From Bury Saints’ trials to GB call for Hewett

GB CALL: Bury Saints' Jack Hewett
GB CALL: Bury Saints' Jack Hewett
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A little more than three years after first taking up american football, Bury Saints’ title-winning linebacker has become the first player from the club to be called up by the home national side.

Hewett has been an integral part of the Saints’ incredible rise to the top tier of British American Football (in the BAFA) over the last three years.

And his performances have now led to him being asked to attend the Great Britain Trial invitational practice at Sheffield on Saturday (Jan 14).

In their latest title and play-off winning campaign, last season, he recorded 78 tackles, two sacks, with one forced fumble and one interception, and also made some big plays on special teams.

Despite his young age he has also emerged as one of the leaders of the Saints’ play-making defence.

Saints’ defensive co-ordinator, Neil Van Holland, said: “Jack joined us in 2013 having never played but quickly established himself on the defence with his natural athletic ability.

“He has worked hard to become the player he is now and deserves to try for that next step.”

The GB team are working towards their IFAF qualifying game against Sweden later in the year as they look to qualify for next year’s European Championships, and if Hewett makes it into the squad he will be the first Saints player to achieve the accolade while wearing the Green and Gold.

After a hugely successful last two years, which saw two Championships won, the team hit the practice field on Sunday in preparation for their first Premier League campaign.

* Anyone interested in becoming part of the team, who play their home games at Thetford Rugby Club, in a playing or coaching capacity should make contact via the club email: burysaints@gmail.com, or via Facebook on ‘Bury Saints American Football team’. The club are also looking for an assistant videographer.

* Following a few successful transfers the Bury Saints head coach, Christian Cantrill, has confirmed his 2017 Premiership campaign coaching staff as follows:

DEFENCE:

Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator – Neil Van Holland

Defensive Line Coach – Norman Navarro (Formerly of the Farnham Knights)

Linebackers Coach – Justin Gulley

Defensive Backs Coach – David Hobbs

Assistant Defensive Line Coach– Sydney Melton

OFFENCE:

Offensive Coordinator – Bobby Coffman

Offensive Line Coach – Adam Copple

Running Backs Coach – Steve Playford

Wide Recievers Coach – David Hughes

Quarterbacks Coach – Guy Mitchell

SPECIAL TEAMS:

Special Teams Coordinator – Jamie Nuttall

Assistant Special Teams Coordinator/Assistant Defensive Backs Coach – Damien Jarrett (Formerly of the Farnham Knights)

Coach Cantrill was aggressive in the off-season in adding to his already deep holdover staff from the 2016 Division One National Championship team.

He said: “I felt we needed more coaches as we step up a level to the top flight, bringing in Norm and Damien as proven assistants at other successful programs was important for us as well as promoting former players, in Guy and Justin, to positions within the staff where they have a great understanding of our schemes and personnel.”

He added: “The 2017 season will be full of challenges as we face the South Premiership teams, but I am very proud to have these 12 coaches on my sideline this year.”

The Saints will face off against the best of the best in the Southern Conference of the BAFANL Premiership in the London Warriors, London Blitz, Bristol Aztecs, Farnham Knights and South Wales Warriors this season with games home and away against each. Home games will once again be played at the Thetford Rugby Club.