Bedfordshire Blue Raiders
|This article is outdated. (July 2013)|
|Based in||Bedford, Bedfordshire|
|Home ground||Phil Cottier Field,
Bedford International Athletics Stadium,
|Head coach||Craig Ramsay|
|General manager||Tony Law|
|League||BAFA National Leagues|
|Division||Division 2 East|
The Bedfordshire Blue Raiders are an American Football team competing in Division 2 East of the BAFA National Leagues (BAFANL). They entered the British American Football League in 2008 as one of five expansion teams, and play their home games at the Bedford International Athletics Stadium.
The Blue Raiders were formed in August 2006 by Dave Pankhurst and present-day Team Manager Steve Guy to replace the former teams from local towns such as Luton, Dunstable and Milton Keynes who all found success during the 1980s and 1990s. After quickly recruiting coaches (starting with Chris Wallis, former Head Coach of local rivals Peterborough Saxons and Cambridgeshire Cats who Guy knew from their time together at the University of Cambridge BCAFL team in the mid-1990s) and a full playing squad, they were accepted as associate members of the BAFL in August 2007.
As part of the BAFL's requirements for associate members, the Blue Raiders arranged the two friendly matches which would enable them to gain full membership and enter the league the following season. The first of these was a home game played on 9 September 2007 against the Maidstone Pumas. Despite the visiting team scoring a first period touchdown, the Raiders were able to come back to win 18–8. Their away friendly was played four weeks later against the Leicester Falcons, who themselves were associate members aiming to join the league. The Raiders lost 0–32. Two weeks later they played their third friendly match away to another associate team, the Milton Keynes City Pathfinders. Despite an early setback when their player-coach Anthony Coverdale dislocated his knee during the kickoff, they recorded a convincing 35–0 win.
The following month, it was confirmed that the Blue Raiders application to become full members had been accepted by the BAFL, and so they were entered into the league for the 2008 season where they were placed into the Eastern Conference of Division Two alongside the Peterborough Saxons, Cambridgeshire Cats, Watford Cheetahs and fellow expansion team the Milton Keynes City Pathfinders.
Senior team season records
|Season||Division||Wins||Losses||Ties||PF||PA||Final Position||Playoff Record||Notes|
|2008||BAFL Division Two East||4||6||0||128||197||3 / 5||—||—|
|2009||BAFL Division Two East||8||2||0||203||73||2 / 4||Lost 16–41 to Colchester Gladiators in quarter-final.||—|
|Bedfordshire Blue Raiders 2009 Roster|
- "Gridiron is back!". BBC. 2006-08-03. Retrieved 2008-07-10.
- "Blue Raiders Accepted". 2007-08-02. Archived from the original on 4 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-10.
- "BAFL League Regulations". British American Football League. 2007-04-01. Retrieved 2008-06-16.[dead link]
- "Blue Raiders Win First Game". 2007-09-10. Archived from the original on 4 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-10.
- "Leicester Falcons 32 Bedfordshire Blue Raiders 0". 2007-10-11. Archived from the original on 4 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-10.
- "Blue Raiders Beat Local Rivals". 2007-10-22. Archived from the original on 4 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-10.
- "Today Is A Blue Day". 2007-11-24. Retrieved 2009-10-20.
- "BAFL announces alignments for 2008". BAFL. 2008-01-08. Retrieved 2008-07-10.[dead link]