Category: 2017

Coaching Vacancies

The Oxford Saints are one of the UK longest running teams and we are looking for additional staff for our senior team in the 2018 season.

With several veteran coaches already in place, the club is looking for more positional coaches, especially for the roles below:

Quarterback Coach
Special Teams Coordinator

However we welcome applications for other positions or as general coaching assistants. If you are new to coaching, we would support your training by partnering you with an experienced coach.

Requirements:

  • Work closely with the head coach and other staff to plan/deliver effective training sessions
  • Be passionate about coaching rookies and veterans alike
  • Be available for as many training sessions (Sunday afternoons) as possible
  • Be available for as many games (home and away) as possible
  • Contribute to film analysis
  • BAFCA level 1 certified (or looking to become qualified)

Why Choose Oxford:

  • One of the longest running UK clubs
  • Promoted to Division 1 in 2017 and competed immediately with a 5-5 record.
  • Financially stable and well managed
  • Some of the best facilities in Britball
  • Great gameday atmosphere with covered seating, BBQ, music, commentary & spectators
  • Excellent public profile with high quality game highlights and promotional material
  • Effective recruitment drives with a roster of 90 players in 2017
  • High practice attendance and competitive atmosphere throughout the year
  • Free travel on all team coach journeys

Next steps:

Contact us through our website or send us a message on facebook at www.facebook.com/oxfordsaints to discuss the options.

Rookie Training: 26th November & 10th December

WE are recruiting players, coaches and staff for our senior team (18+) for 2018

The Oxford Saints are one of the longest running American Football clubs in the UK and we’re growing our team for the upcoming season. If you are interested in getting involved as a player, coach or volunteer – you should come down and see us.

These sessions require no previous experience, just a positive attitude and a willingness to try something new. We also welcome experienced players who are looking for a new team to attend.

We’re holding two open training sessions intended for newcomers to the team in November and December. Dates and locations below:

 

Sunday 26th November – OX4 Academy (indoors)

11:45 – 14:00 @ Sandy Lane West, Oxford OX4 6JZ

Sunday 10th December – Tilsley Park (outside)

11:45 – 14:00 @ Dunmore Road, Abingdon OX14 1PU

 

 

WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING

Both sessions are held on a artificial 4G training surface. We recommend you wear footwear suitable for this which is usually studded boots (but no metal studs allowed).

You’ll also need suitable exercise clothing and enough water to keep you hydrated for the session.

 

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

Admission to the open rookie sessions is free of charge, as we want to give potential players an easy way to give the sport a try.

If you enjoy what you see and wish to join the team for the upcoming season, there will be a payment plan for team fees and additional equipment will be required.

 

HOW DO I REGISTER?

You must register in advance using the following link – www.oxfordsaints.com/rookie.

You can register for one or both sessions.

 

WHAT DO I DO IF I CAN’T ATTEND EITHER SESSION?

If you are interested in joining but neither date is suitable, we still accept new players when our weekly training begins in January.

Further details will be posted on our website and social media.

 

2017 Season Review

Following a historic 2016 season which saw the Saints claim a undefeated record and a 3rd championship title, expectations were high for the success to continue into Division 1.

Download 2017 Season Statistics PDF

Preseason

Head Coach Andrew Day always wants to give his players a firm test at the start and this tradition continued with friendly fixtures against the premiership Farnham Knights and the Division 2 North champions, Leicester Falcons.

With a large number of returning veterans and a number of rookies, Oxford entered the preseason with a healthy squad size but were lacking experience at the quarterback position. Their American quarterback Destin Maulding lead the 2016 team to a Division 2 championship but left before the 2017 season.

Oxford were defeated in both preseason games but they achieved Andrew Day’s aim of testing his players against strong opponents whilst getting rookies their first experience of American Football.

Leicester Falcons RB Taylor Brown – By Jamie Stancombe

Quarterbacks

During the offseason, Maulding returned to the US and there was a hole at the quarterback position. Competition for the spot came from Ben Denton who was the quarterback for the Saints playoff season in 2015, but dropped out due to illness towards the end and missed the majority of the 2016 season too.

Kyle Swann was the #2 quarterback in 2016. It was his first year at the position and he took over from Destin Maulding in some games but overall had limited experience.

During the Division 2 South Final however, Maulding suffered a hamstring injury before half time and Swann steadied the ship for the remainder of the game, helping Oxford secure a 24-2 win over the Cambridgeshire Cats.

