Sebastian Liggenstorfer gives a player review of the UEL Titans season…
It was a difficult year for the UEL Titans, as the team had finished their first ever season competing in British University College Sport championship with a 3-5 record.
There was a huge buzz around the training field and a number of second year players returned as well as plenty of new faces to get to know throughout the year.
As the team prepared for the season, there were high hopes that the Titans would be successful from the word go, but we really didn’t know what to expect when the pads went on for the first game of the season.
Despite the new recruits entering the team, we did not have much time to get to know each other and gel. This was evident in our first game of the season against Westminster as we fought hard but our lack of experience showed. At the end of the game we were left with a sick feeling in our stomachs as we realised the mountain that we needed to climb after the 20-14 defeat.
One of the main problems the team faced was on the offensive and we struggled to move the chains throughout the season. Our defence were fantastic and that old American Football saying of defence wins championships held strong for the Titans. Our defence worked well together and stopped opponents regularly all season which gave our offense plenty of chances to win games, but sadly we were unable to capitalise.
It was only after our second defeat that the team finally had a eureka moment and everything started to come together and we secured our first win against LSBU Spartans in a 15-8 victory. That was one of my favourite moments of the year, as we managed to beat one of the most physically respected teams in the division.
We felt untouchable after the first win and were looking forward to end 2015 with another success against Greenwich.
However, our fortunes took another turn for the worst as we failed to put up a single point, as well as a player getting ejected from the game, which was a really not the way we wanted to end the year.
As a consequence of our 12-0 defeat, some players lost their motivation and led to numerous discussions between senior players and the head coach Callum Mair.
After the Christmas break, we were surprised to find out that our Coach Callum Mair had decided to resign from the team and this left us without a Head Coach for the first few weeks of 2016.
However Greg Ivison, who coached the defence under Mair, stepped up Head Coach and this was the start of a change in mentality for the team. The communication with the players improved drastically and the atmosphere within the team shifted towards a more fun environment.
We went on to win the first game under Ivison against LSBU and finished the season 3-5.
Overall, it was a solid season for the team and for me personally, as it was my first year competing against other Universities in the BUCS championships.
The team had its issues, but going into next season I believe the Titans have certainly gained some valuable experience and I’ve excited about what the future holds.