It’s been a massive task for BAFA to orchestrate however the fixtures for the 2016 league season have now been released and there’s some really exciting match ups in store for the supporters this season.
Due to local pitch availability the club are unable to host home games until mid May (just one of a host of issues BAFA had to contend with across the nation when putting the fixtures together). This means that Hastings will begin the season much like last year with a string of away games to kick the season off. However, unlike last year where we had to wait until Week 3 before playing, Hastings are into the action in WEEK 1 with an away fixture at East Kent Mavericks. EKM are new to Division 2 this year after dropping from Division 1 last season and will be a tough first fixture for the Conquerors.
The fixtures then see HCAF travel to another new addition to the league Maidstone Pumas. Maidstone have a long history in the sport but took 2 years out of the league to re-build their squad. 2016 sees them return with new faces and like all the fixtures this season, HCAF will be expecting a tough game against our closest competitors.
The fixtures are also far less congested than last season which saw HCAF have to play 3 games in 3 weeks on two occasions in the league. A pile up which caused the team to seriously struggle with numbers due to injuries. This season the fixtures are much kinder with 2 games appearing per month over a 5 month period. Nicely spaced out and providing good ample room for recovery between games which should help the team somewhat.
HCAF travel to Bournemouth Bobcats in May before hosting their first home game on May 15th as they invite Portsmouth Dreadnoughts back to Hastings with HCAF hoping for a repeat of last years game where they clocked up their first and only win of their debut season in a nail biting and rather odd scoreline of 0-2 where a safety won Hastings the game.
HCAF also have to travel to Reading this season in an attempt to try and beat Berkshire Renegades. A team that only until very recently were playing their football in the Premiership against the likes of London Blitz and London Warriors. Expect a very tough game in June when the two teams meet.
The season eventually comes to an end on Week 18 in mid-August when HCAF end the season hosting the Renegades, ending the season with a tough home fixture. From there the club will know whether it has done enough to make the playoffs.
Chairman and Offensive Co-Ordinator Chris Chillingworth explained “I know myself, head coach and the rest of the coaching staff are much happier with the way the fixtures have fallen this season. We know all our games this year are going to be tough. This is still only our second ever season and we have brought in a number of rookies for whom it will be their first. However, we learned a hell of a lot last year and we’re expecting to be more competitive this season. It’s an evolution for us. For me personally I just want to see us compete more. We’ve worked very hard since November when we started our pre-season to make sure we work on the right things and progress in all areas. The culmination of that progression will hopefully mean we’re overall more competitive, but we’ll have to wait and see.”
The full 2016 Hastings Conquerors schedule is now up on the SCHEDULE page of the website.