Category: IAFA

Posts related to IAFA activities (also general category)

Annual General Meeting

AGM of Irish American football association

The AGM was held on Sunday the 28th of January at the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel in Dublin. A full report on topics discussed and outcomes of submissions by teams, board members & officials will come in time.  A number of new people were elected to the Board of Managment and as a result, there has been a significant change to the makeup of the governance of the organisation. 

First, it is important to acknowledge the contributions of those outgoing members and the service provided to the Association this year and in years past. Particularly Cillian Smith, who stepped down as Commissioner of the League, for his long and faithful service in that role. Cillian will continue as an ordinary Board Member. Also, thanks must go to outgoing President Michael Smith, following the expiration of his term.

The new members of the Board are, Liam Ryan, from University of Limerick Vikings, who was elected to a three-year term after topping the poll. Stuart Donaldson of the Cork Admirals, who was also elected to a three-year term. Stevie McCrystal of the Belfast Knights, who was elected to complete the remaining two years of one of the vacated seats and Donncha Ó Conmhuí, of the Dublin Rebels, who was also elected to complete the remaining two years of one of the vacated seats. 

Orla McAleese, previously Team Ireland General Manager and of the North Kildare Reapers was elected as President to serve a three-year term, the first female President of IAFA. President McAleese had the following message for the membership.

My plan for the association is very simple and has three key components. The first is communication. It is important that you are being heard. I will answer my phone and my emails. I am eager to hold conversations and I listen to hear, not to merely answer. As President, I can guarantee you that you will be heard and you will be answered. Nobody in this association will be ignored or forgotten about.

The next component is the Board of IAFA. The Board works for you, the membership. We will be accountable to  you. We are just the custodians of your association and we will remain so at your discretion. The Board should lead by example and by what the membership wants, not the other way around. As President, I will guarantee that board meetings will be productive, positive and professional. We are all individuals, from varied backgrounds and skillsets, we all have the same priority; football on this Island. 

Last but not least, Transparency. Now that I am your President. IAFA will be transparent in its operation. If the board works for you then they are accountable and accountability is reliant on transparency. From our finances to national and international matters, we will be clear in our dealings. The age of secrecy has ended. 

I firmly believe that if we work together on these three key components that everything else we work for will come together. It will make a difference to how football is perceived and played on this Island, Everyone involved in this sport, be it coaches, players, admin, officials and board members will get the support they need to help make their club or organisation better. Whether it is education for coaches and players, administrative or fiscal knowledge to run a club. We can go back to grassroots to help our clubs be strong and football will be strong as a result. 

We need to remember what this association is based on, football and the love people have of the game. 

Thank you for electing me your president and your time in reading this message. 

– Orla McAleese,
President
Irish American Football Assocation.

Notice of Annual General Meeting of IAFA

The Annual General Meeting of the Irish American Football Association will take place on Sunday 28th January 2018 at 2pm. The venue is the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel in Dublin – close to Red Cow Junction of M50.

Proposals for inclusion on the Agenda must be received at least 14 days in advance of the meeting.

Nominations for Elections must be received, on the Candidate for Election form (sent to each club/appended to By-Laws) at least 14 days in advance. The following positions are due for election:

  1. President – the current President has reached the end of his second term and cannot run for re-election.
  2. Board Elections  – 5 positions as follows:
    1. Two positions for a full 3 year term as part of the regular rotation. (Previously occupied by Declan McNally and Derek Ward/Fergal O’Hanlon)
    2. Replacement for Janice Ward (Russell Kerley was co-opted to temporarily replace, but also resigned) – remaining 2 years of term.
    3. Replacement for Emma Burrows (was ineligible to run for election due to not meeting minimum length of membership criteria) – remaining 2 years of term.

The document pack including the Agenda and other documents will be sent out seven days in advance of the meeting.

Yours sincerely,

Cillian Smith

Commissioner

Irish American Football Association

Dublin Rebels Going For European Glory – Atlantic Cup 2017

The Dublin Rebels will play Bucharest Rebels in the final of the Atlantic Cup, in ALSAA, Dublin on Saturday 25th November, kick-off 1pm.

