The Leicester Falcons were formed in 2006, initially as a Senior
Team, from a nucleus of local players hoping to share their
enjoyment and knowledge of the sport. Local interest within Leicestershire,
particularly the huge popularity of flag football, made the decision
to be based within the county easy.
The region has always had a strong connection to the game, but
since 1996, has struggled to capitalise on that passion despite
the strong participation in flag football. The success of the region’s
flag teams also helps explain why the new club will be called the
Falcons. The Eagles are the best flag team around so it seemed logical
that we should have some connection (with the name) as the next
step up in playing.
Once the Senior Team was established and successful a Junior
Team was added in 2009. At the same time the club also started
a Schools Programme to encourage the game
in the under 16s.
The latest addition to the club has been the formation in 2011
of the DMU Falcons, a team from De Montfort University
Leicester who play in the British Universities American Football
The Senior Team
2006 - The Leicester Falcons took flight with
their first training session, held at Belgrave Rugby Club, on the
19th March. 2006 and from this moment the core of the team started
to be built. The initial goal of the Falcons was to gain entry as
a Full member of the British American Football League. This process
usually takes 18 months to 2 years but the Falcons tried to complete
it in under a year. Sadly this proved too tight a deadline and we
were unsuccessful at our first attempt.
2007 - With support from our players, the Falcons
decided to try again in 2007 with an increased number of players,
coaches and backroom staff. The Falcons played 6 games against existing
league teams and fellow associate teams and ended the season with
a record of Played 6: Won 2: Lost 3: Drawn 1. This hard work was
rewarded when the Falcons were awarded the status of Full Member
of the BAFL in November 2007.
2008 - The Falcons played 10 games in the Central
Conference of BAFL Division 2 and managed to win 3 and draw 2 games.
2009 The Falcons rose to new heights. A 7:2:1
record gave them a wildcard entry into the Division 2 Britbowl playoffs.
Deafeating first Manchester Titans and then Glasgow Tigers they
gained a place in the final hwere they defeated Colchester Gladiators
32:31 in a close fought match.
2010 - The Falcons were now in Division 1 South
West of the newly formed BAFA Community Leagues. The team started
poorly and lost four of their first six games, drew one and only
managed one win. Mid season, the team was strengthened with the
arrival of former NFL quarter-back Bradlee Van Pelt. Not only did
he bring his quarter back skills but helped focus the team's training
and playing skills. As a result, the Falcons won their last four
games a secured the last remaining wildcard entry into the play-offs.
Travelling to Scotland to play East Kilbride Pirates the team excelled
themselves and held the Pirates well, eventually losing 32 : 30
in controversial circumstances.
2011 - Now in BAFA Community Leagues Division
1 Central the Senior team brought in new coaching talent and swelled
its roster with a good blend of talented rookies and experienced
players. Finishing the season 9:0:1 the Falcons defeated Doncaster
Mustangs 57 : 30 in the quarter finla play-offs and London Olympians
31 : 23 in the semi-finals. Once again East Kilbride Pirates proved
their downfall, losing 62 : 23 in the 2011 final.
To help ensure the future of the Leicester Falcons, as well as
to provide an entry point for teenagers who wish to enjoy the sport
of American football, a Youth (under 19) team started recruiting
in the autumn of 2009. After vigorous recruitment and training,
they successfully joined the Central Division of the BAFACL Junior
Kitted League. They were later joined by an under 16 Jounior team
to create the Falcons Academy. The Academy programme has been run
by Head Coach Karl Burgess and a team of helpers all established
members of the Falcons organisation. Their focus is not a 'win at
all costs' mentality but to develop good football players with the
correct habits & fundamentals. The aim is not even to act as
a feeder to the seniors, although that is a benefit, but for these
young people to enjoy the sport and have a long term career in it.
The Schools Programme
To expand interest in American Football in the Leicester area traing
sessions are also held at two Leicester schools and it is hoped
that more schools will eventually join in. These shool clubs act
as a recruitment for the Junior team.
One school in particular, Beaumont Leys School, has proved very
enthusiastic. This school club for under 16s had a tremendous turnout
with in excess of 30 young people participating each week. The after-school
co-ordinator Shaun Issit felt that he wanted the programme to focus
on the kitted game, not flag football.
Thanks to the help of BAFA and their new 'Kick Start' programme,
this has become achievable through the loan of equipment and will
allow the team to compete later this summer. The programme, under
the guidance of Coach Stuart Franklin, will expand to an additional
weekend session in order to allow opportunities for young people
outside the school to join in.
The DMU Falcons is a team from De Montfort University Leicester.
DMU was formerly part of a combined Leicester / DMU Longhorns team
competing in the British Universities American Football League.
Changes to this league meant they could no longer be a combined
team and, while the Leicester University Longhorns continued, it
left the DMU students without a team.
With the support of the Students’ Union and a number of determined
student athletes led by Chairman, Jordan Jones, the DMU Falcons
were started. The team will have its own committee but will be advised
by the Falcons management team on budgets, funding and game day
management while the Falcons will support them with coaches, facilities
and expertise. The DMU Falcons have been entered into the 2011/12
season and the Varsity match against the Longhorns is sure to be
a fans’ favourite. Their home games will be played at the
Falcons’ home ground at Babington Community College.