Category: Events

Press Release: Irish Wolfhounds @ Team Spain, October 22nd

Saturday October 22nd 2022 will see the Irish Wolfhounds start their campaign in Group B of the IFAF European Championships, travelling to Madrid to take on Team Spain at Estadio Municipal Rafael Mendoza, 17:00 local time. 

The IFAF European Championship groups are seeded groups: the winner of Spain vs Ireland will play the winner of Israel vs Turkey. The winner of that match will face Germany in 2023 for qualification to Group A, the elite group of European American football national teams. 

The last fixtures to take place for the Irish Wolfhounds were more than 3 years ago, with the Irish squad earning back-to-back home and away wins over Team Belgium. The Wolfhounds look set to cause more than just a spark in Group B and, after a remarkable domestic season, will be out to further Ireland’s visibility on the radar of Europe’s elite!

Tickets to the game are free, so we encourage all Wolfhounds fans to travel with the team this October to witness a fantastic international fixture

August 19th #STK Clinic — Coach Zach Gobel

This Friday August 19th at 8pm will see another installment in our online coaching clinic partnership with #ShareTheKnowledgeUK. This month’s clinic will be delivered by Coach Zach Gobel, who has nearly 25 years’ worth of coaching experience at the high school level in the US. Having been a part of Option offenses at high school and college levels in his playing and coaching careers, Coach Gobel is excited to deliver his online clinic on the topic of installing Option offenses.
If you have already signed up to a #STK clinic before, you will receive an email soon with meeting details. If not, make sure to sign up here!

ON SALE NOW: Coach Rod Woodson Clinics September 3rd-4th

Tickets for the U-18 (Saturday September 3rd) and Senior (Sunday September 4th) football clinics hosted by Coach Rod Woodson in partnership with HOPE Through Football, #sharetheknowledgeuk and AFI — and sponsored by the Pittsburgh Steelers and DirecTV — are on sale NOW! AFI are privileged to help deliver this clinic to an American football community that has grown at an unprecedented rate over the last 10 years, and we are excited to learn from some of the best to ever play and coach the game!

Youth football clinic — Sport Ireland Campus, Blanchardstown, Co. Dublin, 10am – 5pm
Athletes must be aged 15-18yrs old
Training shirt and lunch provided.
More information and tickets available here.

Senior football clinic — Sport Ireland Campus, Blanchardstown, Co. Dublin, 10am – 2pm
Training shirt provided.
More information and tickets available here.

Review: AFI Gameweek 9

The views and opinions expressed in this article in no way reflect those held by American Football Ireland. The below article is intended to be entertaining and promote around American Football Ireland games.

Gameweek 9 is behind us, and with the 5 games tipping Sunday’s point total over 200, there was certainly plenty of scoring to talk about. Not only that, but playoff appearances this year for plenty of teams were secured, strengthened, casted with doubt or ruined altogether with results from last weekend’s action impacting plenty of teams around the country. Let’s see what went down, and how that impacts the rest of the season in Premier Division and Division 2 (no games occurred in Division 1).

Record: ¹ = Secured Playoff Appearance
               ² = Secured Home-Field Advantage
               ³ = Eliminated from Playoffs

AFI Premier Division

#2 UCD (5-0)¹ 37 – 6 #6 Dublin Rhinos (1-4)
UCD put forth another great performance en route to guaranteeing themselves a playoff berth this postseason. The pass game with QB Arun Mooney took a back seat to an incredibly strong run game as RB duo Jack Finnegan and Sean McVeigh punched in 2 scores each on the ground — although it should also be noted that the passing touchdown leader still added 2 to his season tally (Cian Lawlor and Darragh Mooney being on the end of them). On defense, the dominance continued, with the pass rush taking down Foster for 5 sacks (LB Larry Doyle claiming 2 himself). Perhaps scarier, UCD held Foster to as many incompletions as interceptions on the day (2), with defenders Thomas Fitz and Brian Broderick each picking off the Rhinos QB.

Speaking of the Rhinos, spirits have perhaps crashed back down to earth after their upset win over the Cowboys at the start of May. Some flash plays here and there fail to make up for a loss this size, though it must be stated that their keeping of UCD to 12 points in the first half is something they can work off going into their final 3 games. RB Craig Usher ran in for Rhinos touchdown, only their 6th on the season. The Rhinos will need a big push on offense for their last 3 games, and with games against the Trojans and Admirals coming up, they need to find ways to score quick or they may find themselves in a Premier survival bowl against the Knights come the final day of the season. 

