Since the Youth Team’s first competitive season in 2012, this section of the Tamworth Phoenix Programme has gone from strength to strength. Membership levels have increased year on year, and Tamworth Phoenix Youth can now be seen competing in the post season on a regular basis. A growing and committed support Team of qualified Coaches and Staff, work to enhance the overall member experience. Not only for the young athletes, but their families too.

Phoenix Youth takes pride and ownership in our programme philosophy, cultivating our own Phoenix Family or Phamily as we brand it. We continually aim to make everyone feel a part of what we do, resulting in Phoenix Youth boasting the strongest sideline support in 2017, something we aim to better each year! Athletes experience an exciting and well organised training schedule, starting at the most basic level, gradually building up fundamental skills required to play American Football on a national level.

It is our hope and intention that athletes enjoy their experience so much, they look to continue playing the sport at the next level, once graduating from the Youth age classifications, and even onto representing our nation on an international level.

Coaching Staff

Mick Fearn

Youth Head Coach

What American football means to me – Passion! Have loved the game for 30 years now and it’s become a huge part of me and my family. Nothing has ever really captivated me in the same way. The challenge, the strategy, the unity and inclusivity of the game all really appeal to me.

Why Coach? – Many reasons, but the absolute love of the game is the primary reason! I enjoy organising, leading, seeing the players and the programme improve. I’m a firm believer in working hard to get what you want. This mind-set runs constantly through the sport. I guess there’s a lot about the game and coaching it that really fits with me and my personality. When it’s all said and done, the players make all that hard work on my part, so rewarding, satisfying and worthwhile.

Karl Burgess

Offensive coordinator & QB Coach

Coach Burgess joined the Nix at the start of the 2017 season, taking on the roles of Wide Receivers Coach & eventually Assistant Offensive Co-ordinator. In his first year involved he was part of the coaching staff that would eventually take an inexperienced team to second in the conference and eleventh in the country. Coach Burgess began his coaching journey in 2009 with the Leicester Falcons senior team as a Player & Defensive Backs Coach, helping them to a Division Two bowl win before turning to coaching full time, bringing to an end a long playing career that stretches back to 1992 appearing for the Coventry Jaguars & Jets, Leicester Panthers & Falcons, Birmingham Bulls & Wolverhampton Vipers. During these playing days he appeared in five bowl games and was part of the Coventry Jets team that beat Milan Rhinos in Italy in 2006

In 2010, whilst at the Falcons Coach Burgess would build a youth & junior programme, Head Coaching both teams over six years. The height of which saw the youth team compete in the National Finals after topping the midlands division in 2014 & the Junior team finishing second in their own midlands conference the same season. During this time, he has assisted with the DMU Falcons University team in 2011 & the Coventry Jets junior flag team 2009-11, both as a defensive backs coach. The Jets Junior flag team would secure the National Championship in 2010.

Coach Burgess is very keen to get to work with excellent new recruits that have just joined the Nix team for 2018.

Neil Pickering

Offensive Assistant Coach

Neil is in his second year with the Phoenix Youth Team, in 2017 he was assistant coach and was a valuable gamely assistant for Karl Burgess. 2018 sees Neil return as Offensive Assistant Coach.  Passing his Level 1 BAFA qualification in 2015, Neil worked with Leicester Falcons Under 19 team before moving on to Nottingham Caesars Under 19s.

Despite never actually playing the game himself, Neil was bitten by the American Football bug when the sport was first shown on Channel 4 in the 1980s and has been a student of the game ever since, he’s a fan of the Seattle Seahawks.

He said “I watched for many years on and off and when my son had fell out of love with rugby I contacted coach Burgess at the Leicester Falcons and my son had a trial. My 16 year old lad played linebacker in the U17s and u19s. I watched every training session and got involved on game days. I was asked by the coaches there why do you not get your qualifications and coach? I got them and have enjoyed coaching ever since! Tamworth is a great club with great people involved and a very passionate phamily support. I am not the most knowledgable and skilled at coaching but I am honest and approachable and have a passion for the game.”

We are delighted to be welcoming Neil back to the team in 2018 !.

Suzanne Alliss & Stephen Alliss

Team Manager

Stephen & Suzanne Alliss

The Alliss’ are in their second season as Team Managers for the Youth Section and first full season as Game Day Managers for the Seniors, having been actively involved in the running of home games last year.  Their son had originally come to the Nix with the intention of playing for the Youth Team but ended up doing his Level 1 coaching and assisting the Youth Team coaches; his involvement led to the parents becoming fully integrated in to the Phamily and actively involved in the running of the team.   Working as the “A Team” they assist the coaches by taking on many of the administrative tasks surrounding the Youth Team and are the central hub for team matters on Game Days.  They coordinate the team rosters and make sure that all players and sideline staff are registered with BAFA and the paperwork is in order for referees and visiting teams.  The “A Team” are passionate supporters of the Nix and wholly support the ethos of the organisation, having witnessed the growth and progress of many young players and seeing the positive effects that being part of the team has brought them.

Pauline Fearn

Sideline Assistant

Experience – 3 years with Nix

What American football means to me – Respect! What stands out is the respect and sportsmanlike behaviour from everyone involved in the game. The all-inclusive nature of the sport combined with this great atmosphere, makes it really great to be a part of and be around.

Why get involved? I really enjoy watching and supporting at the games, it’s great fun and I get to do it with my family. But I do really enjoy seeing the young players grow in so many ways. Not just become better at the game, but in self-confidence and general life skills. I like doing my bit to help that process along whether it’s ensuring the lads all have kit for game-day, checking on players welfare or getting the crowd involved a bit more! I do really like being around The Nix though, it really is one big Phamily!