Updated: Wednesday, 22nd November 2017 @ 5:30pm

NFL fever hits Manchester: Titans ladies team have enough players for TWO squads ahead of debut

NFL fever hits Manchester: Titans ladies team have enough players for TWO squads ahead of debut

| By Ben Weich

American football fever is back but it’s not just the NFL that’s kicked off – Manchester’s ladies are also taking to the field.

The Manchester Titans have launched their first ever ladies football team and will compete in nationwide competitions this winter and throughout 2015.

Women of the North West have been flocking to open practice sessions held by the Titans, who have fielded men’s, junior and youth teams for over a decade.

Ladies head coach Jonathan Homer told MM his expectations for the project have already been exceeded.

“We’ve only been going for about four weeks, but the excitement and enthusiasm we’ve seen has been absolutely phenomenal,” he said.


SHINING EXAMPLE: Head coach Jonathan Homer is beaming after a fast start

“My initial hope for the Titans was simply that we’d have a big enough squad to compete, but we now have enough to make two squads.

“Our growing numbers are largely down to word of mouth, which really speaks volumes about the all-round commitment of the girls.”

Although the women’s game is relatively new, American football has been played on these shores as far back as the mid-1980s.

The North West has a proud tradition: the Titans’ precursors, the Manchester Spartans, were early trailblazers and the region has consistently fielded some of the finest teams in the UK since.

Homer said his sport’s unique selling point is that it takes all-comers.

“You may think you have a physical build you think excludes you from sport, when actually it could be that physical build makes you ideal for certain positions.

“There is a very diverse range of sizes, heights, shapes, weights, but every single one of these girls has something to offer the football team in various positions.

“If you come down there will be a position for you, one you just fall into naturally.”

Squad members will attest to the welcoming atmosphere that Homer and his assistant coaches Liam Twigg and James Dean have created around this fledgling side.

Student Danika Scargill said: “The coaches really want to help us progress. You never know, you might really enjoy yourself and do really well. And we get so much support here from the coaches.”

Sian Perry, 24, echoed the sentiment.

“Loads of girls turn up every week which is encouraging to anyone who’s new to American football.

“This sport is opening so many doors for women and it really highlights the fact that we play sport as well.”

The Great Britain women’s team is also going from strength to strength and the Titans provide a direct route to the national team.

Because such a high proportion of players are newcomers, everyone at the club has a genuine chance to make it to a GB trial, which could one day lead to an Olympic Games.

Phoebe Schecter, 25 and a personal trainer, said: “For any of the girls who have started playing now, there definitely is the possibility of playing in European championships, world championships and even the Olympics.


LOVE FITNESS: Phoebe Schecter lives and breathes sport

“We just want everyone to pick it up, carry it through and fall in love with this sport. That’s what it’s all about.”

All prospective players are welcome at the Titans and open training sessions are held from 8-10pm at AJ Bell Stadium in Salford. All equipment is provided – all that’s required is sportswear.

Further details can be found on the Manchester Titans website, www.manchestertitans.co.uk, and a Titans ladies Facebook group has been set up.

Main image courtesy of Manchester Titans Ladies via Twitter, with thanks.