Sunderland Spartans American Football team play their first game of the season this Sunday when they face off with Glasgow Tigers.
Team president at the university Sherief El-Shakankery is looking forward to a ‘tough’ encounter.
“Glasgow are always going to be a very tough opposition because of the have a great infrastructure in place.
“However, we’ve recruited well and maintained a strong core of returning players so a win on Sunday is well within our reach.”
The Spartans are competing in a five-team division, along with teams from Hull, Newcastle, Northumbria and Glasgow – the division winners and overall league runners-up last season.
El-Shakankery added: “Our division is going to be tough, probably more so this year than last.
“Whatever happens however, I’d imagine every game we play is going to very tight and hard fought.”
Whilst losing some key members of the squad during the off-season, including former GB Lions product Nick Whitehead, El-Shakankery claims the squad has jelled well prior to the season-opener.
“There has been a big social effort at the start of this university year, which has allowed a lot of rookies to feel apart of our team before our season has start. Our success in the past has been because we’ve had a tight team bond on and off the field.”
Sunderland Spartans vs Glasgow Tigers takes place Sunday November 6, at 1pm at Gateshead International Stadium.