Category: International

Posts related to international football

Irish Wolfhounds to travel for a Belgian Barbarians rematch next September

IAFA are pleased to announce the Irish Wolfhounds’ next friendly fixture against the Belgian Barbarians in Belgium on Saturday 7th September 2019 (venue to be confirmed).

The Wolfhounds come off a thrilling and historic first international win against the Barbarians last October at the Navan RFC, Co. Meath.

While losing to the Irish Wolfhounds in a close game, the Barbarians got back up on their feet and added a significant landmark first success as a national team against their close neighbours the Dutch Lions. The Belgian Barbarians are ready to welcome and take on the Wolfhounds at home in a rematch that is sure to be another close and gripping game not to miss for all American Football aficionados and especially Irish Wolfhounds supporters.

The Irish Wolfhounds are also looking forward to make the trip to Belgium to validate their first win and progress further towards the building of a strong Irish National Squad and ultimately participate in European and International competitions.

Photo courtesy of Terrence McCann Photography

Irish Wolfhounds Team Selection and Training Announcement

The Wolfhounds coaching staff will be announced following the Shamrock Bowl.

Joint Training Sessions for the Senior and U20 Irish Wolfhounds will take place at the NSC (National Sports Campus) on the following dates;

Saturday September 8th, Sunday September 23rd, Saturday October 6th, Sunday October 14th.

Times and details will be announced closer to these dates.

Players who were in the U20s squad for the AFW game in Navan will be expected to attend these sessions.

Senior players selected to the squad for the session in Feb 2017 will be expected to attend these sessions.

We will be adding to both squads as coaches select players who have impressed throughout the 2017/18 seasons.

Time factors prohibit traditional try-outs in the run up to this game. Try outs will be part of the Team Ireland schedule for 2019. We welcome players sending highlight reels from 17/18 only to

Ground-breaking partnerships announced by the Antrim Jets

IAFL 1 side Antrim Jets have announced ground-breaking partnerships with two clubs, the Coventry Jets from the UK and Australian club the Claremont Jets.

The Coventry Jets were formed in 2004 and they’ve been one of the most successful teams in the UK during their short history, having competed in six bowl games and four National Championships over eleven years. They also won BritBowl in 2008. Continue reading “Ground-breaking partnerships announced by the Antrim Jets”

Ireland U20’s Head Coach and GM Appointed

Shamrock Bowl Winning Coaching Duo take charge of Ireland U20’s. 

Ireland Senior Team Head Coach, Ciaran O’Sullivan has been appointed interim Head Coach of the Ireland U20’s team. Alan Orr of the Belfast Trojans has been appointed interim General Manager.

On the 31st of March, Easter Saturday, Ireland face American Football Worldwide Elite High School Team in Dublin. Venue and Kick Off details to follow. 

Given the time pressures, an expedited recruitment process resulted in these interim appointments. Coach O’Sullivan said that he is looking forward to continuing the good work on the junior programme and building upon the solid foundation for the future when a permanent staff can be appointed.

President Orla McAleese said ‘these appointments allow us to get the National Programme back on track and will put it on a strong footing for when we invite candidates to apply for these roles in the future‘ 

Enquiries regarding the team click here.

Battle of the Rebels – Dublin Rebels win 2017 Atlantic Cup.

Irish Champions, Dublin Rebels had a comprehensive 42-14 victory over their Romanian namesakes, Bucharest Rebels to win the 2017 Atlantic Cup in ALSAA on Saturday. In spite of the very cold weather, the Rebels had a lot of success through the air with touchdown receptions by James Kalis (x2), Ciaran Fitzpatrick and Peter Keely. Three were thrown by veteran quarterback Andy Dennehy and the fourth by backup Jack Fagan. Shamrock Bowl MVP Wello Omorodian continued his good form with a rushing touchdown. A second rushing touchdown was added by Pete McMahon.

Bucharest acquitted themselves well, in what was the first ever European final involving a Romanian team – scoring two touchdowns. This was the Rebels first ever Atlantic Cup victory, having played in the finals tournament on two previous occasions. The Rebels maintained Irelands unbeaten record for finals played in Ireland.

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.


Centre College Colonels @ Belfast Trojans

The Belfast Trojans are delighted to host the Centre Colonels, a NCAA Div. III College from Kentucky, USA on Saturday 27th May 2017. The event itself will commence at midday, with the featured match kicking off at 3pm.

The Trojans will be looking to build on the success generated by last year’s fixture against the Sewanee Tigers (another Div. III College) that ran out to a close 27-20 loss.

