Attempts under way to start new American Football team in Bury St. Edmunds
A VETERAN American Football coach is attempting to set up a new team in Bury St Edmunds.
Chris Wallis, 45, has already launched the Cambridgeshire Cats and the Bedfordshire Blue Raiders and helped resurrect the East Midlands (now Peterborough) Saxons.
He now wants to replicate that by forming a squad of players in Bury to play in Division Two East of the British American Football Association National League (BAFANL).
Wallis, who played for 14 years in the English leagues, led the Cats to two successive title wins in the early 1990s and also coached at Cambridge University.
The BAFANL currently has over 50 teams and if a Bury-based team wants to be considered for the 2013 season, then everything has to be in place, not least around �17,000 which is required to make the project work, by September this year.
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“It takes a lot of effort and the team has to become part of the community,” said Wallis.
“It is not just about me and a couple of others. Everyone has to contribute.
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“I enjoy these situations, setting teams up from scratch. We will have to raise around �17,000 just to get the team off the ground.
“Before we can even start training we need to purchase footballs which could cost as much as �500 and we will be hoping attract sponsors to help the team get started.”
Should a team be set up, it will play in friendly games only for the duration of 2012 - the season runs between March and September.
Recruitment for the first competitive season will revolve around players that have NOT represented an existing BAFANL team during the 2011 season, and complete newcomers to the sport.
“A team of 30 or 40 players will provide something to build on. “If we only get 10 or 15, there won’t be a team,” he said.
“I won’t take players from other clubs though. That defeats the object to trying to build the game in England.
“We want to attract players of all ages, shapes and sizes. American Football allows anybody, regardless of size or fitness, to contribute.”
For more information, email Chris Wallis at BurySEGridiron@aol.co.uk