QB Sam Bloomfield gives his final thoughts on the 2017 season.
The National Final was such an incredible day for our team. We arrived with a calm and relaxed mentality but as soon as Coach Carlton played the poem about Manchester, read by Tony Walsh, emotion took over. Looking around, players, coaches and committee alike were showing such a vast array of feelings. Some people had tears, other had a determined focus, other people were ready to fight – All of us knew what we had to do – Win.
The game seemed to go so quickly for me, but there are some things that really stood out to me and need mentioning. The crowd, whether in the Titans blue, Rams black & gold or from elsewhere, it felt like we were in front of our people, our crowd, and the support was immense. I’m glad we were able to put on a show for you.
Next was our defence, the whole unit balled out all day against a very talented offence, I could call out so many names but, having watched the live stream, Lee Horrocks and Ryan Allen are both guys who played lights out all game. And I’d like to give a particular shoutout to David McInally, who balled out, playing with a heavy heart.
The offence played incredibly, forget the fact that we took our foot off the pedal in the fourth quarter or that we tried to get cheeky and threw two interceptions. The offence played exceptionally well. Adam “Fresh” Bamber played the game of his life and it was great to get the selfless George Slade in the end zone too. Luc Kinder and James Newnes coordinated stealing the trick play touchdown from me and it worked to perfection.
Ryan Newton and Jonatan “Fat Neck” Pan Gago consistently moved the ball and broke big runs; Newton’s huge touchdown run isn’t even a shock to me seeing what the guy can do. I was literally laughing and shaking my head when running to join him in the end zone because he’s ridiculous. Joe Nic is an unreal player will want in on that action next year after he’s fully recovered from injury!
Now then, my boys upfront get their own personal shout out. The true skill position players, who’ve kept me on my feet all year, who’ve given up only 8 sacks all year and NONE in the post season; half of those sacks are my fault anyway!
Those guys up front are the reason for our offensive success, the reason we were an offensive powerhouse this year and the reason why I was able to play the game of my career against a very athletic defence.
Cory Deere, Michael McGougan, Matt McCormack, Gareth Smith, Liam Twigg, Arron Willis, Tom Narey, Patrick Lavelle and Phil Wetton – It started with you and it finished with you – Kings. To HC Pete Birds, DC Dave Booker, ST Coordinator David Stretch, Al Murdoch, Alex Knoxy “Knox, Jamie Rattigan and Alan Mead – Those conversations back in January about what direction the team should and could go in make for great reading now that we did what we said we could. Thank you for your hard work, patience and belief in me.
To Luke – We did it. We said we could, we knew we would, we did it. Boats are well and truly burnt, time to build some new boats. Finally, I’m proud to have performed the way I did, in the biggest game for Manchester to date, in front of my parents and all of our supporters. Hearing my final stats after the game was shocking to me, not bad for a big, unorthodox QB in his first year playing the position full time!
I never thought I’d make it back to a national final after my loss in 2009, to captain this incredible team, help us win the big one and to be awarded MVP at the same time was a very emotional moment for me after what has been an emotional season for me and the whole Manchester Titans organisation.
Whatever challenges the Premiership presents, we’re looking forward to doing it together as a club. Thank you for a special season.