AMERICAN FOOTBALL Scottish Claymores
With a lifetime in American Football and four Super Bowls behind him, Myrel Moore certainly has what it takes to get the Scottish Claymores into shape.
There's an old sporting adage which says ‘attack is the best form of defence'. Put simply, if you score more goals or points than your opponents, you win. However, in the hard-nosed world of American Football, sound defence is vital, and nothing is left to chance. After winning the 1996 World Bowl, the Scottish Claymores struggled last year, prompting them to recruit the finest defensive personnel in preparation for the new season.
Their star recruit is defensive co-ordinator Myrel Moore, whose coaching talents graced four Super Bowls between 1978 and 1987. His career at the highest level has spanned over 40 of his 63 years, but beneath the warm exterior, his steely determination burns as brightly as ever.
Following four years as a defensive back with the Washington Redskins, injury forced Moore into early retirement. 'l'd fooled them long enough, and they didn’t have the same medical back-up then,’ he recalls. Coaching beckoned, and after a decade at the University of California, he returned to the NFL with the Denver Broncos.
’Denver had never had a winning record before but, within five years, we had them in the Super Bowl,’ says Moore. ’We didn’t win in '78, but I'll never forget walking out into the Super Dome in New Orleans to face the Dallas Cowboys.’ Moore reached the Super Bowl again with the Oakland Raiders and twice more during his second stint in Denver, before ending his NFL career with the New England Patriots.
So how was such a distinguished name enticed to Scotland? As ever, the involvement of head coach Jim Criner was crucial. ‘Coach Criner called me in December. He had problems with his staff and asked if I was interested,’ Moore remembers. ’I was coaching at the
‘ Air Force Academy in Wyoming and said I’d think about
Uplifting: can Myrel Moore help the Claymores regain the World Bowl?
it. But then someone wanted to buy my business, and the Academy said I could come back when I wanted. In three weeks, everything was done.‘
Moore and the Claymores recently arrived in Scotland following a month-long training camp in Atlanta. 'The Claymores have always been pretty good defensively, but we needed to clean up some things and change the system to a multiple type of defence,’ he says. ’Training went very well and the players have really taken to the new defensive structure. These guys want to learn and I love to teach.’
The former World League has been re-christened NFL Europe, and Moore feels standards are 'much improved’ in 1998. ’The use of the NFL name is a big factor and a big help,’ he adds. ’Every team had a tough time to make the final cut when choosing their squad and had to let some good players go.’
If Claymore fans are looking for omens, Moore has already tasted success this year. In January, his beloved Broncos lifted their first ever Super Bowl after a string of near misses. ’A group of us from the 705 and 805 all got together and watched the game - it was a really emotional time for us,’ he recalls.
Let’s hope the Claymores will also be shedding tears of joy this summer. (Lorin McDougaIl)
I The Scottish Claymores first home game of the season is at Murrayfie/d Stadium, Edinburgh, on Sun 79 Apr at 3pm (ticket hotline 0500 353535). For earlier away games, see Listings.
Cock-a-hoop: Whoopi gets excited about the Scottish Basketball Finals
Bank of Scotland Basketball Cup Finals Edinburgh: Meadowbank Stadium, Sat
Midlothian Bulls will be gorng for an incredible ninth Scottish league and cup double in ten seasons when they take on 1997 winners, Glasgow Sports Divrsion, in the SBA Cup Final at Meadowbank on Sunday 5 April. The Bulls, who relocated from Livingston to Lasswade this season, have lost only one contest this year, and are set to cap another successful campaign.
The final will be the last game in charge for Midlothian coach Dave Patterson, and also marks the outing for veteran Scottish international Dougie Reilly, one of only two men to have featured in all nine vrctorrous cup appearances over the past decade. Patterson is determined to go out on a high against a strong Glasgow Side. 'The bigger court at Meadowbank suits
my team,’ he says, ’and, after a great season for us, we should have the advantage over Glasgow.’
With an Edinburgh—based team set to play in the nationwide British Budweiser League from September, both sides WI” want to secure another cup prize before the professionals enter the arena later this year.
In the Women’s Final, holders Polonia Phoenix will secure their second successive league and cup double if they can overcome Lothian rivals Dalkeith Saints in a repeat of last year’s final. The capital side are unbeaten this season, and feature the talents of Ali Paton, better known as Siren from ITV’s Gladiators. (Mark Woods)
I For ticket information, contact Scottish Basketball Association on 0731 377 7260
(h ttpsl/www. sba. oaktree co. uk). Regular news and information on basketball in the UK can be found at the Britba/l website
(http://www woods. demon. co. uk).
Events are listed alphabetically by sport. then by da . Fixtures are correct at time o publication, but may be affected by weather. Sports listings compiled by Brian Donaldson.
Barcelona Dragons v Scottish Claymores Sun 5. Montjuic Stadium. Barcelona. 7pm. It‘s a long way to go if you want the authenticity of live action. but it's live on Sky with highlights on Scottish for those who can't make it. The Claymores face the reigning champs as they attempt to improve on last year's showing. Ex-Buffalo Bill running back Carey Bender will be a boost to Jim Criner's squad. having performed well in the pre-season ﬁxtures. See preview. Amsterdam Admirals v Scottish Claymores Sun 12. Amsterdam Arena. Amsterdam. 7pm. lt’s along way. etc . . .
Bank of Scotland Cup Finals Sat 4—Sun 5. Meadowbank Stadium. Edinburgh. Midlothian Bulls take on Glasgow Sports Division. and in the Women's Final. holders Polonia Phoenix go for the double against Dalkeith Saints. See preview.
Girvan Cycle Race Sat ll—Mon 13. Event Headquarters. Westcliffe Hotel. Girvan. llam—l.30pm. Road race event with some of the country‘s top names expected. Further details available from the organiser on 01563 539397.
TENNENTS SCOTTISH CUP SEMI FINAL Falkirk v Hearts lbrox Park, Edmiston Drive. Glasgow. 3pm. The Bairns attempt to reach the Scottish Cup Final for the second year running — not a bad achievement for a club on the brink of extinction. They meet a side whose Semi- Final experiences have been far from glorious in recent times. but Jim Jeffries has fashioned a different proposition as they continue in their hunt for the Double.
SCOTTISH PREMIER LEAGUE Aberdeen v St Johnstone Pittodrie Stadium. Pittodrie Street. Aberdeen. 3pm. Dundee United v Dunfermline Tannadice Park. Tannadice Street. Dundee. 3pm.
SCOTTISH FIRST DIVISION
Airdrie v Dundee Broadwood Stadium. Cumbernauld. 3pm.
Raith Rovers v Morton Starks Park. Pratt Street. Kirkcaldy. 3pm.
St Mirren v Hamilton Accies St Mirren Park. Love Street. Paisley. 3pm.
Stirling Albion v Ayr United Forthbank Stadium. Springkerse industrial Estate. Stirling. 3pm.
TENNENTS SCOTTISH CUP SEMI FINAL Celtic v Rangers Celtic Park. Kerrydale Street. Glasgow. 5pm. The Old Firm double header — triple if this ends all- square at full-time — kicks off with a repeat of the I992 meeting when that man McCoist got the winner for the ten- men 'Gers.
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