March 4th, 2008 by Pete Wrigley
The Norwich Devils kick off the 2008 season this Sunday with a home game against the Oxford Saints. The match is the second half of a double header with a Devils youth match preceeding the senior game.
The proceedings will start with the youth game at 12 noon, followed by the senior game getting under way at 2.30pm. Both teams had successful seasons last year, with the youth reaching the semi final playoff round of the national youth league, and the seniors going one better, reaching the division 2 final in Sheffield where they lifted the trophy, having completed an unbeaten season and gained promotion to division 1.
Whilst the senior team will be hoping to follow that up by challenging for the playoffs again this year, head coach Nick Rockell is not getting carried away with last year’s success. “Whilst it would be nice to be a playoff team in division 1, we are, first and foremost looking to establish ourselves at this level, which is a considerable jump up from where we were at last year. A lot of our players have only played in division 2 so it will be a testing time for them. Having said that they are capable so I’m
confident we can do well.”
Meanwhile, the youth team go into the season with a game against Tamworth Phoenix with a totally new coaching staff. Former coach Sean Lockwood has left the club and former player Alex Scott takes over the role of head coach and defensive coordinator.
He will be assisted by brother Matt, who is offensive coordinator, as well as other former players, Darren Bailey, Lance Buckingham and Andy Starling. With the exception of Buckingham, all of them started out as youth players themselves before stepping up to the senior side. The two games will both take place at the Hewitt School, Norwich.