Northants Knights can't wait to finally charge back into action
Northants Knights chairman Jack O’Beirne says the club’s players can’t wait to finally return to the field this weekend.
Established in 2016, the Knights are the only full-contact American football team in Northamptonshire
They have a senior team, a Junior U19 team and a Youth U16 team, but the Covid-19 pandemic put a stop to play last year and only now are they able to make their long-awaited comeback.
The club has undergone plenty of change while being out of action, including the appointment of Wayne Gumbs as head coach, replacing Matt Godfrey.
The team returned to training in early April and this weekend they will play their first game since October 2019, when they beat Scunthorpe Alphas 41-8.
The 2020 season was cancelled due to the pandemic so the club has had to wait to make its first foray into competitive football within the BAFA National League, having successfully passed the associate process.
The 2021 season opener takes place on Sunday as the Knights welcome Nottingham Caesars to Old Grammarian’s Memorial Sports Field in Wellingborough, starting at 2pm.
The Knights are in the BAFA National League - Central East, alongside Nottingham Caesars, Lincolnshire Bombers, South Lincs Lightning, and Scunthorpe Alphas, and will play eight times in the campaign.
And O’Beirne said: "We're delighted to be returning to the field this weekend after what has been a long lay-off due to the pandemic.
"While the pandemic has obviously been challenging for us all, we as a club have been working hard to develop and evolve.
"We have expanded to offer American Football to young people aged from 13, right up to our senior level, and that's something we're really passionate about and committed to.
"Our team spirit has grown enormously, too. Camaraderie is huge in American Football and our togetherness has never been greater than it is now.
"We've stuck together as a brotherhood, been there for each other, and now we're taking to the field together once more.
"We're really excited to get started in the BAFA National League, bringing competitive football back to Northamptonshire.
"It's been a long time coming, since our inception in 2016, but we know it'll be worth the wait.
"We're always on the look out for new players to join us and become a Knight."
The Knights recruit players from across the East Midlands, from ages 13 plus, for the youth team up to the senior team.
To become a Knight, you don’t need any previous experience of American Football, and the team will welcome players of all shapes and sizes.
To join the Knights, you should attend training days, details of which can be found on www.knightsfootball.co.uk/ and on Facebook.