The Atlantic Cup is a competition where the Irish National Champions are invited to compete against the winners of other European amateur leagues in a mini-tournament format to crown the Champions. This years competition sees some change to the usual county line-up with France and Romania replacing the traditional Belgian and Netherlands opposition, who have opted to step up to EFL level. Unfortunately due to flight issues – Ryanair flight cancellations – the French entrant Les Diables Rouges, have had to pull out of the tournament at short notice. This means that this years Atlantic Cup will be a single game final between Dublin Rebels, and 2016 Romanian Champions the Bucharest Rebels (pictured in orange jerseys below).

As winners of the Shamrock Bowl in 2016, the Dublin Rebels return to the competition, having been Irelands inaugural representatives in the competition, and having competed previously in Belgium twice, and the Netherlands. They will be fielding a strong lineup on Saturday as they seek to win their first Atlantic Cup title. The Romanians are coming off a strong domestic season. Their key players are wider receiver Radu Ene (#85) and linebacker Cosmin Zamfir (#50).

GFL International and IFAF Europe have announced that the Atlantic Cup format will be reviewed for 2018 with a view to expanding the tournament to more European countries and adding additional entrants beyond the normal three of four.

Nostalgia – a look at some pictures from the archives.

Here’s some nostalgia – if you’re one of our alumni; or history if you’re currently playing. We’ve looked through some of the picture archives at some snaps from yester year. From the pioneering era of Irish football, when you had to be a real trailblazer to play the sport. Not all the uniforms match – this was before internet shopping and the advent of equipment stores in Europe. The fields may not have been as good many today. But, in spite of appearances, some great football was played by some very committed players. Apologies for the quality of some of the pictures – these were all taken on real cameras with film in them. No auto focus or touching up. Enjoy!

Above is the oldest picture in this batch. Dublin Celts (green) versus Craigavon Cowboys (black) in 1991. Two of the original teams who started playing competitive football in Ireland in the 1980s. Both played in Europe during this era. Greg Loughran, the current Cowboys coach was probably on the field in this game.

This is from the first ever American football game played on the historic campus of Trinity College Dublin. The game was part of the festivities for the colleges 400 year anniversary celebrations in 1992.Dublin Tornadoes (white) defeated Antrim Bulldogs (purple/yellow) with a field goal as time expired. The game was organised by our current Commissioner Cillian Smith during his college days. Interesting piece of trivia – this game took place before the first ever GAA game was played on campus later the same year.

In this picture, we see a familiar face to todays IAFA members. Kevin Sharkey – currently on the Wexford coaching squad and formerly of North Kildare – is player number 67 playing for the Dublin Celts against Dublin Tornadoes in 1993.

The Dublin Tornadoes 1993 Shamrock Bowl winning team. This is the Tornadoes first of 3 consecutive Shamrock Bowls. They were coached by the late Dave Curran (centre wearing blue/white shirt), who previously led the Dublin Celts to Shamrock Bowl success.

Picture of the Dublin Lightning huddle in 1997, when the team was defending its Shamrock Bowl title in the last full season of football before the start of the big shut down in the late 1990s. The opponents were Dublin Bulls – seen in the background – the only company team ever to play in Ireland. They were owned by the Gateway Computing who used to have a large plant in Dublin.

The mid to late 1990s saw flag football come to prominence with the very competitive Irish Flag Football League being played in various parks around Dublin. The league, which had 11 teams playing a 10 game regular season at its peak, played a 7-a-side version of semi-contact flag football. Pictured above is the Northside Devastators team, who won the title in the late 1990s.

A rare photo from the year that competitive football returned to Ireland in 2001. Dublin Rebels (black) play Dublin Dragons (burgundy) in Ringsend Park in Dublin.

 

Another rare snap from 2001 featuring the other two teams who made up the four who restarted in 2001. This is Carrickfergus knights at UL Vikings – believed to be the Vikings first ever home game. Note the blue scrimmage vests with painted numbers – the Vikings first uniforms did not arrive until later in the season.

And finally, from August 2002, Carrickfergus Knights (yellow) versus Team Canada. The Knights, as Irish Champions, represented the league against the touring visitors in a challenge game, which was played at St. Vincents GAA in Dublin.

Applications being accepted for 2018 League Football

The application process for the 2018 kitted league season has now opened. Between now and 11th October, all teams will be required to submit a detailed application form if they wish to play in 2018. Shortly after the deadline, the Association will contact all applications with a view to arranging a face to face meeting to discuss their application. New and returning teams all go through the same process which is designed to ensure that all entrants are capable of successfully completing a full season and, in some instances, to determine which level they should be playing at.