#8 Belfast Knights (0-5) 21 – 48 #1 Dublin Rebels (5-0)
Another big day for the Rebels offense saw them sweep a more competitive Knights team than what we saw in this matchup a month ago. Oddly enough, despite them being seeded higher than UCD, the Rebels have not mathematically secured a playoff position just yet due to the result in Craigavon, though they are all but written in. What will help their case is performances like this past Sunday’s, most notably by star RB Wello Omorodion, who ran through the Knights defense for 4 TDs. QB Ty Henry made sure to welcome WR Greg Johnson back from injury with 2 passing TDs going his way, while WR Dave King added one on the ground himself. DBs Rex Harding and Dylan Paisley each came up with INTs (Paisley now has 5 on the year), minimising the amount of time the Knights had on the ball. With a bit of rest before their clash at the top at home vs UCD on June 5th, the Rebels may well be favoured to take run with the #1 seed into the playoffs.

The Knights, meanwhile, should be happy with how most of the game went. Keeping the score close at 21-26 until turnovers and the strength of the Rebels offense got the better of them in the 2nd half, McDowell and his offense had a well enough day themselves, scoring more points on the Rebels defense than had been scored on them all season long to that point. McDowell threw 3 TDs (one each to WR/TE Marty Caskey, WRs Jordan Clinton and Matt Williamson), all while being kept upright for most of the game by an especially strong offensive line performance. Defensively the Knights were not as strong as one needs to be to keep the Rebels at bay for a full four quarters, though individual efforts by the likes of Robbie Alexander (2 forced fumbles) will be appreciated moving forward into their last 3 games of the season. The Knights need at least 1 win to survive relegation, facing an upward battle with #4 Admirals (2-2) away, #7 Trojans (0-3) away and — on the final day of the regular season — #6 Rhinos (1-4) at home. 

#5 Craigavon Cowboys (2-3) 13 – 22 #4 Cork Admirals (2-2)
After silencing the Panthers in Gameweek 8 for their first win on the season, Cork bumped their win streak to 2-in-a-row after the long trip up to Craigavon. QB Stephen Hayes and co. have certainly turned it up a notch in recent weeks, throwing for 3 touchdowns on Sunday (Kit O’Keefe with the first, WR Jack Cronin with the second and the game-winner). The story on the other side of the ball was how the Cork defense got into the head of Cowboys QB Peter Loughran, with the Admirals finishing Sunday with 2 sacks and 4 interceptions on the Craigavon signal-caller. The Admirals are certainly performing like a playoff team at this stage in the season. With the defense proving they could limit the likes of UCD and the Rebels, and the offense having come on leaps and bounds since those games, the former National Champions could be a dark horse to get to (and even win) this year’s Shamrock Bowl.

Craigavon, meanwhile, could be hitting the panic button. Starting the year 2-0 after Division 1 promotion from 2019, the Cowboys have since gone 0-3, losing to UCD, the Rhinos in a massive upset, and now Cork. WR Odhran O’Kane was the man for scores Sunday for the Cowboys, catching Loughran’s lone touchdown pass, while also returning a kick to the house before halftime to keep the deficit — before Cronin’s second-half touchdown — to 1 point. DB Anton Nulty grabbed another interception on the year, but defensively the Cowboys will need to improve for sure. With their closing stretch being the Rebels at home and the #3 Panthers (3-1) away, next weekend’s battle with the Trojans may be their best chance to earn a playoff berth. 

AFI Division 2

#3 NI Razorbacks (2-3) 8 – 13 #1 Louth Mavericks (5-0)
Perhaps a tighter game than many expected, Louth kept their undefeated streak in tact and secured their series tie-breaker over the Razorbacks. The Louth defense, which has been strong in Division 2 all season long, swarmed Razorbacks QB Mark Thompson and consistently created pressure in the pass and run game, resulting in 6 takeaways, including 2 INTs from veteran Dec Mulvihill. A slower day on offense, QB Nathan Hearty and RB Dan Finley still punched in a score each to make sure Louth took another win home. 

