London Blitz (American football)
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The Blitz field a senior team in the BAFA Community Leagues Premiership as well as youth teams. The roster has included both local players as well as players from North America, Jamaica, South Africa and Uganda. 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 Holland 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.
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.
The current team captain is Roderick Bradley who appeared on television as Spartan in the 2008/2009 series of Gladiators. Bradley joined the Blitz in 2005 after attending Loughborough University. The current quarterback is Fred Boyle, who joined the Blitz in 2009 after leading the Hertfordshire Hurricanes for four years at the University of Hertfordshire. The Club Chairman and starting safety 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.
London Blitz play in white helmets (with navy blue oval logo), navy blue jerseys with white numbers, white pants, and navy blue socks. Their alternative kit is white jerseys with navy blue numbers, white pants and white socks.
Results – domestic and European competition
|Year||Division (Domestic)||Record||Playoffs||BritBowl MVP|
|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|
|2007||BAFL Premier||9-0-1*||BritBowl XXI Champions||Lennox Johnson|
|2006||BAFL Division 1 South||8-2-0*||BritBowl XX Runners-Up|
|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|
|2012||EFL Cup (EuroBowl)||2-1-0||Quarter-Finalists|
|* qualified for playoffs|
|American football in the United Kingdom|
|British American Football Association • List of American football teams in the United Kingdom|
|BAFA National Leagues • BritBowl • Boston Trophy|
|Premier||North:||Birmingham Bulls • Coventry Jets • Doncaster Mustangs • East Kilbride Pirates • Lancashire Wolverines • Nottingham Caesars • Sheffield Predators • Tamworth Phoenix • West Coast Trojans • Yorkshire Rams|
|South:||Bristol Aztecs • Berkshire Renegades • Cambridgeshire Cats • East Kent Mavericks • Ipswich Cardinals • London Blitz • London Olympians • London Warriors • Peterborough Saxons • South Wales Warriors • Sussex Thunder|
|National||North:||Clyde Valley Blackhawks • DC Presidents • Dundee Hurricanes • Edinburgh Wolves • Gateshead Senators • Glasgow Tigers|
|Central:||Chester Romans • Crewe Railroaders • Leicester Falcons • Lincolnshire Bombers • Manchester Titans • Merseyside Nighthawks • Shropshire Revolution • Staffordshire Surge|
|East:||Bedfordshire Blue Raiders • Colchester Gladiators • Essex Spartans • Kent Exiles • Maidstone Pumas • Milton Keynes Pathfinders • Watford Cheetahs|
|South:||Bournemouth Bobcats • Bristol Apache • Cornish Sharks • Farnham Knights • Gloucester Centurions • Solent Thrashers • Oxford Saints • Swindon Storm|
|British American Football Referees' Association • British American Football League (Seasons: 2007 • 2008 • 2009) • British Universities American Football League|
|National Football League sanctioned events: NFL International Series • American Bowl • London Monarchs • Scottish Claymores|