American football opportunity with Grangemouth Broncos Ladies’ new team

Less than two years ago Grangemouth Flag Football Club expanded their organisation to include a second, development team.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 20th June 2019, 1:35 pm
Grangemouth Broncos Ladies section
Grangemouth Broncos Ladies section

Last Monday the club took the first steps in creating a third team. This time though, the new team will be ladies only.

After putting out invites in the Falkirk Herald and on social media the organisers for the club, Megan Shelley and Bethany Thomson, were really pleased with the response.

On Monday evening 13 girls turned up for the initial taster session. The girls were coached through the basics by Broncos players, Callum Woods, Scott McKenzie and Jimmy Thomson. All seemed to enjoy the experience, so the club are looking to make the Monday Evening practice a more permanent fixture on the calendar, at least during the summer months.

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If the club can get a ladies team up and running, they will be the second ladies only team playing in Scotland. While there are a number of teams south of the border, the East Kilbride Pirates are currently the only option for females looking to play the non-contact version of America Football.

Trying not to count too many chickens at this stage, Jimmy Thomson explained what the future might hold: “While females are allowed to play in the BAFA Premier and Div 1 leagues, there are only a few who take the opportunity. Glasgow Killer Bees in BAFA Div 1 have a few EK Pirates in their squad, including Louise Donnelly who did play last year with the Grangemouth Colts but has just transferred to the Killer Bees. Aberdeen Silvercats have one female player, again at Div 1. At this point I believe there are only two females playing in the Premier League in Scotland, Michelle Holburn-White, with Carnegie Flag, and Saskia Kottler with Inverclyde Comets.

“The only all-female team playing in the Mixed League are the Coventry Cougars. At the moment, any females either need to play in the mixed teams or for the Pirates. We are hoping to give them another choice.”

If the Grangemouth club’s venture takes off there is an opportunity to play in this year’s Opal Series games, a competition run by BAFA for female only teams.

Head coach Fraser Thomson said: “The girls who turned up at our taster session gave us a lot to think about. Their abilities exceeded our expectations. Assuming we can get a few weeks practice in, we should be in a position where we can make a call on whether we enter the Opal Series this year.”

Opal Series would be a huge commitment for a new team, especially given that all but one game day would be played around the Manchester and Sheffield area. The one exception is the game day in Glasgow.

Any females aged 16 are eligible to play with the Ladies team. If you think you would like to try it, message the team via the Grangemouth Flag Football Club on Facebook, or head along to the next open session at Almond Terrace in Whitecross.

Sessions start at 6.30pm and run until around 9pm. No experience necessary.