The story of the Dundee Hurricanes trying to find their place at American football’s top table in Britain has been one of local sport’s most protracted sagas in recent times.
Since being dubbed the worst team in the United Kingdom back in the 2013/14 season, and finding themselves the subject of a forthcoming documentary on their struggles entitled Bend Don’t Break, the Canes have somewhat battled back after 22 months without a win.
In the proceeding years they fought on but sadly lost their place in the British American Football Association’s league set-up in early 2017 due to rising costs, frequent injuries and a small squad.
The team, still featuring members of the original ‘cast’ of the film to be shown at the DCA on August 25, spent the best part of last year battling to gain re-entry only for their bid to be scuppered by red tape.
The ‘associate process’ they went through, which assesses a club from performance on the field and squad numbers right through to its facilities, starts again in earnest this summer as the Hurricanes now hope to work their way back to National League Northern Football Conference Two for the beginning of next year.
It is a difficult and often frustrating journey but one which Canes development officer Fraser Thomson says they are ready to meet head on despite the obstacles put in their path.
He said: “Looking back at the Bend Don’t Break season, it was a pretty turbulent time and probably only the beginning of our problems.
“I think the turning point was August last year when we finally got a committee together but, without help from the governing body, there’s not much we can do.
“We have had a bit of a frustrating time already this year trying to get games sorted to start off the associate process.
“The association always seem to want to put stumbling blocks in our way and the demands are quite high on clubs like the Hurricanes.”
The Canes were due to play Highland Stags in their first game a week past Saturday but it was cancelled at the 11th hour as the association were not able to provide the referee or assessor required for the match to go ahead.
To get through the associate process the Canes must have 35 players registered and attending each game.
Thomson went on: “We were due to play the Highland Stags but not anymore. We are looking at new dates now to fulfil our five games.
“Sometimes things are taken out of your hands and that happened a lot last season.
“They cannot provide us with what we need and the deadline is getting close now.
“It’s tough for a club of our size to get 35 players for every game as they must be played on a Saturday – which not everyone can do. If we don’t we get a yellow card from the league.”
Thomson, however, is remaining positive about their chances ahead of the November 3 deadline.
“It’s tough but we are still looking for as many players as we possibly can,” he added.
“We are stuck between a rock and a hard place but we are going to do some try-out sessions later this month and get five games sorted before the deadline.
“Hopefully, we’ll do the best we can and get the best outcome.”
The Canes are hosting training and open try-outs at Charlotte Street on Sunday August 12 at 11am.