Tamworth Phoenix
Founded2004; 17 years ago (2004)
LeagueBAFA National Leagues
DivisionPremier Division North
LocationColeshill, Warwickshire
StadiumPack Meadow
ColoursBlack Helmets, White, Orange and Black Jerseys, Black Pants
Head coachJason Scott
General managerJames Hossack
Division titles7: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Playoff berths11: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
BritBowl titles1: 2017
Websitewww.tamworthfootball.com
Uniforms

The Tamworth Phoenix are an American football team based in Coleshill, Warwickshire, England, who compete in the BAFA National Leagues Premier Division North, the highest level of British American football. They operate from Pack Meadow in Coleshill, but represent the Town of Tamworth. Formed in 2004, The Phoenix are one of the most successful American Football teams in the UK and have won four back-to-back Premier Division North titles from 2016 to 2019. In 2017 they won Britbowl XXXI in 2017 against the London Blitz at Sixways Stadium in Worcester.

History

Early history

The Phoenix were founded in 2004 by Dave Winter, Jay Alexander, Ed Winter and Ryan Baker, after re-establishing youth football in the area, as the Tamworth Trojans, a year earlier. In their first season 2008, the Phoenix came 2nd in the BAFL2 Central conference behind champions the Nottingham Caesars. However, they avenged this by defeating them in the playoffs en route to a BritBowl 2 final defeat to the London Cobras, also a first year club.

Despite defeat in the BritBowl 2 final, Tamworth Phoenix were promoted to BAFL1 division and placed in the South-West Conference. The Phoenix completed the regular season with a record of 9–1, winning the South-West Conference, and moved into the playoffs as the #2 seed. After a victory over the Kent Exiles in the first round of the playoffs, their run was halted at the semi final stage by the East Kilbride Pirates.

In the 2010 season, Tamworth completed a perfect 10–0 season, and a perfect post-season, winning the BritBowl against the East Kilbride Pirates, and moving to the BAFACL Premiership. It was a memorable season for the Phoenix as earlier in the year they had the chance to compete against the Australian Gridiron team as part their tri-nations warm up, and matched-up well, only losing 27–22 to the tourists.

Graham Kelly took over from Jay Alexander as Head Coach, and began life in the Premier League with a win against the East Kilbride Pirates at Lichfield Rugby Club. They built on this success with a 5-5 regular season record with victories over some of the established premiership teams. They were defeated by the London Warriors in the semi-finals of the Play-offs.

The 2014 season was the most successful Premiership campaign for the Phoenix. Having secured the second seed in the Northern Conference, the team beat the Bristol Aztecs in the National Playoffs before succumbing to the London Warriors in the Semi Final.

2015 saw the appointment of James Hossack as Team President, and Martin Hilton to the position of Head Coach (the fourth in the team's short history) and a fledgling partnership with the Atherstone Sports Hub, where the Phoenix will play their home games.

The next three seasons saw a serious up-tick in performances on the field. In 2015 the Phoenix finally defeated old-rivals East Kilbride in a regular season fixture, before a shock defeat at home to Sheffield saw them relinquish pole position in the conference, but a strong performance away at the defending champion London Warriors in the semi gave hope for things to come.

2016 saw a series of firsts for the club; namely the first undefeated regular season in the Premier League, and the team's first Conference crown, which paved the way for the Phoenix's first home playoff tie. Unfortunately they couldn't hold the momentum, as they lost to the London Blitz.

National success

In 2017, the Phoenix continued their successes in the regular season by once again running the table against BAFA Premier North opposition, scoring nearly 500 points in the process. The highlight of the season was a 62–3 win against the Merseyside Nighthawks in the last week of the season, going into the play-offs.

Despite being considerable underdogs, the Tamworth Phoenix took a 28–7 lead against the London Warriors in the Semi Final, before the reigning National Champions fought back to take the lead in the fourth quarter. A Will Hussey touchdown, Alex Lenkowski Field Goal, and two huge defensive stands saw the Phoenix outlast the Warriors, and earn a shot at the national title.

In the National Final on 26 August, at Sixfields Stadium Worcester, Tamworth faced the London Blitz for Britbowl XXXI. Pat Daley opened the scoring, before the Blitz answered back. Daley Scored another, before Lenkowski added a field goal to give the Phoenix a 17–7 lead just before the half.

A resurgent Blitz added a scores either side of the interval to give them the lead, before Daley threw an interception which lead to another London score. As the Phoenix trailed 28–17, Tamworth fought back. First through a Daley to Hussey touchdown pass, before Lenkowski reduced the deficit to 28–27. With 8 minutes left in the game, Ben Davies stepped in front of a Joe Thompson pass, to score an interception return and secure the 34–28 win.

Pat Daley was named Britbowl MVP, and the London Blitz were condemned to a fifth Britbowl defeat in as many years.

European football and the Jason Scott era

Martin Hilton announced his retirement shortly after Britbowl XXXI, with long-time Coordinator Jason Scott being handed the reigns. Scott was part of the first Phoenix staff that helped establish the team, and his return from coaching in the United States coincided with James Hossack being named President.

