The Dublin Rebels travel to the Netherlands this weekend to play in the EFAF Atlantic Cup, which is the official Western European Championship for amateur clubs. The Rebels qualified for the tournament via winning last years Shamrock Bowl. They are joined in the tournament by hosts and defending Champions, Lelystad Crusaders, Brussels Tigers and Luxembourg Steelers.
The Rebels face a tough Semi-Final game on Saturday 23rd, when they play the home side, Lelystad. The Tigers and Steelers are matched up in the other Semi-Final. The Final and 3rd place play-off will take place on Sunday 24th.
This will be the Rebels second time playing in the Atlantic Cup – the reached they were narrowly beaten in the final in Brussels in 2009. The tournament will be hosted by Ireland in 2013 as part of ‘The Gathering’.
Preview Atlantic Cup IV (from EFAF)
Next weekend the fourth Atlantic Cup takes place in Lelystad/Netherlands, close to Amsterdam and Almere. Lelstad Commanders already gave an information about the area and the tournament a couple of days ago, also published here on this website. Four teams are participating from Benelux and Ireland the host Lelystad included, Brussels, Dublin and Dudelange.
Logo Atlantic Cup 2012
Following you can read the expectations the guest clubs are entering the tournament this years and their wishes and goals:
After a remarkable season in Belgium, the Brussels Tigers are proud to participate to this fourth edition of the Atlantic Cup.
The Brussels Tigers play this tournament for the second time. We were invited last year as a ”second” Belgian team because the Irish were unable to attend; for that reason, the BFL sent one representative for the Flemish league (FFL) and one for the French speaking league (LFFAB). Even though we ended up third, we still learned much more from this experience than from any Belgian championship.
The Brussels Tigers made an outstanding season this year. We remained undefeated throughout the season and eventually won the LFFAB championship final against the Liège Monarchs. After defeating the West Vlaanderen Tribes (who earned the title of Belgian champion six years in a row) in semifinal, we then won the Belgian Bowl against the Antwerp Diamonds. That victory is the second one in the history of our team, and happened ten years after the first one against the same teams in final and semifinal.
For the Atlantic Cup, our objective is twofold: first, we want to reach the final and fight a spectacular game against one of the strongest team in this tournament. The second goal -and the most important one- is gaining experience and learning from others, just as we did last year. I am confident that we will learn from this Atlantic Cup and grow stronger.
This tournament is also an opportunity to thank my players who worked hard and made countless efforts throughout the year at the practice. Some of our senior players first played flag football with the Tigers at the age of twelve before joining our American football team. They are now role models for the next generation of players, and demonstrate the importance of working with the younger ones.
We are going to the Atlantic Cup with this one dream: taking the first place, and we will do our best to make it happen.
The Dublin Rebels have both fond and bitter memories of taking on European competition in EFAF tournaments. In 2009 in Brussels, the Rebels unexpectantly reached the Atlantic Cup final by beating the Amsterdam Panthers only to lose to the host team, the West-Vlaanderen Tribe on a missed field goal in overtime. Despite the loss, the Rebels made waves on the European stage for their style of play and professionalism and gave Irish teams the belief that they could compete against teams from more established leagues. This was the case the following year when the Rebels passed on the proverbial torch to their fierce rivals the Limerick Vikings who represented Ireland in the 2010 Atlantic Cup held in University College Dublin in the south of the nation’s capital. After a comprehensive victory in the semifinals, the Vikings went on to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat when they pipped the Lelystad Commanders at the post by a score of 19-18 after 2 4th quarter TD’s. In this year’s cup, the Rebels will go toe to toe with the Commanders in the semifinals on their own turf who will be sure to have local support rooting for a home town team in the final. The Rebels will go into the tournament off the back of a successful regular season campaign going 6-1 (record at time of writing) in a tough IAFL South division and will be looking to add some European scalps to their list of vanquished opponents in 2012. For many players in the squad this year’s tournament will not be the first taste of European action they have savored. Veteran players such as QB Andy Dennehy, O-Line/D-lineman Fergal O’Hanlon and Free Safety Marcus Naylor will be desperately seeking to add a European crown to their impressive list of accolades. On the other hand most of the 2012 Rebels squad will be taking on non-Irish opponents for the first time and will be eager to get their feet wet in the deep end of the European football pool. Key players on the Rebels offense include QB Andy Dennehy, RB Aaron Smith and Tight End Paul Smyth. On the Rebels defense; Linebacker Steve Walsh and Defensive End Simon Mackey will play vital roles in keeping offenses at bay. The Dublin Rebels are honored to represent Ireland and the IAFL in the 2012 Atlantic Cup and will no doubt experience a tournament to remember.
Luxembourg Steelers of Dudelange:
For the Luxembourg Steelers of Dudelange it is an honour and they are proud to represent the country of Luxembourg in a big EFAF Tournament like the ATLANTIC CUP.
As the one and only Tackle Football Team in Luxembourg, it will be the 4th appearance at the Atlantic Cup and it will be this year the hardest and toughest one regarding the previous tournements before. The reason for that is, our Team is in a generation changing process, and that’s why there was also the change of the Name in December 2011 from Luxembourg Dragons of Dudelange into Luxembourg Steelers of Dudelange. We wanna have a new beginning and fighting now with the consequences of the changements in the Team. After getting rid off all those lame excuses guys, we was playing the entire season with only young and new Players and our old squad. Due to the fact of the clearing work we are complaining also a lot of injurys on the old guys thru the season. One of the biggest accured losses is the Knee Injury of the Center Position in the last Season Game 3 weeks ago. That will live us to another big hole in the Offense Line.
So the only expectation for this years Atlantic Cup is for the Luxembourg Steelers of Dudelange to survive the Tournement without any other injuries, to get our new and young Football Players european experience. So those athletes can learn from Games against much stronger Teams than we are at present.