Sandwell Steelers American football club have spoken of their excitement ahead of Sunday’s opening game of the season.
The Sandwell club take on championship contenders Manchester Titans at home 2pm Sunday Afternoon.
The Steelers, based in Tipton, play in the British American football Association (BAFA) Premiership North, and last made the playoffs in 2019.
Operation’s director Samuel Astley, said: “Everyone on the team is buzzing for the season to start. I’ll admit that just before Christmas, I was struggling to see where we would be at come the opening game of the season, but everything has fallen nicely.
“Training has had to be taken back to basics due to the amount of first years we’ve had to integrate, but it’s given the club a fresh feel, and has given everyone a bounce.”
Sandwell didn’t play a game in 2020, after the season was cancelled due to the COVID 19 crisis.
Astley, who is also a player and offensive line coach for the Steelers, said he learnt a lot from last year.
“We learnt that there’s a way to lose games”, said the Sandwell coach.
“It’s not something that we have as a club have ever had to deal with before, but last year was shambles, sometimes you will come against players and teams that are just better than you, and that’s fine, it’s all about attitude.
“That’s why we didn’t chase player’s that wanted to leave this year, we only wanted players this season that wanted to represent the Steelers.
“We learnt about attitude and fight, and I’m sure we can take that into this season.”
The Tipton based club have had two unbeaten regular seasons since 2014, including winning a championship in 2015.
Sandwell play host to Manchester Titans in their opening game.
Manchester last won the division in 2017, but Astley believes that they’re championship contenders.
“We have to be realistic”, said Astley.
“Manchester will challenge for the championship this year, so to stand a chance of beating them, we will need to play the perfect game, and probably have a bit of luck as well.
“I’ve got great respect for their organisation and the way they run things, but that doesn’t mean that we’re not coaching the lads to go and lose and not compete.
“We aim to win every game, as we should be, so as hard as it will be, it’s definitely not impossible.”