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Yesterday morning, many teams from the BAFA national league released the schedules for the upcoming 2019 National Season. Currently, the Prem schedule and the Div 1 schedule are available for release. The Div 2 release is under embargo, so although with teams, don’t expect to see anything yet. This is probably largely due to the fluid nature of Div 2, with teams needing to sort facilities for the season, alignment discussions etc. But let’s try and look into each League for now to see what’s going on. I’m also going to include my BOLD predictions. These are predictions that aren’t that likely, but if you’re going to go out on a limb, aren’t unfeasible.

Prem North

Starting North and working our way down, here’s the Prem North with predictions included:

 

*All Best results include scenarios where teams make the playoffs. 8-3 would be an 8-2 regular season before losing in the Play Offs.

 

Tamworth Phoenix

Last Season:

     Regular: 10-0

     Post Season: 1-1

This Season:

     Best: 12-0

     Worst: 10-1

     Realistically: 11-1

We start with THE team in the North. Tamworth have had 2 consistent seasons of showing they can run with the London Teams. Expect them to dominate the North again. There are chances pf them dropping a game or 2 in the regular season, but it’ll be a big upset if they do. In the favour of those who love a good upset, is the fact that the teams below Phoenix are so competitive. They make each other better every season, by having close match ups, so expect the gap in the North to probably close faster than down South.

BOLD PREDICTION:

Tamworth Win It All. The landscape of Britball changes fast, but Tamworth’s 2 years of consistency sees them in a good place. Expect some of the best talent elsewhere in the UK to head overseas, so don’t bank on seeing all the same faces in the bigger teams. But Tamworth having access to Birmingham and the East Mids sees them have a great talent pool to draw from

 

 

Manchester Titans

Last Season:

     Regular: 7-3

     Post Season: 0-1

This Season:

      Best: 8-3

     Worst: 4-6

     Realistically: 6-5

The Titans were an unexpected element last year when they came out of Division 1. The perennial new boys, the expectation was they would look to survive in the Prem before making any realistic challenges to the Status Quo. Manchester obviously failed to read the script, instead making the post season. A tough loss to the Warriors saw them gain an insight into what they need to do to be amongst the best, but anyone who believes their season wasn’t a success is lying. Where have I plucked the best and worst from? The best sees them lose twice to the Phoenix like last year, but win out. This would again see them in the Playoffs as the No.2 rank team in the North. Worst case sees the Titans lose twice to the Phoenix, and once to the other big 3 in the North. Last year, Sheffield’s season hinged on the return fixture against the Titans, so expect them to want to get some revenge

BOLD PREDICTION:

Beating the Phoenix. You heard it here first, but if there’s something that the Titans have to focus on, it’s beating the Phoenix. With that in mind, I think this truly ends up being among the boldest predictions. Don’t get me wrong if they win it’ll be a single score win, but any given Sunday.

 

 

Merseyside Nighthawks

Last Season:

     Regular: 5-5

This Season:

     Best: 8-3

     Worst: 3-7

     Realistically: 5-5

The Nighthawks were bang on average last year. A .500 record in the prem is nothing to be sneered at, but I wonder if the coaching staff were asking ‘what if?’. A team that beat Manchester 44-41 also lost to them 42-31. That beat Sheffield 31-28 but lost to them 47-27. Had their first performances matched their second, then we would be discussing how the Nighthawks maintain their performance this season and reach another post season. Instead we’re asking what they need to do to reach post-season. Leicester could quite easily slip into that category too, where the Nighthawks win 1, lose 1. If you want to know how the Nighthawks end up 3-7, they beat the Wolves twice and find a win elsewhere. Definitely a worst-case scenario

BOLD PREDICTION:

Here’s one of the safer Bold predictions, I expect the Nighthawks to repeat their season and be in the region of 5-5 when the season ends. 2 games off the Wolves cancelled by 2 games to the Nix. 1 away loss and 1 home win, 3-3 against the Titans, Giants and Falcons. If you don’t move, did you improve? Well when the Pirates aren’t in your division, I’d argue you got better to stay the same.

 

 

Sheffield Giants

Last Season:

     Regular: 4-6

This Season:

     Best: 8-3

   Worst: 2-8

  Realistically: 4-6

The Giants season was up and down to say the least last year. The only teams they failed to trade results with were the Phoenix and the Pirates. The Pirates lost both games and the Phoenix were perfect. With that in mind, their best result comes from losing twice to the Phoenix, but finding the form that won them games against every other team. Worst case, they sweep the Wolves and find a single win elsewhere. The Giants QB Brad Thompson retired, but equally, he didn’t start every game. Will his retirement be a hindrance or give the Giants a clear starter to back? Time will tell.

BOLD PREDICTION:

The Giants mimic the Giants. They go 1-7 like the real-life Giants heading into Week 12, but without the chance of a first round draft pick. They then face two final tough games where they have to beat the Wolves at home, before hoping results elsewhere go in their favour.

 

 

Edinburgh Wolves

Last Season:

     Regular: 4-6

This Season:

     Best: 8-3

     Worst: 0-10

     Realistically: 4-6

This article will have felt like there was no love for Wolves fans in any form. I’m sorry to say there hasn’t been. It’s hard when you weigh up probabilities, because you look at games and can’t really consider so many factors. Wolves fans will be looking at the prediction and questioning how I had them 2-8 on the season. It’s pretty simple really though, I see them beating all the teams South of Liverpool that aren’t the Phoenix at home. I just don’t know honestly if the Wolves can muster the same psychological edge they had year in year out with another team in Scotland. Much like Rangers and Celtic, the rivalry was a driving force. Don’t believe me? Wolves went 3-2 in the first half of the season playing EKP twice. After they’d ‘won’ Scotland, the Wolves went 1-4. There’s no EKP this year to whip, which is why I gave the Wolves their 2 victories, but the Wolves need a productive offseason.

BOLD PREDICTION:

The Wolves take one look at my prediction, call it pish and only lose once to Titans away, twice to the phoenix, before winning a place in the Post Season. Scottish football rises, with young talent coming through from some of the best youth programs in the Nation in the form of the Highland Wildcats.

NO SO BOLD PREDICTION:

That guy on facebook who keeps posting #InThePackWeTrust and who’s biggest criticism of the falcons was lack of team apparel, continues to do so. I like the New Era Caps though.

 

 

Leicester Falcons

Last Season:

N/A (Newly Promoted D1 Champs)

This Season:

     Best: 8-3

     Worst: 2-8

     Realistically: 4-6

The new kids on the block, the Falcons are probably hoping to emulate the Titans. Except of course the Titans are in the same league. The last time the two teams met, the Falcons lost by a single touchdown keeping them in Division 1, whilst the Titans went on to blow out the Olympians. The Falcons are an unknown in the equation. They walked much of their league, but had a bit more of a showing against the Kent Exiles. Having said that, the Olympians finished 3rd after losing to the Titans, who went on to reach the Post Season. If you’re trying to do that maths, 2+2 = I have no idea how they could do. They could be a 0.500 team, they could lose every game, they could even end up in the post season.

BOLD PREDICTION:

Falcons reach the post season. We’ll have to see how turnaround goes for them. Winning your division is a double-edged sword. If anyone was thinking about retiring they can go out on a high. This sometimes means the veterans of the team ride off into the sunset. The flipside, those within a decent distance will be drawn to prem ball for all the attractive offerings it poses. But anything can happen in the Prem, so let’s see how the season pans out.

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2 Comments

  1. Adam Wilkin on 13th November 2018 at 8:29 pm

    I think if the wolves can pull any of the Scottish talent that was spread across 2 Prem teams they may even be a dark horse

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