Q&A With The Pirates Part 2
The second part of the interview with the American Football team, today with President Steve Omanyondo.
Steve Omanyondo, the club president, on the UEA Pirates.
When exactly did The Pirates start up?
Omanyondo: The Pirates were set up in 1987 by Stewart Croucher. At the time the team was un-kitted (non contact). Two years later we became a kitted team and the following year we made the national championship final with a 7-1 record, eventually losing to Teeside Demons. Since then our form has been fluctuating, making the playoffs (the knock out competition to make the national championship) but not managing to go very far. We have been a club for more than 20 years and are yet to win the national championship, an aspiration we are working towards in the near future.
How did you attract a coach of Nick Rockell’s calibre?
Omanyondo: Nick Rockell is one of the best coaches in the country, and how we convinced him to come and coach at the UEA Pirates is unknown to me. However from my experience of being coached by Rockell, it’s clear that he absolutely loves coaching. He played the game for 20 years and has been coaching for a very long time also. He’s currently the running backs coach for London Blitz (who have won the National Championship consecutively for the last 4 years). The knowledge and experience that Rockell brings to the UEA Pirates is priceless.
What does your role as President entail?
Omanyondo: The main role of the President is to ensure the smooth running of the club. However what I aim to do as President is to add a large amount of value to the American football team. Value is always added when we perform well as a team and win games. On the other hand I have several projects planned to increase our branding at UEA, so keep your eyes out for anything promoting the UEA Pirates!
Where and when do you play?
Omanyondo: We train at Colney Lane on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, from 7.20pm-9pm, then play on Sundays from 10am-4pm. It costs £40 to join the team, though we loan you all the necessary kit and you get quality coaching from our 19-man strong coaching staff.
On the subject of a prospective tour to the States, Omanyondo said it would be “fantastic” but “not feasible” as study comes first. The team clearly have their heads in the right places and Omanyondo sounds optimistic ahead of the new season. The UEA Pirates look set for what could be a groundbreaking season and with the increasing crowds will be eager to provide.