The Northumberland Lightning American Football team have had their application accepted to join the British National American Football National Leagues for the 2015 season.
The club, based at Ashington Rugby Club, is the first and only American Football team in Northumberland and it uses the county’s colours as its home strip.
Formed in November 2012, the team started training in January 2013, with just 12 players involved initially.
It was not until May 2013 that the club found its home, agreeing terms with Ashington Rugby Club.
The club played two scrimmages in the 2013 season against the Durham Saints and Walney Terriers, boasting a squad of 30 players and seven qualified coaches.
After a difficult start to the 2014 season, the club began to flourish at the mid-point of the year and competed in three more scrimmages against the Tynedale Fury, Durham Saints again and the Carlisle Sentinels.
Alongside the scrimmages, the club competed in two games, one against the Northumbria Mustangs and one against the West Coast Trojans.
On Tuesday, December 16, the club was informed they would be playing in the Northern Football Conference Division II in the 2015 season.
Committee member Stuart Dick said: “We have been working towards this for the past two years and it is a great triumph for the club to be accepted into the National League.
“The euphoria of being accepted was clear to see when it was announced. We have 40 members currently on the books and over the last two years, we have introduced the sport to over 150 people in the Northumberland area.”
In preparation for the 2015 season, the club will be hosting a free open rookie day for ages 16+ on Sunday, January 25, at 10am at Ashington Rugby Club. Anyone interested in getting involved, whether it be as a player, coach, fan or volunteer is welcome to come to the day.
To confirm your interest, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the club via @North_Lightning on Twitter.