American Football. Harvey Hadden Stadium. Varsity Matchday #1: 05/02/12, 1pm.
4th February 2012
This Superbowl weekend also sees the 3-2 Nottingham Outlaws and the 2-2 Nottingham Trent Renegades in action in the American Football Varsity fixture. The Outlaws go into the game off the back of two victories and didn’t give up any points on their last outing against the DMU Leicester Falcons. They have recovered well from two loses against Birmingham and Loughborough, two of the best teams in the BUAFL Midland Athletic Conference and are now looking to push for a playoff berth.
This should be a hotly contested affair, last season’s fixture ended in a 6-0 victory for the Renegades and the Outlaws are looking for revenge; team captain and defensive lineman Declan Foley feels the game last year was fiercely contested with the Renegades lucky to snatch the game.
New addition to the Outlaws, back-up quarter back Luca Rossoni has been playing the game in Italy for years before coming to Nottingham as a post-grad. He sings the praises of new members of the Outlaws roster who haven’t been involved in the game before, praising their efforts and saying the best players are the ones that turn up to every training session and game and always put in 100%. We first asked Luca how he was adapting to playing in England and what the main differences are between playing here and in Italy.
Henry Dinger is the Outlaws’ starting quarterback. He is a third year Outlaw, in his second at quarterback, and is described as enthusiastic, quick thinking and having a great eye for the game by offensive coordinator Simon Denning.
Dinger will be looking to connect with veteran wide receiver Andrew Mathers. He has been with the Outlaws since being an undergrad and is now studying for his PhD. Mathers has caught key touchdowns in two games this season and is hungry for more against the Renegades. He has been involved in the playoffs before and wants to get back there this season.
Captain Declan Foley has been a solid leader this season and is looking to stop this Renegade running game this year. He wants to record a victory in this year’s Varsity after being on the losing side in the past two seasons.
Defensive back Joel Jones will be another key player for the Outlaws in the Varsity game. He is a talented player in the Nottingham secondary and has already scored a touchdown interception against the Birmingham Lions – and will be looking to do the same against the Renegades.
This Varsity game is going to be a hotly contested one between two teams wanting to push for playoffs. The Outlaws say they will attack this game like they would any other, with the intention of getting a win. Both teams are playing for a winning record and a win for the Outlaws will set them up for an exciting final two games of the season.
Words by Sachin Gossman, interviews (29/01/12) by Dave Akosim and Sachin Gossman