A SPORT not traditionally played in the county has helped a former serviceman back into civilian life.

Terry Marshall-Saunders joined Hereford Stampede American Football team in the summer, having not long left the forces after serving for many years in the army.

He found that the family atmosphere around the club was just what he needed.

“Ever since I left the army, I had struggled to adjust to civilian life as it was totally different to what I’d got used to in the army," said Marshall-Saunders

“I was at a really low point in my life and was struggling to come to terms with all the changes in my life, but I knew a couple of guys in the team and they were always talking about it and I decided to give it a go.

"Since then I haven’t looked back. I was welcomed immediately and it felt like a family. It’s a really physical sport so we battle hard in training but have great banter on and off the field."

On the pitch Hereford Stampede have got a busy year planned as they continue their goal to get the club into the British American Football Association league.

In September, the Stampede were able to visit another team in a similar position for a joint practice in Northampton which gave the players something to aim for.

Head Coach Paul Kent believed having this practice was vital.

He said: “Knowing that they (the players) had another team to pit their wits against gave everyone a massive boost and the positivity around the team was incredible, we took 35 players plus coaching staff on what turned out to be a fantastic day and I was pleased to see just how much the squad has developed in such a short space of time.

"If we can keep the guys together as a unit, I have no doubt that we will be able to progress through the associate process and cause other teams some problems when we enter the league."

Whilst the ultimate goal for Kent is to guide the club into the league and to challenge for titles, he believes the work to bring over 30 players together as a team and a unit is the most satisfying.

He added: “When you get this number of individuals together, the most important factor is working and learning together as a unit. At our very first session I stressed the importance that no matter the level of talent you have, there is no room for individuals who have a 'superstar' mentality.

"This sport epitomises the importance of teamwork. The guys have really bought into that and have taken it upon themselves to meet up socially outside the boundaries of usual team social events."

The Stampede are starting their 2019 year with two free rookie taster sessions for anyone that wants to give the sport a try.

These will take place on January 6 and 13 at the Greyhound Rugby Club starting at 10.30am.

For any further information please contact either headcoach@herefordstampede.co.uk or recruitment@herefordstampede.co.uk.