The Razorbacks fell short of the upset Sunday but played a close game. An aggressive defensive showing paid off, only allowing 2 scores to Division 2’s most prolific offense, while also adding a safety of their own through DL Dee Lorimor and sacks through DL Corey Adair and Elliott Lloyd. Thompson did have the aforementioned 4 INT day, which certainly didn’t help matters, but a strong, growing connection with TE Zakk Appleyard has proven an effective sticks-mover in the Razorbacks offense. Credit must be given to the Razorbacks backroom and HC/RB Gareth Millar, who have revitalised the club and, against many predictions, kept the Razorbacks in bowl game-contention in the later stages of their season: with 2 games against the #5 Pirates (0-5) and #4 Giants (2-2), they could very well make it. 

#2 Antrim Jets (3-2) 35-0 #5 North Dublin Pirates (0-5)³
The Jets soared as high as they have all season against the Pirates, winning a 35-0 shutout. Antrim defended their home turf and also put themselves in good position for the #2 seed in the division, which would send them through to the Division 2 bowl. With the Mavericks facing them at the end of the regular season, the Jets will need wins over the Giants (June 12th) and Pirates again (June 26th) to secure a bowl game berth. 

For stats-crazed among us, QB Scot McLean’s 100% score rate for the Antrim Jets came to an end Sunday as — while he threw for 2 TDs and ran one in himself — RB Declan Curran got on the board twice on the ground.

The Pirates, on the other hand, had little to celebrate Sunday. They were completely outmatched in Antrim, and need a win from their final 3 games in order to not end the year on the sour note that is 0-8. With a return date at home vs the Jets, and a series with the Razorbacks on the cards, that seems more unlikely than likely, though if there’s anything that we’ve come to expect from AFI football this season, it’s to expect the unexpected!

Keep an eye on our socials tomorrow as we preview 5-game slate for AFI Gameweek 10, which includes 

#ShareTheKnowledge May 27th: Coach Andy Ryland

Friday May 27th @ 8pm will see the next session in the #ShareTheKnowledgeUK coaching clinic series via Zoom. May’s session will be taken by Coach Andy Ryland, former Penn State linebacker and current USA Football Senior Manager of Education. In his time with USA Football, he has been instrumental in the development of such programs as: Heads Up Football, the Master Trainer cohort, the Rookie Tackle game type, Shoulder Tackling, Advanced Shoulder Tackling, Prep for Contact and the Football Development Model.

Coach Ryland will be delivering a follow-up on his February session, focusing on “Preparation for Contact”. This session will be beneficial to current coaches as well as players and members interested in becoming coaches in the future. This session is one not to be missed! If you have signed up for previous clinics, a meeting link will be sent out to you soon. If Friday’s session will be your first, please sign-up through this this link.

Make sure to follow #ShareTheKnowledgeUK on Instagram and Twitter.

Ireland to host 2023 IFAF European Flag Football Championships

American Football Ireland are delighted to announce that Ireland will host the 2023 IFAF European Flag Football Championships. The tournament will see more than a dozen European nation teams compete in Senior Men’s and Senior Women’s games from 18-20th August 2023 at University of Limerick to crown the 2023 European Flag Football Champions.

AFI would like to thank IFAF President Pierre Trochet, IFAF Managing Director Andy Fuller, IFAF Director of Competitions Roope Noronen and all who were involved in the bidding process for this fantastic event. This tournament will help strengthen the public opinion of flag football and American football in Ireland, as well as further develop the on-field product for both sports. We are excited for the opportunity to host and learn from our peers across Europe and provide for elite players from Ireland and abroad the platform to achieve their full potential in the sport.


AFI Appoints New Team Ireland Flag Football Head Coach, Interim Team Manager

American Football Ireland are delighted to announce the appointments of Dan Shaw and Joe Kinahan to the roles of Wolfhounds Flag Head Coach and Interim Wolfhounds Flag Team Manager, respectively. 

Dan Shaw has more than 8 years of experience in flag football in Ireland, previously being involved with the Belfast Trojans and Ulster Elks flag teams before helping establish the Belfast City Lions. With the Lions, Coach Dan helped lead the Lions to promotion from AFI Flag Division 1 in their inaugural season. He has previous experience in the Wolfhounds Flag setup, having been Defensive Co-Ordinator through 2020 and 2021. 

On his appointment, Coach Dan had this to say:
“I am honoured to be appointed head coach and look forward to leading the programme into the championships next Summer. In my 8 years in flag football I have worked to earn the chance to coach at the national level and look forward to working with the best players and coaches that Ireland has to offer.”

