Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Manchester 'Titan' Their Preparation For 2013

That's "tighten" by the way, oh yes the puns gets worse every day!

The Manchester Titans have had a roller coaster few years, that’s for sure. First was the 10-0 season, which saw them promoted. Then retirements and injuries saw them enter the new season against tougher opposition with a young and inexperienced team. What followed was nothing short of brutal. They finished the 2010 season 0-10, including a whopping loss away at East Kilbride Pirates.

Then last season. Back in Division 2 and looking to rebuild, the Titans were among the favorites to gain a playoff berth in a division containing two new teams, the DC Presidents and the Crewe Railroaders.

With the Sheffield Predators dominating the early season and continuing their development from the year before it soon became clear that the Titans’ inexperience and young squad was fighting for the second playoff spot. Then controversy.

The torrid British weather saw many games postponed, including the Titans’ game against the Chester Romans. It was seen that the winner of this game would ultimately grab the second playoff spot. But the match couldn’t be rescheduled and the result was a tie, seeing Chester grab the final playoff spot by half a game, having only played and lost to Sheffield once as opposed to Manchester’s twice.

But the Titans’ young and inexperienced squad isn’t so inexperienced any more. Their trials and tribulations in the League have moulded them into a hardened unit.

The documented fallouts and lack of team spirit is a thing of the past in the new look Manchester squad. And it’s not the only thing.

Jon Homer heads the club as General Manager whilst Phill Chapman steps down from his Head Coach role to allow Nigel Dias to take up the position. Those who have followed Britball for a while will know of Dias’ reputation but for those that don’t he won two European Championships with the GB Lions, a Eurobowl with the Manchester Spartans and three National Titles. He’s widely regarded as the best British defensive back of all time.

Meanwhile Conor Higgins, formerly of the London Blitz will take the role of Head Coach of the junior side and James Bowyer will head up the new youth, 5-man team.

With the new coaching staff in place and a very successful rookie camp under their belts the Manchester Titans headed into the New Year optimistic. And this optimism has grown with each training session.

But as much as they have worked on the field they have worked harder as a unit off it, announcing several partnerships that set them aside from the rest of Britball.

First up came the partnerships with Swinton Chiropractic and Athlete Matters Sports Physiotheraphists, two partnerships which signal the intent of the Titans to keep their players looked after and fit.

Furthermore Manchester Printers Ltd signed up to be the club’s main sponsor for the next two seasons, a shrewd move that sees the Titans handed promotional materials, branded polo shirts for all coaches and players and a significant financial investment for the club.

With key sponsorship, a motivated and tight-knit squad of players and coaches and a determination to succeed the Titans have a lot of potential. With teams such as Shropshire Revolution, Gateshead Senators, Merseyside Nighthawks and of course the Chester Romans to face off against this coming year, the Manchester Titans are going to have a tough season, but one they are capable of excelling in.

We caught up with GM Jonathan Homer to get his take on the progression of the Titans:

"The Titans have come a long way in 10 year and in 2011 with promotion we seemed to be moving in the right direction. Unfortunately things didn't go as planned and last season we were rebuilding again in Div 2. We have to thank the outgoing GM Tony McCulloch for his hard work and commitment to the Titans, its true to say he is the only reason there is a club, however it was clear at the end of last season that we were stagnating, and we needed change to move forwards.

With a new committee in place for 2013 we have already made great strides, we have key partners on board for physiotherapy, a chiropractor, a medical supplier and our first ever monetary sponsor in Manchester Printer. Couple this with our new coaching set-up and great rookie in take we are confident about the year ahead.

We are also now working closely with other football organisations within Manchester. Working with the two university teams and Caleb Jackson and rest of MCRCoaches we have a real chance over the next few years to put Manchester on the football map in the UK."

Article and Photos by Nathan James Sharrocks

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