The Edinburgh Wolves American football team celebrate ten years of competitive action this year and look to mark the occasion by bringing home the 2013 national championship title.
This season marks a milestone in the Capital club’s relative short history and the organisation are keen to embrace their feat in the coming weeks through a number of initiatives both on-and-off the field.
The Wolves, who compete in the National Northern Division of the British American Football Association National League (BAFANL), are current Division champions, but fell to defeat in the play-off semi-finals to eventual winners the Sheffield Predators last August.
Sunday pitches the Wolves against Clyde Valley Blackhawks at Meadowbank in their first league encounter of the new season – a team they failed to defeat both home and away last year. However, while chairman and head coach Don Edmonston is keen to honour the club’s tenure in the sport over the last decade, he maintains the squad have a target on the field he hopes they can deliver.
Edmonston said: “Last year we won our first play-off game in the club’s history and got to the semi-finals where we narrowly lost to the eventual winners, but I want to progress and don’t believe in standing still so I’ve told the roster I want to get to the Britbowl this year. We are the current Northern Division champions so we’ve got five really tough opponents to play again this year. It’s a cliché in the sports world but it is easier to win the title than retain it so it’s a sign of a good team if you can go and repeat the achievements of the previous year.
“We’ve got a couple of things we are doing this year to celebrate ten years. First of all we are going to induct somewhere between six and ten players over the past decade into the Edinburgh Wolves’ Hall of Fame and that includes people outwith the playing positions.
“We’re also going to have something like a John Madden all-star match where we will put together an offence and a defence consisting of the 22 best players who have played for the Wolves over the last ten seasons and then, hopefully, host a Gala dinner towards the end of the season.”
Meadowbank may not be the most enticing of venues for fans but Edmonston assures it is one of the few arenas in the national league that can accommodate spectators within a seating environment. With attendances in the region of 150-300 for home fixtures, Edmonston is hoping 2013 can exceed those figures.
“We’re one of the few clubs out from about 70 in the country where people can sit down at the venue and watch the game. We’re way ahead of our competition on that front that we don’t play at a public park as we offer people the chance to sit down, buy club merchandise and food and drink.
“We’ve put in the extra effort because it is such a big year for the club so we’ve got 5000 leaflets going around schools this week as well. Our sponsors Sportsters and Total Health have been great so we really appreciate their support.”
Edmonston says the club are making inroads into securing its long-term future by promoting the game at grassroots level.
He added: “We want more kids playing at school and then feed them into the Wolves’ junior team and develop further pathways for those individuals who have a real passion for American Football.”
Edinburgh Wolves v Clyde Valley Blackhawks kicks off at 2.30pm this Sunday at Meadowbank Stadium. Entry is £3 for Adults and £1 for Under 16s. The club are also looking for juniors (14+) interested in joining. Email info@edinburgh wolves.com for more details.