Tab Meets: Pythons American Football Club

The Tab interviews Jack Tavener of the Pythons to see how the club is shaping up ahead of the new season

American Football Blues Cambridge pythons Sport Varsity

After a successful 2013/14 season and as American Football’s popularity in the UK goes from strength to strength, The Tab looks at how this could impact the popularity of the game within Cambridge…

What are the prospects for the Pythons going into the 2014/15 season?

“This season marks an extremely exciting time for the Pythons.  After establishing the team’s on-field success with a small roster, we are looking to expand significantly, to make sure everyone in Cambridge has heard of the team and knows they can come and give American Football a try.

Pythons feature

“We are setting our sights on a strong run in our league, with our first match against Oxford Brookes a likely early test for post-season progression.

“Varsity will be must win as ever, particularly with a 30th Nov Thanksgiving matchup and for the first time hosted at Grange Road.

“We’ve even been getting some press coverage from NFLUK for that so we better deliver in front of the home crowd.

“Then taking on ARU in our annual local rivalry game in the league on Superbowl Sunday – another win is absolutely essential to kick of the annual Cambridge Superbowl Party in style.”

What has changed from this year to last?

“If you hadn’t heard of the Pythons before now, you will.

“You’ll be seeing us on a major recruitment drive, with much greater publicity and all aspects of the team completely updated over the summer – that means an improved training regime and facilities, expanded coaching team, more updates, news and social events as well as a new kit to complete our transformation.

“And to top it off, we’ll be making our status application to the Blues Committee, so watch this space…”

Pythons trials

What have been the highlights of the past few years for the club?

“For us, two moments from last season stand above the rest. Firstly, victory against Northampton – to take a 2-1 winning record into the Christmas break and with serious playoff implications, every member of our squad stepped up to play typical Cambridge ironman football (players being called to play both offence and defence) against a squad twice the size.

“A game held at a draw down to the wire, players and spectators alike with hearts in their mouths…and won with a field goal in the dying seconds.

“And secondly against Birmingham – this was simply about the occasion.

“We took to the field having surprised our entire league, legitimately earning our #13 ranking and a match against the then reigning National Champions.

“We stood dwarfed by the depth of their 60+ man squad, but ready to face off against the type of programme we will one day be and beat.

“As a team, we have never been more proud of our achievements than at that moment.”