GB call-up for Martin

The future looks bright for one gridiron star from Letchworth GC. Martin Ray has been selected again for the GB Bulldogs, the universities team for American Football. It will be the second time the 21-year-old has been picked for the team after they beat

The future looks bright for one gridiron star from Letchworth GC.

Martin Ray has been selected again for the GB Bulldogs, the universities team for American Football.

It will be the second time the 21-year-old has been picked for the team after they beat Canada but lost to a USA select team in 2005.

Martin is off to California at the end of August to play against two American colleges, Whittier and Occidental.

Warm-up games before the trip see the GB Bulldogs play against Canada again and the Yorkshire Rams this month.

Martin has also been offered a place in Germany next season for a semi-professional team called Lubeck.

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He is currently at the University of East Anglia in Norwich and is a former pupil at the Highfield School in Letchworth.

If you are interested in sponsoring Martin call 07919 105201.

P A new American Football team has been formed in the Three Counties area.

After an absence of almost 12 years, adult American Football is set to return.

Steve Guy of Bedford and Dave Pankhurst from Luton are the driving force behind the new team called the Bedfordshire Blue Raiders.

Guy, who played American Football for Cambridge University during the early 1990s, said: "The Three Counties region as a whole has such a fantastic American Football history.

"There were successful teams in Bedford, Luton, Dunstable, Milton Keynes, Herts and even up into Northants. The Blue Raiders want to build on that tradition and bring this exciting sport back to the area."

The team hopes to enter the British American Football League (BAFL) at the earliest possible opportunity.

Pankhurst explained: "We need to recruit and register at least 30 brand new players as part of the application process. That means players that have not played for an existing BAFL team during the 2006 season and complete newcomers to the sport.

"We want to attract players of all ages, shapes and sizes. The great thing about American Football is that it can be a sport for specialists which allows anybody, regardless of size or fitness, to contribute on the pitch."

He continued: "A winning team on the field starts with a strong management team off it so we are looking for anybody interested in helping even if they can't play.

"That is the beauty of American Football - you don't have to be a player to experience the hype and excitement of the sport on game day."

The Blue Raiders are especially looking for a volunteer with web design experience to help get the team website up and running as soon as possible.

Guy added: "A website is not only a great way to raise the team profile, it is also essential in attracting new players and sponsors.

"Before we can even start training we need to purchase footballs which could cost as much as £500 and we will be hoping attract sponsors to help the team get started."

The team will announce the dates and venue for its initial practice days in the near future.

If you are interested in playing for the Blue Raiders, or any other aspect of American Football, please contact Dave Pankhurst on 07883 377094 or email BedsGridiron@aol.com

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