Coach Smallworth Interview ...

Talking about tryouts

"Every year the Cornish Sharks run “Rookie Trials” to encourage potential players to attend and “strut their stuff”.  The trials are also an opportunity for existing players to “audition” for different positions for which they feel they might be suited.  However, any potential player is welcome to come along to training at any time of the year to see if it is the sport for them.

“The first thing to understand is that you don’t have to have had any playing experience to start to play American Football.  We have a very experienced coaching staff that has a great track record of teaching players from scratch the basic techniques at every position in order to get players up to the standard required to play.  The trials are also a great way to give newcomers an insight not just into the game itself but also into what it takes to play Sharks football.

“We are looking for all types of people to help the team, both players from a variety of sports backgrounds and non players to assist with refereeing, gathering statistics and ground crew.  Over the last two years the team has been made up of 70% rookies who have been taught from scratch and having won 16 games in two years against well established teams, this proves the Shark's formula works.  Many of these players have come from rugby backgrounds and at first were very sceptical about American Football as it is sometimes perceived by rugby people that we are a load of sissies who wear shoulder pads and helmets!  But having played a full season of American Football they actually enjoy the benefits of playing both sports and of course, the two seasons don’t clash which means they maintain all year round fitness.  At present we have 14 players playing rugby in Cornwall and Devon.

“Players of different sports bring with them a variety of skills that add to the strength and depth of the team.  For example, rugby players bring with them their skills in tackling and ball handling; basketball players are skilled at catching the ball are physical and many are very fast; soccer players bring speed and an ability to kick the football; wrestlers and martial artists have the desired toughness and tackling skills; cricketers the ability to catch the football with some speed; surfers and skate boarders have the ability to run with good balance and eye co-ordination.  We even have a table tennis player on the team who has good eye-coordination and the aggressive explosion at the point of attack – all these skills are required to play American Football.

“We are always happy to hear from anyone who is generally interested in helping the Sharks progress towards their desired goal of winning the Divisional Championship.  The trials are open to youth and junior players too, aged from 14-16 years and 16-18 years.”


Training Sundays 12.30pm to 4pm

Training takes place from January to October. Please check the fixtures list to make sure we are not playing away.


Sundays Jan to Oct 1230 to 1600 Newquay Sports Centre Yeoman Way, Newquay, TR7 2SL


We meet at 12.30pm registrations, briefings and sometimes a classroom session.  Just turn up and introduce yourself.  After training we go in the Clubhouse over a chat and some food and drink.  Bring trainers, rugby or soccer boots, water and a change of clothing in case of wet weather.

If you would like to call first, contact Head Coach, Brian Smallworth

t/ 07885 277691



How much does it cost to play?


Running an American Football team is quite expensive and so we rely on regular income from player fees/subs.  There are many costs involved in running the team, but the most expensive are training facilities, transport, equipment and game day fees.  The sums below are the basic fees if payed at time of registration.  We offer payment by instalments if required, but this includes a charge as it does affect cashfow.  Please email for the payment options.


Player Fees 2017


Senior Player                                                £200                   


Student Player                                              £170


Player / Coach                                              £150

(Asst Coach of Youth Team or

Positional Coach at senior team)


Player / Coach                                              £100
(Head Coach of a Youth Team)



When you're ready to commit...


Once you have been to two training sessions and decided that you would like to continue, you will need to register on the BAFA Registration Portal and pay a registration fee that covers your insurance.*  The cost for 2017 is £35.


After you have registered on the BAFA Portal, you need to register to play, coach or assist at the Cornish Sharks AFT.  Please use this form: Cornish Sharks AFT Adult Contact Registration.


*Depending on your occupation, you may decide that you need more insurance cover and you should find a policy to suit your individual requirements.  We do not recommend any particular insurance companies, but a number of our coaches have used, which you might like to check out.


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