Sandwell Steelers – Adult Programme

The Sandwell Steelers American Football Club came into existence following discussions about the formation of a Football programme in the Black Country. This process began in 2012, the main focus being the formation of an Adult (18+) programme but with scope to expand with a Women’s Contact and Youth Contact team too.
The recruitment of players, coaches and administration staff began in earnest and by January 2013, we were able to officially register with the British American Football Association.
Following our application, the squad began to train, get kitted and develop playbooks then in the Summer of 2013, we were able to play two associate games against Shropshire Revolution and University of Birmingham Lions. Despite both results going against the Steelers, our strong game day experience and vast playing squad impressed BAFA officials and we got accepted into the National Leagues and we were placed into the Central Division for the 2014 season.
In our inaugural Adult season, we defeated the Lincolnshire Bombers and Leicester Falcons but lost the remaining fixtures against Oxford Saints, Shropshire Revolution, Peterborough Saxons, and Lincolnshire Bombers to go 2-8. This still remains the only season we have registered a losing record!

After a big realignment in league structure for 2015, our Adult programme remained in the third tier, named the NFC2 South alongside Leicester, Lincolnshire and Peterborough from last season and faced new opponents in Humber Warhawks and Leeds Bobcats. Following a really strong off-season  recruitment drive, we finished with a perfect regular season record, 10-0, averaging over 40 points a game and conceding only 10. In the playoffs, we beat divisional rivals Leicester Falcons 21-6 and then dominated the Newcastle Vikings 59-13 to reach the NFC2 Bowl at the John Charles Centre for Sport in Leeds. Here we faced divisional rivals again in the shape of the Peterborough Saxons and again we came out on top, 24-7 to gain promotion to Division 1.

In 2016, following promotion, our Adult Programme were placed in the Midlands Football Conference Division 1 and in our first season, finished with a 9-1 record. We progressed to the Semi-Finals where we were eliminated by eventual Division 1 National Champions, the Bury Saints. Our Women’s Team competed in four tournaments and finished 4-4 across the season and coming 3rd in the Division 2 South.
In 2017 our Adult Team again gained playoff football finishing 7-3 in the NFC Division 1 South however we got knocked out at the Quarter Final stage by the eventually promoted Manchester Titans. Our Women’s Team competed in the Division 2 North & West Conference and finished with their first-ever winning season with a 5-3 record, placing third.
In 2018 another competitive NFC Division 1 South saw our Adult team finish 7-2-1 and finish 2nd. Still gaining playoff football, however, we faced a long journey North to play the Northumberland Vikings where we were defeated 34-33. Our Women’s Team moved up to the 7v7 format and competed in the Sapphire Series Division 2A North Conference. We entered Round 4 top of the conference so advanced to the Semi-Finals where we beat the Wembley Stallions 27-7. Advancing to the final we faced the Portsmouth Dreadnoughts, losing 18-14 we finished second place in the Division overall.
In 2019 our Adult Team completed a perfect regular season in the NFC1 South. In the post-season, we came back from a twenty point deficit to defeat the East Kilbride Pirates in the Quarter Finals and defeated the #2 seed Northumberland Vikings in the Northern Final to secure promotion to the Premier North Division. We went on to lose 21-14 the Division 1 National Final to the Solent Thrashers down in London during BritBowl Weekend. The Women’s game restructured again and we were promoted to Sapphire Series Division 1 where we won our opening game against Portsmouth but lost all subsequent games finishing 4th in the Conference.
The 2020 season unfortunately fell foul of the Covid-19 outbreak and was cancelled in May following a government-sanctioned lockdown. Our Adult team training during February and March before BAFA suspended all footballing activities. Our Women’s Team were able to get a season in over the 2019/2020 winter period, unfortunately, we finished the season 0-7 and suffered relegation.
We await to hear when Football will return and when our teams can train, play and represent the Sandwell Steelers again. If you are interested in joining the #SteelerFamilia, feel free to get in contact via email, Facebook message or via any of our social media channels.