Joe Kinahan has been involved with flag football in Ireland, having been a part of the Westmeath Minotaurs flag team until 2017. From there, Joe joined the MU Hurricanes, a club for which he served as chairman for 2 years. Joe was recently appointed Assistant Director of Flag Football for AFI, and is excited to continue his involvement in flag football:

“It’s no secret to anyone who knows me how much I care about flag football, and specifically flag football in Ireland. While I am only operating in this role in the interim, I am thrilled to be able to help Coach Dan and Wolfhounds General Manager Alan Orr, 2 people I have a lot of respect for, to scout and to select the very best flag football players across Ireland to represent the island in any tournaments that may present themselves over the next few years.”

AFI would also like to formally announce Stephen McDonnell is stepping down from the AFI board. AFI President Aidan Maguire had this to say on the hard work Stephen has done in many roles, including Interim Director of Coaching:

“At this time I would like to thank Stephen “Mack” McDonnell for volunteering his free time to help with the growth and development of American Football Ireland. Steve joined the AFI Board during the height of the Covid pandemic and helped with AFI’s navigation through such uncertain times. Steve’s input in relation to the new soon to be released, blended learning coaching course has been second to none.  On behalf of all AFI Members, I wish him all the best in the future as he begins a new journey in life”

AFI wish Stephen McDonnell the best in his future endeavors, and are excited about the direction of the Wolfhounds Flag programme under Head Coach Dan Shaw and Interim Team Manager Joe Kinahan.

Preview: AFI Gameweek 2

Joe Kinahan

The 2022 AFI Kitted Season continues this Saturday and Sunday with 4 games taking place across the country. Premier Division is represented by games in Dublin and Cork, Division 2 kicks off in Limepark, while Athlone plays host to an international club friendly for charity.

Another great week of football lies ahead — let’s have a look at what’s in store!



Philadelphia Blue Flame @ Westmeath Minotaurs — Athlone GAA Club, 2pm
Raising money for Cancer Support Sanctuary LARCC, the Minotaurs host the Police and Fire Department of Philadelphia. The Blue Flame have previously travelled to Ireland for football, playing UL Vikings more than 10 years ago, and have raised more than $270,000 for several charities. The game serves as a preseason game for both teams, and it is dedicated to long-time Blue Flame player Sgt. Patrick McDonald, who killed on duty on September 23rd 2008. Both teams will be looking to fine-tune their schemes going into their competitive schedules — the Minotaurs will be eager to bring their defensive form from 2019 (#3 in points allowed) and 2021 (8 points allowed in 2 games). LB Jay McBride will certainly rally his defense around him to put up a big defensive effort, while an offense highlighted by a strong running game and a WR corps led by Jack Lynch will look to be as explosive as we’ve seen from the Minotaurs in recent memory.

The game has already raised over €2000 so far for LARCC —  if you are interested in donating, get in touch with the Minotaurs on their socials.



AFI Premier Division

Belfast Trojans @ UCD — UCD Sports Campus, Belfield, 1pm
As if this matchup wasn’t interesting enough before last weekend (2019’s #3 seed vs 2019’s Shamrock Bowl winner is a great sell on its own), UCD only went and put 58 points on the Knights. While the Trojans will certainly be a different test for the Students, it’s hard to ignore that type of offensive production and not expect at least some of that to carry over. QB Arun Mooney had a career day last weekend and he will be looking to push his offensive weapons down the field in much the same way. Belfast must be keen to stop UCD’s momentum early, and having defenders like LB Shane Leckey definitely helps you do that. Take into account the Trojans offense is also a National Championship-winning offense, and it makes for an incredibly exciting matchup. 

This writer won’t be mad at you for predicting either team to win. Another one-score game may well be on the cards.

