2015 saw the Hertfordshire Cheetahs Senior Team compete in Division 1 of the National Leagues after being promoted from Division 2 the previous year. Behind the guidance of Head Coach Nik Maxey, they finished with a 4-6 record and reached the semi finals in the playoffs.
This year, there have been some changes in the Pride Lands with several coaching changes. Nik Maxey was stood down at the end of last season. Roger Brown has moved from Defensive Co-ordinator to Offensive Co-ordinator and Defensive Line Coach Craig Ramsay has been promoted to fill the void. Former Kestrels defensive Lineman Jon Sheelan has replaced Ramsay as the Defensive Lineman Coach for 2016 and Andre McDaniel who played safety for New Mexico State University has become the teams Defensive Backs Coach. One final change has been the addition of a temporary Quarterbacks Coach, Alex Halms, also the clubs Junior Head Coach. These changes mean that the senior team have coaches for every position. You can find a full list of coaching staff here.
The Senior squad have been training hard in preparation for the season and we are pleased to announce their regular season schedule:
|DATE||HOME OR AWAY||OPPONENT||KO TIME||LOCATION|
|01/05/16||Away||Solent Thrashers||14.30||Test Park, Lower Brownhill Road, Southampton, SO16 9BP|
|08/05/16||Away||Bury Saints||TBC||Thetford Rugby Club A134, Thetford, Norfolk, IP24 1NB|
|22/05/16||Home||Sussex Thunder||14.30||St Albans Rugby Club, Oaklands Lane, St Albans, AL4 0HR|
|05/06/16||Home||Kent Exiles||14.30||St Albans Rugby Club, Oaklands Lane, St Albans, AL4 0HR|
|12/06/16||Home||Colchester Gladiators||14.30||St Albans Rugby Club, Oaklands Lane, St Albans, AL4 0HR|
|19/06/16||Home||Solent Thrashers||14.30||St Albans Rugby Club, Oaklands Lane, St Albans, AL4 0HR|
|03/07/16||Away||Sussex Thunder||TBC||Waterhall Playing Fields, Waterhall Road, Brighton, BN1 8YR|
|10/07/16||Away||Colchester Gladiators||TBC||Colchester Rugby Club, Mill Road, Colchester, CO4 5JF|
|17/07/16||Away||Kent Exiles||14.30||The Beaverwood Club, Beaverwood Road, Chislehurst, BR7 6HF|
|31/07/16||Home||Bury Saints||14.30||St Albans Rugby Club, Oaklands Lane, St Albans, AL4 0HR|
Newly promoted from Division 2 after an undefeated season during 2015, the Bury Saints will be looking to find their feet in a tough division. The last time the Cheetahs and the Saints played was during the 2014 Season when the Cheetahs just edged both games. The Cheetahs will play the Saints on the 8th May (Away) and the 31st July (Home).
The Colchester Gladiators will be looking to find the similar form they had at the back end of last season finishing with an impressive 7-3 record. The Gladiators dismantled the Cheetahs in 2015, 41-0, so the Cheetahs will be out to get revenge this season. The Cheetahs will play the Gladiators on the 12th June (Home) and the 10th July (Away).
The Kent Exiles are another newly promoted team who narrowly lost in the quarterfinals last year to the Bristol Apache. In 2014 the Cheetahs travelled down to Kent and won in controversial fashion after the game was abandoned just after half time. Both teams will be out to settle the score in 2016 which should make the games entertaining. The Cheetahs will play the Exiles on the 5th June (Home) and the 17th July (Away).
Solent dealt the Cheetahs a big loss in 2015, winning 23-0 on their way to an appearance in the final against the Farnham Knights. The new look Cheetahs will look to right the wrongs of last seasons defeat and give the Thrashers two competitive games. The Cheetahs will play the Thrashers on the 1st May (Away) and the 19th June (Home).
The Sussex Thunder are the last of the newly promoted teams in 2015 that the Cheetahs will face in the regular season. The Thunder and Cheetahs have not competed against each other since the 12th September 2004, when the Cheetahs ran out 34-6 in the division 2 semi-final. The Cheetahs will hope to repeat the result of 12 years ago, but the Sussex Thunder will look to turn to the tides and win in 2016. The Cheetahs will play the Thunder on the 22nd May (Home) and the 3rd July (Away).
The Cheetahs 30th year looks to be an exciting one, with all games expected to be competitive encounters. You can support the Cheetahs at all home games which will be held at St Albans Rugby Club, Oaklands Lane, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL4 0HR. If you wish to play, coach or volunteer for the #CheetahPride then please contact us here.