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London Blitz
Founded1995; 27 years ago (1995)
LeagueBAFA National Leagues
DivisionPremier Division South
LocationFinsbury Park, London
StadiumFinsbury Park Stadium
ColoursWhite Helmets, White and Navy Blue Jerseys, Navy Blue Pants
Head coachDamian Anderson
General managerJack Daley
Division titles7: 1995, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2017
Playoff berths18: 1995, 1996, 1999, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
BritBowl titles5: 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
EFAF Cup titles1: 2011
Websitewww.londonblitz.com

The London Blitz are an American football team based in Finsbury Park, North London, England, who compete BAFA National Leagues Premier Division South, the highest level of British American football. They were formed in 1995 and operate from Finsbury Park Athletics Stadium. They are one of the Britain's most successful teams and are five-time BritBowl winners as well as European Champions following their EFAF Cup triumph in 2011. They have also seven divisional titles to their name.

The Blitz also operate a handful of Youth teams as well as fielding a second team in the BAFANL, the London Blitz B were formed in 2015 and are currently members of the SFC 2 South Division, the third level of the British League, Blitz B have made the Play-Offs on several occasions and have won one divisional title.

History

The Blitz field a senior team in the BAFA National Leagues Premiership as well as youth teams. The roster has included both local players as well as players from North America, Jamaica, South Africa, Uganda, and Nigeria. The team remained in the Premier division following the 2007 BAFL re-alignment.

The team was formed in 1995 after a merger between pre-existing sides: the Ealing Eagles (1984–1994) and the Woking Generals (1988–1993). The Blitz rose from the lower divisions of the then-British Senior League to the Premier Division. They won the British national championship, BritBowl XXI, in 2007, defeating Coventry Cassidy Jets 14–6. They returned to defend the title in 2008, missing out to a field goal with 4 seconds left to play losing 32–33 against Coventry Cassidy Jets in a repeat of the 2007 match. In 2009 and 2010 the Blitz have cemented their place as the premier team in the UK by winning back to back BritBowls. In 2009 at the Keepmoat Stadium in Doncaster they defeated the Coventry Jets 26–7 in BritBowl XXIII, then in 2010 at Sixways Stadium in Worcester facing the Coventry Jets for the fourth consecutive final they won 34–20 in BritBowl XXIV. The team participated in their sixth consecutive BritBowl in September 2011. They defeated the London Warriors 18 – 0 at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre in London. The 2011 double triumph of EFAF Cup and BritBowl was the most successful season for a British American Football team since the achievements of the London Olympians in the early nineties.

In 2010, the London Blitz had their first venture into European competition in the EFAF (European Federation of American Football) Cup (the second highest tier of European Club American Football), the Blitz defeated the Amsterdam Crusaders in the Netherlands and Les Cougars de Saint-Ouen L'Aumone (from the outskirts of Paris) at home in the group stage but then lost in the semi-final to the Carlstad Crusaders in Sweden.

The London Blitz prior to their 2011 EFAF Cup match in Spain
The London Blitz prior to their 2011 EFAF Cup match in Spain

In 2011, they again entered the EFAF Cup. They won their group matches comfortably, beating the Amsterdam Crusaders again, this time at home and then defeated the Valencia Firebats in Spain. The Blitz hosted the Danish Champions the Søllerød Gold Diggers in the semi-final beating them 23–7. The final was held at Finsbury Park on 2 July 2011. In front of a crowd of nearly 2,000 people the London Blitz won the EFAF Cup by beating the Serbian Champions, the Kragujevac Wild Boars 29–7.

2012 saw the Blitz lose games in both Europe and in the domestic league for the first time in a few years. In Europe they took part in the EFL Eurobowl for the first time in the club's history. Group wins in Paris against the La Courneuve Flash and at home to L'Hospitalet Pioners from Spain led to a quarter final in Berlin against the Berlin Adler. The Blitz dominated most of the game and led late on but eventually lost 21–15. In the re-aligned domestic BAFANL Premiership South league they lost twice during the season to the London Warriors. The first time the Blitz had lost regular season games since 2008. However, they reached their 7th consecutive BritBowl at Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield where they faced the London Warriors again and this time the Blitz finished as winners when it mattered. The final score was 37–21 making the London Blitz national champions for the fourth consecutive year.

