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.

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 | 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 | 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.

NEWS | Practice cancelled this weekend

02 Mar

Due to the adverse weather conditions training is cancelled this weekend for all four teams:

– Milton Keynes Redwings (U17)
– Bedford Blackhawks (U17)
– Bedford Blackhawks (Senior Flag)
– Ouse Valley Eagles (Senior)

Apologies for any inconvenience caused, we hope to return to our usual practice schedule next week.

Register your interest

To register your interest in joining one of our teams 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 | Open Session Today!

04 Feb

Start your Super Bowl Sunday the right way!

Our Senior Team are holding an Open Session between 11am and 12.30pm today at the University of Bedfordshire on Polhill Avenue in Bedford.

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 are aged 18 or above and 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.

What to expect

If you want to know what to expect at the session, check out this highlights video from our previous Bedford session in November:

What you’ll need

There are a few things you’ll need to bring with you to the session:

– Water (recommended 2L but the more the better).
– Rugby or football boots as the session will be taking place on grass
– Shorts/Joggers or similar
– Top of some kind: sweatshirt, t-shirt or similar
– Gumshield

How to get there

Registration

Registration for today’s session opens at 10.45am, where you will be asked to complete a simple registration form. If you would like to download a registration form and complete it ahead of the session, you can do so here.

SBLII | Who will win the biggest game of them all?

02 Feb

Can the New England Patriots go back-to-back and win a record sixth Lombardi Trophy, or will the Philadelphia Eagles finally end their Super Bowl drought and win the biggest game of them all at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Sunday?

We asked some of our members what they thought ahead of Super Bowl 52…

Jeremy Charlton: Would like the eagles to win but can’t change the inevitable…

Neale McMaster: I’d like to see the Eagles win, but as much as I dislike them, I can’t see past the Patriots. I absolutely love Bill Belichick as a coach, he’s awesome, and Tom Brady operated that offensive system perfectly. I think they’ll win by three scores.

Mike Davies: If the Patriots win, maybe Brady will retire and give someone else a go…

Danny Cousins: Love an underdog. But can’t see anything other than a Patriots win.

Harry Rackham: Patriots win allowing Brady and Belichick to ride off into the sunset as the goats, clearing the path for a Bears dynasty.

Jonathan Chilton: I’m going to go with the Eagles. Logic makes the Patriots favourites but they were slow to start against Jags and maybe this is one of those days where Brady doesn’t perform.

Mark Brown: An Eagles win in overtime.

Gareth Pullen: Pats 27 Eagles 21.

Neil Duffy: Can’t we all forget about the score and just hope all the players have fun…and so says everyone who isn’t a Patriots fan…because although we have seen favourites simply not turn up at the Super Bowl before, I have a funny feeling Brady is about to make an announcement a few days afterwards and will want to go out on a high…

Troy Mayer: Patriots 31 – 14 Eagles. Two firing offences but the Patriots have their talisman, the Eagles don’t and after last year’s Super Bowl anything is possible with Brady at the forefront. Unlike everyone else though as Brady is possibly the most competitive person on the planet I don’t think he will retire. 6 rings won’t be enough and records are only made to be broken after all…but then again I’m a Lions fan so I don’t know what a Superbowl is.

Ikenna Iloka: Eagles, because of the strength of their defense and their offense seems to be firing on all cylinders. I don’t see the Pats offense being able to get past the Eagles defense.

Oliver Chesters-Lewis: Pats to win 28-10, the Eagles have looked good on defense but the Pats showed they can score against high powered-defences and shut-out a Foles who isn’t reliable.

Stevie Cole: For the first time in my life I am begrudgingly going for the Pats as I can not root for them dirty birds as bitter NFC East rivals. Their fan’s proudest moment to date might be the body bag game. Doh! #HTTR

Rachel Marscheider: Think the Pats will win (they over came the strong Jags defense) but I shall be rooting for the Eagles – Dolphins fan here so I shall never ever cheer for the Pats.

Come and Try

Our Senior Team are holding a further Open Sessions on Sunday 4th and 11th February at the University of Bedfordshire on Polhill Avenue between 11am and 12:30pm.

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 are aged 18 or above and 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.

What to expect

If you want to know what to expect at the session, check out this highlights video from our previous Bedford session in November:

What you’ll need

There are a few things you’ll need to bring with you to the session:

– Water (recommended 2L but the more the better).
– Rugby or football boots as the session will be taking place on grass
– Shorts/Joggers or similar
– Top of some kind: sweatshirt, t-shirt or similar
– Gumshield

How to get there

Register your interest

To register your interest in the session, please respond to our Facebook event, complete the form below, or get in touch via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Before the session you will be asked to complete a simple registration form (registrations open at 10.45am). If you would like to download a registration form and complete it ahead of the session, you can do so here.

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 | Further Open Session announced

30 Jan

Our Senior Team are holding a further Open Session on Sunday 11th February at the University of Bedfordshire on Polhill Avenue between 11am and 12:30pm.

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 are aged 18 or above and 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.

What to expect

If you want to know what to expect at the session, check out this highlights video from our previous Bedford session in November:

What you’ll need

There are a few things you’ll need to bring with you to the session:

– Water (recommended 2L but the more the better).
– Rugby or football boots as the session will be taking place on grass
– Shorts/Joggers or similar
– Top of some kind: sweatshirt, t-shirt or similar
– Gumshield

How to get there

Register your interest

To register your interest in the session, please respond to our Facebook event, complete the form below, or get in touch via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Before the session you will be asked to complete a simple registration form (registrations open at 10.45am). If you would like to download a registration form and complete it ahead of the session, you can do so here.

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.