Back room changes dominated the start of Outlaws preseason. Head Coach, Simon Dale stepped down to concentrate his time on his wife’s pregnancy but the vacancy was quickly filled by Defensive Co-ordinator Chris Davies. He was joined by recent Outlaws alumni Alex “Flash” Gordon and Jack Carroll as Offensive Co-ordinator and Wide Receivers’ coach respectively. The new coaching set up was planned meticulously for the start of training and with the split from Nottingham Trent, the Outlaws neededto recruit heavily for the upcoming season. An unprecedented 100 people attended the first training session which was aimed mostly at those who had never played the game before. With the team training hard weeks flew by and the opening game was soon upon us.
08/11/2009 @ Leicester Longhorns
The Outlaws once again travelled to Leicester hoping to repeat last year’s opening day victory over the Longhorns. The game was a torrid affair with Outlaws mistakes on both sides of the ball contributing to an embarrassing 34-6 defeat. The only highlight being a first touchdown for Rob Mobey.
15/11/2009 v Lincoln Colonials
With only a loss to their names the Outlaws went into their second game hoping to prove this would not be the season’s theme. With Grove Farm waterlogged a makeshift pitch was created on University Park’s 3G Astro using flour to mark the touchlines. The Outlaws started the game in remarkable fashion with the offence driving down the field and scoring 2 quick touchdowns, whilst the defence stopped the Colonials moving the ball at all. Lincoln fought their way back into the game and managed to score a touchdown in the second half. The Outlaws defence continued to stand firm and forced several interceptions during the game. During the 4th quarter Sam White ran in another Outlaws touchdown to finish the game with 3 touchdowns and over 200 yards rushing. Final score 26-8 to the Outlaws.
22/11/2009 @ Loughborough Aces
Having convincingly beaten their last opponents the Outlaws travelled to their bitter rivals Loughborough hoping to cause an upset. The game was an attritional affair with both sides utilising the rushing game on a wet and muddy pitch. The Outlaws defence led by linebacker James “Bo” Beaumont contained the Aces offence forcing them to punt on several occasions. One of these led to a dropped catch by the Outlaws punt return on their own goal line, leaving the Aces an easy opportunity to open the scoring. Another special teams play, this time a block punt in the Outlaws endzone, gave Loughborough their second score. The Outlaws heads didn’t drop and they continued to fight hard and with the final drive of the half fell just 2 yards short of scoring. The second half continued in a similar vein and the Outlaws eventually got their break when Rick Jackson caught a Simon Denning pass and ran into the endzone. Both teams wouldn’t relent and as the game headed towards its conclusion the Outlaws offence had one last chance to level the score. A series of great plays and defensive penalties allowed the Outlaws to drive half the length of the field. Unfortunately for the Outlaws their efforts fell short when the Aces forced an interception. Though the Outlaws had lost they had fallen just short against one of the league’s best teams losing 13-8.
06/12/2009 @ Sheffield Sabres
Coming off a bye-week the Outlaws hoped to continue the momentum they had been building over the past 2 games. However it soon became apparent that Sheffield had no intention of letting this happen. Dominating both sides of the ball the Sabres found themselves several scores up by half time. The second half however, was a more balanced affair with the outlaws defence standing firm and forcing many Sabres drives to end early and the offence beginning to put drives together. The Outlaws eventually scored when Rick Jackson caught his 3rd touchdown in 3 games. The Outlaws left demoralised , losing 44-8, but theyknew their best had not been on display.