Returning teams will be very familiar with the process. New applicants can get assistance with completing their forms and the requirements.

A copy of the application form can be downloaded here:

2018IAFAteamapplicationform

Dublin Rebels win Shamrock Bowl XXXI

Dublin Rebels 12-6 Carrickfergus Knights

Dublin Rebels defended their Shamrock Bowl title in close battle with Carrickfergus Knights at Tallaght Stadium on Sunday 13th August. Rebels running back Wello Omorodion won the Terry Lynch MVP Award after having rushed for 145 yards and scored a key touchdown.

 

The game was played in good weather, with the pitch in perfect condition, on front of an enthusiastic crowd of supporters.

 

The Knights, who were appearing in their first Shamrock Bowl final since 2004, started the game strong. They moved the ball well in their opening possessions and played well on defence. Their efforts were rewarded late in the second quarter when, following an interception by Josh Davis, QB Spencer McDowell connected with wide receiver Martin Caskey in the corner of the endzone for the opening touchdown of the game.

 

The Rebels came out strong in the second half, moving the ball downfield early in the 3rd quarter and scoring on a touchdown pass from Andy Dennehy to Cathal Keane. This was followed by a touchdown run by Omorodion to give the Rebels a tight 12-6 lead at the end of the quarter. The Rebels appeared to control the game in the fourth quarter and were unluckly not to add to their lead.

 

Victory gives the Rebels a record 9 Shamrock Bowl titles. Veteran quarterback Andy Dennehy, who has played in all 9 victories, indicated after the game that he may return next season to try and win a 10th.

 

 

Rebels and Knights ready for Shamrock Bowl XXXI next Sunday

Shamrock Bowl 31, the National Championship game for American football in Ireland will take place at Tallaght Stadium next Sunday. Dublin Rebels and Carrickfergus Knights will play in what is sure to be one of the most competitive games in Shamrock Bowl history. With the game fast approaching, both teams are making their final preparations in advance of the big game.

The Rebels and Knights are coming off impressive seasons where they won their respective divisions – the Knights winning SBC North and Rebels SBC South. The Rebels qualified for the Shamrock Bowl with a semi final win against Belfast and the Knights with an overtime win against University of Limerick. Both teams have well drilled explosive offenses which bodes well for an exciting Shamrock Bowl.

American football has been one of the fastest growing sports in Ireland in recent years, with twenty two teams playing competitive league football. This, combined with a focus on coaches training and the national programme has made the Irish league into one of the most competitive amateur leagues in Europe.

The game will kick-off at 2:30pm in Tallaght Stadium, Dublin – a modern all seater stadium that also hosts many high profile soccer games. Traditionally, the Shamrock Bowl is pitched at a family audience as it seeks to create the unique atmosphere that can only be experienced at a live American football game. It’s a great event for newcomers as there will be live in stadium commentary to take people through the game. As this year is the 31st edition of the game. 

Tickets are priced between €7 and €10 and can be obtained on the day or via www.eventbrite.ie. Readers of this article can get a 50% discount by using the code tallaght31 when ordering online.

Shamrock Bowl 31,
Sunday 13th August 2017,
Tallaght Stadium,
Kick-off 2:30pm.

Ireland General Manager Steps Down

It is with regret that we announce that National Team General Manager Orla McAleese has stepped away from her role with the Irish American Football Association with immediate effect.

Orla was instrumental to the success of Ireland’s international program since 2015. Orla’s achievements include Team Ireland taking their place at the prestigious National Sports Campus, The Ireland Senior  Squad competing against the Dutch Lions in 2016, The National Flag Team competing in International Friendlies in 2016 and Ireland u20s competing against USA AFW Elite Team in April of this year. 

She has served the organisation with the utmost professionalism and dedication during her time. Orla’s service is greatly appreciated and widely acknowledged by all within the sport. On behalf of the IAFA, we thank her for her service and wish her the very best in the future.

IAFA Board News

Board News

It is with regret that we announce that Board Members, Derek Ward and Janice Ward, have stepped down from the Board of the Irish American Football Association with immediate effect. Both Derek and Janice served with distinction and professionalism during their time on the board and their service is greatly appreciated by all within the sport. 

On behalf of the Organisation, we thank them for their service and wish them the very best in the future.