Dublin Rebels @ Cork Admirals — Old Christians RFC, Glanmire, 1pm
Don’t overlook this one either. The Rebels will be the first to tell you that their 2019 season was a disappointment, finishing with a 2-6 record. QB Ty Henry may well be the difference the Dublin outfit need though, infusing a spark that was perhaps lacking in 2019. The Admirals, meanwhile, will look to find the groove that brought them to an undefeated regular season in 2019. While they were unable to play in the time since due to the pandemic, they have been steadily recruiting from their youth program. Two teams with drastically different campaigns in our last full season, two teams looking for a big win to start the year

AFI Division 2

North Dublin Pirates @ Causeway Giants — Limepark Playing Fields, 1pm
An intriguing matchup taking place in Limepark. The Giants debut year in 2019 was more successful than most new teams’ debuts, especially considering the fact that the club survived the pandemic after just 1 win in that season. They did, however, have a great 2021, competing in the Donaghy Group Invitational Cup, going 2-2 and finishing #3 in the tournament. The Pirates were a lot quieter during the pandemic, but recently saw an upward spike in membership created by the Bulldogs’ removal from 2022 competition. Some strong pieces join a quietly competitive Division 2 squad, so it’s hard to completely rule out a team that, as a cohesive unit, we don’t know an awful lot about. Keep a close eye on this one.

Quickfire Score Predictions
Blue Flame 18 – 21 Minotaurs
Trojans 27 – 24 UCD
Rebels 20 – 27 Admirals
Pirates 14 – 20 Giants

AFI / #ShareTheKnowledgeUK – March Double-Header Clinic

American Football Ireland are delighted to be partnered with #ShareTheKnowledgeUK to bring to our members another online clinic, this time a double-header delivered by Coach JB Wells and Coach Voyt Andrzejczak that will focus on both sides of the trenches at the line of scrimmage. The clinic will take place via Zoom on Friday March 25th @ 8pm GMT. Coach Wells will deliver a session on O-Line Fundamentals and Base Blocks, while Coach Andrzejczak will deliver one on Pass Rushing Technique.

Coach Wells began his career as the tight ends coach at Brown University in 1991. He then returned to his alma mater as a graduate assistant coaching the offensive line at Trinity College from 1992-1993 before serving as offensive line and strength coach at Bates College from 1994-1995. He then moved on to the University of Chicago where he coached the running backs in 1996 and the quarterbacks in 1997. He returned to Trinity College for one year (1998) before being named Assistant Head Coach and offensive coordinator at Illinois Wesleyan University from 1999-2001. Wells helped the Titans to the first back-to-back College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin championships since 1964-65. Wells was then named Head Coach at Endicott, the first coach in the program’s history, on November 29, 2001.   

He was named the first football coach in the history of Endicott College in 2002 and established the program which began intercollegiate play in 2003. He quickly developed the Gulls into one of the top teams in the region, leading his team to a pair of New England Football Conference Championships and NCAA Tournament appearances in 2010 and 2013 and consecutive ECAC North Bowl victories in 2011 and 2012.  He then moved on to Bowdoin College and led the Polar Bears as head coach from 2015-2019.  Coach Wells currently serves as the head football coach at the Kingswood Oxford School, an independent prep school in West Hartford, Connecticut.

On the field, Wells has helped develop nine All-Americans and over 100 NEFC All-Conference winners. Coach Wells has been honored as the 2010 Gridiron Club of Greater Boston Division II/III Coach of the Year, the 2010 New England Football Writers Division II/III Coach of the Year and the 2013 New England Football Conference Coach of the Year.

Off the gridiron, Wells’ teams have produced over 200 NEFC Academic All-Conference honorees and four Capital One Academic All-Americans. He also had two of his players move onto the NFL, with Kevin Eagan signing a free-agent contract with the Indianapolis Colts and Taylor Allen being invited to rookie camp with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Wells received a B.A. in History from Trinity College in 1991, and a M.Ed. from Endicott College in 2005. At Trinity, Wells was a three-year starter and letter winner at guard and center as well as being an outstanding shot putter and discus thrower on the indoor and outdoor track teams. He earned the college’s prestigious Blanket Award in Athletics, presented to athletes who earn 10 or more varsity letters during their four years. At the time, only 38 blankets had been awarded in the history of the College.


Coach Wojciech “Voyt” Andrzejczak enters his first season as the Defensive Coordinator for the Bienna Jets in Switzerland, earlier in 2021 he was a remote  Football Analyst for Akron Zips Football, Division1,  FBS. From January to October 2021, he was  Defensive Coordinator for Triangle Razorbacks in Denmark, where he helped the team reach the National League Semi-Final and build a solid defensive unit that forced 10 Sacks, 6 INT, 26 PBUs in 7 games. He spent the 2020 fall season as the defensive coordinator of the Wieliczka Dragons in Poland, prior to lockdown he was with the Calanda Broncos in Switzerland, where he worked with both varsity and U19 teams. He spent the 2019 season as assistant defensive line coach / defensive QC at Towson University, helped improve Tigers defense by 5.3 points allowed and +5 turnovers margin. Prior to that  Coach Andrzejczak was part of the coach’s education program in China and coached youth football .   