Up next was Marcus Alphonso, a young quarterback joining the Saints who had some experience at youth but no kitted football. With lots of potential and a strong arm, Alphonso saw game time early in 2017 but stood down for the remainder of the season and it is not yet known if he’ll be back in 2018.

Training in the 3G dome – Oxford Academy

 

Regular Season

Placed in the SFC1 Central following promotion in 2016, the Saints were alongside Sussex, Solent, South Wales and Ouse Valley. Due to the 5 team conference, it was decided that the Saints would play Sussex and Ouse Valley three times and two games against both Solent and South Wales.

Oxford soundly beat South Wales, Ouse Valley and Solent Thrashers throughout the year but lost all three games against the Sussex Thunder, including a very close 13-12 defeat.

The later stages of the season saw the Saints stumble and take heavy losses from Solent and the Ouse Valley Eagles on the return visits, dealing a severe blow to their playoff hopes.

Game 1 – LOSS – Oxford VS Sussex

Entering their second year at Oxford’s new home venue Tilsley Park, the Saints began the season by hosting the Sussex Thunder.

A tough opponent who were promoted to Division 1 in 2015, they were also responsible for knocking Oxford out of the playoffs in the 2015 quarter final 50-13.

In the opening game of the 2017 season, the Saints struggled against the conference favourites and did not find the endzone until the 3rd quarter when James Walter scored on a 43 yard touchdown run. By this point however, the Thunder were up 35-8 and claimed their first win of the year.

Oxford 8-35 Sussex

RB Tony Glover – By Jamie Stancombe

Game 2 – WIN – Oxford @ South Wales

Their first away game of the year, Oxford travelled to South Wales to take on the Warriors, who were recently competing in the premier division but asked for voluntary relegation due to concerns of completing another season at the top level.

Rookie quarterback Marcus Alphonso made his first start in the game and led the Saints to a narrow 13-6 victory in a scrappy affair.

South Wales made progress in the air with 208 passing yards whilst Oxford stuck with their reliable ground and pound game, including a 156 yard / 2 touchdown performance by James Walter.

Oxford 13-6 South Wales

Rookie QB Marcus Alphonso – By Chris Janes

Game 3 – WIN – Oxford VS Ouse Valley

Two teams that had not yet met on the field, the Ouse Valley Eagles were formed a few years ago in a merger between the Bedfordshire Blue Raiders and the Milton Keynes Pathfinders.

The Saints put on a strong display at Tilsley Park to secure a 35-14 win. The game started close with both teams delivering touchdowns in the first quarter and former Saint Mike Turner causing damage with the Eagles defensive unit, claiming two interceptions.

A half time score of 14-14 was converted to 35-14 in Oxford’s favour with Tony Glover running in three touchdowns in the second half and a strong defensive performance which allowed only 54 yards to the Eagles.

Oxford 35-14 Ouse Valley

RB Tony Glover – Photo by Gareth Brown

Game 4 – LOSS – Oxford @ Sussex

The first of two back to back road games against the Thunder, Oxford were handed a 26-14 loss in Brighton.

The day started well with a competitive first quarter but the Saints fell behind when Sussex scored three touchdowns in quick succession. This sent Oxford into half time with a 19-0 deficit when the game was 0-0 just a few minutes earlier.

Oxford’s defense improved in the second half and held the high-powered Thunder offense to just one score, along with gaining 3 interceptions.

The offense found their momentum and put together sustained scoring drives with James Walter picking up 2 touchdowns, but couldn’t overcome the half time hole.

Oxford 14-26 Sussex

QB/RB James Walter – Photo by Jamie Stancombe

Game 5 – LOSS – Oxford @ Sussex

The third and final game against the Thunder was a much closer afternoon. The Saints suffered an agonising 13-12 defeat after having the lead in the 4th quarter.

It was a strong performance all game long, especially from the defense and a missed extra point was the decider.

The Thunder finished the 2017 season with a perfect 10-0 record but no doubt feel lucky that their year was not tarnished with a loss to the Saints in this matchup.

Oxford 12-13 Sussex

RB Tony Glover – Photo by Jamie Stancombe

Game 6 – WIN – Oxford VS Solent

After two defeats in three weeks at the hands of Sussex, the Saints needed to return to winning ways and did so in style with a 33-14 victory against the Solent Thrashers at home.

With James Walter at quarterback for the majority of the game, he had a star performance throwing 2 touchdowns to Sam Armstrong and running in another 2 himself, whilst picking up 142 rushing yards.

The defense however were less effective in the air which was exposed by quarterback Bradley Sawyers and the Thrashers offense, with the visitors getting 211 passing yards against the Saints.

