Soooo here we go with another senior season. The SFC 2 East has had a bit of a shake up after last year’s effort of sending 3 teams to the playoffs. The London Hornets are long gone after their perfect regular season and replaced with newbies the East Essex Sabres. Whereas one playoff team is swapped for another with Cambridge leaving for East Kent Mavericks.
Wembley Stallions come in as many people’s contender for the conference; a 100% post season qualification record for this young team looks to continue. Boasting a playing roster of 70+, the Stallions have bolstered their coaching staff with ex-Cornish Sharks Matt Henderson at Asst HC and some transfers in from Berkshire.
The Stallions will be disappointed not to get past the quarter final stage this year but need to keep their eye on the ball. An improving offense will be key, as a QB battle develops with a three-way race between Art Bakmanidis, Lawrence Wild and Peter Coppenhall for the starting role. Running backs Aaron Greenidge and Junior Ejehu – who have both posted back-to-back 1000 yard seasons will be key to controlling the clock for Wembley, who are also expecting breakout seasons from wide receiver duo nick Glenday and Tom McGinty.
When asked for their hopes and expectations for the season, Chairman and Head Coach Warren Smart was succinct; the SFC2 title.
Ipswich Cardinals come in after a disappointing 0-10 season but over the years have fielded very different teams, normally due to the amount of Trans-Atlantic talent on the books . The only constant however being they play at one of the nicest pitches in Britball . Gonna have to be a bit of a wait and see on the Cardinals…
East Kent Mavericks roll into the conference off the back of a playoff run last year but after a swift physical exit from Bristol they will looking to stampede their way through new competition. Right now it would look a 2 horse (pun fully intended) race between them and the Stallions for the conference. However, we understand that the Mavericks lost their entire starting defensive line and 4 other defensive starters to retirement in the offseason. Whilst they still expect post-season football, a lot will be asked of a defensive unit led by Defensive Coordinator Dave Squires.
London Blitz B came in with a solid showing last year at 4-6 . This one will depend what they have lost up to the A team and who has come down. As with these development teams they can often be in flux. Right now we are thinking another solid showing but depends on recruitment.
Essex Spartans were spared the wooden spoon last year due to the Cardinals and will be looking to improve with some new blood in the conference. Whilst their defense showed signs of improvement in 2016 (averaging 21.6 points per game), the offense took a distinctly downward trend on 2015, dropping from 18.6ppg to 13.5ppg.
Speaking of new blood, we have the East Essex Sabres who are actually a blast from the past having left Britball in 2004 and reforming. Head Coach Lee Joseph will be hoping the side carries its associate form in to the National Leagues, having won all 6 associate fixtures, shutting out their opponents on 5 occasions much to the delight of Defensive Coordinator Kirk Beecham.
We want to enjoy ourselves this year, but also aim to have a winning record to help all our new players feel the ‘winning spirit’. We want to help develop the sport and increase participation in the area.
– Tim Lewis, Chairman