Month: January 2018

Senior Opponents Announced

The British American Football Association have confirmed the lineup of the SFC East Division 2 conference. 

Familiar foes London Blitz B and Ipswich Cardinals will feature in the fixtures, along with last year’s newest team Benfleet-based East Essex Sabres. 

Newcomers to the division include the freshly-reformed Norwich Devils and Maidstone Pumas.

The Spartans will face London Blitz B again in 2018.

Former opponents Wembley Stallions glided into Division 1 with a 10-0 record last season, and are joined by East Kent Mavericks whom were also promoted. 

Senior Head Coach Sean Benton said: “We are very much looking forward to the 2018 season, and renewing rivalries against divisional opponents from last year as well welcoming back two teams whom we have played many times in the past, in Maidstone and Norwich.”

“It is especially pleasing to see the Devils rejoin the league after an absence, as we have had many exciting games with them in past years.”

Last season included a 17-0 shutout against the Ipswich Cardinals at home; a nail-biter to close the season away with a Spartans victory 21-22 as well a last-gasp win over Blitz B 13-12 after falling down 19-3 on the road at Finsbury Park.

After only one clash against the Sabres last season the Spartans are looking forward to reviving the Essex Derby, and meeting the Pumas for the first time since 2013. 

The Essex Spartans returned to pre-season training on 21st January following a very successful recruitment drive that saw eight new rookies join the team, four former vets return to pads and five new Spartans Academy graduates come up to the senior team, along with a very healthy retention rate of existing players.

“We have had a very positive off-season and recruited very well,” says Benton, “and are back working hard to make the 2018 season a very successful one.”

Fixtures will be released shortly. 

Julius Hobbs joins the Spartans

The Essex Spartans Academy have welcomed former Kent Exiles Under-17 Head Coach Julius Hobbs onto the staff for the 2018 season. 
 
Hobbs will take over as Head Coach and Offensive Co-Ordinator for the Essex Under-17s team, whilst former overall Academy HC Steve Watson will take over the Defense and focus on overseeing the Under-19s.
 
Of his new appointment Hobbs said: “I am very happy to be returning to the 2017/18 season, coaching the Essex Spartans youth team. 
 
“I have been very fortunate to have coached at Kent for so long, and leave a stable and competitive programme behind. It is time for a fresh challenge and I am very lucky to be joining an organisation with strong foundations like the Essex Spartans Academy.
 
 
“The Academy is a very good fit with my own football philosophy, of inclusion and competition, and I am very excited to continue and develop the great groundwork that Coach Watson has established.”
 
The Spartans U17 team narrowly missed out on a trip to the playoffs at the end of the 2017 season, after finishing fourth in the country as divisional champions in 2016 and a memorable campaign to Cornwall for the playoffs in 2015 under Watson.
 
The Spartans U19 team returned to competitive football in 2017 with an associate year and hope to return to fully-fledged competitive football in 2018.
 
“The Academy strive to provide a safe, inclusive and enjoyable experience of our sport for young men and women across Essex, and we work hard to ensure we provide them with the best,” said Watson.
 
“I have long been an admirer of Coach Hobbs, who brings many years of experience and success to us, and I have every confidence that the U17 team will continue to develop and grow under his leadership.” 
 
The Essex Spartans organisation will return three teams to competitive football in 2018; anyone interested in joining should email info@essexspartans.co.uk or search for us on social media.