Our second visit to a team this season came in the shape of the established
Ouse Valley Eagles. We had a better idea of what footage and interviews we wanted to get thanks to our earlier visit to the Sabres. We initially met up with the Eagles head coach Neale McMaster, who was very welcoming and encouraging in what we wanted from the afternoon and what we wanted to cover.
This time round, we had our newest member Ryan join us, who really helped with our set up for interviews and videos. We got another great insight into the game when we spoke with Neale, about their plans for the next 5 years and beyond. What really stands out is there are so many people at this level of the game that have a fundamental knowledge of all areas of the sport, and in two visits so far, we have met some of these guys first hand which really points us in the right direction.
After our chat with Neale (which you can hear on episode 2 of our podcast) we were pretty much given free roam of their training session, which was very refreshing as we knew that a week later their season kicked off halfway across Britain to face the South Wales Warriors. With that in mind, we didn't want to waste the opportunity, so we made sure anyone standing around got spoken to.
We were with the Eagles all day, and throughout the session we gained some great insights in to what joining a team is like from a rookies perspective, what it's like to join from another team, and what some of the relationships involve when you are preparing for the season. The real eye opener for us was the level of detail these guys go into, not just on the training field, they are meeting up during the week to discuss plays, team captains are on the phone regularly to rookies making sure they are all set, we were very impressed. We will show the full extent of these chats with players on our second episode of the podcast, so please do keep an ear out, it will be well worth a listen.
The main thing we can take away from the two teams we have visited, is the welcoming environment. This is the side of teams that isn't necessarily seen and could potentially put off anyone thinking of showing up for a training session or rookie day. It is a daunting thought, potentially meeting up with 40-50 guys all padded up wearing helmets. We can honestly say that we couldn't have been made to feel more welcome, and there are loads of ways to get involved. If you live anywhere near the Bedfordshire or Milton Keynes area and have thought about trying American football, please do check out ovfootball.com and see how you get on.
We will be attending more teams and fixtures throughout the season, so please make sure you keep checking our website and podcast for more insights and ways to get involved.