‘Never Say Die’

Jahin Shamsuddin recaps what has been a turbulent season for the UEL Titans.

UEL Titans

It’s been an action – and incident-packed – season for UEL’s American Football side.

“The team can be very proud of themselves, considering we are a second-year team predominantly made of rookies; we can only get better,” said Louis Oswald to Rising East when speaking about the season.

It was a long and hard fought campaign. The Titans were within touching distance of the playoffs, unfortunately, it wasn’t enough as they ended the season 3-3 after losing their final game of the season against Canterbury Christ Church.

Rocky Start 

It was a strange start to the season for the Titans as they went 2-0 without having played a single snap of football. Both teams they were scheduled to face ended up forfeiting the game which meant the Titans were in a great position. However, it looked as if the Titans weren’t in sync for the next two games as they lost two straight against Essex and QMU, which had dampened their playoff hopes. Even after that rocky start the Titans never gave up.

“Titans ball can be summed up by a never-say-die attitude that was plain to see through the season. The diversity that we’ve faced as a team with a dodgy pre-season, games where we felt we were wronged or even told we couldn’t play, to the cancellations and forfeited games, which meant we had to wait until January to play our first match,” added Oswald.

Turnaround

In the game against Anglia Ruskin the Titans looked like a brand-new side. They had faced a lot of setbacks including the injury of their starting QB JP Argyriou. This meant that back up QB Daniel Hopkins had to lead the side for the remaining two games. A convincing 19-3 victory against Anglia Ruskin meant that they had to defeat the unbeaten Canterbury Christ Church Chargers to reach the play offs and finish the season with a winning record.

The game started off very well for the Titans as they had prevented Canterbury from scoring in each of their drives in the first half. Ultimately, it was Canterbury who prevailed as they managed to score late on to take a 14-12 lead after the Titans had missed both their PAT’s. With minutes remaining on the clock, the Titans had one final drive left in them to potentially seal the victory but it was the Canterbury defence who got the better of them.

What’s Next 

Despite missing the playoffs, it can be regarded as a successful season for the Titans who finished third in the division despite this being only their second full season in the league. The team should be proud of themselves after the setbacks they had to face throughout the campaign.

If they can continue the way they played in the final two games of the season, then they have the potential to be a dangerous team next year and finally reach the playoffs. The team will go through a minor rebuild as there are some senior players leaving but Oswald sees a lot of positives for the next season.

“Although we are losing guys like QB Daniel Hopkin, Linebacker Tom Costello, Offensive Guards David Ironmonger and Sebastian Liggenstorfer and Kelly Kenubia, who have all offered so much to this team, we will be even better next year. We have a team with a lot of experienced veterans, who all are going to play senior ball. We also have an amazing group of rookies who gained valuable experience this year, who will have to step it up next year.”