Oxford 33-14 Solent

QB/RB James Walter – By Jason Brown

Game 7 – WIN – Oxford VS South Wales

Their only shut out of the season came against the former premier side with a dominating 42-0 win at Tilsley Park, sealing relegation for the Warriors to Division 2.

Both the offense and the defense were on form, with the Saints securing a 28-0 lead at half time and adding a further 14 points in the second half.

The defense were a formidable force allowing only 75 total yards, including 2 sacks and 1 interception.

Oxford 42-0 South Wales

QB/RB James Walter – By Gareth Brown

Game 8 – LOSS – Oxford @ Ouse Valley

The turning point of the season, the Saints stumbled on a visit to Bedfordshire and suffered a 20-6 defeat.

The defense struggled to stop big plays from the towering running back Jamahl Alert and the offense gained 340 yards compared to 223 by the Eagles, but couldn’t convert it into points.

With the Saints previously expected to finish number 2 in the conference, the next 2 games became must-win’s in order to keep that goal alive.

Oxford 6-20 Ouse Valley

RB Jamhal Alert – By Jamie Stancombe

Game 9 – LOSS – Oxford @ Solent Thrashers

With a defeat from the Eagles in Game 8, the Saints could not afford another loss as there were now three teams who could finish the season with a 5-5 record (Oxford, Ouse Valley and Solent).

The Saints dealt with the Thrashers earlier in game 6 but struggled on the road to Southampton in a 40-21 loss. With key running back James Walter not kitting up for the game and Tony Glover also sidelined for the majority of it, the Saints were without their best offensive weapons.

Kyle Swann put in a good shift at quarterback but Oxford’s limited passing game could not keep pace with Solent’s, which saw Bradley Sawyers slinging three touchdowns to Dayle Greenfield alone.

Oxford 21-40 Solent

RB Antonios Athanasiou – By Chris Janes

Game 10 – WIN – Oxford VS Ouse Valley

With elimination from the playoffs now looking likely following the loss to the Thrashers, the Saints required both a win over the Eagles and for the 0-9 South Wales Warriors to defeat the Thrashers in their final game.

Oxford took a 14-3 lead at half time with Tony Glover and Sam Armstrong finding the endzone, but the visitors crept back in with big plays from Kase Chibwe who scored two touchdowns and Nick Tilbury threw a third.

In rainy weather, the Saints took back the lead late in the 4th quarter with a 34 yard field goal from Sam Fielden, followed by a defensive stop on the next Eagles drive to seal the win.

With Solent defeating the Warriors competently on the same day, Oxford were eliminated from the playoff race but claimed the 3rd spot in the SFC1 Central conference.

Oxford 24-22 Ouse Valley

WR/K Sam Fielden makes a 34 yd field goal to win the game – By Gareth Brown

Summary

Although a 5-5 record for their first year back in Division 1, the Saints would have had their eyes set on another playoff run following wins over the Warriors, Thrashers and Eagles. All they had to do was repeat those performances to secure the #2 spot behind the undefeated Sussex Thunder.

Losses on the road to Ouse Valley and Solent proved their undoing, with the Game 9 loss to Solent being the finishing blow.

Oxford relied on their strong run game and tough defense this year, with only 2 receiving touchdowns (both in Game 6 by Sam Armstrong).

The lack of a established quarterback may have also caused the Saints to lean on their run game more frequently. Running backs James Walter and Tony Glover continued to be the foundation of the offense, contributing the most touchdowns throughout the year.

The addition of a new receivers coach late in the season should help improve Oxford’s passing threat in 2018.

2017 Team (not all present) – By Chris Janes

Whilst the season may have ended sooner than hoped, Oxford can build on it’s success for 2018 and the Saints will be pleased that they ran the conference champions Sussex the closest.

With Division 1 playoffs starting soon, it will soon be determined which team from the south will be earning promotion to the top premiership tier.

South Wales are confirmed for relegation to Division 2 so there will be a vacant spot in the SFC1 Central conference, likely to be filled by another team being promoted to Division 1 but it is also possible that the league will re-align the conferences.

Either way, expect the Saints to be facing some new teams in 2018.

Download 2017 Season Statistics PDF

Oxford 24 – 22 Ouse Valley | Game Summary

GAME HIGHLIGHTS

OXFORD END SEASON WITH THRILLING WIN

On Sunday 30th July the Oxford Saints closed their Division 1 season in style with a 24-22 home victory over the Ouse Valley Eagles.

