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Start Your Story - Alfie Birks

On Saturday 9th April 2022 at the Butts Park Arena in Coventry, Alfie Birks burst onto the British University American Football scene with his MVP performance for Team South against Team North in the University All-Star game. What was even more remarkable was that Alfie had just finished his first year at University football, his first year playing 11 a side football in fact! His Bournemouth University Bobcats finished the season undefeated and secured the Division 2 South championship and, with it, promotion to Division 1. The All-Star game was a fitting end to a great season for him. However, his Story began several years earlier when he first turned up to a Seahawks training session....

Photo courtesy of Hannah Elton Dobbin

Alfie first attended training with us in 2016 but he was too young to play! 2017 saw him suit up and play in his first games for the Seahawks. Straight from the off, it was clear he had speed, great hands and a lot of potential. On the third tournament of the season Alfie made the first reception of his career against the Berkshire Renegades. His first touchdown came in the BritBowl tournament against the Tamworth Phoenix from a pass from QB Louis Benzey. The reaction of the players showed just how well liked Alfie was within the team. The season finished with Alfie and the team as losing finalists in the Plate Trophy game against the Highland Wildcats, a game which still stands out as one of the best games the U16 team have been involved in.

Alfie built on his debut season in 2018 with 4 more touchdowns, 2 receiving and 2 rushing. It also saw Alfie transition to the position in which he would excel for years to come - Quarterback. Sharing reps that year with Will Rooney, Alfie passed for 3 touchdowns, the first of 20 he would complete for the U16 squad in the next few years. His first touchdown was to Ryan Heather, who, 3 and a half years later he would play against as Bournemouth played against Ryan's UWE Bullets in BUCS Division 2! We saw the heart and willingness to support the team that became synonymous with Alfie in 2018 as he racked up defensive snaps, recording tackles and his first Interception. With receiving, rushing and passing touchdowns alongside his defensive work, Alfie won the 2018 Coaches Player of the Year award, the first of 5 end of season awards he would go on to win in his 4 years playing, so far.

Photo courtesy of Hannah Elton Dobbin

The 2019 season started with Alfie being voted as a captain for the U16 team. The previous season showed his ability to lead from the front and inspire his team mates. Again, Alfie would share QB reps, this season with his current U19 QB, Allan Lee. Alfie finished the season with 16 passing TDs, 3 receiving and 1 rushing. Like 2018, he also recording an interception, and for the second season running recorded stats across the board! Game 2, V Swindon Storm, of our home tournament would go down as the day Alfie's composure and leadership would be obvious for all. With minutes to go and losing, Alfie led the team down the field with poise and composure of a player with many more years experience. Even when a TD was called back for a penalty, he dusted himself down and went again without missing a beat, throwing the game winning extra points to finish 34-33. During the game he completed over 70% of passes plus 2 passing, 1 rushing and 1 receiving touchdown. With an extra point reception and the game winning 2 point conversion, Alfie accounted directly for 27 of the 34 points in the game! The season finished with a 9-3 record and a 14th placed finish in the country. Personally, Alfie took home, Offensive, Coaches and Team MVP awards. Alfie completed his U16 career with a 26-8-2 record in games, 3 visits to the BritBowl finals. Individually there were 20 passing, 3 rushing and 6 receiving touchdowns and a place in Seahawks history.

Photo courtesy of Craig Hobbs

Like many, Alfie was unfortunate to miss the entirety of the 2020 season due to the covid pandemic. He would return to the Seahawks in 2021, again as a captain, to begin his U19 career. That season, the Seahawks played in Division 2 (7 a side) and Alfie's speed and quick thinking became a huge weapon for the team, equating to 5 rushing touchdowns across the 6 game season. Always at the front, Alfie led the team to a 5-1 record, only missing out on post season football by a 3 point difference across two games against the Essex Spartans. In what could've been seen as a difficult season, following covid and the difficult choice to play 7 a side, Alfie's head never dropped and he took his 5th end of season award - Junior MVP. 2022 will see the Seahawks return to Division 1, 9 a side football, where we hope Alfie's University experience will rub off on the U19 squad and allow us to succeed.

Photo courtesy of Chris Coope

With his typical humility, Alfie enrolled at Bournemouth Bobcats and hoped to get involved with the Bobcats American Football squad. It was soon clear he was going to be more than just a squad player, and soon became an integral team member sharing QB snaps with Senior Kaan Aray. The team went from strength to strength through the season, recording wins against Solent Redhawks, Plymouth Blitz, Bath Spa Bulldogs, Gloucester Gladiators and a UWE 2s team coached by former Seahawk James Green. Alfie continued to make a name for himself in University football and in his first season of 11 a side football, led his team to an undefeated regular season and into the Division 2 playoffs. The playoffs saw Bournemouth record wins over UWE 2s and Kent Falcons to set up a Southern Conference final against Greenwich Mariners. With the game in the balance in the 4th quarter, Alfie produced an amazing piece of quick thinking. Having been tackled on a QB run, and realising he hadn't fully been tackled to the ground, he regained his balance and ran past a disbelieving Mariners defence for a 40 yard TD which sealed the win, and the the Conference Championship!

Photo Courtesy of his (proud!) mum Becky

As if winning a National Championship after an undefeated season in your first year at University football wasn't enough, Alfie passed several cuts across multiple training sessions to make the starting squad for the Uni All-Stars game, representing Team South! With only 2 QBs selected, this in itself was an amazing achievement. However, as he has done all his football career, he didn't rest on his laurels and when given his opportunity he didn't disappoint. Coming on at half time in a close game, Alfie consistently moved the ball down the field, earning plaudits from the fans and live stream commentators as he used his speed and bravery to build momentum for Team South. A beautiful touch pass for a 2 point conversion put the game out of sight for Team South and saw Alfie win his 12th University game of the season! To cap off an incredible season, he was selected as MVP for the game, an almost unbelievable achievement considering he was a rookie QB playing in Division 2 of the BUCS league.

Now the rest of British Football knows what we have known for a while, Alfie Birks is an absolute baller! Huge heart, incredibly loyal and one of the best work ethics we have seen at the Seahawks. Alfie has written several amazing chapters already, but rest assured his Story isn't finished, with one more season at Seahawks and a Division 1 campaign with the Bobcats, there will be many more headlines for sure!

We can't wait to have him (and the Supreme hand warmer!) back in the black, red and white of the Seahawks for one more season!

And for those keeping count - career stats of 30 passing , 6 receiving, 14 rushing TDs and a winning record of 38-8-2 - from his first season in 2017 through Bobc including the All-Star game!

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