Former team captain Roderick Bradley appeared on television as Spartan in the 2008–2009 series of Gladiators. Bradley joined the Blitz in 2005 after attending Loughborough University. After a long and successful career he has since retired from playing. Ex quarterback and Britbowl MVP Fred Boyle joined the Blitz in 2009 after leading the Hertfordshire Hurricanes for four years at the University of Hertfordshire. He too has since retired from playing after Blitz lost out to the Warriors in Britbwol XXVIII. The club chairman is Ed Morgan who joined the Blitz in 2006 after attending Leeds University. Bradley, Boyle and Morgan have represented Great Britain in the sport along with many other Blitz players.[1][2]

Current team captain and wide receiver Charlie Joseph has come up through the ranks from the Blitz Junior program and GB Juniors.

Blitz B Team

London Blitz B
Founded2015; 7 years ago (2015)
LeagueBAFA National Leagues
DivisionSFC 2 South
LocationFinsbury Park, London
StadiumFinsbury Park Stadium
ColoursWhite Helmets, White and Navy Blue Jerseys, Navy Blue Pants
Head coachAnthony Coverdale
General managerJack Daley
Division titles1: 2019
Playoff berths3: 2017, 2018, 2019
Websitewww.londonblitz.com

In 2015 London Blitz entered a development team 'London Blitz B' into the BAFA National League SFC2 East. The team is led by head coach Anthony Coverdale. The team has reached the Division Two play-offs on three occasions and has one Divisional title.

Stadium

The Blitz and B Team both operate from Finsbury Park Athletics Stadum.

Team colours

London Blitz play in white helmets (with navy blue oval logo), navy blue jerseys with white numbers, white shorts, and navy blue socks. Their alternative kit is white jerseys with navy blue numbers, navy blue shorts and white socks.

Head coaches

Results – domestic and European competition

Year Division (Domestic) Record Playoffs BritBowl MVP
2019 BAFANL Premier South 8–2–0* Semi-Finalist
2018 BAFANL Premier South 8–2–0* Semi-Finalist
2017 BAFANL Premier South 9–1–0* BritBowl XXXI Runners-up Pat Daley (Tamworth Phoenix)
2016 BAFANL Premier South 8–4–0* BritBowl XXX Runners-up Dwayne Watson (London Warriors)
2015 BAFANL Premier South 10–2–0* BritBowl XXIX Runners-up Ian Jacquet (London Warriors)
2014 BAFANL Premier South 9–3–0* BritBowl XXVIII Runners-up Samuel Obi (London Warriors)
2013 BAFANL Premier South 10–2–0* BritBowl XXVII Runners-up Romaine Jackson (London Warriors)
2012 BAFANL Premier South 8–2–0* BritBowl XXVI Champion Fred Boyle
2011 BAFANL Premier 9–0–1* BritBowl XXV Champions Fred Boyle
2010 BAFACL Premier 10–0–0* BritBowl XXIV Champions Pete Sochart
2009 BAFL Premier 8–0–0* BritBowl XXIII Champions Gareth Dauley
2008 BAFL Premier 6–2–0* BritBowl XXII Runners-up Dax Michelena (Coventry Jets)
2007 BAFL Premier 9–0–1* BritBowl XXI Champions Lennox Johnson
2006 BAFL Division 1 South 8–2–0* BritBowl XX Runners-up Michael Sobanjo (London Olympians)
2005 BAFL Division 1-A South 8–2–0* Semi-finalists
2004 BSL Division One Southern Conference 2–7–1
2003 BSL Division One Southern Conference 2–6–0
2002 BSL Division One Southern Conference 1–9–0
2001 BSL Division One Southern Conference 2–5–1
2000 BSL Division One Southern Conference 3–5–0
1999 BSL Division One Central Conference 5–5–0*
1998 BSL Division One South West Conference 4–6–0
1997 BSL Division One South West & Midlands Conference 5–5–0
1996 BSL Division Two Southern Conference 8–2–0* Semi-finalists
1995 BAFA Division Three South Central Conference 8–0–1* Quarter-finalists
* qualified for playoffs
Year Competition (European) Record Outcome
2015 IFAF (Champions League) 2–1–0 Semi-finalists
2014 IFAF (Champions League) 1–1–0 Group stage
2013 EFAF Cup 1–1–0 Group stage
2012 EFL Cup (EuroBowl) 2–1–0 Quarter-finalists
2011 EFAF Cup 4–0–0 Winner
2010 EFAF Cup 2–1–0 Semi-finalists

See also

References

  1. ^ "EFL European Football League".
  2. ^ "The London Blitz take the EFAF Cup". Archived from the original on 19 July 2011.