Latest Spartan News

Academy Youth season begins this weekend

The Essex Spartans Academy season begins this Saturday with the first of four tournaments for the Under-17s team.

Last year’s Britbowl contenders will face youngsters from Colchester Gladiators, Hertfordshire Cheetahs and Bedfordshire Blackhawks on Saturday 30th April at St Albans Rugby Club.

Academy Head Coach Steve Watson has seen a busy pre-season following last year’s successes, including one player leaving the Academy for a place in a semi-professional American Football team abroad – such is the talent of Essex’s youngest players.

“We're all very excited to get our 2016 campaign underway, after a fantastic pre-season that has seen our ranks swell with some really talented players,” Watson said.

“We look forward to renewing our rivalries with the Gladiators and Cheetahs, and welcome the Blackhawks in their first year of competition.”

After missing out on the automatic Britbowl ticket by just a handful of points last summer, the Under-17s travelled to Cornwall as the top seed in their division for the playoffs. This year, the playoffs structure has been scrapped, leaving only a winner-takes-all battle for the top spot between the four teams.

“With only the Division winner assured of a place at BritBowl, there's everything to play for, and we're going to give it everything we've got,” said Watson.

“But confidence is high - and we can't wait for this Saturday!”

The tournament begins at 12noon and all are invited to attend.

Anyone aged 14 and over interested in playing for the Spartans should email email us for details.


The full fixture list can be found here.

Spartans fall to Hornets

The Essex Spartans suffered defeat again this weekend after a disastrous unravelling of a one-score deficit away at the London Hornets.

A touchdown from Felix Olu, a kick conversion from Tom Kitchen and a rare safety from Aaron Millar was little comfort as the Hornets achieved three interceptions in the first quarter, and polished off four touchdowns in the final ten minutes of the game.

The full report can be found here.

In other games last weekend, the Cambridgeshire Cats squeezed past the London Blitz B 7-6 to even both teams records at 1-1.

This weekend the Spartans senior team return to training, while the U17 team open their season with a trip the Hertfordshire for the Cheetahs tournament. The young Spartans will play the hosts, as well as the Bedfordshire Blackhawks and Colchester Gladiators.

Anyone interested in joining or supporting the Essex Spartans should email us or visit our social media pages.

The full fixture list can be found here.

Academy star heads to Austria

Essex Spartans Academy player Toby Garner is leaving the team and the UK after an offer to join the three-time EuroBowl winners Swarco Raiders in Austria.

Garner was on holiday watching the American Football outfit when he was offered a trial at the Raiders Junior Varsity team, which resulted in an offer to join the team immediately.

The full story can be found here.


New Year - new home!

The Spartans organisation is thrilled to announce a new home for the 2016 season, and beyond.

Training for all three teams and Academy home games will now take place at The Gateway Academy, Tilbury, with home games for the senior team to be held at Thurrock Rugby Club, Grays.

With vastly-expanding competitive squads across three teams, a growing coaching staff, and a team of hard-working welfare and administrative volunteers, the move provides a bigger base for the club along with extensive facilities for both weekly training and match days.

The move marks only the second relocation for the club in its 27-year history, with Basildon and Billericay being previous home grounds.

Spartans chairman Ray Towey said: "The move to The Gateway Academy is extremely positive for all of us, the Spartans Academy especially whom benefit extensively from this change.

"The facilities on offer at The Gateway Academy will ultimately allow the Spartans to grow together as a unit, whilst maintaining the exciting and popular game day experience that fans have come to expect from the Essex Spartans.

"In light of this change however, we do extend our most fervent thanks to Hannakins Farm in Billericay for giving the Spartans a home for the past ten years.”

Many people were involved in this relocation project, and the Spartans would like to especially thank Garyjohn Warren for all his diligent work in securing The Gateway Academy as our new home for the Spartans Academy and our training venue for all three teams, and also Emma Murphy for securing the senior team home venue of Thurrock Rugby Club.

We would also like to thank Lisa Thorne, at The Gateway Academy, for all the excellent help provided during the difficult relocation process.

Training for the 2016 season is already underway, with competitive fixtures for all three teams beginning in April.

Read more about The Gateway Academy here, and read more about Thurrock Rugby Club here.

Clubmark Success!

The Essex Spartans are proud to announce that the organisation has received Clubmark accreditation from Sport England.

The Spartan organisation has been working towards accreditation for over two years with support from the staff at Active Essex.

Accreditation is based on four main areas of criteria: suitability of training and activity programmes including the provision of qualified coaching staff; duty of care and welfare; knowing your club and community; and club management.

Achievement of Clubmark accreditation shows that a club provides the right environment which ensures the welfare of members and encourages everyone to enjoy sport and stay involved throughout their lives.

An accredited club is recognised as a safe, rewarding and fulfilling place for participants of all ages as well as helping parents and carers know that they're choosing the right club for their young people.

Chairman Ray Towey said, “We are very proud to receive Clubmark accreditation.

“Working towards accreditation has benefitted us greatly as we have used the criteria to help us build a strong and robust organisation.

“It’s another significant step in our progress and we will now not just maintain but improve upon these standards that we have set ourselves.”

2015 saw the Spartans continue to improve on the field, with the U17 Academy team finishing 8-3-1, securing the organisations first playoff spot and victory since 1999, the U19 Academy team enjoying their first victories in team history to finish 2-4, and the seniors battling hard to finish 3-6-1. All three teams are looking forward to an active recruitment drive throughout the winter months.

If you are interested in joining South Essex’s only Clubmark- accredited American Football club, contact us for further information.

Spartans unveil partnership with MyProtein

The Spartans are proud to announce our new partnership with sports nutrition provicer, MyProtein.

This partnership allows our followers to receive an amazing 8% discount on any orders placed by entering the discount code SPARTANS.

Make sure you drop them a visit!

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    The Spartans opened their 2016 campaign with a heartbreaking loss to the London Blitz B

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  • Essex Spartans 9 - 48 London Hornets


    The Spartans fell heavily to the London Hornets in their second game of 2016

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Tony Palmer

It is with great sadness and regret that we report the death of our founding father and chairman for more than 20 years, Tony Palmer. He passed away on 15th October 2014.

Tony did not just found the team; he was the lifeblood of the club for 25 seasons and his commitment, dedication, work rate and love of the team was second to none. Not only did Tony dedicate 25 years of his life to Essex football, he also was involved in many other projects and events during his time in the sport including the North/South All Star games, and volunteering at Britbowl amongst others.

Tony was truly a special man and a real unique character, known and respected throughout British American football. I know there are many people who have benefitted greatly from his experience, wisdom and sense of humour over the years.

Tony is survived by his devoted wife Sue, who also did an enormous amount of work for the club; his daughter Donna, son-in-law Aaron (a former Spartan player) and a beloved granddaughter and grandson.

Our players and staff extend their condolences to all of Tony’s family and friends, and wish them peace at this difficult time.

He will be greatly missed.

RIP Tony.

Senior Training

Gateway Academy

Sunday, May 1st


Academy U17 Tournament One

Hertfordshire Cheetahs

St Albans Rugby Club

Saturday, April 30th

First game 12:00pm

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