Heriot-Watt University’s American Football programme entered Uniball in 2015/16 to a rather inauspicious start, as a lack of facilities early in the year, along with similar problems for the UWS Pyros, meant the programme was only able to take the field for five fixtures last season.
However, when actually on the gridiron they did show flashes of being a competitor – holding the eventual conference champs, the Napier Knights, to a single-point victory in week two, and shocking the pundits with a 21-0 defeat of the Edinburgh Predators in week ten.
For the 2016/17 HWU’s facilities problems are hopefully now resolved thanks to their partnership with the Oriam Sports Park – a £66 million state-of-the-art sports facility that boasts a full size, indoor, 4g pitch with seating for 500, a 3/4 size indoor 4g dome for practices, a full size outdoor, floodlit, 4g, along with a brand new full size grass pitch for use by the team.
All HWU American Football players will have access to the full facility, with gym membership included in their club fees!
Incoming Head Coach Don Edmonston discussed the facilities on the Edinburgh Wolves’ Facebook page:
“The new facilities we have been allocated at Oriam Sports Park are second to none, we have recruited well and hopefully we will go into this our second year with that little more experience and with the new coaching staff i’m sure we will upset a few established teams and we believe we can take this club to new heights”
Alongside access to these second-to-none facilities, Heriot-Watt University have built on their partnership with the newest additions to the BAFANL Premier North, the Edinburgh Wolves. Fresh off leading the Wolves to the Division One finals and promotion to the Premiership, Don Edmonston has put together a coaching roster stocked with experience to help drive the young university programme forwards:
- Head Coach – Don Edmonston
- Offensive Line – Daryl Thomson & Martin Punter
- Running Bakcs – Ben Stones
- Quarterbacks – Liam Brown
- Wide Receivers – Calum Buchan
- Defensive Coordinator & Linebackers – Dayle Teegarden
- Defensive Line- Murray Davidson
- Defensive Backs – Craig Costa
Along with Coach Edmonston’s superb record at the head of the Wolves over the past few seasons (which has seen them visit back-to-back-to-back finals) another name that may stand out to many is Coach Martin Punter – a highly controversial figure who recently returned to the sport and the Edinburgh Wolves staff on parole, following an extended ban for repeated ejections and illegal altercations with both opponents and team mates. DC covered Coach Punter’s disappointing conduct in an article released in April this year – though it must be noted there have been no recorded incidents of misconduct on Coach Punters part this season and so the hope is he will set a far better example for the young HWU players looking to enter the sport this September.
With a wealth of experienced coaches and superb facilities it’s difficult to not see HWU improving on last season’s 1-4 record, and indeed in a Borders 2A that lacks any obvious powerhouse contenders we might expect to see a potential postseason trip for the conference’s youngest programme.