East Kilbride Pirates U19 – Return to Play team update

We’re pleased to confirm the Pirates U19 team will return to practice on Sunday 23 May. Please see below for some things to be aware of.

Practice time – Sundays, 12.30-2.30pm
Practice location – Hamilton Palace Sports Ground, Mote Hill, ML3 6PY. We will be on the grass rugby pitch. If parking in the main car park, please follow signs for ‘rugby / American football’ – it is approx. 7-8 min walk. Please beware parking on any side streets near the pitch itself as you may be ticketed.

We will add a mid-week session over the summer and will confirm the details nearer the time. This will also be at Hamilton Palace Sports Ground.

All players MUST be registered with BAFA before attending. The only exception is brand new players to the sport who get three sessions to give it a go (this does not include former youth team players).

Level 3 residents
Any players aged over 18 who reside in a Glasgow City Postcode cannot attend practice until Glasgow moved to Level 2. Players aged under 18 may attend.  If you are unsure, please check your postcode here: https://www.gov.scot/check-local-covid-level/

What to bring
Practice will be fully kitted. Players should bring full kit, including mouth guard if they have it and wear lower pads.  Players also should bring their own clearly labelled, or easily distinguishable water bottle. This should not be shared with other participants. Shared team water will not be provided.  Players should bring their own hand sanitiser.

Covid-19 precautions
 – Players MUST NOT attend if they or any members of their household have any symptoms of Covid-19, are awaiting the results of a Covid-19 test or have been asked to self-isolate by Test and Protect for any reason. They should also not attend if generally unwell, even if they are not experiencing the main symptoms of Covid-19
– There will be regular breaks and players are encouraged to regularly sanitise their hands and should do so at least before and after practice.
– Players are asked to remain distanced from each other before and after practice, and during any breaks or inactive points on the pitch (ie, waiting a turn for a drill)
– Players should be conscious of mouth guard hygiene. This must not be shared and should not be handled by others.

What to expect at practice
Brand new players to the sport will take part in non-contact activity initially until fitted for kit and deemed safe to take part in contact. Practice sessions will initially be on what is described as a modified contact basis for all. This means limited contact duration and activity – players will gradually work back up through certain types of activities that bring them into close contact with each other such as tackling and blocking, which will be done in small groups. This is to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19, and to gradually get players used to full contact after such a long gap. There will also be other individual and non-contact drills and activities. For more information, please read BAFA’s modified contact guidelines here.

Although Hamilton Palace Sports Ground is open to the public spectating at practice is not permitted. This is guidance from both the Scottish government, and from our National Governing Body.We ask that parents do not gather and spectate around the immediate pitch area. If you prefer to remain in the vicinity, please observe from a distance from the pitch and we encourage you to remain socially distant from anyone not in your household at all times. This currently also applies to injured players, who should not attend unless able to actively participate.

Monthly team fees
We very much appreciate that many of you continued to pay subs throughout the pandemic. Your support was very much valued. Should you have done so, we do not expect you to resume these until next season. Should you still have a standing order running that you paid throughout, and have not cancelled it – please do so (we cannot cancel this for you!) and we will then ask you to resume it next season. If you stopped paying, or are new to the team, please set up a standing order or regular payment as follows:

Amount: £20
Account name:  East Kilbride Pirates American Football Club
Sort code: 831919
Account number: 11088298
Reference – your player name + U19 – ie J Smith U19

If your player is moving up from one of our youth teams, you will need to cancel your standing order and pay it to account detailed above anyway.

The playing season
To reduce the risk of Covid-19, and because Scotland is moving as a much slower time table than England, this year we will be playing in a Scotland only conference comprising East Kilbride Pirates, Highland Wildcats, and Edinburgh Napier Knights.

As Edinburgh Napier Knights are a brand new U19 team, and Highland Wildcats have lower numbers than normal, we will be playing a 7v7 tournament format for games this year instead – this means playing two games on the same day.  Games will also be starting later in the year than normal, to reflect our later start back. Provisional tournament dates are:

Saturday 21 August @ Highland Wildcats
Saturday 11 September @ Napier
Saturday 25 September @ EKP

Gym activity
In addition, we have access to coached training sessions at the East Kilbride Fitness Centre. There is no additional charge for this, and it’s a fantastic opportunity that few teams get. These sessions are open to all team members and are bookable via an app. Please encourage your player to attend and speak to Nicky about how to get involved.

East Kilbride Pirates U19 Staff
Head Coach / Defensive Coordinator – Nicky Smith
Assistant Defensive Coordinator – Martin Gallagher
Defensive Line – Jason Milligan
Defensive Backs – Kilian Voigt
Assistant Defensive Backs – Ronan Haddow
Linebackers – Duncan Adams
Offensive coordinator / WRS – Scott Frame
Quarterbacks – David Czekalla
Running Backs – Nicole Smith
Assistant Running Backs – Stuart Gilmour
Offensive Line – Bill Black


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