APU Phantoms

Greenwich Mariners

The Greenwich Mariners are a British Universities American Football League (BUAFL) team who compete in the Southern Conference's Eastern Division.

The Greenwich Mariners were founded in 2003 by John Mellett and Martin Boffey, who was to become the club's first head coach. The Mariners name was chosen due to Greenwich's historical links with maritime trade and naval exploration.

Following the club's foundation, the Mariners were granted Associate Membership status to the BCAFL and played two qualification games—the first against a Kent Select Team, composed of players from Kent Exiles and the KCU Falcons in November 2003. A second game against the UEA Pirates was played in February 2004. Despite the Mariners losing both games, they were voted in to the BCAFL as full members at the September 2004 AGM.

The club's first season in the BCAFL saw the club finish with a 3-4 record with two victories against the APU Phantoms and a road victory against the Leicester Lightning.

At the end of the club's inaugural BCAFL season, several squad members were elected to the BCAFL All College Team. Linebacker Robert Stewart and Offensive Tackle Alex Roberts made the first team and Defensive Linemen Steve Clements and James Kingston made the second team.

Martin Boffey stood down at the end of the season and was replaced by defensive co-ordinator Matt Coppinger as the new head coach. Coppinger quickly put together a talented coaching staff comprising former College Bowl Winners, Great Britain Internationals and former NCAA and BCAFL players and coaches.

The 2005-06 season started in slow fashion with a 4-0 win versus APU Phantoms and then a loss to division rivals Essex. However, the Mariners bounced back to beat Kent 26-0 and then defeat Essex 35-6. After the Christmas break, the Mariners again started slowly with a 27-0 loss to Hertfordshire. Again the team responded with victories against UEA 12-0, APU 34-0 and Brighton 30-2. The Mariners won the South East Division in their second year and made the playoffs. An experienced Bristol side travelled to Crystal Palace Stadium and put together a good performance to come out winners 22-6.

The 2006-07 season started off with a 23-0 win against the Kent Falcons and a 51-12 win against the Royal Holloway Vikings. The Mariners then lost 27-21 to the Birmingham Lions. The Mariners then suffered a tough 13-0 loss to the Essex Blades that was mired by personnel problems, followed by a loss to defending College Bowl champions Southampton Stags, 28-3. After the Christmas break, the Mariners bounced back to defeat the Surrey Stingers and ARU Phantoms, keeping their playoff hopes alive. The Mariners then ended their season with a 30-0 loss to division rival Hertfordshire, eliminating the Mariners from playoff contention.

Team records by season

  • 2004-05 - 3-4-0
  • 2005-06 - 6-2-0
  • 2006-07 - 4-4-0
  • 2007-08 - 5-3-0

External links

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