In 2015 Coach Andrzejczak worked for the US National Football Team and USA Football Heads Up Protection Tour.  In the summer of that year, he coached at Clifton Mustangs HS NJ and Junior Mustangs U-14 team . Coach Andrzejczak has been a member of  the AFCA since 2013, his article “Polish your Kicking Game” was published in the AFCA Summer Manual 2014. He was a speaker at the 94th   AFCA Convention in Nashville .  He also published articles for American Football Monthly, USA Football and American Football International. From 2012 to spring 2014 he was the head coach at Leszno Hunters, building the program that  won  the PLFA 8Men Football West division in its first season and finished sixth in the nation .

Coach  Voyt Andrzejczak  has been involved in developing football in Central and Eastern Europe  since 2005, through coaching education. He  was  described as one of the “Founding Fathers “ of American Football in Poland. He finished courses, “The Science of Training Young Athletes” at University of Florida, “Sports and Society” at Duke University, “The Global Business of  Sports” at University of Pennsylvania, he is a graduate from the Poznan University of Economics.

If you have previously signed up to a #STK clinic, you will receive an email with a link to the Zoom call for the meeting. If you have not signed up to a clinic, you can do here.

American Football Ireland re-launch their “Super Bowl Super Raffle”

The “Super Bowl Super Raffle” provides a safe way for American football clubs in Ireland to raise much needed funds in challenging times for local sports.

Support your local club and be in with a chance of winning some great prizes including €1000!

All member clubs will have their own Super Bowl Super Raffle link to sell tickets, with 80% of funds raised going directly to the club.

Ticket sales are available here:

Ticket sales will close at 10am on Wednesday 16th February 2022 with the draw taking place later that day.

Winners will be notified by email and the results will be posted on


Our AGM will take place at 2pm on the 7th of November 2021 @ Crown Plaza, Blanchardstown, D 15

All Clubs and Directors are required to have a representative attend the meeting to discuss association business and take part in the voting/election process.


Any Club/Director that wishes to propose an amendment to the Bylaws should forward their proposal to on or before the 24th of October 2021.

Any Club/Director that wishes to propose an amendment to the Constitution should forward their proposal to on or before the 7th of October 2021.

Proposals should include three sections as set out below:

1. Existing wording as per Constitution/Bylaws and the relevant Section (if amending current rule).

2. Exact proposed wording for it to be replaced with (if amending current rule).

3. Reasoning for the Proposal.


There are 3 positions up for election as follows;

Management Board Member

Two X 3 Year Term
One X 1 Year Term

All candidates for election must be members in good standing with at least 3 consecutive years affiliation to AFI. The role of a Management Board member is to promote the growth and development of the sport in line with our governing documents and the Governance Code.

It is important that all these positions are filled for the continued management of the association. It is requested that all Clubs disseminate this notice to their members with a view to seeking nominations for election. Management Board Members are required to attend monthly meetings, special meetings and board member training courses.

The Nomination of Election form can be found at the back of the AFI Bylaws which are located on our website under resources (linked below). These forms must be returned to me at on or before 24th October 2021.
American Football Ireland ByLaws (updated 2021)

Share the Knowledge – Virtual Clinic

Share the Knowledge – Virtual Clinic

AFI would like to remind you that there is an exciting free virtual clinic on this Friday the 27th of August which will be dedicated to the topic of “Scouting to Win and offered through AFI’s partners #Share the Knowledge. The event is free and open to anyone that would like to attend and will be delivered by the highly experienced coach, Nick Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald has an impressive resume, with over 30 years of coaching, several years of experience in coordinating and delivering clinics for the NFL all over the world, and a Doctorate in education from Capella University. He is also President of the Capital Region Football Hall of Fame.

This virtual clinic will be the first of two with the last one running in September.
You can register here to get the link to the zoom meeting if you haven’t already.


Download additional resources below:

Scouting Report,

Game Notes,

Play Sheets

Hope Through Football Virtual Clinic

AFI’s key partner, “HOPE THROUGH FOOTBALL”, will be hosting a virtual coaching clinic on Friday, July 30th at 8.00 pm (GMT) dedicated to the topic of the shield punt and punt protection. This virtual event is free and open to any coaches/players/members that would like to attend and will be delivered by the highly experienced coach, Garrett McLaughlin.

