Pirates ready for first test of the season

April 8th, 2024

Pre-season is now officially over, with less than a week to go until the Pirates senior team face off against Merseyside Nighthawks on the road in the opening game of the 2024 National Leagues Premiership season.

Head Coach Matthew ‘Spoonie’ Davies, is looking forward to his first outing at the helm. “The first game of the season is always eagerly anticipated. We compete against one another during every practice, but it’s hard to get a sense of where we are in terms of our development until we go against our first league opponent. The team had a scrimmage against Highland Stags on Easter weekend and I was pleased with how we performed, but this coming Sunday will be the first true test of the year.”

“Naturally, as it’s my first game as Head Coach of the Pirates Senior team, it’s going to be a pretty special day for me personally. I’ve been involved with the team since I joined as a player in 2006 and I’m incredibly proud to be leading the team out for the 2024 season.”

The encounter against Merseyside Nighthawks is followed up in quick succession with games away to newly promoted Newcastle Vikings on Sunday 21 April, and at home to visiting US NCAA Div III college teams Alma College Scots on Saturday 27 April.

Courtesy Katie Stepek Photography

Matthew is feeling ready for the challenge ahead: “Our preparation has been excellent, starting with the assembly of one of the best coaching staffs in the UK. I got a little bit of luck with some of the coaches becoming available when they did, but there’s been nothing lucky about all the hard work that the staff have put in preparing for the practices we’ve had and for the games ahead and I’m incredibly thankful for all their work. We’ve built up the squad well, with some great recruitment of seasoned veterans, as well bringing in a good crop of complete rookies, some of whom have managed to cement starting spots already, which is testament to their hard work.2

“The work we’ve done to build our profile and tell the story of what’s happening at the Pirates has also been hugely helpful in bringing talent to us and letting people know that we’re on a strong trajectory and that EKP are a destination for those looking to take their game and their American footballing experience to the next level.”

The Pirates take on Merseyside Nighthawks at JMO Sports Park, Skelmersadale, on Sunday. Look out for updates across our social media channels, and check out the full schedule here.



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