Whilst the players and coaching staff are currently enjoying their Xmas break with their families and friends developments off the field do not stop. This week BAFA (British American Football Association) released the confirmed structures for the 2016 season. Each year the sports national governing body review the various conferences across the UK and the participating teams to create the best possible structure. Promotions and relegations have to be taken into account, as well as the introduction of new or returning teams.
Following the announcement earlier today Hastings Conquerors can announce that we will once again be playing in the Southern Conference Division 2 South albeit with a number of new opponents.
hastingsconquerors.co.uk takes a look at the teams the ‘H’ will be up against this season….
East Kent Mavericks are a Canterbury based side who were relegated from Division 1 last season. However, they have a rich history and a strong and knowledgable coaching staff who will have designs on bouncing straight back up into Division 1. A new opponent that Hastings have never seen in a competitive game environment and a team who will certainly be tough to compete against.
Bournemouth Bobcats join us again this year and will also no doubt be focused on trying to achieve Div 1 status. Last season saw a nail biting game between both clubs when the Bobcats won 14-13, Hastings narrowly missing out on their first victory which was to come later into the season. Hastings are 0-2 against Bobcats, and will be looking to achieve their first win against them this year.
Portsmouth Dreadnoughts skill and extra experience showed when they beat Hastings 48-15 and 0-28 both home and away last season. Portsmouth were however the first and only team the Conquerors beat last year. The historical first ever league win coming from a strange 0-2 scoreline that saw some superb defence from both sides and a number of blocked FG’s by the Hastings defence. Portsmouth are 2-1 up in games against the Conquerors and will be a tough team to beat this season.
Maidstone Pumas have a long history in the UK leagues but unfortunately had to withdraw from the league competition the year Hastings joined. The Pumas have taken their time out to re-group and re-build. Despite the locality of two clubs Hastings and Maidstone have never met in a competitive league environment and this should be a very exciting league fixture for the 2016 season for both clubs.
Berkshire Renegades withdrew from the Southern Premiership last season after a number of years playing at that level against teams such as London Warriors, London Blitz and London Olympians. The Renegades will be keen to get back to their Premiership status and it’s hard to imagine the Renegades won’t be the team leading the charge for the playoffs following their re-introduction this year, two levels below where they left off. Hastings have never faced them before.
Last years opponents Kent Exiles and Sussex Thunder both were promoted from the SFC Div 2 South following their successful campaigns last season. We wish both teams the best of luck with their 2016 campaigns.
The Conquerors return to the training ground on Jan 10th 2016 where they will continue their pre-season preparations for the new league season which begins in April. The club would like to wish everyone a very merry Xmas and a wonderful New Year. We hope you will join us in supporting the Conquerors in what will be a very exciting 2016.