As National Champions the Phoenix were invited into the Northern European Football League alongside the Carlstad Crusaders, Oslo Vikings and Copenhagen Towers. The Nix went to Copenhagen full of confidence, as they trounced the Manchester Titans 57–6 in the opening game of the 2018 season, but were handily dispatched by a much bigger, more physical Towers team. A closer fought game against the Carlstad Crusaders brought another defeat, but the Nix rallied to beat the Oslo Vikings 47–12 in the final match day in the NEFL.

The Nix romped to another undefeated regular season, and a third consecutive Northern Conference Title, scoring 552 points per game whilst leaking only 59, they beat the London Blitz in the National Semi Finals 30–17, setting up another trip to Britbowl.

In a rainy day in Leeds, at the John Charles Stadium, the Tamworth Phoenix took on the London Warriors, who also made light work of their conference. Despite both teams boasting stingy defenses, the game was a shootout, won eventually by the Warriors 48–34.

The 2019 season saw many retirements; with stand-out players Tom Levick, Adam Hope and Will Hussey deciding to hang up their cleats. Talismanic quarterback Pat Daley joined the Hamburg Spartans in GFL2, joining Will Hobbs, Lewis Thomas and Wayne Drew in Europe. A total of 17 players left the club during the offseason, leading to a rebuilding year for the Phoenix.

Despite the high turnover of players, it was largely business as usual for Tamworth, despite the Manchester Titans handing the Phoenix their first regular season loss in four seasons. A 7–6 win against the London Blitz in the Semi Finals, set up a repeat date with the Warriors in Britbowl XXXIII

Youth team

In February 2012 a new team was introduced, the youth team. The youth team games last 30 minutes and it is 5 vs 5. They faced a difficult first season having to forfeit nine games due to lack of players, but competed well against established teams like Standish Raiders, Birmingham Bulls and the Leicester Falcons.

In 2013, the appointment of Andrew Garrett brought new optimism to the Youth Program. Andrew Garrett had been promoted to the position of head coach. The following season they saw huge improvements on the field, beating Coventry Jets in the opening game of the year. They continued a rich vein of form by beating an experienced Yorkshire Rams team, before narrowly losing to Leicester. They also hosted their first home tournament, and built links for the future. 2014 brought more success as the Youth Team won their first tournament in Doncaster, and made the playoffs for the first time in their history.

Coaching staff

Roster

Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers


Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive Backs

Youth Hall of Fame

Seasonal records

Season Division Wins Losses Ties PF PA Final Position Playoff Record Notes
2008 BAFL Division Two North Midlands 6 2 2 227 45 National Runners Up Beat Merseyside Nighthawks 17–3 in quarter-final.
Beat Nottingham Caesars 28–8 in semi-final.
Defeated by London Warriors 30–6 in final.
Conference champions.
Promoted to Division One.
2009 BAFL Division One South West Conference 9 1 0 322 51 Defeated Semi Finalists Beat Kent Exiles 27–20 in quarter-final.
Defeated by East Kilbride 28–0 in semi-final.
Conference champions.
2010 BAFL Division One South West Conference 10 0 0 428 48 National Champions Beat Gateshead Senators 21–00 in quarter-final.
Beat Cambridge Cats 47–7 in semi-final.
Beat East Kilbride 35–14 in final.
Conference champions.
Division 1 Champions.
Promoted to Premier League
2011 BAFACL Premier 5 5 165 124 Did not make playoffs
2012 BAFACL Premier 6 4 0 201 176 Defeated in first round of playoffs Defeated by London Olympians in quarter final
2013 BAFACL Premier 6 4 0 178 198 Defeated in first round of playoffs Defeated by London Warriors in quarter final
2014 BAFACL Premier North 8 1 0 229 144 Defeated Semi Finalists Beat Bristol Aztecs 28–8 in quarter-final.
Defeated by London Warriors 44–17 in semi-final
Seeded as #2 team in the North. Conference Runners Up
2015 BAFACL Premier North 8 2 0 246 90 Defeated Semi Finalists
Defeated by London Warriors 14–9 in semi-final
Seeded as #2 team in the North. Conference Runners Up.
2016 BAFACL Premier North 10 0 0 229 144 Defeated Semi Finalists Defeated by London Blitz 44–17 in semi-final Seeded as #1 team in the North.

Northern Conference Champions

2017 BAFA Premier North 10 0 0 492 79 BRITBOWL XXXI Champions Defeated London Warriors 38–34 in Semi Final

Defeated London Blitz 34–28 in National Final

Seeded as #1 team in the North.

Northern Conference Champions.

National Champions

First National Championship in team history.

2018 BAFA Premier North 10 0 0 552 59 Defeated in BRITBOWL XXXII Defeated London Blitz 30–17 in Semi Final

Defeated by London Warriors in National Final

Seeded as #1 team in the North

Northern Conference Champions

2019 BAFA Premier North 9 1 0 303 84 Defeated London Blitz 7–6 in Semi Final Seeded as #1 team in the North

Northern Conference Champions