23 Oct 2016
The Barracuda realised a long held ambition this week, as they ran out onto their brand new home field at the University of Bristol's Coombe Dingle sports complex. The newly installed floodlit 100-yard 3G field features goose neck goalposts and is permanently marked for the team's use. This week also marked 11 years since the club held it's first ever team meeting, where 30 students gathered to meet the coaches and begin the task of forming the University's first American football team. In the years since, as the club has grown and improved, with the student membership approaching triple figures and 15 experienced coaches on board, a home field has been one of the few things still missing. Now the Cuda will be able to use their new field to practice, as well as host competitive fixtures at Coombe Dingle for the first time. The club already makes use of the excellent Olympic Weight Lifting facilities, in addition to the meeting rooms on site, giving the team a true home. The team christened the new field today by holding a joint practice with near neighbours Bath Spa University, as part of both teams' preparations for the approaching BUCS season. The clubs played a controlled scrimmage, as the two sides took the opportunity to test themselves against opposition units. Club Captain Neil Stephenson had this to say, 'We're exceptionally pleased and grateful to everyone at the University of Bristol. They have shown their faith in us by investing in this excellent facility and allowing us to access it.' 'We know this has been the culmination of years of hard work by everyone at the club, and I want to acknowledge the efforts of previous Club Captains and their committees, our dedicated coaches and the club's alumni for all their unstinting support. We look forward to seeing them on our new sideline when the season kicks off.' The club is ramping up their preseason preparation as BUCS kickoff approaches. Head Coach Ben Cooper and his team welcome Plymouth Blitz to Coombe Dingle on Sunday 6th November for what should be an important early indicator of form for both clubs and their playoff aspirations.