Q & A with our Ladies Team

Posted by Dan McDermott on 20 June 2017

The Buccaneers Ladies Team

Words by Louise Moran

Team Background

The team was formed over 2 years ago, by Mums more used to standing and watching their children compete on the gridiron, than playing themselves. They got together and persuaded coaches at the club to set up a Ladies Team, so now as well as watching their children out on the playing field, they are competing in their own right.

The Ladies Team has grown over the past 2 years, and now comprises a diverse group of ladies. The passion and commitment they show each other, the Bucs and the sport as a whole, is inspiring.

Their latest acolade is to have been shortlisted for "Team of the Year" at the South Ribble Sports Awards - Not bad for a team which has only just celebrated their 2nd birthday.

ladies team

Chorley Buccaneers Ladies Team Opal 2016 

Questions & Answers

We’ve interviewed three of our current players to find out what attracted them to the sport, and what it would be like if you gave it a try 😉 


JC - Jen Collier #21. Jen has stepped up last year as Quarterback, leading the team in their games. Jen remains cool under pressure on the field and helps fill the team with confidence. As well as doing a fantastic job as Quarterback Jen is excellent on defence notching up interceptions.


AHT - Andrea Hudson-Thompson #11. Andrea's passion, personality and humour make her a great member of the Ladies Team. She has developed her skill and confidence as a centre for the offence, being a great short pass option. Her defensive tackling technique mean she rarely misses a tackle when the opposition comes her way.


ML - Maria Del Mar Lopez #76. Maria is full of life and energy. She has incredible speed and makes great catches. Maria plays linebacker and rarely misses a tackle. You'll find Maria dancing on and off the field. All the team love her fun loving attitude and passion for the game. 

This is what they have to say...  
How did you hear about Chorley Buccaneers Ladies Team, what made you first try the sport?  

JC - My son came down to rookie camp in 2015 to train with the cadets. The ladies team had just been set up and I watched them train for a few weeks. I have zero motivation to go to the gym and find it a bit tedious, but the ladies looked like they were having fun and would be a great way keep fit and learn a new sport. 

AHT - My son started the previous season and loved it. I started the Chorley Council Couch to 5k and met a lovely lady called Zara. When I popped in to collect my son, my husband encouraged me to have a go and Zara saw me and said, “right that's it, come on”. I’ve never looked back and have since introduced my friend Michelle who loves it too. 

ML – I heard about the ladies team when I was watching my sons who play for the Bucs. One Saturday I was talking to a couple of the other mums who said "why don’t you give it ago" and I said "I’ve never played sports in my life!". The following Saturday I gave training a try, and do you know what..... I LOVED IT.  
How did you feel on your way to your first training session?  

JC - I was really nervous before my first training session. I knew nothing about American Football, I hadn't watched the NFL, didn't know the rules and did not know any of the existing players. However, it was easy to forget my nerves once training started, I had loads of fun and the coaches and players made me feel very welcome. 

AHT - I did feel a little silly on the first go but all the team are so supportive and the coach is amazing. 

ML – Well I was nervous but I felt so welcomed and loved the girls.  

What's your favourite part of the game?  

JC - My favourite part of the game is the technical aspect. It not all about being the fittest or fastest player. It's about having the correct technique, solid fundamentals and football intelligence. 

AHT - My favourite part has to be the team, I love these girls, we are like a big nutty family. Followed closely by a good catch or successful run. 

ML – I love to be in defence as I love tackling but also playing as centre on offence. 
What's been your highlight since joining the team?  

JC - My highlight has been the friends I have made, the players, the coaches and the supporters. The club has an ethos about being part of the Bucs family, and that’s what it feels like.  Oh and I'm quite competitive, so achieving our first win in the Opal Series was a great feeling after the hard work the team had put in. 

AHT - Got to say and the girls have heard this a million times but in the last game day I scored a touchdown with a catch and run - such an amazing rush I'm now hungry for more. 

ML – At the 2016 I was awarded "defensive player of the year" for the Ladies Team and I loved it.  
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to give it a go? 

JC - My advice would be to come and give it a try. It doesn't matter if you haven't played any team sports before, it is an easy sport to learn. It's a great way to get into shape and keep fit, while having fun. 

AHT - Come and give it a go. We are all shapes and sizes. We all have different fitness levels but that does NOT matter. We are a friendly team playing flag. You will not regret it. 

ML – Just come down and have fun, don’t worry about dropping the ball.


To finish, an insight from Ladies’ Team Coach Keith Schofield… 

What is it like coaching a ladies team in a male dominated sport?

KS - Honestly, I wasn't 100% sure what to expect when I was first asked if I'd consider it, but it's been an absolute blast since day one. In general, I've found women players more receptive to learning, more willing to listen, and because of that they improve really quickly which is very rewarding as a coach. We always mix that with just the right balance of laughs too, so the training sessions are good fun. 
What's been your proudest moment as the Chorley Buccaneers Ladies Team coach? 

KS - Crikey, there have been so many it's hard to narrow that down. Overall, I'm really proud of how I've been a small part of helping a group of women push themselves out of their comfort zones and better themselves both physically and competitively. As for individual moments, seeing them play lights out football at the last round of Opal games last year was fantastic, we jumped two places in the national rankings in one day, they were awesome to watch. I've got to say though, even though it sounds corny, I am genuinely proud of them in some way or another at just about every training session we do, where suddenly I can see that one of the ladies has nailed something that she had previously been struggling with. 
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to give it a go? 

Don't let a lack of knowledge of the rules, or lack of experience, or lack of fitness, stop you. Get down to a training session, the ladies are a great bunch, the coaches will have you at a level where you can play basic football within a couple of weeks. It's the best sport I know for accepting and welcoming total newcomers, all you need to bring to your first session is enthusiasm.

ladies dab

So, what do you think...Are you going to join the Bucs? 

We hope this gives you a little insight in the team and what we are about. We are always welcoming new players so if this sounds like something you would like to try please get in touch, we'd love to hear from you. Absolutely no knowledge of the game is required just willingness to give it a try.  

We train on Saturdays from 1pm till 3pm at Parklands High School in Chorley.  

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