Season Reviews

Below are season-by-season reviews of the Rams.

2014: Continued Growth

Club President: Karl Haigh Head Coach: Jason Battye Assistant Coach: Matt Whiteley Captain: Matt Whiteley Best and Fairest: N/A Top Goal Kicker: N/A Rookie of the Year: N/A Club Man of the Year: N/A

The Rams start the new year with three introductory sessions, two at Greenhead Park and one at Huddersfield YMCA. These are well attended and see the first attendance of school boys from Rastrick High School, reflecting the development that has been going on at 
the school for the last five years by Jason Battye and Brandon Fletcher.

In February a preseason warm up match is played bewtween the Rams and the Tyne Tees Tigers at Huddersfield YMCA. This gives a few of the new players their first taste of a full game of aussie Rules. The Rams triumph 144-54.

The Rams host a unique State of Origin game between the Kirklees Rams and the Calderdale Rams. This sees two full teams from the Rams player squad take to the field in blustery conditions at Huddersfield YMCA. A younger and less experienced Calderdale Rams come out on top.

The Rams host their third preseason game when Manchester Mosquitoes visit YMCA. The Rams come out on top in a physical encounter played in soggy conditions.

The Rams once again reach the Haggis Cup final in Glasgow, beating Edinburgh, Paris,  and Tyne Tees along the way. They eventually fall short by 6 points against Glasgow in 
the final. The Rams squad was: Haigh, Battye, Fletcher, Whiteley, Bickerdike, Overton,
Hargreaves, Wilson, Hall, Shirtliffe, Brown, Jagger, Yates, Clayton, Nicholson. Karl Haigh is voted Haggis Cup Player of the Tournament.

Due to Leeds not being able to field a team in Round 2 The Rams quickly organise a full intra-club match. This sees the Over 26s v the Under 26s. It is a credit to The Rams 
recruitment initiatives that they are able to once again field two full teams. The Over 26s take the spoils on this occasion.

2013: Develop, Compete, Succeed
Club President: Karl Haigh Head Coach: Jason Battye Assistant Coach: Matt Whiteley Captain: Matt Whiteley

Club captain Jason Battye became the Head Coach for the Rams, a confirmation of the role that he was playing in part during the previous season due to previous Head Coach Neil Morrison's absence and subsequent return to Australia. Matt Whiteley continues his role as Assistant Coach.

The Rams started a program to developing local talent and recruit local players by holding two "New Player" training sessions in Greenhead Park, Huddersfield. This is seen as a success, and is featured in the local newspaper.

The Rams moved their home base and operations to the Huddersfield YMCA after four seasons with Huddersfield Rugby Union Football Club.

Rams players Jason Battye, Matt Whiteley, Luke Booth and Graham Bickerdike, received his call ups to international level. Graham Bickerdike was selected in the initial 75 man squad for the Summer European Cup competition in Dublin, Ireland. The players took part in trial matches against the London Swans and the two-test series against Ireland in Guildford and Dublin that were held in April 2013.

The Rams undertook three preseason matches including: a development game against Sheffield Thunder, a fiery contests against Aussie heavy Leeds Minotaurs, and an extremely satisfying game against last seasons premiers Manchester Mosquitoes.

Luke Booth was also selected for the European Legion squad to face off against the touring AIS/AFL Academy team in the Easter Series at Guildford. Booth became the third Ram to be involved in this game following Danny Armitage and Sam Gill who represented in back 2011.

The Rams rounded off the season by winning the Movember Cup, hosted by Manchester.

