Trent Renegades captain, #94 and first team linebacker Kieran Matthews can not wait to lock horns with the University of Nottingham in the latest American Football Varsity clash. He ‘touched down’ with Platform ahead of this year’s Lady Bay tie.
It’s no surprise Kieran got into the sport of American football, his uncle has been watching the sport for almost 30 years and had the Trent linebacker following the NFL from an early age. His older brother is also a member of the Nottingham Caesars side making it almost inevitable that Kieran would one day be donning the pads and helmet.
The pink army recently beat Nottingham in a BUCs North semi-final 12-6 (the third time they’ve beaten them this year) which saw a dominant defensive display from the Renegades who made five turnovers and a shutout. NTU have never lost to University of Nottingham at American Football and we currently hold a 10-0 unbeaten record against our bitter rivals, something Kieran is keen to improve on when the two sides meet for varsity in April.
The 21-year-old linebacker believes it will be harder than ever to take victory this time round however.
The Cincinnati Bengals fan said: “We are confident without being complacent, Uni of are a very good football team with a strong offence but there is a reason they have never beaten us.
“Although the 10-0 record might paint a one sided picture, every game has been a close battle so we will not be taking the game lightly. Having said that, the team knows if we play to our own standards we will win the game.”
One of the biggest obstacles the Renegades have faced this year is replacing last year’s graduates with new blood. It was always going to be difficult replacing the likes of GB International Marcus Boswell and defensive player of the year Lawrence Coulson but Kieran believes the rookies drafted in this year to the Renegades side have meant they’ve never had to look back.
“We’ve had a great crop of rookies who are really beginning to step up and take the mantle.
“Robbie Jones and Joe Peers are a pair of running backs that any team in the country would struggle to deal with and on the defensive side of the ball players such as Jack Rice, Alfredo Ferreira, Natal Melero and Matt Ronayne are the envy of other teams in the division.”
The Renegades will head to Scotland on Sunday to take on the Glasgow Tigers in the BUCs North Division 1 final, a game Kieran is struggling to call.
“We haven’t had to face them in a few years but we’ve done our homework and think we know how we can hurt them. The stats say they have an imperious defence (conceding only 12 points) and that will take some beating.
“They have been regular finalists over the years so they are clearly a very good side with an excellent strong running offence to compliment that defence,” added the #94.
“It will definitely be a challenge, but one we are more than up for.”
So hopefully by the time varsity rolls around, we might be looking at National champs! You can watch the Renegades take on the University of Nottingham on Friday 29th April at Lady Bay (18:00pm).