Coach McLaughlin has extensive coaching experience since his days as a student assistant at his alma mater, Syracuse University located in NY, USA.

After earning a Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse’s Falk School of Sport and Human Dynamics in 2012, Coach McLaughlin served as defensive backs coach at SUNY Buffalo from 2012 to 2016, helping the team to consecutive ECAC Bowl appearances in 2014 and 2015. He moved on to the University of New Haven to coach linebackers in 2016, then led the outside linebackers at Division I Wagner in 2017, helping the group progress from five sacks in 2016 to 17 in 2017.

At Buffalo in 2014, McLaughlin coached five All-Conference players, while helping lead the Bengals to their first ECAC Bowl game in 16 years. The Bengals made as second straight ECAC Bowl appearance in 2015.

After graduating from Syracuse University, he spent time as a student assistant coach with the football program, working under head coach Doug Marrone. With the Orange, McLaughlin coached three players who went on to earn NFL experience, including Shamarko Thomas, who was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth round in 2013.

He also worked in equipment, operations, and video at Syracuse and completed a strength and conditioning internship with Thurman Thomas Sports Training.

He is also the Creator of Teams Talk alongside Jeff Reinebold for Specials teams clinics and certification.

This virtual clinic is the first of three Hope Through Football virtual clinics with future virtual events planned for the months of August and September so stay tuned!

To attend, please clinic on the link below to register your email and receive a zoom link to the event:

The Northwestern Wildcast will take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Aviva Stadium!



  • Northwestern (Chicago) will take on Nebraska in the Aer Lingus College Football Classic on Saturday, 27 August 2022 at the Aviva Stadium Dublin.
  • The profile Big Ten Conference fixture is scheduled for week zero and will open the 2022 College Football Season.
  • 18,000 US fans and 5,000 European fans are expected to travel for game week in Dublin 2022.
  • It is expected to generate a massive €63 million for the Irish Economy next year. There will also be the benefits of a live US TV audience of 3 million viewers.

May 20th, 2021: A joint announcement in the US and Ireland has today revealed that Northwestern University (Wildcats) will take on the University of Nebraska (Cornhuskers) in the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, 27 August 2022. The Aer Lingus College Football five-game series was due to start in 2020 but was disrupted due the pandemic so this announcement is a significant milestone in getting the series back on track.

This is the first time that either team has ever travelled to play in Ireland and so, were thrilled to accept the invitation to take to the field and open the 2022 College Football Season at the world-famous Aviva Stadium. Nebraska was set to travel to Dublin later this summer for their game against Illinois, however, it was postponed because of Covid-19.

As Nebraska is one of the most successful American College Football teams in history, and with such strong Irish ties to the city of Chicago where the Wildcats are based, the game is sure to be a huge draw to sports fans here in Ireland as well as across the US and Europe. It is expected that it will also generate a massive €63million for the Irish Economy next year, providing a much-needed boost for the country’s Tourism and Hospitality sectors.

The wholly anticipated fixture is scheduled for week zero, and as both teams are a part of the famed Big Ten Conference, over 18,000 US fans and 5,000 European fans are expected to travel for the game that will be a major international, post-covid event for Ireland. The Series principal stakeholders are Aer Lingus, Failte Ireland, Tourism Ireland and Dublin City Council.

Dan & Susan Jones Family Head Football Coach, Northwestern University, Pat Fitzgerald said: “This is an incredible opportunity for our entire University community, from student-athletes to coaches, alumni and fans. We are thrilled that our program will get to immerse themselves into the beautiful Irish culture, while we continue to help grow the game of college football on a global stage. It’s an honor to be included in this once-in-a-lifetime experience and can’t wait to have the Northwestern faithful join us in one of the world’s most amazing settings.”

Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos said: “We are excited to reschedule the trip to Ireland for our football program. The young men in our program have been looking forward to this trip and we are happy to provide them this memorable experience. I know our great Husker fan base will be excited as well and the opportunity to travel to Ireland to see their team compete on an international stage will truly be special. I also want to thank Irish American Events for being a great partner throughout this process the past couple years. We were pleased Northwestern was willing to move a home game to Ireland and look forward to a great season opener in Ireland in 2022.”

