The Glasgow Tigers aren’t alone in witnessing our best laid plans going awry thanks to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

This coming Sunday (April 26th) should have been the opening game of our 2020 season, welcoming newcomers to the division the Inverclyde Goliaths to Glasgow as we kick off our third season in the NFC1 North.

But as things stand, we don’t know when we’ll be kicking off the 2020 season – or what it will look like. While league chiefs are hopeful of resuming activity in mid-July, the constantly shifting landscape means scant few things remain certain.

Tigers QB Jig McCoy (11) throws the opening touchdown of the 2019 season to WR Dan Matthews (89) in the season opener at Northumberland Vikings (Picture by Michael Oakes/Northumberland Vikings)

One thing that does seem certain are the teams joining us in the NFC1 North. Familiar rivals from last year Northumberland Vikings, East Kilbride Pirates and Aberdeen Roughnecks return while the league’s Scottish contingent is joined by the Inverclyde Goliaths who earned promotion from Division 2. A reshuffle of division boundaries saw the NFC1 North wave goodbye to Yorkshire Academy Rams, who picked up a narrow victory against the Tigers on the last day of the 2019 season.

Last year the division sent the Vikings and Pirates to the play-offs, with the Vikings falling to the Sandwell Steelers in the NFC1 Championship clash while the Pirates were eliminated by the same side in the quarter-finals.

The Tigers hope to improve on their 4-6 record from last season. Coach McCluskey’s side started out strong – coming close against eventual division winners Northumberland on the opening day before going on to win the next three of the next four fixtures – but as the season wore on, injuries mounted and derailed an initially promising campaign.

The Tigers, led by QB Alasdair Kay (centre), ended the season with last-minute heartbreak on the road against the Yorkshire Academy Rams (Picture by Alex Daniel)

The Tigers will look to returning veterans to power the side, whenever the 2020 season begins in whatever form it takes. While a number of seasoned players hung up their boots following the 2019 campaign, coaches will look to position captains such as WR/TE Kenny Muir, right tackle Jamie McIsaac and QB/RB Andrew Steen to lead the offence, coached by former Glasgow Lion Eddie McCluskey.

The defence – coached by Jobe Traywick, a former standout at linebacker for the Tigers – is led into the season by our 2019 Defensive Rookie of the Year Ross Thomson at safety, dominant linebacker Ryan Cassidy and man-mountain defensive tackle Duncan Gray.

An impressive rookie class – with talented players ready to compete for snaps at running back and wide receive, in particular – bolsters the roster going into 2020 after record-setting rookie days to kick off the now-extended 2020 off-season.

Tigers Head Coach Ryan McCluskey gives out pointers at one of the 2020 Open Tryouts (Photo by Richard Lundy)

Regardless of what happens with the 2020 season, the Tigers are working hard at home to make sure they’re ready for action.

Make sure and follow the team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all the latest updates as we continue through our extended off-season along with any news on the return of organised team activities.

The Tigers are proud to be joined by Hard Rock Cafe Glasgow as our main sponsors for the 2020 season.

Based on Buchanan Street in the heart of the city centre, Hard Rock Cafe branches around the globe have been working to support their communities by donating food to those in need and delivering to their local areas.

Find out more about Hard Rock Cafe Glasgow on Facebook.