IAFL Weekly: 18/9/14

The 2014 season may be over, but that isn’t to say the work in the off-season has come to a grinding halt. Teams are furiously beginning preparations ahead of the new campaign that starts in the early months of 2015, so although their may not be local matches on show, we here at NFL-Ireland will aim to keep you up-to-date with the going’s on from around Irelands domestic football scene. So, with the awards dinners in progress and the recruitment drives in full swing, here is the roundup of news from the IAFL this past week.

 

IAFL Weekly – 18/9/2014

IAFA open 2015 Applications:

On the back of the news this week that the IAFA has been granted access to the Irish Sports HQ for next year, the league has also announced that they are now accepting applications for teams to join the league ahead of the 2015 campaign. The deadline for audits is Monday 6th October 2014, for all teams looking to be accepted into every division of senior kitted football. The league also added that they expect the Shamrock Bowl Conference and IAFL-1 tiers to go ahead as usual, with last year’s IAFL-2 teams making the step up into IAFL-1 territory. Also, there is now a provision as part of the application that clubs with larger squad sizes can field multiple teams this season. This could see many established teams fielding second-string sides within the IAFL-2, coupled with the new teams entering the league. Do you feel this is a positive move for Irish football? Full details can be found on the IAFA website (http://www.americanfootball.ie/).

The National Champions are recruiting!

The reigning Shamrock Bowl champions, the Belfast Trojans completed yet another remarkable year, by adding their third consecutive National Championship to their impressive trophy cabinet. However, the Trojans have already started to make plans for the upcoming season as they recently announced their rookie tryouts, which will take place on Sunday, November 2nd at 10.30am at Belfast Harlequins Rugby Club. This is the only tryout the Trojans will be hosting so make sure you get down to try out the sport! You wont regret it.

 

Trojans tryouts

 

League favourite calls time on playing career.

After undergoing ankle surgery at the end of the season, hard-hitting Defensive-End Chris Bell has decided to hang up his boots in his IAFL playing career. Chris has been a part of the Craigavon Cowboys since 2008 and will continue with the club by nurturing future talent from a coaching role. All of us here at NFL Ireland wish Chris a speedy recovery.

chris bell

 

Dublin Rebels represent Ireland in the Atlantic Cup.

The illustrious Dublin Rebels were handed the opportunity in August to travel to Brussels to defend the EFAF Atlantic Cup, in place of the absent and defending champions, the Belfast Trojans. The team travelled across to Belgium to compete against fellow amateur teams in the Villeneuve d’Ascq Vikings (FRA) Hilversum Hurricanes (NL) and the hosts, Brussels Tigers (BEL). After suffering a 24-14 loss to the Tigers in the semi-finals, the Rebels restored pride by defeating the Vikings 20-7 in the 3rd place playoff. They proved themselves as great representatives for Irish Football.

 

Photo by Thierry Kersmaekers
Photo by Thierry Kersmaekers

 

Other news:
– The Craigavon Cowboys already boast a talented youth team, but they are still looking for more potential stars to join their set-up. If you have ever been interested in taking part in American Football, be sure to head down to Chambers Park, Portadown every Sunday from 12:30-3pm.
– The Meath Bulldog’s host their annual Poker Night Fundraiser at the Royal Card Club at the Royal Navan on Sunday, October 4th at 7.30pm. Further details can be found on the teams Facebook page.

– The Cork Admirals hosted an off-season friendly match between the Veteran and Rookie players. Experience proved worthy in the end as the Vets ran out 22-0 winners, with Nick Coffi winning MVP.

To find out more information regarding the IAFL, be sure to check back to NFL-Ireland for the weekly updates from across the League. Alternatively, if you want to find out how to get in touch with your favourite IAFL teams, you can view the team directory in IAFA section of the website, or find further details on their Facebook and Twitter pages respectively. Any teams looking for information to be shared on our website, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Shamrock Bowl Breakdown Part 4: Dublin Rebels

7 time champions, Dublin Rebels in action against the Craigavon Cowboys. Photo by Media 401 Productions

The Breakdown series has reached the last chapter of the semi final previews, but it is by no means the least. The fourth and final team competing for the Shamrock Bowl this year is none other, than the Dublin Rebels.

As the most dominant and prestigious side in Irish Football history, the Rebels have won the Bowl a record 7 times, to become the iconic face of the Irish game. With 2 European trophies to their name and being one of the longest running clubs in Ireland, the Rebels have stayed competitive in the league for more than a decade. Their most recent appearance in the final came last year, as they were defeated 48-18 by the Belfast Trojans. Can they go one step further this season and win the Bowl for an impressive 8th time?

Regular Season

The Rebels started their campaign with a difficult game against the UL Vikings, when a touchdown in the last 7 seconds of the game helped the Dubs to a 14-13 victory. Since the opening game, the Rebels continued to win putting in strong performances against the Waterford Wolves and fellow North Division rivals, the Carrickfergus Knights and Craigavon Cowboys. Although they weren’t performing to their own high standards, they were still able to put teams away. Their first defeat of the season came against Shamrock Bowl Champions, the Belfast Trojans when a hard-hitting battle culminated in a close 34-19 victory for Belfast. Despite this, the Rebels would close out their regular season with an impressive 7-1 record and set up a wildcard tie with the Knights once again.

Key Players

RB: Simon Mackey: What else is there to say about the guy? He’s a Beast! Topping the rushing charts with a tremendous 19 TD’s, Mackey’s ground and pound running style is proving near impossible to stop!

QB: Andrew Dennehy: One of the most experienced Quarterbacks in the game. Dennehy’s poise and accuracy has guided him into the top 3 for another year, as he passed for 10 T’Ds during the regular season.

TE: Paul Grogan: The Dublin side have a mix of experience and youth in their receiving corp, and with 3 T’Ds this term, Grogan will be a vital asset to the Rebels offence in the post season.

K: Ger O’Leary: At this stage of the competition, all points will be crucial. With 18 extra points converted and 2 field goals, the Rebels know they can rely on the steady boot of O’Leary when called upon.

WR: Chris Purdy: Purdy’s form for the Rebels has improved year after year. With some magnificent catches and 3 T’Ds to his name this season, QB Andrew Dennehy won’t be afraid to throw it to one of his trusted receivers.

Post Season

The Rebels have been to this stage of the playoffs countless times through their illustrious history, so they will know what it takes to win. They faced off against an equally experienced Knights side in the wildcard round, prevailing with a hard earned 24-0 victory. This sets up a nicely poised game, as the Rebels will take on their opponents, Trinity College in a replay of last years semi final. Billed as the ‘MackDowell Bowl’, pitting two of the best running-backs of this era against one another, this game will be one to watch!

The Rebels beat the students at this stage last season, but will it be the same outcome this time? To find out, head down to Garda RFC in Westmanstown, Dublin for an action packed day of Irish American Football. July 27th, kickoff 3pm.

See part 1 on the Belfast Trojans here, part 2 on the University of Limerick Vikings here and part 3 on Trinity College Dublin here

IAFL Week 2 Results

Carrickfergus Knights 13 – 8 UCD, Belfield, Dublin

Cork Admirals 6 – 20 Dublin Rebels, Sportslink, Dublin

Dublin Dragons 0 – 19 Tullamore Phoenix, Tullamore RFC, Offaly