussex Thunder on Sunday afternoon at Bedford International Athletics Stadium.

After going 10-0 in the regular season last year the Thunder unexpectedly went down 26-9 against the Berkshire Renegades last weekend, and head into the game eager to get back to winning ways.

The Eagles meanwhile come into the 2018 campaign following back-to-back 4-6 seasons, looking to rebuild again with a small but highly committed squad of players keen to cause a few surprises along the way.

The game kicks off at 1pm, with free admission for all.

Team News

Head Coach Neale McMaster will be missing LB/TE Darren Willison due to a back injury. WR Troy Mayer has a thumb injury and will be a game-time decision, but QB Martin Day is back making his first start since 2015 following a serious knee injury.

Head Coach Neale McMaster

“We’re excited to finally get back to playing football after a long preseason.

“With a small squad and a fair percentage of rookies, we’ll be looking to have an exciting and testing offense, complemented by an attacking defensive and special teams units that will allow us to challenge for that first elusive playoff victory this year.”

Directions

Game Coverage

If you can’t make it to Bedford to watch the games, we will be providing score updates via our Twitter and Facebook pages.

NEWS | Cole included in GB U17 squad

18 Apr

Bedford Blackhawks defensive back Liam Cole has been named in the Great Britain Lions U17 developmental squad for the training camps taking place in May and June.

The GB U17 group is the development squad for the U19 team, and is aimed at players who have shown the skills to potentially progress to the U19 squad in the future.

Liam is the first player from the Eagles Academy to be selected for the development squad, and Head Coach Nick Benning said:

“We are all extremely proud of Liam as the first youth player being selected for an international squad. Having only taken up the sport mid-way through last season he has worked a hard on adapting his skill set and understanding the game.

“Physically he already possess no end of talent and we hope to help him develop his knowledge to match this and continue further on his journey. Liam has now set the bar for his team mates and I’m sure he will continue to raise it. Great work Liam!”

Speaking on the BAFA National Teams Facebook page, GB Head Coach Jason Henry said on the trials:

“Over the past decade I have had the chance to see U12 flag right up to U19 kitted and seen the talent we have in flag and U17 kitted programmes across the country. The coaches bought in with the idea of having players ‘grow’ with Team GB and planning success on and off the field.

“Yet again credit must go to the legions of dedicated coaches, volunteers and family members who have given young players the chance to grow and experience Football. The majority of the players attending had ever played football with more than 5 on a team but by the end of the day impressed coaches as the grasped and ran with the format which is 11 man tackle football.

“Congratulations on all the players selected to start the exciting chapter in their Football development.”

Join the Eagles

The Ouse Valley Eagles were formed in 2013 with the aim of becoming one of the leading lights for American Football in the UK.

The 2018 season is almost upon us but it is never too late to join one of our four teams:

  • Ouse Valley Eagles (Adult Kitted, age 18+)
  • Bedford Blackhawks (Adult Flag, age 16+)
  • Bedford Blackhawks (Youth Contact, U17)
  • Milton Keynes Redwings (Youth Contact, U17)

Despite being a relatively new Club, the Eagles are made up of an experienced team of coaching and backroom staff, with more players registering to join each month.

The goal set by our founding committee was to have a club here still winning games in 25 years time, and for our children to be able to play for the same team we did.

That remains the goal today, and we are working every day to make the club bigger and stronger. To register your interest in joining any of the teams under the Ouse Valley banner please complete the form below:

Your privacy is important to us. For more details about how we use your personal data, please read our Privacy Statement. We would like to send you additional information that is relevant to you. By ticking the boxes below you consent to receive information about:

Rookie SessionsTraining SessionsUpcoming Events

We will not pass your details to third parties. You may opt out of receiving these communications at any time by emailing gdpr@oveagles.com or using the opt-out facility on each email.

PREVIEW | Blackhawks set for season opener

12 Apr

The Blackhawks Flag team kick off their 2018 campaign at Weston Favell Academy in Northampton this weekend with games against the Northants Titans Black and Coventry Panthers.

Both sides are new opponents for the Hawks, who go into the season full of confidence and looking for a positive start following a disappointing 2017.

Andy Mattacks and David Avellaneda are set to make their debuts.

The games will be hosted by the Titans and the day also features match ups involving the Coventry Cougars Ladies, Northants Titans White, Rugby Raccoons and Leicester Huntsmen.

Schedule

The first games of the day kick off at 11am, with the Blackhawks taking on the Panthers on Pitch 1 and Titans Black vs Leicester on Pitch 2:

Pitch 1

  • 11am – Coventry Panthers vs Bedford Blackhawks
  • 12pm – Coventry Cougars Ladies vs Northants Titans White
  • 1pm – Bedford Blackhawks vs Northants Titans Black
  • 2pm – Coventry Cougars Ladies vs Rugby Raccoons

Pitch 2

  • 11am – Northants Titans Black vs Leicester Huntsmen
  • 12pm – Leicester Huntsmen vs Rugby Raccoons
  • 1pm – Northants Titans White vs Coventry Panthers
Directions

The games will take place at Weston Cavell Academy, Northampton NN3 3EZ:

Game Coverage

If you can’t make it to Northampton to watch the games we will be providing regular updates via the Blackhawks Twitter and Facebook pages.

See You Saturday

NEWS | Easter egg and toy donation

06 Apr

Players and coaches visited Bedford and Milton Keynes Hospitals over the Easter weekend to deliver chocolate eggs and toys to the Children’s Wards.

We visited the Riverbank Ward in Bedford on Good Friday (30th March) and the Children’s Unit at Milton Keynes on Saturday morning (31st March) to make the special deliveries, which had been donated by the club.

