Ouse Valley Eagles: Bedford's American Football team is back in training at a new home

The town's representatives in the UK National American Football League are back in training

By Zoe Ashton
Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 5:50 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 5:52 pm
Ouse Valley Eagles American Football Bedford (PIC: Gareth Brown)
Ouse Valley Eagles American Football Bedford (PIC: Gareth Brown)

The Ouse Valley Eagles are back in pre-season training – keen for a return to action after the loss of their 2020 season due to the pandemic.

The area’s representatives in the UK National American Football League also have Bedford and Milton Keynes-based youth teams who are enjoying training again after the long lay-off.

The senior season sees the Eagles return to action in the East Anglia Conference, which has been set-up for the 2021 season.

They will play home and away matches against Cambridge, Ipswich, Norwich and Colchester between June and August.

Chairman Mark Chilton explained: “There are 70 teams in the National League and opponents this season are nearby to reduce travelling under the current circumstances.

“There will be no promotion or relegation this season so the focus is on returning to playing football irrespective of results.

“There’s a variety of playing standard and there will be some tough games.”

In an exciting development, the club’s teams have moved from Bedford International Athletics Stadium into a new partnership with Bedford Athletic Rugby Club.

“This is a positive development and Ouse Valley Eagles looks forward to a long a fruitful relationship with Bedford Ath,” he said.

“As the rugby and American football seasons do not overlap it makes great sense to partner and make maximum use of the excellent facilities.”

Head Coach Nick Benning has appointed an experienced coaching staff led by Defensive Coordinator Dave Francis, returning to the club from Surrey and Offensive Coordinator Roger Brown, now back after a spell with Hertfordshire.

“The guys are building a talented team of positional coaches which ensures that our players get a very sound technical grounding,” Chiltern added.

Youth Coach Corey Smith is building his 2021 Bedford Blackhawks youth squad and has enjoyed some well attended early training sessions for the fully kitted 5v5 13-18 year format.

The club welcomes potential players, support staff from all backgrounds and experience. Contact Ouse Valley Eagles (Senior) or Bedford Blackhawks (Junior or Flag) on social media.

Training is on Sundays with some midweek sessions. When the games resume all are welcome for a Covid-safe family day out at Bedford Ath.