|A brief history of the team|
The Senators started life as the Newcastle Senators, rising out of the ashes of the aptly named Newcastle Browns, and playing at Northern Rugby Club in Newcastle. The club had two very successful seasons winning the Division 1 title with a 10-0 record and gained promotion to the National Division for the following season.
The Senators gained new players when the area's only other team, the Trojans, folded. In the National Division the team had a 4-6 record and gained the respect of many of the country's top sides.
In 1988 the Senators moved across the Tyne to Gateshead International Stadium. With this move the club also changed its name to the Gateshead International Senators, cementing the links with the stadium and giving us the nickname the GI's.
The team today...
Over the last few seasons, the Senators have begun to regain some of the skill and professionalism that the team was originally founded upon.
The 1994 season opened with the Senators at the top of the second division. Many of the old guard of players had finally decided to retire from football, leaving the team with noticeable gaps in both the offense and defense. However the team also managed to sign new players from a variety of different sources.
1994 saw the influx of a large number of junior players, including Lee Fraser, the former Great Britain youth quarterback, who filled the quarterback slot for the GIs. Also the Senators had begun to associate with the newly formed University / Polytechnic team, the Newcastle Mariners. The Mariners play a winter season, so their players were more than willing to join a team that played during the summer, and so the Senators acquired several more prospective players.
Other new players came from around the region, including many from the Tyneside Tigers, who were experiencing difficulties. In 1995, the end of the Stockton Gators led to further influx of new and experienced players, ready for the 1996 campaign.
At the start of the 1997 season we had a roster that included players from Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland, Washington, Darlington, Teesside and Durham, making the Senators a truly North East team. As well as a team of dedicated players, we have an excellent coaching staff, headed by Gary Marshall (kicker / punter / quarterback), Bill Gibson and Craig Buttery.
This was a very successful year, a winning season with a 7-3 record, which led to team members taking four of six top places in the national leading statistics, and the team reaching the national semi-finals.
Although the team did not reach the semi-finals in 1998, we ended with a respectable record, and well placed for 1999.
1999 of course proved the most successful in the team's history, going all the way and winning the Division 1 title. Full reports on the season and the nailbiting championship game are on this website.
In 2000, 2001 and 2002, the Senators again reached the playoffs, but could not go all the way again. The team moved to to Division 2 for 2003 because of player retirements and the need to rebuild but this sparked a rebirth, and the team went 10-0 in 2003 and reached the semi-final. The Senators were promptly returned to Div 1 and remain one of the UK's top clubs, and always a serious contender, reaching the playoffs in 2004 and 2005.