2012: The Standards Are Raised
Club President: Karl Haigh Head Coach: Neil Morrison Assistant Coach: Jason Battye Assistant Coach: Matt Whiteley Captain: Jason Battye Best and Fairest: Matt Whiteley Top Goal Kicker: Luke Booth (24) Rookie of the Year: Graham Bickerdike Club Man of the Year: Matt Evans

The Rams competed in an expanded AFL Central & Northern League which commenced at the end of April. Teams competing in the 2012 Season include Manchester Mosquitoes, Nottingham Scorpions, Leeds Minotaurs, Birmingham Bears, Wolverhampton Wolverines and Sheffield Thunder.
The Rams finished fourth in the pre-season Lightning Cup that was held in Manchester on 17th March. The new look squad, that was severeley hampered by injuries, beat Nottingham and Wolverhampton. The Rams squad was inexperienced and consisted of: J Battye, G Bikerdike, M Whiteley, A Delooze, K Haigh, N Morrison, D Windsor, B Fletcher, M Evans, M Henderson, A Brown, Sean, E Shala.
Danny Armitage received selection for the European Legion team to once again take on the AIS/AFL academy on April 7 at Surrey Sports Park, Guildford. Club captain Jason Battye was selected for the Great Britain Bulldogs team to take on the Irish Exiles in a curtain raiser to this game. Both players unfortunately had to pull out due to injury. The Rams were represented in that game by Martin Henderson, Luke Booth, and Graham Bickerdike.
Jason Battye and Matt Whiteley were also selected to play for the England Dragonslayers in a four team tournament in Italy in June 2012. The other competing nations are Scotland, Italy and Croatia. Coach Neil Morrison was also selected to be part of the coaching staff at this tournament.
The Rams won the Bowl Cup at the 2012 Haggis Cup held in Edinburgh on 21 April. They defeated Glasgow Sharks 4.4(28)- 3.3(21) in the final. Captain Jason Battye and Luke Booth were awarded places in the Haggis Cup 'Team of the Tournament'. The Rams also defeated Southampton Titans, and narrowly lost to Milano Eagles (who won the Plate final) and Edinburgh Bloods (who won the overall Haggis Cup) on the day. The Rams team consisted of: J Battye, G Bikerdike, M Whiteley, A Delooze, K Haigh, D Windsor, J Clayton, M Henderson, A Brown, L Booth.
The Rams secured a new major club sponsor in Grosvenor Casino Huddersfield.
Matt Whiteley was awarded player of the tournament for the England Dragonslayers during their 'Four Nations' tournament victory in Italy.
The Rams qualified for the semi-finals when they beat Leeds Minotaurs in their final regular season game, and Nottingham beat Wolverhampton. This was a remarkable feat, especially as The Rams were rock bottom of the league until the half-way point.
Manchester Mosquitoes beat The Rams in the play-off semi-final, bringing their season to an end.
28 players wore the Rams jersey this season. All the players were English. 19 players played their first ever game of Aussie Rules.
Luke Booth and Matt Whiteley were selected for the England Dragonslayers Euro Cup squad. Jason Battye was part of the coaching staff for this tournament.
Matt Whiteley plays for the Dragonslayers in their triumphant 'Home Nations' victory, as the national side beat Scotland and Wales in Cardiff.
Sad news as Huddersfield Rams legend and founding father Neil Morrison returns home to Aus for good.
Luke Booth won a place on the 'Team of the Tournament' at the Euro Cup in Edinburgh. The highest individual honour that a Rams player has received.
The Rams took part in a naked calendar shoot for the charity Marie Curie Cancer Research. However that never comes to fruition.
On the back of his selection on the Euro Cup team of the tournament, Luke Booth is also selected to play for the European Islands team (made up of representatives from Great Britain, Ireland and Iceland) against Continental Europe in the curtain raiser to the AFL game played at The Oval.
In December The Rams announced that they would be moving home to link up with Huddersfield YMCA Rugby Union Football Club for the 2013 season.
To cap off 2012 Five Rams players were announced as members of the initial Great Britain Bulldogs squad list for the 2013 European championships in Ireland. These were: Danny Armitage, Luke Booth, Jason Battye, Graham Bickerdike and Matt Whiteley.

