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Cambridgeshire Cats start new BAFA National Leagues Premier Division South season with home win over London Blitz





Cambridgeshire Cats kicked off their 2024 BAFA National Leagues Premier Division South campaign with a 34-28 victory over London Blitz on Sunday.

The Cats had never previously beaten last weekend’s opponents, with the Blitz going into the encounter leading the head-to-head record between the clubs 7-0.

However, the six-point triumph not only halted that sequence for Andy Whiteoak’s side, it also ensured that they got the new season started in positive fashion.

Cambridgeshire Cats American football team v London Blitz at Coldham's Common. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridgeshire Cats American football team v London Blitz at Coldham's Common. Picture: Keith Heppell

Head coach Whiteoak said: “I’m very pleased and really proud of the players. It’s the best possible start we could have asked for against a team we’ve never been able to beat before.

“It holds us in good stead and it was great to see some early contributions from the new players.

“That was the challenge I set the players before kick off – they’ve been put together, now they had to show that they are a team.

Cambridgeshire Cats American football team v London Blitz at Coldham's Common. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridgeshire Cats American football team v London Blitz at Coldham's Common. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridgeshire Cats American football team v London Blitz at Coldham's Common. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridgeshire Cats American football team v London Blitz at Coldham's Common. Picture: Keith Heppell

“It’s hard to have that trust you need as a team when you’ve not put it out there on the pitch before against live opposition.

“But they went out there and showed that although it’s early days, they’re already a team.”

One major positive for Whiteoak is that while he was pleased with the result, he also feels that there is even more to come from his team over the coming weeks and months.

He added: “Even though we’re very happy with the win, it was not as clean as it could have been.

Cambridgeshire Cats American football team v London Blitz at Coldham's Common. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridgeshire Cats American football team v London Blitz at Coldham's Common. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridgeshire Cats American football team v London Blitz at Coldham's Common. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridgeshire Cats American football team v London Blitz at Coldham's Common. Picture: Keith Heppell

“We gave the ball away a couple of times through fumbles and at times we gave away some silly penalties.

“But these are all things that we can clean up very easily and they’re certainly all correctable.

“There are various theories that you do not learn much from your victories, and maybe that’s true if we’d gone out there and blown them away.

“But this was a close game and so we learned plenty from it. We know that there is plenty of improvements we can make to how we play and that’s exciting.”

Cambridgeshire Cats American football team v London Blitz at Coldham's Common. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridgeshire Cats American football team v London Blitz at Coldham's Common. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridgeshire Cats American football team v London Blitz at Coldham's Common. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridgeshire Cats American football team v London Blitz at Coldham's Common. Picture: Keith Heppell

The focus now switches to Sunday (21 April) when the Cats will once again have home advantage on Coldham’s Common when Bristol Aztecs will be their visitors.

The game will be the Aztecs’ first of the season, yet while his players already have some match minutes under their belts, Whiteoak is still anticipating ‘a real test’.

“It’s going to be a real challenge against a very, very good team,” he said.

“They’ve got a great system and an integrated system that sees players playing for the club from a young age.

Cambridgeshire Cats American football team v London Blitz at Coldham's Common. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridgeshire Cats American football team v London Blitz at Coldham's Common. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridgeshire Cats American football team v London Blitz at Coldham's Common. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridgeshire Cats American football team v London Blitz at Coldham's Common. Picture: Keith Heppell

“They always send a lot of players to the Great Britain squad and they also have good links with American clubs, who send their players to university in Bristol and they end up playing for the Aztecs.

“They’ll be a strong team, there’s no doubt about that and it’s going to be a real test.

“We’ll have to show what we’re made of to stand any chance of picking up a positive result from the game, just like we did on Sunday.”



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