The Saints and Eagles faced each other three times this season, with Oxford coming out on top in two of those contests.

They gained a decisive 35-14 win on 7th May at home, then stumbled to a 20-6 loss on the road in a surprising defeat, but avenged it with the win last Sunday at Tilsley Park.

A exciting game from start to finish, the Saints began with the ball and drove into Eagles territory before quarterback Kyle Swann was intercepted.

QB Kyle Swann – By Gareth Brown

The Ouse Valley offense took over but faced a tough defensive front from Oxford, with Spencer Duffy and Conor Whitehouse sacking quarterback Nick Tilbury for a loss of yards. On 4th down, the Eagles attempted to punt but the ball was not set in place and was eventually downed for a further loss of 8 yards.

Swann and the Saints offense took over on the 3 yard line and running back Tony Glover charged up the middle for the opening score. Sam Fielden kicked the extra point to give Oxford a early 7-0 lead.

With Jamahl Watson moving the ball on the ground for the Eagles, the visiting team found the scoreboard in the 2nd quarter with a 28 yard field goal from Mike Turner.

7-3 Oxford

RB Tony Glover – By Gareth Brown

The Saints hit back immediately and marched steadily across the field.

Good running from Glover and Sam Armstrong brought them close to the endzone, with Armstrong entering from 7 yards out on a reverse play for the touchdown. Fielden’s kick went through for the extra point.

14-3 Oxford

On offense, the Eagles were making progress in the air with back to back grabs from Ryan Bowtell but they were unable to get into scoring distance before the end of the half.

QB Nick Tilbury hands the ball to Jacob Givens – By Gareth Brown

HALF TIME

The visitors began with the ball in the 3rd quarter but a tackle for a loss of yards by George Wright and another stop from Martin Fitzpatrick brought on the Eagles punt team on 4th down.

Oxford added a quick score on just the 2nd play of the next drive when Glover escaped up the sideline and out paced the Ouse Valley defenders for a 54 yard touchdown run. Another good kick from Fielden gave the Saints a 21-3 advantage.

21-3 Oxford

RB Tony Glover – By Gareth Brown

The Eagles made changes in their offense with Kase Chibwe and Jacob Givens getting the bulk of the work, including some direct snaps to Chibwe. They progressed to the Saints endzone with Chibwe running in for the score. A 2 point conversion attempt failed.

21-9 Oxford

More running from Chibwe and Givens kept the offense moving and Chibwe broke through defenders for a 27 yard touchdown run to narrow the gap. Mike Turner attempted to add a extra point but the ball was not set in place.

21-15 Oxford

A short drive from the Saints saw them having to punt the ball away on 4th down, after picking up minimal gains from Glover and a incomplete pass intended for Dre Kays. A short punt however gave the Eagles good field position, starting on the Saints 28 yard line.

Oxford looked set to make a defensive stand after tackles from George Wright and Dean Bryan, but on 4th down Tilbury threw a pass to Akintunde Adewale over the middle for a 24 yard touchdown. This time Turner was able to kick the extra point and the Eagles took the lead.

22-21 Ouse Valley

RB Kase Chibwe – By Gareth Brown

Deep in the 4th quarter, it was vital for Oxford to maintain possession of the football but their next drive stalled and they were forced to punt again.

With the Eagles offense back on the field, they were stopped in the backfield with a tackle from Monica Lewinska for a loss of 2 yards and then a fumbled ball was recovered by Michael Bearman, giving the Saints possession again.

Taking over on the Eagles 21 yard line, Oxford faced a tough defense and on 3rd down Glover was tackled for a loss of 2 yards. Attempting to take back the lead, head coach Andrew Day called for a field goal and Sam Fielden kicked the ball through straight through from 34 yards out.

24-22 Oxford

WR/K Sam Fielden makes a 34 yd field goal to win the game – By Gareth Brown

With everything riding on the final drive for Ouse Valley, they picked up 18 yards and a first down but struggled to make gains in the air with Misha Brookes breaking up the pass.

On 3rd down, Sam Stancombe tackled the ball carrier for a loss and a 4th down pass attempt to Adewale was batted down in the air by Martin Fitzpatrick.

With under 2 minutes remaining, the Saints played it safe and ran down the clock with Kyle Swann taking a knee to see out the game.

24-22 Oxford – FINAL SCORE

Statistics: Download PDF

After a unexpected heavy defeat to the Solent Thrashers on 23rd July, the Saints were on the back foot in the playoff race and needed two things to happen to stay on track. Firstly, a victory over the Eagles and for the 0-9 South Wales Warriors to pull off a win over Solent.

