Wanted: Young Americans of all sizes

BIG AND SMALL: DC Presidents are keen to attract players of all sizes to join their youth programme alongside Liam Atkinson (left) from Bishop Auckland and Dan Hackett from South Shields.
BIG AND SMALL: DC Presidents are keen to attract players of all sizes to join their youth programme alongside Liam Atkinson (left) from Bishop Auckland and Dan Hackett from South Shields.
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A GROWING North East sport is on for the hunt for young Americans – young American footballers that is.

The region’s own American football club – the recently-created DC Presidents – is launching its youth programme on Saturday, September 10, with the creation of two youth squads – 10-14 years for flag football and 14-18 years for youth contact football.

The club has five registered coaches who will teach the youngsters how to play the game, mixed with American football drills and positional skills.

Fundamentals like throwing, catching and running the ball will be taught, along with tackling and blocking skills.

Peter Turnbull, the DC Junior club’s head coach,said: “We’re keen to produce our own stars of the future by coaching youngsters at grass-roots level to give them a head start in progressing through to the adult team.

“The one thing about American football is that kids of all sizes can play because there are so many positions within one team.”

The younger group will play flag football – where players are tackled by removing a Velcro flag from their belts.

This means they do not have to wear the full protective equipment.

The 14-plus group will wear the full protective kit and be taught the sport at full contact level.

Bigger youngsters can play as linemen and smaller, faster players as wide receivers and because there are so many different positions, everyone can be fitted in.

Head coach Brian Carmichael said: “We are keen to get kids off the streets and teach them teamwork, discipline and how to act as a unit while also enjoying themselves.

“What we are offering is an alternative sport to young people who want to try something different to the traditional British sports and who are up for a challenge.

“The training will be tough but also fun and we aim to produce stars for the future.”

Recruitment will follow in local schools throughout the year and the youth teams aim to be ready to join the national league ready for next summer and play in tournaments at the club’s New Ferens Park base in Durham.

Complete rookie training starts at 10am until 12.30pm on Saturday, September 10, in Chester-le-Street Park and anyone looking to try it out or seeking more information should contact 07715 002888 or visit www.dcpresidents.com

The club is also looking for any parents who might be interested in helping out.