The University of Stirling Clansmen have been crown BUCS UK Champions after their match up yesterday against the Birmingham University Lions in Leeds winning the game 20-15.
Two former Highland Wildcats players, Kenny Mackay and Craig Findlay, were part of the championship team lead by Head Coach, Rob Orr.
Wildcats Head Coach, Robbie Paulin commented, “We are so proud to have former players part of such a great set up. Coach Orr has built this programme over the past 5 years or so and it has grown into something that is truly outstanding. Not just the team’s ability on the field but the culture and ethos that he has created at the university is attracting players from youth teams all over the UK and players from all around the world. For one of the smallest universities in the UK to win at this level is unbelievable and it’s down to Coach Orr, the staff he’s put together and the players that work hard every single practice and game.”
After the final Kenny Mackay said, “It was definitely the hardest game we’ve ever played. But we were very well prepared and our coaching staff did a great job in adapting the game plan to keep us in the game. The amount of self belief within the team was great, we never dropped our heads at any point and there was no panic at all during the game either. We went out there and did our jobs and came out with the win.”
“After the final whistle I felt so much relief. I’m so glad that I can be one of the fortunate people who get to win a championship in my 4 years here. It was also my goal to help this team win a national championship when I accepted the offer to Stirling University.”
Looking back on the season as a whole, Mackay continued, “All the hard work definitely paid off! Countless hours on the field and in classrooms studying game film. It was basically like doing another degree at university, probably even harder at times.”
“It feels good to be able to bring back the cup to Scotland after it being absent from here for 11 years. So winning the game was so incredible, especially to do it in front of our faithful alumni who managed to make it down to the game. Seeing them run onto the field after the final whistle was a really emotional time, but as a team we are so glad that we could win that cup for them again”
Commenting about the coverage of the event, Robbie Paulin said, “I was really impressed with the online coverage by Gridiron TV. The game was streamed live by the voluntary team, they provided commentary throughout and half time discussion as well. Allan Price did a fantastic job presenting the show and it was great to see him joined with Sky Sports presenter and former NFL player Cecil Martin. As clubs I feel we need to show our support to the Gridiron TV and appreciate the work that they do as it is such a massive boost to the sport in the UK!”