0209 – Monday thoughts

Welcome back to the FFL Blog everybody. Something big has been going on around the Titans for the last couple of months, and finally I’m allowed to bring the report to you as it’s all on paper and confirmed now. You’ve probably heard about it on facebook or seen it on their website, but the Bornem Titans are on the move, and boy have they upgraded! (If I was to use their language, I’d say that their awesomeness has increased dramatically) Here are a few photos that I took on Saturday (sorry for their quality, I’m a writer, not a photographer).

Here’s a view from the carpark towards the main field on the right, and the accommodations on the left. Yes, I said the ‘main’ field, on the other side of the changerooms is the other field, which is going to be converted into a flag football field.

The entire length of the building, featuring a huge canteen, two referees rooms, four change rooms (currently painted a lovely shade of pink), toilets and a couple of other rooms too.

The grass on the field is genuinely good enough to be able to play golf on (I didn’t bring my clubs so I couldn’t test it out though). Goal posts are coming and the field is going to be extended to make it full length.

Here’s the medical room, complete with massage table!

I believe this is going to be the secretary’s room, although the president and coaches might like to use it occasionally too!

Here’s the canteen, actually it’s much larger than this, it just wasn’t convienient at the time to get a shot from right in the corner. Also anyone who has ever tried to take photos of their house know that it’s not possible to show the size of a room by taking a photo. You can see Coach Allan Verbraeken (Cologne Falcons offensive coördinator) explaining a thing or two to the brains of the Titans operation (which is still without a head coach, by the way).

So, in conclusion, it’s a glorious facility that the Titans have at their disposal. An awesome job has been done by Hans De Leenheer and the Titans’ board to make all the arrangements, because there’s really everything that anyone could ask for. They are going to lose part of the second field, but that’s more than made up for by having the main field extended to full football size.
I know I’m looking forward to checking out some games there too, and if you get the chance to have a look yourself, it’d really be worth your while. In fact, the FFL Season will open at Titan Stadium this season on February 26 with Titans vs Shotguns. Oh, and the first game of the day will be nothing less than the rematch of Belgian Bowl XXIV with Black Angels v Tribes! As well as that, there will be an official inauguration ceremony as well, so those are plenty of reasons to be there for the opening of the FFL season.

Just one more thing before I move on. You no doubt know that Titan Stadium isn’t in Bornem, it’s in a village called Ruisbroek which is part of Puurs (it’s about 10 minutes further away from the E17 freeway than before, although along the same main road), so it would be logical to assume that they won’t be called the “Bornem Titans” any more. However, the new name isn’t known yet at the time of publishing, so we’ll all just have to wait a bit longer!

SENIOR SCHEDULE

Yes, the FFL senior schedule is here! I’m not going to re-print it though, you can get it from your team or see it on facebook or whatever.

I think the biggest change is that the amount of games has been reduced from 8 to 7, meaning every team plays every other team just one time. I can only assume that this has been done to increase the overall quality of the games and try to avoid some of those final week blowouts and forfeits that we’ve seen over the years.

As I said, the regular season opens in Puurs on February 26 and finishes in West Flanders (likely Ostend, I suppose) on May 6. Wildcard weekend is May 20, the semi finals are May 27 and Belgian Bowl XXV is scheduled for June 9 in Ostend.

JUNIOR SCHEDULE

Due to the unfortunate withdrawl of the Gators, the junior 6-man schedule has been completely reviewed. Again I’m not going to re-print it here, you can find it elsewhere if you need it. However, it looks to me like teams will be playing 6 games now instead of 4, sometimes twice on the same day (just like the good old days!).

I’ve heard from a BFL Junior representative lately. What’s important to remember is that 6-man junior football isn’t a goal, it’s just the first step along the way. The goal is 11-man junior football, which is why there’s no Championship game for 6-man football, it’s just a developmental league for teams who don’t have enough juniors to play at least 9-man (9-man football has the advantage that they play it in the Netherlands and France too, plus the Brussels American School do as well).

OTHER NEWS

Yes, we’ve also got some time for news from other teams as well. Over in Leopoldsburg, things are on the improve, with at least 15 rookies joining the returning players for the Shotguns. Offensive coördinator Lawrence Grugeon (formerly Coventry Jets (ENG), Claremont Jets (AUS)) says that there’s plenty of reason to be optimistic about the Shotguns’ prospects for the upcoming season.
“I watched the Shotguns last season against the Tribes and liked what they were trying to achieve on the offensive side of the ball. If not for short numbers throughout the season and on the playing staff side of things I believe we would have been able to add a few more wins. With the talent we’ve been able to recruit from the try-outs, I have a strong belief this team is heading in the right direction.”

It seems that every team I hear from are excited about the sheer number of players on their roster for the upcoming season, which is great news for the whole FFL!

Here comes a report of the Bulls juniors game against SHAPE, courtesy of Stijn De Backer.

A week ago we played our second 11-man game against SHAPE (Bergen). Again as at ISB it had the look and feel of a regular high school game. Sadly for the Bulls we started the game the same way we played ISB – two glaring mistakes by guys who should know better, which caused up to give up two touchdowns. At half time the score was 25-2. In the second half we tried to rectify things and managed two nice touchdowns to win the second half 8-14. Overall we lost the game 33-16 but our rookie QBs got some valuable playing time as did the rest of our young core that had to play given injuries to 9-man regulars and age restrictions (age limit is born after August 1992) on our starting QB.

OUTRO

So that’s just about it for the Monday edition, and what a Monday it has been! Thanks to all contributors to the column, until next time!

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3 Responses to 0209 – Monday thoughts

  1. Thank you Dale for your review. Two additional remarks:
    * “Puurs Titans” is now official as it was a requirement of the community. The alternative was “Antwerp Titans” with an equal interest throughout the team.
    * We will keep 2 of the locker rooms in the nice pink color for visitors 🙂

  2. Bart says:

    Congrats to the Titans organization! Will the lines be painted on the field like it is in Oostende?
    I guess the website name will be changed also?

  3. John says:

    A big congrats to the Titans organisation!
    I hope to see LOTS of players/coaches/boardmembers/… of all teams on opening day: the bill matches the location, especially with the mentioned BBXXIV rematch!

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