HEREFORD Stampede are set to play the biggest game in the club's short history as competitive American football returns to the city after 30 years.

The Hereford Racecourse based club will host Northants Knights on Saturday (2pm kick-off) in their first of five official associate games.

The club have the five games to prove to the British American Football League that they are prepared to join a competitive league next season.

Hereford will play three competitive games at home and two away.

League officials will be attending Saturday's match and assessing the suitability of the club.

Head coach Paul Kent said: "This is the key one of the five this year.

"It's the first one assessed at home this year and we need everything to be right and good.

"The team need to be competitive and know what it's doing and everything needs to be organised.

"We have had friendly matches but this one is our first assessed game. We have got 42 players coming and 62 registered along with three coaches.

"The players are all ready to go and can't wait as they have been training for a long time and this is their opportunity to show their skills.

"This is the first game that counts as despite not being in a league the result is recorded.

"As a coach it is nerve racking as it is out of my control now, once they cross over the white line it is down to the players."

Kent is expecting a tough game for his Hereford side against Northants Knights.

Ahead of the match Hereford Stampede have added several players who have recently returned to the city from university.

He thinks that Saturday's tie will be a close encounter.

"The match could go either way and we have to believe in ourselves as we have got an extremely good team," added Kent.

"The only thing that is going to hinder us is a lack of experience, but the best team on the day will win the match."

When asked to describe what spectators can expect from the match.

Kent added: "It will be extremely competitive with a good atmosphere and a lot of noise.

"It is extremely exciting to watch and lasts about two and a half hours in which there is about 60 minutes of action.

"Despite that the game is very fast moving and we are expecting a good crowd and spectacle."