Northants Knights get their season off to a flying start

The Northants Knights got the 2022 BAFA National League season off to the perfect start with victories for both the senior side and the under-19 team.

By Ryan Percival
Wednesday, 13th April 2022, 2:21 pm
Northants Knights in action (picture: Cliff Williams)
Northants Knights in action (picture: Cliff Williams)

The seniors, who compete in the SFC 2 North Division under head coach Wayne Gumbs, travelled to Hereford Stampede in their opener and cruised to a 39-6 victory.

The emphatic scoreline provides the Knights with confidence for the season ahead, in which they'll face the Stampede, Swindon Storm and Worcestershire Black Knights, playing each organisation three times, aiming to go one better than their second-placed finish in 2021.

Another side aiming for top spot is the Knights Under-19s - reigning champions of the U19 D2 Midlands - and they saw off Black Country Vipers 46-4 in their opener at Old Grammarian’s Memorial Sport Field in Wellingborough.

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That comfortable win against the Vipers, alongside the late withdrawal of Leicester Falcons, meant the Juniors ended the first gameday tournament 2-0-0.

"This was the first league game for our senior side and it's been a long time coming," club chairman Jack O'Beirne said.

"The pandemic put the competitive season on hold, with 2021 being more of a casual affair. This time around, the national leagues are back with titles to be won, and I couldn't be happier with the start.

"This is just the beginning and we have a lot of work still left to do, but coach Wayne and his staff have done a fantastic job and I am excited to see what happens."

Alongside the seniors and U19s, the Knights have another academy side - a Youth team for ages 13 to 16 - who also play in a competitive national league.

In total, the organisation has over 100 players, with a firmly established presence in the county - following in the footsteps of the Northamptonshire Stormbringers, who were last active in 1997.

"We take players from as young as 13, and we have a pathway for them to play right up to adult football, university or even professional leagues across Europe and in the US," O'Beirne added.

"Our U19 team are the current Midlands Division 2 Champions, and five of our Academy players recently flew out to Amsterdam to represent Team UK in the European 7v7 Championship.

"American Football is growing by the day in the UK, with our organisation a part of that, and we'd love to welcome more new players to join us on our exciting journey."

The Knights recruit players from across the East Midlands, from ages 13 plus, for the youth team up to the senior team. No experience is needed and the team will welcome players of all shapes and sizes.

To join the Knights, you should attend training days, details of which can be found on www.knightsfootball.co.uk and on Facebook.