Interview with a UEA Pirate

Tab Sport caught up with quarterback Jack Anklesaria for a Q & A regarding the new season.

american football sportsmart uea pirates

In Rugby’s absence the UEA Pirates took on responsibilities as the No.1 hard hitting sport at UEA last year and will be looking to build on what was an encouraging previous campaign. Tab Sport caught up with quarterback Jack Anklesaria for a Q&A regarding the new season.

For those who are looking to join a sport team this year what are American Football’s selling points?

The UEA American Football team is an all-inclusive programme that doesn’t require any prior knowledge of the game before joining. We also cater for all abilities as the different positions in the game require particular skill sets, so everyone will find a position that suits them.

In addition we are a Focus Sport at UEA. This was awarded to us after the Union of UEA Students assessed our programme and infrastructure. This shows that we have a serious aim to perform on a national stage. The extra funding directly helps players reach their best and furthers our programme.

What’s the aim for this year?

Our aim this year will be to reach the Championship play-offs. This will allow us to compete with the best universities nationally and will require hard work from the players and coaches during pre-season. It is a very achievable goal and we will hopefully get there.

What’s the easiest way to join up and what can new members look forward to across the year?

We can be found at SportsMart on the 25th September and this is the easiest way to join our club. Information is also available on Facebook, simply search UEA Pirates. Or you can visit our website. 

Throughout the year we have eight regular season games and compete in the BUCS South Eastern League, meaning we can travel anywhere from Kent to Buckinghamshire.

Of course Derby Day is something to look forward to and beating Essex every year is always nice. But it’s a long way off so we’ll wait a while until we prepare for that one and concentrate initially on the league.

Do you feel American football gets the attention it deserves?

American Football is always available in the UK to those that want to play the sport but it isn’t given much publicity in the media. I think the UK’s problem is the ignorance that it is a lesser form of Rugby. Simply put they are completely different sports. There are plenty of good articles on the internet that show the differences in physical ability that are needed to compete in these different sports.

It is a sport that continues to grow with a university competition compiled of nearly 80 teams and this year two NFL games will be played at Wembley. The sport is definitely branching out and the UEA Pirates hope to emulate this.

American football is an exciting alternative to the likes of rugby and saw a record number of returners to the Pirates in 2013, showing the high levels of commitment towards the club. If you want to ‘do something different’ this year the Pirates have a fantastic set of coaching staff with exceptional pedigree including international coaches. Even if you have never played the sport they promise to soon have you rushing the passer or celebrating a touchdown.