The London Olympians are one of the UK’s most storied American Football teams. A multiple Euro Bowl and Brit Bowl winning team, the club found themselves falling out of the top division in BAFA football last year after collapsing and finishing the year 0-10.
But thanks to an influx of young talented university players alongside grizzled veterans who plan on putting last year’s dreadful memories behind them, the Olympians are looking in prime position to reclaim their spot among Britain’s best.
Over the weekend the team took part in a joint training camp with the five-time defending champions, The London Warriors. For anyone who is new to the sport and doesn’t understand what is meant by joint training camp, it’s a chance for two teams to come together and gauge where abouts they are in terms of competition.
Teams will use these camps as a chance to pit player against player, but always in the spirit of good sportsmanship. Certain players like the quarterback will be untouchable, and certain plays may be ended by a whistle or a tag-like tackle instead of full contact.
Although they were going up against arguably the best team in the country, Offensive Line veteran Ryan Robinson told Rising East that he thought the session was a positive success: “It went well, a real learning curve from my prospective at least. For me our offensive line has the potential to be great. With the little time we had together, we put up a good fight and won some of the battles, especially the one-on-ones. We allowed them to know that this OL (o-line) is not a joke, and we’ll see them again [in the Premier Division] next year”.
Offensive Line coach Mark Adjei shared Ryan’s sentiments, explaining how “[They] were up against an experienced and well-drilled Defensive Line, but [they] all held your own”. The entire team appeared to up their game; American Football is a sport which needs players to be switched on every single play, but the team played at the level their opponents threw at them.
The Olympians possess one of the most experienced coaching line ups in the club’s history, with former Brit Bowl winners and even Victor Muhammed, a man who broke the mould for British players as he was once a member of the NFL’s New York Jets, on the coaching staff.
The first game on the long road to promotion will be on April 9th against the Colchester Gladiators, in Colchester. But with one more training session to go before the season opener, Head Coach Neil Edwards believes the team are in the right place ‘mentally and physically’.
Anyone who would like to come and try out for the London Olympians, is welcome to attend training on Sundays from 9am-12pm at Fisher FC Sports Ground, which is only a 10-minute walk from Canada Water tube station.