Category: Academy

2017 Season Award Winners

The Double: Rob Jelly takes home two awards for his contribution to the senior Offense.

The three Essex Spartans teams celebrated a successful 2017 season with their annual Awards Evening on Saturday 21st October. 

It was a great evening for Under-19 player Ed Clark who picked up two awards, Special Teams MVP and Players’ Player of the Year voted for by his peers. Also taking home two awards for the Academy was Under-17 Aidan Langan whom won Players’ Player of the Year for the U17s and Overall Team MVP, whilst his brother Firenz won Defensive MVP for the U17 team.

Also winning a double in the senior ranks was WR/QB Rob Jelly, taking home Offensive Most Improved Player and Offensive MVP. Joining Aidan Langan in the Overall Team MVP categories for U19 was Lewis Hall and Nick Walter for the seniors. 

All three teams will start recruitment again in November; anyone interested in joining should email info@essexspartans.co.uk and follow our social media for Come and Try dates.

Full list of 2017 winners

TONY PALMER MAN OF THE YEAR: Billy Cronin

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR (U17): Tommy Justice

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR (U19): Daniel Naqvi 

OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR (Seniors): Steve Cox

DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR (Seniors): Kayode Babatunde-Ige 

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER (U17): Charlie Mills

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER (U19): Tom Grey

DEFENSIVE MOST IMPROVED PLAYER (Seniors): Chris Button

OFFENSIVE MOST IMPROVED PLAYER (Seniors): Rob Jelly

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE YEAR (Seniors): Alfie Sharman

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE YEAR (Seniors): Aaron Millar

COACHES’ PLAYER OF THE YEAR (U17): Adam Ridgewell 

COACHES’ PLAYER OF THE YEAR (U19): Aaron Jackson 

COACHES’ PLAYER OF THE YEAR (Seniors): Bill Guppy

PLAYERS’ PLAYER OF THE YEAR (U17): Aidan Langan 

PLAYERS’ PLAYER OF THE YEAR (U19): Ed Clark

MVPs

DEFENSIVE MVP (U17): Firenz Langan 

OFFENSIVE MVP (U17): Dylan Sparks 

OVERALL TEAM MVP (U17): Aidan Langan

DEFENSIVE MVP (U19): James Hardie-Davis

OFFENSIVE MVP (U19): John Rawlings

SPECIAL TEAMS MVP (U19): Ed Clark

OVERALL TEAM MVP (U19): Lewis Hall 

DEFENSIVE MVP (Seniors): Festus Olu

OFFENSIVE MVP (Seniors): Rob Jelly

SPECIAL TEAMS MVP (Seniors): Norris Owusu

OVERALL TEAM MVP (Seniors): Nick Walter

Academy Star Heads for Austria

Essex Spartans Academy player Toby Garner is leaving the team and the UK after an offer to join the three-time EuroBowl winners Swarco Raiders in Austria.

Garner, 18, was on holiday watching the American Football outfit when he was offered a trial at the Raiders Junior Varsity team, which resulted in an offer to join the team immediately.

Garner has played Wide Receiver and Safety at the Essex Spartans Academy for almost three seasons, and won the Overall MVP award for the Under-19s team in 2015 as well as the ‘Player’s Player of the Year’ in 2015, voted for by his teammates.

He said: “I’ve been offered a place on the Raiders Junior Varsity team, and they have very strong ties to the Senior Varsity often with players going up to them.

“I’m looking forward to competing at a higher level, at 11v11 and to test myself against people who play the sport as a career, and not just a hobby.

“At the Spartans we trained once a week, but we trained hard. I’m hoping this will have prepared me for 3 days of training a week at the Raiders!”

Whilst Garner looks forward to the move and a new challenge, he insists he will not forget where his career started.

“I came to the Spartans a boy and I leave a man – they taught me how to play with passion, honesty and commitment.

“The Spartans have a very secure structure and if it wasn’t for Head Coach Steve Watson I don’t think I’d be the player I am today.

“Despite leaving the Spartans there will always be a part of me that chants the Spartan prayer before every game.

“I can’t thank them enough.”

Former players and some current coaches at the Essex Spartans have gone on to represent Great Britain in the sport on the international stage.

Swarco Raiders, founded in 1992, are a sister team to NFL side Oakland Raiders and are one of the most dominant countries representing American Football outside of the US.

Academy Head Coach Steve Watson said: “Toby has been a true Spartan in the three years he has been involved with us; has worked hard, been a joy to coach, and has developed into a game-changing player.

“We are all very proud of this young man’s achievements, and we wish him all the very best with his transfer to the Raiders.”

Garner is expected to move to Innsbruck, Austria imminently to take up his place.

Anyone interested in joining the Essex Spartans Academy should email info@essexspartans.co.uk.