Speaking on behalf of the Club afterwards, Michael Dilley said:

“We always enjoy delivering eggs to our local hospitals and are really pleased to carry on the tradition this year.

“The staff on the wards do an incredible job, and we’re also really happy to be able to show our appreciation in this way”.

The Ouse Valley Eagles were formed in 2013 with the aim of becoming one of the leading lights for American Football in the UK.

The 2018 season is almost upon us but it is never too late to join one of our four teams:

  • Ouse Valley Eagles (Adult Kitted, age 18+)
  • Bedford Blackhawks (Adult Flag, age 16+)
  • Bedford Blackhawks (Youth Contact, U17)
  • Milton Keynes Redwings (Youth Contact, U17)

Despite being a relatively new Club, the Eagles are made up of an experienced team of coaching and backroom staff, with more players registering to join each month.

The goal set by our founding committee was to have a club here still winning games in 25 years time, and for our children to be able to play for the same team we did.

That remains the goal today, and we are working every day to make the club bigger and stronger. To register your interest in joining any of the teams under the Ouse Valley banner please complete the form below:

Your privacy is important to us. For more details about how we use your personal data, please read our Privacy Statement. We would like to send you additional information that is relevant to you. By ticking the boxes below you consent to receive information about:

Rookie SessionsTraining SessionsUpcoming Events

We will not pass your details to third parties. You may opt out of receiving these communications at any time by emailing gdpr@oveagles.com or using the opt-out facility on each email.

NEWS | Redwings to host joint scrimmage with Blackhawks and Jaguars

15 Mar

This Saturday (17th March) sees the OVE Academy, consisting of Bedford Blackhawks and Milton Keynes Redwings, host the Nuneaton Jaguars in a joint training session and scrimmage.

The Jags are no strangers to the Blackhawks having hosted the Bedford lads on two occasions last season, so it’s only fair that the favour was returned to the fastest growing Youth Teams in the UK.

As part of the session all three squads will do their bit to help raise attention to this year’s Sports Relief and they welcome any interested 13-17 year-olds down to join the training section of the session.

Blackhawks Head Coach Nick Benning can’t wait for the session to begin:

“Much like our own set up, the Jags have had outstanding success going from nothing but a dream 18 months ago to one of the largest youth squads in the UK today.

“We joined Coach Lawrence’s team for two great sessions last year we are looking forward to returning the favour. On the day we will have boys and girls from all three teams working together learning from a variety of Coaches. We will then split down to take part in the kitted scrimmage and give our Rookies a true taste of what the season has in store for them.”

If you are aged between 13 and 17 or know someone who is that wants to take part, feel free to join the team at Stantonbury Campus in Milton Keynes from 11am on Saturday.

NEWS | Eagles 2018 Schedule Released

06 Mar

The Eagles’ 2018 regular season schedule has been confirmed, and sees the team kicking off at home in SFC1 Central to last season’s division champions Sussex Thunder on Sunday 22nd April.

That is followed three weeks later with the return game on the South Coast, before a first ever meeting with the Berkshire Renegades the following week.

After a week of practice we then have games on four successive weeks vs Bristol Apache (H), Berkshire Renegades (H), Oxford Saints (A) and Solent Thrashers (H).

There then follows back-to-back games in July against the Thrashers (A) and Saints (H), before the regular season comes to a close on 12th August with a trip west to face Bristol Apache.

Ouse Valley Eagles 2018 Regular Season Schedule
  • Sunday 22nd April vs Sussex Thunder
  • Sunday 13th May @ Sussex Thunder
  • Sunday 20th May @ Berkshire Renegades
  • Sunday 3rd June vs Bristol Apache
  • Sunday 10th June vs Berkshire Renegades
  • Sunday 17th June @ Oxford Saints
  • Sunday 24th June vs Solent Thrashers
  • Sunday 15th July @ Solent Thrashers (3pm)
  • Sunday 22nd July vs Oxford Saints
  • Sunday 12th August @ Bristol Apache

All home games will take place at Bedford International Athletics Stadium and kick-off at 1pm. All away games will kick-off at 2.30pm unless otherwise stated.

2018 Play-Off Structure

As per the 2017 season eight teams in Division 1 will progress to the play-offs, consisting of the top two teams in each of the four conferences (NFC1 North, NFC1 South, SFC1 Central and SFC1 East).

The first round of the play-offs will see the #1 seed in the SFC/NFC face and #4 seed, and the #2 seed meet the #3 ranked team.

The Division 1 Championship will be decided between the NFC1 and SFC1 winners.

Join the Eagles!

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 four teams:

  • Ouse Valley Eagles (Adult Kitted, age 18+)
  • Bedford Blackhawks (Adult Flag, age 16+)
  • Bedford Blackhawks (Youth Contact, U17)
  • Milton Keynes Redwings (Youth Contact, U17)

Despite being a relatively new Club, the Eagles are made up of an experienced team of coaching and backroom staff, with more players registering to join each month.

The goal set by our founding committee was to have a club here still winning games in 25 years time, and for our children to be able to play for the same team we did.

That remains the goal today, and we are working every day to make the club bigger and stronger. To register your interest in joining any of the teams under the Ouse Valley banner please complete the form below:

Your privacy is important to us. For more details about how we use your personal data, please read our Privacy Statement. We would like to send you additional information that is relevant to you. By ticking the boxes below you consent to receive information about:

Rookie SessionsTraining SessionsUpcoming Events

We will not pass your details to third parties. You may opt out of receiving these communications at any time by emailing gdpr@oveagles.com or using the opt-out facility on each email.