Grangemouth Broncos Flag Football Club are heading to the Toryglen indoor sports centre this weekend to defend the title they won at last year’s Flagging New Year Tournament.
However the Whitecross based side are going to have to work much harder for the title this year now that the tournament has been expanded to include elite teams from Europe.
At last year’s competition there were eight teams competing and only one from outside of Scotland, the Leeds Samurai.
The Broncos were undefeated on the day beating the Samurai, the Aberdeen Oilcats and Glasgow Hornets on their way to picking up the trophy.
This year, there will be 24 teams in the competition, and it will be held over two days, Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd.
There will be a healthy 11 Scottish teams represented in the competition this year, eight English teams, The Swedish International first and Second teams, the Dutch Lions and two of the top teams from Germany, the Utrecht Dominators and Waldorf Wanderers.
In the Group stages, the Broncos must be pleased to have missed both the Glasgow Hornets and the Aberdeen Oilcats (who have both been drawn in group four), but will face tough opposition in group three from the Dutch Lions and Waldorf Wanderers.
The other teams in the group cannot be discounted either.
The Carnegie Renegades are an improving team from Dunfermline, the Manchester Crows made the British Regional Finals in 2016 and while the Paisley Spartans are a brand new team, they have drafted in a few experienced players to help them out in their first serious competition.
The Broncos new Head Coach David Mooney admitted they will have to be on their best form if they are going to defend their title.
He said: “Just to get into the Quarter Finals we are going to have to beat either the Wanderers or Lions, two teams full of international class players.
“In addition, the format of the competition means that each game is shorter than normal, so any mistakes can be costly.”
The Broncos themselves are not short of international class players with Liam Fleming, Fraser Thomson and Kevin Woods who have competed with Great Britain teams in 2016, plus a number of players currently in the running for the Scotland team for the upcoming National competition.
The action kicks off at the Toryglen Sports centre at 09:30 on Saturday and 09:15 on Sunday. The competition will be held indoors and entry is free and all spectators will be made very welcome.
It’s the perfect introduction to the sport of flag football