BUCS Division One National Final – Head Coach Interviews

We’re hoping to catch up with the Clansmen ahead of kick off on Sunday, and we have a sneaky suspicion that the Saints are no longer speaking to us after #BonaGate, but both these impressive young coaches from Division One spoke with DC about their history in the game and their reflections on their seasons so far…

We’ll start up north with Carnegie Alum Dale Bottomley, who in his first ever season as Leeds Beckett Carnegie Head Coach has led the programme to their most successful season to date.

Who are you and what’s your coaching background?

I’m the programme manager for Leeds Beckett American football – this includes the roles of HC of the BUCS squad, overseeing but not directly coaching the Carnegie Chargers, HC of the Leeds Academy Assassins U19s and overseeing all aspects of the Academy (U17s and all U14 flag football). Previous to this I have coached various sports on and off for ten years, coached the Carnegie Chargers in their first season in 2014 which was a great experience and co-founded the Leeds Academy back in 2013.

Photography via Leeds Academy - https://www.facebook.com/LeedsAcademyOfAmericanFootball/
Photography via Leeds Academy – https://www.facebook.com/LeedsAcademyOfAmericanFootball/
How did you get into coaching American Football?

Having enjoyed playing and with a background in coaching other sports, it was a natural progression to step into coaching.

Who’s your coaching hero?

Coach William Babbington, HC of the Leeds Academy Assassins U17s – he is an inspiration to myself, to the other coaches within our programme and to the players he coaches every week. Here’s a link to an article about his journey.

What’s your coaching dream?

To have more than 16 players physically able to participate in practice and more than 23 available on gamedays… Bliss.

What’s the single most important quality for a BUCSball coach, in your opinion?

Every coach is different and has their own way of developing their players and teams. If I had to pick one, it would be the ability to bring the best out of your players, regardless of their talent level.

Quickfire round:

Red or Blue?


Cats or Dogs?


Offence or Defence?


Bacon or Cheese?


Blitz or Coverage?


Star Wars  or Star Trek?

Star Wars

Punt or Go for it?

Go for it

Rachel  or Monica?


Run or Pass?


Hot Dog or Burger?


Brawn or Brains?


Peyton or Eli?


Dodge ‘em  or Truck ‘em?

Dodge ’em

Classless winner or Classy loser?

Come on… Classy winner (Eds: That’s not an answer! )

1 point or 2 points?

2 points

Squat or Bench?


Fast or Strong?



No Surprises Coach Bottomley went for two points over one – it was a gamble on a two point conversion that saw Carnegie slip past Nottingham in the Northern Semis in an oh-so-tense overtime!

How about Portsmouth Destroyer’s Head Coach, Alex Phillips?




Nick 'Willy Tee' Wilson-Town hails from the South West where he's spent the last decade bouncing around various teams at the university and senior level. He came to fame on the now departed unofficial forum thanks to his regularly irreverent Uniball predictions and general 'BUAFL wafflage'. Follow him on twitter @WillyTee1