Following last season’s performance at the IFAF European Championships, BAFA have announced that the team will take on European Opposition, aiming to build on performances from last season. For those unaware, the final tournament in Finland saw GB Lions comfortably beat Denmark for 5th place in a 33-16 win.
From BAFA’s website directly:
Head Coach Mike Callan is excited to get back on the field: “We have a lot to look forward to this year with the revamping of the European Championship qualifications. It’s good to have two games in the pipeline to be able to build off of from last year. We want to make sure that as a team we are building and making the step forward to put us in a position to compete for the next European title.”
National Team Schedule
First step for the Lions is to prepare for the upcoming opponents by holding a series of practices. Players that have previously been involved with the program will be contacted by the coaching staff and made aware of the upcoming schedule. Recruitment will soon kick off to search for players who can push for spots on the roster. Coach Callan and his staff will be working directly with teams in the National League and University League in order to identify top talent for the National Programme.
The National Team will hold camps on the weekends of March 30/31, July 13/14 with a possible follow up date on July 20 and also September 7/8. These will be combined with camps prior to Home and Away fixtures that are likely to be scheduled in September and October respectively.
Pathways for recruitment
BAFA and Coach Callan are looking to open its pathways into recruitment for the National Team. We want to be able to reach out to the Head Coaches around Great Britain to give the best players the chance to compete for a GB Lions place. The staff are currently scouting and also looking at the current pool of players. However, we want to hear from the coaches. Each coach will receive a link to a Google Form to nominate players from their teams to the National Programme. This will broaden the scope of player recruitment. Head Coaches will be asked to nominate up to four players (two Offense/two Defense ideally). Players will be contacted via the National Programme to attend a training camp in March.
While each coach may nominate up to four players we are asking that they are selective – players should not be nominated “for the experience” – only genuine GB Lions prospects should be put forward. A good gauge is if the players concerned are not among the best for their position in your Divisionm then they should not be sent forward.
Please use this link
National Teams Commission Lead Kirsty Cavanagh said: “There has been past criticism that opportunities for the National Teams were not open to all – Coach Callan is addressing that with this initiative. We are relying on Head Coaches to help us by being selective about who they send forward.”
Applications need to be submitted to Coach Callan by noon on 21 February 2019.
As well as new players, Coach Callan is looking for new talent to join his staff. After last year, a few of the positional coaches stepped down due to other commitments and so there are positions available for the right candidate. In addition to those specific roles the programme is also looking for assistants to help support the current staff while learning and developing their skills amongst an experienced staff.
U19 HC Coach Henry is looking for Linebacker and Running Backs coaches
The U19 Great Britain Lions programme is looking to fill vacant coaching positions to help with its goal towards preparing for a qualifying game on 30 March 2019 and hopefully then the U19 European Championship in Italy (from 28 July to 5 August 2019) if the team were to qualify.
Candidates need to be committed and motivated to represent Great Britain, and must be available on the above dates. They must also be registered as a coach with BAFA and hold a current DBS check.
Please note: these roles are temporary until end of the current competition cycle. The positions are also expected to be self-funding and so coaches will be expected to pay for attending the upcoming events.
Interested applicants should review the role specifications below:
Running backs coach
Deadline for applications is midnight on Wednesday 20 February. Those who wish to put themselves forward for the selection process are required to send a covering letter and CV to [email protected]