American football: Steve takes the Rains at Mustangs

FORMER Great Britain youth coach Steve Rains wants to break London’s “monopoly” on domestic american football after taking charge of Doncaster Mustangs.

Mustangs went into the off-season on a low ebb after a catalogue of injuries forced them to forfeit their BAFANL play-off place last term, following an impressive season in the new Premier Division North.

But the appointment of Rains - an ex-Great Britain youth coach and member of the United States’ Minor League Football Hall of Fame - is a major coup for the Keepmoat Stadium outfit.

New head coach Rains will work alongside his predecessor Simon Vardy, who switches to defensive co-ordinator.

Rains said: “I am delighted to be joining the Mustangs, my personal life has brought us to Yorkshire and I was pleased to be asked to get involved helping Simon at the end of last season.

“I already knew a number of people involved with the team and Simon and the club made me feel very welcome.

“A lot of people think that London now has a monopoly on the Championship.

“But there is great sporting talent up here in Yorkshire, the Olympics proved that, and we aim to tap into that talent to try to break that monopoly.

“I’m delighted that Simon will be staying on as my defensive co-ordinator and I look forward to building on the very solid foundations that exist at the club.

“We will be looking to grow the coaching staff over the next few months and we will also be recruiting players for the new season as we build a squad to challenge for the top prize in UK football.”

Rains has been out of club football in the UK for the past five years but was Great Britain’s junior head coach until the end of the 2010 season, leading the young GB Lions on successful trips to Poland, Holland and Serbia.

He also coached Farnham Knights to four Conference Championships, three National Championships between 1997 and 2007 and led them to the final of the EFAF European Cup in 2004.

Mark Blyth, Mustangs‘ general manager, said: “We’re extremely excited about the prospect of Coach Rains taking over the HC role.

It’s not often a coach with his credentials comes along and we’re delighted he’s chosen to take the post.

“Simon did an incredible job at such short notice,” he added.

“It’s a measure of his character that he was only too happy to step aside to let Coach Rains take over.”

Rains has also agreed to an advisor role with the University of Sheffield Sabres team for the new BUAFL season, which also strengthens the bond between the Mustangs and the Sabres.