At the first GB open trial for adults in Doncaster on 14 January, over 130 players from a wide variety of teams turned up to try and impress the new coaching staff.
The trial included a NFL style combine testing players measurables in the 40 yard dash, 20 yard shuttle and three cone drill.
After the measurables the players kitted up and moved out to the positional coaches for their individual workouts, some contact drills and finishing with a controlled team scrimmage.
Head Coach Mike Callan was positive about the day. “I think the trial went very well and the bar has been set for the future. We got what we wanted and the players responded to what we were asking. There was a great buzz to the day and after speaking to many of the players there afterwards, it felt like there was a good energy about the programme.”
The senior event was swiftly followed by a junior open trial at the University of Hertfordshire de Havilland campus, home of the BUAFL's Hertfordshire Hurricanes, on Saturday 28 January. This was also well attended, with over 70 players vying for a spot on the GB Lions Junior roster.
Under the watchful gaze of head coach Damien Anderson and his staff, players from around the country were put through their paces. “Today was a great foundation to kick-start the program with,” Coach Anderson said. "I'm looking forward to seeing the talent at the next junior trial in Doncaster, as we have a real opportunity to get a strong team together.”
On Saturday 4 February, the GB open trials move north to Doncaster for the Juniors in Doncaster, while the Senior team will also be holding trials in Bristol on the same day.
The junior open trial will take place at Balby Carr College in Doncaster, with registration from 10am and on the field from 11am-5pm. The cost for the session is £10, and in order to be eligible to play for GB Lions Junior, players should be born on or after January 1 1993. The minimum age for players is 16.
Junior players must register beforehand by emailing their full name/DOB/BAFANL number/club/position/contact number/emergency contact number to Nick_wasmuth@hotmail.com. In order to participate, a consent form for under 18s must also be completed and signed by a parent or guardian.
The second open adult trial will take place at Filton College, Bristol. Registration is from 11.30am, and on the field from 12.30pm – 6.30pm. The cost for the event is £20, and prospective senior players should also complete a registration form, and email it to email@example.com. Pre-registration is highly recommended to avoid being late on the day.
Both venues are 3G Astroturf, so those attending shouldn’t bring metal bladed footwear. For both junior and adult trials offensive players should bring a white jersey, defensive players should bring a dark blue jersey, and QB trialists should bring red jerseys
Registration forms can be found on the downloads section of the BAFA site, here: http://www.bafa.org.uk/downloads.aspx and if you or your team manager don't have a BAFA number for you, one will be allocated on the day.
Photos courtesy Graham Beardsley