Following on from their BAFA Youth National Championship victory in August, the Cobham Cougars have announced that they intend to compete at both Youth and Junior football level as well as offering Cadet Flag for those under the age of 13 as the sport continues to grow in South West London.
The club will be spearheaded by a trio of returning coaches; Scott Barlow, Conan Jal and Nate Wilson, who all will be taking on new roles as the programme continues to develop with interest in American Football and the Cougars reaching record numbers.
Jal and Wilson will be Head Coaches of the Junior and Youth programmes respectively with each being free to offer a supporting role to the other in the other discipline as an Assistant coach. Both of course have worked closely together for the past six years with the Kingston University programme and will continue that relationship into the Cobham programme.
Barlow, who established the Cobham programme just three short years ago with some other parents looking for a football outlet for their sons and has been instrumental in the fast trajectory of the club, will take the role of Offensive Coordinator for the Junior programm
The club have moved to recruit a Defensive Coordinator with experience of the game at U19 level. Junior Hayden, who has previously coached with the London Warriors Youth and Junior programme will be coming on board to team up with the Cougars and will look forward to going up against some of his former charges over the course of the season!
Line Coach Abdur-Rahman Amjed has been installed to coach both Offensive and Defensive Lines for Junior and Youth level. This will be Abdur’s first coaching role at Junior level having previously coached at Senior level with the London Olympians and University with the Kingston programme.
Wilson’s Youth coaching staff will include Alexander “AK” Kharadi who will take the Offensive Coordinator duties whilst Jonathan Nabrotzky, another of the founding fathers of the club, will continue as Defensive Coordinator of the 2017 Championship winning defence.
Barry Kolodkin and Shane Francis round out the current coaching staff and will help support all levels of the programme from Cadet through to Junior. Coach AK will also be the club’s Strength and Conditioning Coach.
“It is an exciting time for the Cobham programme…”
said Junior HC Conan Jal.
“…Coming off the success of a Youth National title, it was clear that those graduating from Youth footballneeded to have an opportunity to continue to play together so we are delighted that we will be able to offer that by way of a Junior team. It will be fun to see those 17 and 18 year olds on our programme continue to develop their skills in the game.”
Cobham ran four tryout sessions last month for new players which went very well.
“We were delighted to have around 30-40 ‘new to the sport’ kids come down for the tryout sessions and look forward to more coming out in the New Year as we begin the 2018 season.”
“We welcome all ages to give the sport a go. We will be looking at having Flag football for those under 13 and will look to arrange tournaments with other local U12 teams.
The Cougars have also been working with BAFA National Schools Manager, Rob Rooksby as well to grow the school offering to the game. Jal commented
“We have had several coaches and players from both Kingston and Cobham teams undertake the Induction Day for the Touchdown programme and we have been in discussions over the past 12 months with two of the main School Games Organisers (SGO) in our area so we will be running after school classes with the help of teachers at participating schools from January.”
“We are keen to introduce American Football to all boys and girls in our region and if any want to continue after the sessions we will be delighted to have them join our Cobham teams. Last season, we had 5 boys join us from the after school courses that we ran.”
Anybody interested in getting involved with the Cobham Cougars, practices will start at ACS International School in Cobham on Saturday 20th January from 9.30-11.30am and run weekly.