Edinburgh Wolves women set to make gridiron debut

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TODAY may be Valentine’s Day, but romance will be the last thing on the minds of the Edinburgh Wolves women’s American football team as they take part in their first-ever competitive games.

With the Wolves’ men’s team reaching last year’s BritBowl finals, the creation of Scotland’s first full-contact women’s gridiron side felt like the obvious next step for chairman and offensive co-ordinator Allan Price. “One of the main drivers was one of the girls in the side contacted head coach Don Edmonston,” he said. “From there, we’ve worked together to find recruits online and found that we were attracting women in the area who had played other sports, as well as several who hadn’t played any sport before.”

The women’s game is still in its infancy in the UK and games are currently played with five players per side.

As the Wolves are the only side in Scotland, they have been placed in the Northern Conference with sides from Manchester, Teesside and Leeds. But the first tournament gives the self-styled ‘She-Wolves’ home advantage as several teams travel to South Queensferry.

“We know we’ll have to do a fair amount of travelling this season, especially being the only Scottish side,” said Price. “With the games being five-a-side, the format of a game weekend will be a little bit different to the men’s as several of the women’s sides will meet in the same location to play in a round-robin tournament.”

Head coach Mark Bramwell has been involved in American football since 1995 and jumped at the chance to lead the team.

He said: “It’s very exciting to be doing something different after so many years involved with the game and it’s an honour to be leading Scotland’s first women’s team.

“Recruitment has been better than I initially thought it would be and we’ve got a really enthusiastic group of 20 girls. We’re always looking for new recruits, though, and welcome any women who want to take part to come down to join us at South Queensferry Rugby Club any Sunday morning, even if they just want to find out more about the Wolves and American football.”

Defensive tackle Lisa McGarrity has, in her own words, has come direct from “couch to field” as she decided she wanted to become more active.

“I didn’t really know much about the sport at all before coming along.

“I’d watched the Superbowl a couple of times but couldn’t really follow what was happening. It’s been great so far, though, as we’ve got a superb group of girls and already have a really solid team bond. I just can’t wait to get started!”