Pro-Cloud Trophy brings 11s to UK
5 x British Champions the Birmingham Lions welcome premier international teams to compete in the Pro-Cloud Transatlantic Trophy
Operating from the heart of England, the Birmingham Lions are the UK’s most successful women’s American Football team in (BAFA) British American Football Association history.
The Midlands side has claimed national championship honours, year on year since their 2014 inception and are the only British women’s tackle team to travel to and take on European opposition from France, Finland and Russia in both 9-aside and more recently 11-aside formats.
Always looking for a new challenge, the Lions have undoubtedly found their biggest to date when they look to welcome the high-flying New York Sharks and reigning Finnish Maple League Champions, the Helsinki Wolverines, to their University of Birmingham home – from August 31st through to September 2nd – for a long weekend of tournament football, all under the auspices of the inaugural Pro-Cloud Transatlantic Trophy.
“Its an unbelievable coup for the Lions and British Women’s Football to have the Sharks and Wolverines come to the UK” offered Head Coach Jamie Kilby. “No international women’s tackle team at a club level has played on these shores so this will be a first for the sport in Great Britain, let alone for the Lions.
“We know the Sharks are a high performing outfit, and under the passionate stewardship of owner Andra Douglas, we’re under absolutely no illusions that our guests will bring an “A-game” like nothing we’ve ever seen before, but we can’t wait for that experience!
“Add the Wolverines to the equation and we’re expecting a really gritty contest from them; having played them at 9s in early 2017 (in Helsinki) we wholly expect their squad to offer an entirely different proposition this time around, they’ll be coming off their season at temperature, and we know they’re going to be gunning for that W!”
But the tournament doesn’t just offer the Lions a landmark weekend of football, as Helsinki’s Head Coach Pekka Lamminsalo explains: “The Wolverines are more than excited to take part in this tournament as it is a great opportunity for our players and coaches to not only compete against but also to get to know and learn from people in football from different nations. This is our first trip abroad as a team but we are hoping that we can continue to be a part of the international women’s football community also beyond this tournament.”
As for the Sharks they’re looking forward to this being a trip of a life-time: “We are looking forward to every minute of our extraordinary adventure in the United Kingdom, meeting fellow football players and learning about different parts of the world” offered owner, Andra Douglas. “The New York Sharks are honored to be a part of this groundbreaking tournament hosted by the Birmingham Lions and being able to make this trip together is something we will never forget. May we thank the Lions for making it possible!”
With three games being played over three days there should be a veritable feast of football on show and with it the Lions are gearing up for a great occasion.
“The team is both honored and excited to be able to welcome two such progressive organizations to Birmingham in a few months’ time” noted Lions’ GM, Jo Kilby. “Breaking boundaries and extending the reach of the sport is something that all three teams have in common, so we very much look forward to getting together and sharing our love for the game, both on and off the field, as part of this special occasion.”
Schedules and further event details to follow – click here to keep upto date.