Whilst Oxford beat the Eagles, the Warriors fell to the Thrashers in a earlier kickoff on the same day and the game between the Saints and Eagles was to determine who would be 3rd in the conference.

Oxford 21 – 40 Solent | Game Summary

OXFORD SUFFER 2ND HEAVY LOSS IN 3 WEEKS

On Sunday 23rd July the Saints hope for playoff football took a blow when they were on the wrong side of a 40-21 scoreline in Southampton.

With QB/RB James Walter unavailable for the game and running back Tony Glover in a limited capacity, the Saints were without their two main weapons on offense and the difference showed.

Oxford struck first despite having to punt on their opening drive when a Solent player touched the ball, making it available to be claimed by either team. With the Saints diving on the ball, the offense came back out with improved field position.

Rookie receiver Dominic Johnson – By Chris Janes

With 2nd year quarterback Kyle Swann leading the unit, he connected with veteran receiver Sam Armstrong for a 24 yard gain and just short of the goal line.

The ball was then handed to Antonios Athanasiou who ran it in for the touchdown from 1 yard out. Sam Fielden kicked the extra point to give the Saints the early lead.

7-0 OXFORD

Oxford’s defense claimed a 1 yard sack on Solent’s drive as Conor Whitehouse brought down quarterback Bradley Sawyers behind the line.

On the next play however, a mis-aligned coverage resulted in Sawyers completing a deep pass to Dayle Greenfield for a 63 yard touchdown. Samuel Scott attempted to run the ball in for a 2 point conversion but failed.

7-6 OXFORD

Receiver Dayle Greenfield – By Jamie Stancombe

The Thrashers moved the ball well and in the 2nd quarter Sawyers connected with Greenfield again, this time for a 45 yard touchdown. Scott ran through to add the extra 2 points.

On their next drive, they kept the ball on the ground and picked up several first downs as they approached the endzone. Tom Borsay added their next score running in from 1 yard out, with another failed 2 point conversion.

HALF TIME 20-7 SOLENT

With Oxford down by two scores at the half, the Saints defense were struggling to stop the big passing plays from Sawyers and Greenfield, along with their own offense being slow to make gains.

The Saints defenders made a stop at the beginning of the 3rd quarter with Whitehouse tackling the ball carrier for a loss on 4th down.

Both teams exchanged possession of the ball but it remained on the Saints half of the field, with the Thrashers unable to score and the Saints unable to make consistent yards.

A 23 yard run from Solent took them to the goal line and Borsay broke the deadlock. The ball was not put in place for the extra point kick and the attempt was no good.

26-7 SOLENT

By Jamie Stancombe

The Saints found relief early in the 4th quarter with Swann completing a 27 yard pass to rookie receiver Dre Kays. Tony Glover came onto the field for the first time in the game and combined with Luke Fry for first downs.

On 4th down, Swann completed a quick pass to Charlie Day for a 12 yard gain and the offense gained a crucial first down.

From 6 yards out, Richard Bloomer received the ball on a reverse play and ran into the endzone for Oxford’s first score since the first quarter. Glover added the extra 2 points.

26-15 SOLENT

Despite the Saints touchdown, the Thrashers continued to move the ball well against the defense and Adam Bowley scored on a 28 yard touchdown run on their next drive. Bowley also attempted the 2 point conversion but was unable to cross the line.

Oxford responded quickly with penalties against Solent giving the Saints improved field position. On 3rd down, Glover entered the endzone from 7 yards out but Fielden’s kick was blocked.

32-21 SOLENT

Jonny Dover – By Jamie Stancombe

The Thrashers showed their efficiency in the air with Sawyers completing another deep pass to Greenfield on the first play of the drive, who ran into the endzone for a 58 yard score and his 3rd of the day. Scott added the 2 points.

40-21 SOLENT FINAL SCORE

Statistics: Download PDF

With back to back losses against teams the Saints swiftly beat earlier in the season, Oxford are now at risk of missing the Division 1 playoffs.

To reclaim their spot, the Saints will need a win against the Eagles on Sunday 30th July and for the 0-9 South Wales Warriors to pull of a victory over the Thrashers on the same day.

Despite a disappointing 2nd half of the season, the Saints will be pleased that they were competitive in their first season back in Division 1 which included two close games against the undefeated conference champions, Sussex Thunder.

NEXT GAME:

Oxford’s final game of the regular season is at Tilsley Park on Sunday 30th July against the Ouse Valley Eagles. Kick off is 14:30 PM.