In keeping to the family atmosphere within the Club that has been cultivated in Belfast, they have opted to feature the game as part of a Family Fun Day. This will feature the following: bouncy castles, face-painting, bbq, bar, drinks deals, science shows, merchandise stalls, a raffle, an ice cream van etc as well as plenty of space to run around and have fun. By supplementing the day with these attractions, the Trojans are looking to further engage with the wider community and build support and a following for the sport of American Football in Ireland.

The Trojans, partnering with local charity Action Mental Health, hope to use this event to actively promote awareness of mental health issues and provide support for those who deal with them.

The Belfast Trojans would like to welcome one and all to join them in enjoying the Family Fun Day and to watch the match. Having enjoyed the memories they made in last year’s fixture, the Trojans will be looking to generate more positive ones, such as the following:

For all those who enjoy American Football or are involved in the sport, this is a great opportunity to help it grow across Ireland and to encourage more such events in future. For anyone looking for a fun day out, this event will also provide just that. Finally, it’s in aid of a very worthy cause, so the Trojans hope they can encourage you to come down and take part in the day, not just to make a good memory and actively support Action Mental Health, but also to help them show some real Irish hospitality to the visiting American team.

-The Belfast Trojans


Daniel Rooney – one of footballs greats.


The Irish American Football Association would like to express its condolences to the family and friends of Pittsburgh Steelers President, Dan Rooney, who passed away on Thursday.

As well as being one of the most influential figures in NFL history, Mr. Rooney was a great friend to Ireland, serving as Ambassador and supporting many initiatives such as the Ireland Funds. During his time as Ambassador, many in the IAFA will fondly remember the flag football games played on the Ambassadors Residence lawns on 4th July. His affinity to Ireland is due to his families strong Irish heritage – having emigrated to the United States from the Newry.

He was proactive supporter of bringing major games to Ireland – starting with the Emerald Isle Classic series in 1988 and 1989. This support extended to some of the more recent College Football games such as the 2014 Croke Park Classic. Mr. Rooney also brought NFL football to Ireland when his Pittsburgh Steelers played a preseason game against Chicago Bears – after which Mr. Rooney very kindly donated 80 sets of football equipment to local clubs in Ireland.

While we are all saddened by his passing, his life is to be celebrated as someone who made a big difference.


Senior National Team – Call Ups

On November 19th the Senior National Team held their first Open Try Outs at the National Sports Campus in Abbottstown.  The day was a huge success, with over 100 players registered and support from Avonmore & Shadowman; even the weather obliged with bright blue skies.  Players travelled from all over Ireland and represented almost every club in IAFA. They were put through their paces by the National Team’s coaching staff.  A combination of athletic tests and football drills were used to evaluate players.  It may well have been the biggest gathering of players and coaches in Ireland for a non-game event.

The Senior National Team staff issued invites to successful candidates.

The following players have been added to the Senior National squad:

O-Line:  David Shaw, Phil Gunning, Barry Conlan, Dean Johnston, Barry Bolton, Richie Cronin.

QB: Sam Doran, Kevin Duffy.

WR: Dave Bennett, Declan Mulvihill.

RB: Alfie O’Sullivan, Gareth Millar, Ola Bademosi. 

D-Line: Stephen Conor, Ikpons Idelegbagbon, Peter Farrell, Thomas Kavanagh, Luke Kenny. 

LB: Eoin Feely, Eoghan Hurley.  

DB:  Senan O’Mahony, Micheal Skyes, Lewis Barrett, Wellington Omo, Michael Kane. 

These players will attend the next Senior National Team training session in February 2017.  Players who were not selected at this point, contributed hugely to the success of the day and also put themselves on the radar of the coaching staff, who now have baseline measurements of their athletic abilities.  We are very much looking forward to seeing them in action within their clubs and have challenged all of them to make a massive impression on the gridiron, which is after all the best test in American Football!

Boom in entries for 2017 European Club Competitions


IFAF Europe confirmed today that 22 teams from 13 countries have applied to take part in the various European club competitions in 2017.

For the first time in a number of years, and reflecting the new sense of greater cooperation within Europe, entry to the competitions is being coordinated by IFAF Europe. The suite of competitions is as follows:

BIG6  – Europes premier professional club competition.

EFL – Mini league featuring clubs from stronger leagues.

Atlantic Cup – western European amateur teams.

IFAF Champions League – mainly amateur clubs from eastern/southern Europe.

Dublin Rebels will be the Irish entry into the Atlantic Cup, which will be hosted by IAFA. Belfast Trojans have also been put forward as a reserve entry depending on the final format of the competition.

IFAF Europe will now review the entries and formats of the competitions with a view to announcing the lineups in the coming weeks.

