Updated: Wednesday, 12th August 2020 @ 4:05pm

Wrath of the Titans: Manchester's American Football team discuss season and rookie recruitment

Wrath of the Titans: Manchester's American Football team discuss season and rookie recruitment

| By Nick Hughes

Manchester Titans' general manager has urged his team to improve next season following a difficult 2014 campaign, while giving an insight into their upcoming rookie camps.

Manchester’s sole remaining American football team enjoyed comprehensive wins against lesser opponents but endured close losses to their division’s more competitive teams in between a thrilling 43-43 tie game to finish the season with five wins, four defeats and a tie.

Manchester Titans’ GM of two years Jonathan Homer is semi-retired from the team for five years.

For the past 12 months he has coached the defensive and special teams though, while speaking exclusively to MM, Homer was left frustrated by the on-field efforts of the senior team.

“The senior team underperformed, we posted a winning season but our aim was to make the playoffs so to miss this was disappointing,” he said.

And while the offence topped the division for points scored, Homer believes the offence faltered overall.

“It’s nice to score the points and have such a record, but we weren't consistent and didn't score the points against the bigger teams we needed.

“In the games we lost, and the points we conceded, we can pinpoint individual mistakes rather than flaws with the defensive systems.


HOMER'S PHILOSOPHY: Titans GM has a vision

“Again the squad is young and we had a lot of players in their first season in certain positions.”

This will stand the Titans in good stead next year, when the young team can grow together.

Homer has also touted new defensive coordinator Mark Sloan to improve the team’s defensive efforts for next year.

Off the field, the Titans were more successful with Homer telling MM the club has attracted high levels of sponsorship allowing them to spend £7,000 on equipment while they also secured a record attendance of 1,400 at the AJ Bell Stadium, helping "strengthen partnerships with the local business community,” said Homer.

Youth and junior teams had successful seasons with the later narrowly missing the playoffs and the former competing against older opposition and performed admirably in their first full season.

"Despite our guys being aged 14/15 in an under 17 league we posted some good victories,” he said.

Then in July the Titans founded their Ladies team and in November the Titans will open their rookie camps, which will aim to recruit new players to their team rosters with the possibility to unearth a hidden gem. 

“It's key to mention that these are not try-outs," said Homer.

"Anyone is welcome and we will let any person join the roster regardless of ability and we will coach them up over time.

“At our level there’s always room for improvement, and as a coach and GM you know that there could be a game changing player out there.”

American football has a rich history in Manchester, with the first game in the United Kingdom in 1983, played between Northwich Spartans and the London Ravens.

The Spartans then relocated to Manchester alongside two other franchises, establishing a firm grounding in the city.

However in the 1990s, the popularity of the sport collapsed and with it Manchester’s three teams.

In 2003 a resurgence of the sport occurred with extra television coverage available to the public. The Titans, inspired by the Hollywood blockbuster Remember the Titans, had success over the next 10 years.

The team recorded two undefeated seasons with back-to-back playoff appearances in 2009 and 2010, the latter resulting in promotion. Unfortunately their fortunes turned for the worse the next season with a losing record resulting with relegation to their current division.

With the rebirth of the Titans has come Manchester’s own professional football player, Menelik Watson.

Watson, 25, from Longsight, was selected 42nd overall in the 2013 NFL draft out of Florida State University by the AFC’s Oakland Raiders.

Watson plays as an offensive tackle and will be hoping to play in the International Series game at Wembley Stadium on Sunday September 28 versus the Miami Dolphins.

 

 

 

All details of the Titans rookie days can be found on their homepage: http://www.manchestertitans.co.uk/news/titans-announcing-rookie-camps

Main image courtesy of Manchester Titans via YouTube, with thanks.