UK: Jets Return Flight

Ville Vuorinen  X-it Sports Photography
The Coventry Jets will return to a former venue for the 2013 season of the BAFANL Premier League, when they kick off their campaign at the Sphinx Sports and Social Club. 

The Jets last played at the Sphinx in 2009, when they defeated the Bristol Aztecs in a playoff semi-final to progress to the National Championship game against the London Blitz.

General Manager Adam Biggs stated "With our promotion to the Premier League and our hunger to recapture past glories, returning to the Sphinx is a great way to celebrate our promotion to top flight competition. I’d like to publicly thank Saracens RFC for helping us during tough times last season as we continued to rebuild the club. Now, we have managed to seal a deal with the Sphinx for a number of years, which will allow us to showcase our games within the excellent facilities available. We're looking forward to pushing this club further on to a brighter future."

Since 2011, the Jets have been working on a development plan aimed at improving the organisation as a whole. Senior Head Coach Paul Rickhuss pointed out that “2012 was our first year of development within a five year plan, with the first year target to get back to being competitive on the field and to strengthen the club infrastructure off it. 2011 clearly showed those to be the key areas we needed to work on”. 

The Jets appointed new committee members at the end of 2012 that developed new club policies outlining child protection and club by-laws. The end of last year saw the resurgence of the Jets Academy with newly appointed Junior Head Coach Sean Martin and Academy Manager Dave Keys, who stated “It’s an exciting time within our academy as rookies and experienced players like Tom Clancy and Josh Keys (both are currently starring for the Bristol Academy Pride) are training hard each week. Our recruitment drive has seen more new faces with an average of 25 players every session, a number which is growing every week.”

The Jets have also seen resurgence within the flag academy, who can boast that the Coventry Jets senior flag team is one of few teams in the country starting female players. This has grown further with the development of some of the first female university teams within Coventry and Warwickshire. Flag academy manager Steve Podmore stated “We presently have seen a huge surge of new players, but also have seen a number of current players make the women’s elite squad to play an international game in Germany”.

Adam Biggs went further to say “We know as an organisation we will go through growing pains as we strive to get back to the pinnacle of the sport, but with the strong infrastructure in place to develop local players and coaches (with the club now having more coaches than ever before with 14 coaches) and to have secured a venue like the Sphinx for a number of years, we know that each season we are continuing to take the necessary steps to return to past glories. Our communities programme continues to grow also, last season we raised over £500 for Macmillan and we're determined to break £1,000 for charity this season."