2011: Boom! The Rams Are Back!
Club President: Karl Haigh Head Coach: Neil Morrison Assistant Coach: Rhys Long Captain: Danny Armitage 

The Rams kicked off their third season with a strong showing in the 2011 Haggis Cup in Glasgow where they battled through to the semi-finals. They eventually lost to the Wimbledon Hawks.
This was followed by Rams players Danny Armitage and Sam Gill being selected for the prestigious European Legion team who played the touring AIS-AFL Academy side at Dulwich College. This game was preceded by Ally Delooze, Karl Haigh, Jason Battye and Matt Whiteley playing for the Great Britain Bulldogs against Ireland in a curtain raiser.
The regular season saw Huddersfield battle through to the grand final after notable victories against Nottingham Scorpions and Sheffield Thunder. The final was played at Worksop which saw Nottingham Scorpions defeat the Huddersfield Rams in a high tempo high quality final.
The season ended with Matt Whiteley playing for the Great Britain Bulldogs in the 2011 International Cup in Sydney and Melbourne.
In the England Dragonslayers squad, who finished third in the 2011 Euro Cup in Belfast, Ireland was Matt Whiteley, Danny Armitage, Jason Battye and Ally Delooze
; whilst Rams players Karl Haigh and Luke Booth represented the European Crusaders at the same tournament.

2010: Second Season Stability For The Rams
Club President: Karl Haigh Head Coach: Neil Morrison Captain: Danny Armitage

The second season got off to a great start for the Huddersfield Rams as they were runners-up in the 2010 Haggis Cup in Glasgow losing narrowly to the Dublin Demons in the final (4.6.30 to 3.7.25). The Rams team was: J Battye, A Ballard, M Whiteley, A Delooze, K Haigh, N Morrison, D Wheatley, J Beaumont, R Heywood, Sean, D Armitage.
They followed this up by winning the 2010 National Carnival in Portsmouth, defeating the hosts 6.5.41 to 0.2.2 in the final after a long and demanding day of Aussie Rules. The Rams team was: J Battye, L Tarn, M Whiteley, A Delooze, K Haigh, N Morrison, R Free, J Beaumont, J Armitage, D Armitage, T Smith. I Mitchell.
They won their first game of the regular season against established side Nottingham Scorpions (10.11.71 to 8.11.59). However a disappointing end to the season which saw three defeats in a row meant that the Rams would finish their second campaign in 3rd place. This was a watershed moment for the club with a more committed playing squad and a larger roster being sort to bring stability to the club.
The season ended with Matt Whiteley and Ally Delooze representing the Great Britain Bulldogs at the 2010 European Championships in Denmark and Sweden.
Jason Battye, Ally Delooze, Matt Whiteley and Karl Haigh as players, and Neil Morrison as coach being selected for the England Dragonslayers team to compete in the 2010 Euro Cup in Milan, Italy.

2009: Triumph For The Rams In Their First Season
Club President: Karl Haigh Head Coach: Neil Morrison Captain: Jonny Beaumont

The Huddersfield Rams were formed in November 2008 and took part in their first competitive season during the following Summer. This was preceded by entries into a number of taster tournaments including the 2009 National Carnival in Newcastle and the 2009 Cardiff Clwb Challenge.
They competed in the inaugural ARUK Central League with Leeds Bombers, Liverpool Eagles and Birmingham Bears.
The Rams were table toppers in their first season and were crowned the 2009 Premiers beating the Birmingham Bears in the Central League Grand Final by 13.27 (105) - 12.10 (82). The Rams team for the final was: K Haigh, J Roberts, A Delooze, K Dicks, M Beaumont, Ally ?, L Rickards, R Carter, J Armitage, S Sheridan, R Carter, R Heywood, J Beaumont.
Rams players Jason Battye, Danny Armitage, Karl Haigh and Ally Delooze and coach Neil Morrison all represented England Dragonslayers in their two-legged victory over the Cymru Red Dragons in the 2009 Dragon Cup.
The season finished with Karl Haigh and Danny Armitage being selected as players, and Neil Morrison being selected as a coach for the England Dragonslayers team at the 2009 Euro Cup in Croatia. The Dragonslayers won this tournament.

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