Taoiseach Micheál Martin commenting on the announcement: “The past year has been a very difficult one for us all in Ireland and in the United States. With our vaccination rollout advancing at pace, we are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel, and we can begin to look forward with optimism to welcoming visitors safely back to our shores. When we do, we will have a very special welcome ready for the teams and their supporters when they visit us for the Aer Lingus College Football Classic on the 27th of August 2022.”

Padraic O’Kane from Irish American Events Ltd. said: “The announcement of next year’s game marks a major milestone in both the recovery of major tourism and sporting events for Ireland along with the wider economy. On behalf of our stakeholders, we are delighted to welcome the Northwestern Wildcats, Nebraska Husker’s game, and later this year we plan to announce a further game for 2023, the second in the five-game Aer Lingus College Football series. As organisers in consultation with our stakeholders, the absolute priority is to ensure that players, staff, alumni and fans will be awarded our famous Irish welcome within a safe environment for their visit to Ireland next year.”

David Shepherd, Chief Commercial Officer, Aer Lingus, said: “Today’s announcement is a welcome beacon of hope for travel on both sides of the Atlantic.  As proud sponsor of the Aer Lingus College Football Series, we look forward to flying the Northwestern Wildcats, Nebraska Huskers and their respective delegations to Ireland next summer, and to promoting our airline to our valued US market.”

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu said: “I am thrilled with the announcement of the 2022 Aer Lingus College Football Classic in the Aviva Stadium. The benefit for our city, both economically and socially, will be immense, providing a welcomed boost for the tourism and hospitality industries. Such events strengthen our ties with other great nations, showcasing Dublin as a premier hosting destination and after a challenging year gives great optimism to the Country for the months ahead.”

Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, said: The announcement of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic for August 2022 is really good news. As we get ready to restart international tourism to the island of Ireland, the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and the Nebraska Huskers will deliver a very welcome boost for tourism from the United States, with about 23,000 people expected to travel here from the US and Europe. Our message to the teams and their fans is that we cannot wait to roll out the ‘green carpet’ and welcome them to Dublin and Ireland. I am confident that the Aer Lingus College Football Classic will be a truly wonderful opportunity to showcase Ireland and, more generally, the many attractions we offer as a holiday destination.”

Paul Keeley, Director of Regional Development, Fáilte Ireland, said: “This announcement will provide a welcome boost for the tourism and hospitality sector especially in Dublin which has been hit hard by the pandemic. We will be thrilled to welcome the teams and their supporters to our capital city when they visit in 2022.  These games are of critical importance to our economy, not just in Dublin but regionally too, as fans will travel and visit other parts of Ireland. The millions of fans watching the game in the US will also provide Ireland with a valuable opportunity to showcase our ability to host large-scale international sporting tournaments while also reaching out to viewers – and potential visitors – in one of our key markets.”

The University of Nebraska fans are renowned for taking over stadiums, home and away, with their famous “Sea of Red”, and so with this trip to Dublin, natives can expect to see more red than ever before in the country.

The Northwestern Wildcats are also known as “Chicago’s Big Ten Team” due to its proximity to Chicago which makes for a great celebration amongst the Irish spectators, with the high number of the population with close connections and roots in the US city that are so highly valued.

The specially commissioned Waterford Crystal trophy is the perpetual prize for the Aer Lingus College Football Classic. The Keough-Naughton trophy bears the names of two powerhouses of Irish America, Don Keough and Martin Naughton.

Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Ticketing / Hospitality & Travel Packages
Hospitality packages for the 2022 game are on sale now through the official corporate hospitality game partner Travel packages are on sale through the official travel partner On Location in partnership with Abbey Group Ireland. Corporate group ticketing opportunities will also be launched towards the end of the year. General ticketing information to be released in due course, with a pre-sale sign-up option available on the official game website.

The health and safety of those travelling to Dublin for this not to be missed event is at the forefront of all plans for Ireland. Over the next 15 months the nation will be continuously working behind the scenes to ensure a safe environment for all visitors in the late summer of 2022.

The Aer Lingus College Football Series will be bringing the usual college football fanfare with it, so attendees can expect lots of fun events including marching bands, cheerleaders and tailgating parties. For exclusive information see and follow College Football Ireland on Twitter @CFBIreland, Facebook @CollegeFootballIreland and Instagram @CFBIreland with the official game hashtag: #MuchMoreThanAGame