9 Excellent Reasons to Join the Essex Spartans for 2016

  1. We’re real, we’re registered, we’re going to be there

This is no Sunday morning kick-about in shades to hide your hangover – the Essex Spartans AFO are formerly registered with BAFA and have been for over 25 years. If you want to guarantee your place representing South Essex in competitive American Football in 2016, you’ve come to the right place.

  1. We’re everywhere

We are, really. We have two Twitter accounts and two Facebook pages (one for Senior, one for Academy), a blog, a podcast, a website, live match-day coverage, an ex-NFL star who pops in to say Hi fairly frequently and a VERY sad media officer who is mates with all the newspapers and radio stations. Play for us and Local Hero** status is literally yours.

** got to play well though please, no flags!

  1. Spartans never sleep

During your off-season, the Spartans back-room staff carry on all year round. Committee meetings, coaching courses, first aid training, organising social events and of course – arranging our incredibly popular Come & Try sessions! When you join the Spartans you join an organisation that cares about the sport, the club and the players for 365 days of the year; not just when Sunday is a game day.

  1. Fierce and marvellous coaches

Senior HC Seán Benton was still being called up for Great Britain in his late thirties. Assistant HC Graeme ‘Geordie’ Saint is so Northern that, so they say, Jimmy Nail took vocal coaching for Auf Wiedersehen, Pet from him – and Academy HC Steve Watson has more rousing speeches up his sleeve than John C. McGinley and an overly-emotional Rambo put together. And of course – heaps of experience and eminently qualified, etc.

  1. Ankle-biters and knee-jerkers all welcome

Whether you’re 14 or 40, our Academy programme and senior team structure can cater for every age and every level of experience. We’re really proud to be able to take youngsters into the incredibly successful youth programme that we operate, and give every standard of knees the chance to touch grass (or astroturf, whatever) for as long as it’s healthy.

  1. Awesome Game Day experience

From the same social mastermind that brings us Super Bowl parties and Awards Evenings, comes the spectacle of Spartans Game Day. We’re talking merch on the gate, colour match-day programmes with team rosters, floodlights and a PA system for Saturday night games (yep, we have those!) and the legend of the ‘Spartan Burger’ that has to be eaten to be believed. Wembley, eat your £6-a-pint heart out.

  1. Clubmark accreditation

This isn’t amusing as such but it IS incredibly important. Your safety and well-being comes first, no matter how many years you’ve played contact sport, and our Clubmark accreditation says that we not only go above and beyond to ensure everything that happens under our watch is legit and above board, but also that through our existence, the local community benefits and hopefully improves. That stuff is important, and we honour it all.

  1. Instant family 

Personally I always wanted a brother – be careful what you wish for as they say, I ended up with about 60 of them, from little brothers of 15 to big brothers who turned 40 this year and are still playing. We play together, work out together, and have shed a tear together once or twice as well. Our organisation already has a few pairs of brothers, and husbands and wives within it too – which is always fun. The brotherhood found at the Spartans is strong and is a rare thing to find – it could be yours.

  1. One Vision

Day by day, we get better and better. Every training session and every game is an opportunity to make Spartans history. We have 25 years of history already but there’s room for so, so much more. We’ve invested a great deal time in our youth programmes and a strong and lengthy rebuild within the teams and throughout the organisation as a whole, and now we’re back to scratching at the playoff door once again, for the first time in a long time.

Now who wouldn’t want to be there for all of that?