Next week, the Great Britain Women’s American Football team is set to go wild at the European Championship in Leeds. But, when did this journey start?
The Great Britain Women’s Team was formed in 2013, at the very inception of Women’s American Football in the UK. The British Women took to the game quickly and found success in a 5-a-side international versus Sweden, where they came out on top against experienced opposition.
In 2014, the women faced Sweden again, this time in a full 11-a-side game, and still came out as victors. Women’s Football in the UK was growing, by leaps and bounds.
2015 brought with it their first taste of International Tournament Football. Despite putting in an impressive performance in their qualifying victory over Russia, GB went into the Tournament as the absolute underdogs.
To everyone’s surprise but their own, Great Britain beat previous European Champions Germany in their first game of WEC 2015. They went on to claim second place and earned a Silver Medal behind a very dominant Finland side.
A second-place finish meant World Championship qualification, and a trip to Vancouver, Canada, in the summer of 2017. Who would they be facing in their very first game of the Tournament? Finland, of course. Head Coach, Jim Messenger, and his team knew they would have to be at the very top of their game to beat the Fins, and that they did, making them the Number One Seeds in Europe.
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Sadly, Great Britain fell short of securing a Bronze Medal in their match against Mexico and had to settle for 4thplace behind the North American teams.
Messenger and his Great Britain Women will look to convert Silver into Gold at this year’s European Championship, not to mention attempt to make up for the hurt of missing out on a World Championship Medal. But the task won’t be easy.
Great Britain has to play Sweden and Austria before taking on their rivals, Finland. Two well-established teams with great coaching and threats on both sides of the ball. Can Great Britain turn the home-field advantage into a home-field victory and go one better than 2015? We’ll know the answer comes on the evening of August 17th.
The team will also be taking over the GiveMeSport social media accounts to educate us all about the sport. Get involved by following the action from Monday across our socials and show your support to the team about following them at Facebook @BAFAWomen, Twitter @BafaWomen and Instagram @BafaOfficial