Tuesday, 17 January 2012

BUAFL Breakdown: The SWAC

There are two old power houses reasserting themselves over the fast improving relatively new boys in the SWAC, but it is always competitive. Expect an 8-0 team this year that team should do better in the play offs with their stronger record.

UWE Bullets
UWE lost some key starters from last year, but unlike their neighbours in Bristol appear to have not missed a beat. The defence in particular looks very good, with the usual tricky offense being good enough (and getting better) to beat most teams. 

Their only challenge in the second half will come from Exeter (maybe) and Cardiff. That last game of the season will most likely decide the Conf. title and who will go undefeated. The Bullets are well equipped to cause teams real problems in the play offs and Head Coach Matt Dyke will be planning a clean sweep to the playoffs.

Cardiff Cobras
The Cobras are in the middle of a record breaking run of 12 victories stretching back to 4th Dec 2010. They started slowly last year but got better and better as the year went on. In that run they have now beaten every other team in the conference.

It was a particularly young team last year and that means nearly everybody returned this year so new HC Simon Browning, who also added depth and experience to the coaching team, will be looking to go further this year with a play off place and wins. 

The best way to do that is to win the conference which will require a second win in a row over the Bullets (the Cobras spoilt their undefeated season last year) in what looks like being the game of the season at the end of Feb. There are tests before then, first game back after the break in Exeter will test the team but with arguably the best QB in the conference in Tom Williams the Cobras have the talent to go undefeated into the play offs in their 25th anniversary year.

Exclusive Interview with Birmingham Lions HC Wayne Hill

In our latest interview we speak with Birmingham Lions head Coach, GB Lions defensive coordinator and IFAF World team Linebacker Coach (I think I got all the titles in) Wayne Hill. We cover everything from the new coaching staff at the Lions to his notorious decision to go for two at the end of the BUAFL Championship game (a decision that ultimately cost them the game). Read on!

DC: First off congratulations on a fantastic year coaching wise. You were named head coach of the Birmingham Lions, OC of the Birmingham Bulls, LB coach for the IFAF world development team and now DC of GB lions. Which one personally means the most to you?

WH – Obviously all are very special and I am very lucky to have been selected to the National Programme and IFAF World Development Team. I have to say being back in charge at the Lions is a little extra special to me. This enables me to work with some amazing coaches and players on a daily basis, that really push me to develop myself and my coaching. However, all of the positions have something special to me; the Bulls role was great as that was where I grew up and developed a love for this sport. So it was great to contribute to a really successful season and be part of a great development programme being put in place by Steve Hannington and Brendan Cunnane.

The National Programme role is going to be a challenge and I love a challenge! I am excited to be part of the new set up and even in the early stages I am enjoying working with Coach Callan and putting together a great defensive staff.

Now the IFAF World Development Team role is awesome and I am looking forward to working with some of the best coaches and players in the world. This has been a great learning curve for me and now the selection process is complete I am looking forward to meeting the players face to face and getting on with the on field coaching.

BUAFL As it Stands: Challenge Cup

We are starting to get towards the business end of largely praised, but often criticised faux Challenge Cup Playoffs series and this weeks games sees two loooong journeys by the southern conference teams to take on their northern counterparts. Check out last weeks article to see how the teams got to where they are now and like us on facebook to stay up to date with the latest news on BUAFL and Britball first!

As both our games take place in the North and it's that time of the year, the weather played a major factor in each! Read on to find out who makes the final!

OBU Panthers @ Bradford Bears
The first of the mammoth journeys saw Oxford Brookes travel 180 miles north to BUAFL new boys Bradford to play in the standard awful northern weather. Bradford have relied on play maker Chris Peel on both sides of the ball, but he has been ably backed up by a strong supporting cast. OBU have shared the load evenly between a plethora of talented players that have shocked the TVC so far this season.

This disparity in talent would prove to be the major difference in what was a game dominated by defence. There was very little scoring by either team in the first half with only a field goal from OBU. Chris Peel, Steven Zurheid and Tom Davies were domianting the OBU offensive front making numerous stops on 3rd and long while James Mcgubbin and Freddie Page put the OBU Panthers on their back, preventing the Bradford offence from even leaving their half with some huge hits big plays behind the line of scrimmage.

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