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:

I am happy to receive correspondence related to training sessions and registering with the club.

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:

I am happy to receive correspondence related to training sessions and registering with the club.

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:

I am happy to receive correspondence related to training sessions and registering with the club.

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:

I am happy to receive correspondence related to training sessions and registering with the club.

NEWS | Milton Keynes Redwings training sessions announced

24 Feb

The club are delighted to announce that training sessions for the Milton Keynes Redwings U17s contact team will begin next week.

The sessions will take place every Saturday from 3rd March between 11am and 1pm at Stantonbury Campus in Milton Keynes.

The Redwings are open to anyone aged 13-17 and will initially play friendly matches during a development year in 2018 with a view of joining the National League in 2019. These training sessions are a key first step towards achieving those goals.

How to get there

What you’ll need

If you are coming along there are a few things you’ll need to bring with you:

– Plenty of water
– Footwear suitable to be worn on grass
– Warm clothes
– Gumshield (optional but recommended)

Register your interest

To register your interest in joining the Redwings, or any of the other teams under the Ouse Valley banner (Ouse Valley Eagles senior contact, Bedford Blackhawks U17 contact, Bedford Blackhawks senior flag) please complete the form below:

I am happy to receive correspondence related to training sessions and registering with the club.

FLAG | Blackhawks to play friendly tournament

23 Feb

The 2018 schedule is expected to be finalised shortly, but in the meantime the Bedford Blackhawks Flag team will be taking part in a friendly tournament next month.

The ‘Hawks will face Swindon Storm, Aylesbury Spartans and Salisbury City Marauders in Aylesbury on Saturday 18th March as each team continue their preparations for the upcoming season.

Flag football is the fastest growing format of the game in Great Britain, encompassing schools, colleges, universities and community football.

Flag is non-contact version of American Football where tackles are made by pulling a flag off an opposing player. The game retains the same principles as the contact form, but in a 5v5 non-contact arena with a maximum of 12 players per squad, and is a tremendous way to increase passing and catching fundamentals.

We are always looking for new players to join the Blackhawks, or any of the other teams under the Ouse Valley banner (Ouse Valley Eagles senior contact, Bedford Blackhawks U17 contact, Milton Keynes Redwings U17 contact).

To register your interest in joining the club please complete the form below:

I am happy to receive correspondence related to training sessions and registering with the club.

NEWS | Final Open Session This Sunday

08 Feb

The final Open Session of the winter takes places this Sunday between 11am and 12.30pm 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 the 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.