This Saturday 14th February, the Manchester Titans Ladies team break more new ground as they enter their first Sapphire Series Tournament.
After launching at the end of August 2014 with only six players, the Titans ladies team has made great strides in a short space of time. Entering the Opal Flag series in October they made the National Finals day in their rookie season finishing 6th overall. Since then a Sport England grant of £7795 meant the team was able to buy the equipment needed to enter the full contact Sapphire series and with a winter of hard training behind them they finally get to take to the field. Ladies team head coach Jon Homer is looking forward to the challenge – “When we started back in August it was a finger in the air see how we go approach. Within a month we had 30 girls training on a regular basis meaning we were able to attack the Opal series and are really proud of what we achieved there.” “That said, there was always the desire in the majority of the squad to play contact American Football so entering the Sapphire series was a no brainer. I am really pleased with how quickly we have developed and the way the girls have taken the skills they learnt in Opal series and added the contact elements of the sport to that”. The Titans make their debut on Saturday against two teams who played in last year’s competition in Derby Braves and reigning Sapphire champions Birmingham Lions.
Does this hold any fears for the fledgling team? “Not at all, we have prepared very well and can go into the games with confidence knowing that if we execute our plays, stick to our assignments and the girls plays to their abilities then we can be as successful in Sapphire as we were in Opal.” The Sapphire series see the Titans play rivals Leeds twice during the season, a team who the Titans met twice during Opal losing both games 14-13, one of which was an overtime shootout. “Both those losses hurt and the girls are very keen to set the record straight when we play them in Manchester in February 28th at our home tournament.” The Ladies team will be modelling the new Titans game jerseys, the new shirt developed by RSD sports sees the Titans return to Royal Blue as the main colour and is a step up in quality that mirrors the continuous improvement approach the club has to all aspects.
Homer concluded, “The Ladies team embodies everything that is good across the organisation at the moment, there is a huge sense of unity between the squad that mirrors all our teams. The way the coaching staff, from both the Senior and Junior teams, have come together to help the team prepare gives us a glimpse of what is to come in 2015 across all of our teams”. You can follow the teams progress on Saturday via our Facebook and Twitter feeds.