Hope & Glory
At 27 Years Old, Running Back Adam Hope Has Had A Number Of Nicknames On His Football Journey. The Sheffield Native Has Been A Tomahawk, An Ace, A Renegade, A Lion And A Phoenix, He’s Also Been An MVP On Numerous Occasions.
Hope is a serious athlete who dedicates himself to be the best he can be. Nine years of full contact balling will take its toll on your body, particularly playing in a high impact position like running back, but Hope puts his durability down to his rigorous strength and conditioning programme, which he follows year round.
Whilst playing in the British universities league he built his reputation with his uncompromising running style. Always a team player, he also relished his duties on special teams. Spending four years studying at Loughborough university he was crowned League MVP in 2011, he then moved across the east midlands to take a masters course at Nottingham Trent, helping them reach the play-offs in 2014. During his time at university he also began playing senior football. A combination of a strong connection with Loughborough uni and a good geographic fit, led to him choosing the Tamworth Phoenix, where he soon established himself as a starter. His consistent performances attracted the attention of the GB Lions coaches and he became an integral part of the national team, scoring in the European championship tournament in Italy in 2014. He’s been a fixture in the Lions backfield ever since, and scored again as GB beat Russia and Czechia in 2016 in the latest set of qualifiers.
Last season the Phoenix dominated the BAFA senior league Northern Premier division, going undefeated to set up a semi-final clash against the London Blitz, Tamworth had the momentum going into the game, but they also had a depleted back field. Hope was carrying shoulder, knee and ankle injuries, and was unable to make his usual impact. London ended up pulling away in the fourth quarter, leaving the Phoenix to rue a disappointing end to what had been a tremendous regular season.
Having had a full off-season to recover, he is now back from injury and is rearing to go. “Following a strong season last year we will once again be looking to defend our northern title and take it further to win a national championship. That’s our ultimate aim. I believe we have the talent and ability to do so. Last season didn’t end how we wanted it to and the bitter taste is still there. I hope to make a big impact for the offense this year, we have some great weapons and real play makers, so I aim to bring all I can to the keep the Nix offense burning. We push ourselves hard, and there’s certainly a rivalry between our O and D. It will be a nice change to have us both fighting the same person!”
Now working full time as a quantity surveyor Hope is still as dedicated as ever to his football. If the season goes to plan, no doubt we will be seeing that familiar combination of “Hope & Glory”.
Photos courtesy of Adelie Hernandez and Simon Purcell.