February 1, 2022 3.30 pm This story is over 27 months old

The Lincolnite tries: American Football with the Lincolnshire Bombers

The Academy are recruiting new players

With the Super Bowl less than two weeks away, The Lincolnite went to try their hand at American Football and joined in a training session with Lincolnshire Bombers.

Super Bowl 56 will take place on Sunday, February 13 between home side Los Angeles Rams and surprise package Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals will be looking for their first ever Super Bowl victory as a franchise.

Closer to home, the Lincolnshire Bombers have both a senior side and an academy, with the latter ranging from ages 13-19. The team is recruiting on and off the field ahead of the new season which starts in April.

Reporter Ellis Karran enjoyed his training session with the Lincolnshire Bombers. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Ellis is now considering taking up the sport. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

They play their home games at Memorial Field in North Hykeham. The Academy side train every Sunday between 9.30am-12.30pm at Monks Abbey sports field on Greetwell Road.

The Lincolnite reporter Ellis Karran took part in a training session on Monday, January 31 and throughly enjoyed the experience.

He said: “I love to watch the sport, I think it can often be the pinnacle of live entertainment and drama, but I’d never tried to play it before Monday. It is so much harder and more demanding than the stars make it look, but I had so much fun and may even find myself playing more often.”

The Lincolnite reporter Ellis Karran spent an afternoon training session with the Lincolnshire Bombers. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Ellis preparing to pass the ball. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Straight into the arms of the Academy Head Coach Alan Chambers. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Lincolnshire Bombers train at Monks Abbey sports field on Greetwell Road in Lincoln every Sunday. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Lincolnshire Bombers were first formed back in the 1980s and players including the Academy’s current head coach Alan Chambers. The Bombers reemerged in their current form in 2005 to provide a home for American Football fans across the region, and the senior side is managed by Head Coach Michael “Tex” Etheridge, with support from other coaches including Mo Maynard.

The Academy was formed in 2015 and has a successful record of making the play-offs each year and producing talented players. This includes Sam Gair, Under-19s Line Man, and Under-16s Defensive Back Rory Humphries, who were both recently called up to the Great Britain squad.

Academy Head Coach Alan Chambers (right) showing Ellis the ropes (left). | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Ellis was told by the team that he did well, but it didn’t all go to plan! | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Academy Head Coach Alan Chambers told The Lincolnite: “It gives the opportunity for kids to play at a younger age. They have shown they are then much better players by the time they get into the senior side. We are always looking for new players.

“It’s a fun and safe sport for all sizes and abilities. The sport is increasing in popularity in Lincoln and each year the academy has grown with more progressing to the senior side.”

The Under-16s team play a 5v5 format of the game and the season is made up of four tournaments, with the top side going to the National Finals, and second-place moving into the Plate Finals.

They will begin their season in the North A division with a home tournament against Northumberland Giants, Gateshead Senators, and Yorkshire Academy Assassins on May 7.

The Under-19s play a 7v7 format of the game and the season is made up of three tournaments, which end in a similar way to the Under-16s season. They will begin their season in Division 2 Midlands with in a tournament involving Leicester Falcons and Northants Knights on May 14.

Coach Mo Maynard teaching Ellis about punting. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Max Durkin, 17, is a Quarterback for Lincolnshire Bombers’ Under-19s. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Max Durkin, 17, is a Quarterback for the Under-19s, who supports the New England Patriots.

He said: “It is a beautiful game. The hits, athleticism and skill of the players in the NFL is incredible and there is a position for everyone.

“I have been with the academy for three years and I think it’s important to play from a younger age. It is something I want to pursue when I go to university in September.”

Ellis in action for the Lincolnshire Bombers. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Any new players are welcome any time prospective players can find more information here.

Meanwhile, the senior side begin their league season in the Midlands Division 2 South with a home game against Doncaster on April 24.

Illinois-born Traven Wetzel, who is a Receiver for the senior side and a Bengals fan, said: “I love the sport. Camaraderie as a team is second to no sport. Everybody has different jobs but we are all fighting for the same goal.”

The Bombers are also looking for more help with coaching and in management, with vacancies in media, welfare, game day manager, and kit manager – anyone interested should email [email protected].

Ellis Karran was proud to train with the Lincolnshire Bombers Academy. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

See the rest of our photo gallery below:

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite