This year has seen some big changes to our team, with Harry Routledge now taking over as Offensive Co-Ordinator. Beginning with the offence, #QB5 Ben Robinson returns under centre. He’s joined by Henry Bulmer, who’ll rejoin the ‘Hawks once he has finished at Newcastle University.
Our Running back group has also seen a big switch up. Jimmy Sutherland returns after his stint with UOL Raptors, Juarvel Cascoe has made the move to us from Lancashire Wolverines and we have picked up Martin Murphy from Halton Spartans to add to the group. Murph is also joined from Halton by Ben Hogan, who has made the switch at WR. The WR core has also strengthened, with Alex Eager, Liam Holebrook, Dominic Woo, Dominic Sweeney, Jordan Houghton, Kristian Miza, Joel Sorby all returning and Igor Smelovs, Callum Burns and Connor Sinclair all joining the ranks.
The biggest moves that we have made in the off-season is the reinforcement of the Offensive Line. John Maher, Mike Briscoe, Pete Horgan, Tom Walsh are all back and Thomas Okuneye will join up with us post his university year finishing. Further to this we have resigned George Hutchinson from Sandwell, and picked up some excellent recruits from the university programs in Joe Bradley, Alastair Davies and Matthew Hynes. Adrian Briody has also joined the team as a rookie, and finally, Nick Mitchelson makes the switch from DL to OL for 2018.
Moving to the defence, and experienced players form the backbone of our team. Captain and LB Mark Houghton returns, and leads a unit made up of experience, with Carl Rugen, Chris Dadswell, Stu Taggart, Mo Gadaweine and Thomas Kearns all returning and the university programs bringing in Will McKeown, Sam Wood, Eddie Webster, Liam Hulse, Dafydd Sion Roberts, Peter Norbury and Moses Banda. Covering the oppositions WRs will be Vijay Masaun, Adam Stephens, Kevin Nash and new recruits Dom Shannon and Dave Sampson. We’ve also added Jonny Weekes, who has moved across from Chester Romans and finishing off the secondary, we have Stefan Rivera-Gonzalez and Benjamin Opeyemi Adenola, who have added a wealth of experience behind our LBs.
Last but not least. we move onto our defensive line. Greg Williams, Ste Kilgannon & Matt O’Connell all return and they are joined by Nathan Powell, Ricky O’Callaghan, Josh Robinson, Tom Hyne and George Williams. Scott McGee also rejoins us after a brief spell with Manchester Titans.