Senior National Team Announces Open Try Outs.

On Saturday November 19th the Senior National Team coaching staff will be holding an Open Try Outs at the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15. This event is open to any football player who currently holds or is entitled to hold an Irish Passport. The day will consist of a mix of fitness testing, football drills and meetings. The day will afford players the opportunity to work with the National Team Coaches on their skills, as well catching the eye of Coaches who have places to fill on the roster. Places on the day will be limited and players should book their place, free of charge, on the Eventbrite website. The ticketing process on Eventbrite will also provide details of what players are required to bring with them/ sign in times etc.

Register for the Try Outs on Eventbrite here.

The National Sports Campus is a world class facility which Team Ireland calls home. IAFA’s representative teams share the Campus with Olympic and High Performance programs in other sports, including the Football Association of Ireland (FAI).

Guest Post – How the Pro’s Do What They Do!

How The Pro’s Do What They Do!

By Shane Carberry – Guest Writer.

My Career

I was described as many things during my short, amateur, football career; fast, quick, aware, protective; but not once was I ever called a heavy hitter! Don’t get me wrong I got the job done, but I don’t think I ever left someone feeling like they just had their lungs forcefully evacuated by some monstrous being overpowering their respiratory system. Being just 150lbs, and easily one of the shortest on the Tullamore Phoenix team, that isn’t surprising. Thankfully I had some semblance of speed and change of direction capabilities to be of reasonable use to the team, even if it was only from time to time.

One thing I could do though was take a hit. Coming up against some of the older teams – especially The Cowboys, Rebels and Knights – always gave rise to some heavy hitting games, but I never felt like it was beyond me. You take the contact, get up and get ready for the next snap; It’s just a part of the game that all players in the league love!

This fact was something we, my fellow Phoenix and I, talked about a number of times during our post game pints down in the local. These conversations always left me wondering what would it be like to get hit by a “real” footballer – a professional NFL player!

I was always of the opinion that yeah, it might be a totally different experience than anyone in the IAFA could produce, but it wouldn’t be something that was beyond my capabilities. Sure, I’d not be getting back up any time soon, and taking multiple impacts in a short period of time was anything but likely, but not something that would cause me to wish my life was over or start singing Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence”!

I found it surprising that I was always alone in that thought: everyone else was happy that no players in the Irish leave had been practicing padded contact from a younger age then eighteen! Still, I was happy thinking that a bit of fun between myself and John Lynch wouldn’t result in me adopting the fetal position, and afterwards we could go hit the local sports bar to devour wings and beer for the night!

Man oh man how my mind has changed!


The Difference

Right now I’m writing to you from the staff office of “The Athlete Factory” here in Calgary, Canada. The factory, my place of work for the last number of months, is a strength and conditioning facility where we work with professional and aspiring professional athletes from a range of different sports, some of which are of course football (Both American and Canadian Variants). On our roster we have three current professional CFL players, one of whom got drafted with the Panthers a few years ago, unfortunately having to drop out due to injury.

Watching these guys train has been an eye opening experience for a million and one reasons. They are incredibly powerful, strong, and fast, and are completely dedicated to getting better at their sport. It has expanded my outlook on what I think is possible within strength training and general sports performance, and I’ve learned a hell of a lot even from just watching them train every day.

The most important lesson I’ve learned? Taking contact from these guys would be, on a scale of 1-10, negative 100 levels of fun. Thanks, but no thanks. I’m happy just sitting here drinking my beer and over telling that mediocre highlight reel of mine to anyone who’ll listen!

All joking aside, having played the wonderful sport that is full contact football and working with these guys as they train has been an amazing experience: an experience there is a lot to learn from. Because, honestly, professional athletes attack their training totally different than any amateur player does.

This isn’t because of the weights they lift, which are huge, or their abilities to transfer that strength into real world movement, which is insane, but it’s their mindset when it comes to each and every training session. Their focus is on truly maximizing every single rep, of every single set, of every single session, and it’s astounding because they know that each rep is an opportunity to get better – an opportunity to make their dreams a reality.


What can we learn from the Pro’s?

Until you’ve witnessed this first hand you won’t fully understand what I’m talking about. I used to think I worked hard. I pushed myself to the “limit” and did my best to improve every single time I stepped into the gym or onto the field – hell for three years straight I didn’t miss a single training day – but these guys bring something more. Something much more!

It’s almost as if they see each rep as the most important rep of their lives; as the rep that will make or break their career. It is this one rep that will be seen by every Head Coach in the league, and based on that rep and that rep alone, their entire future will be decided. They attack it with everything they have, knowing full well that doing anything else is deciding to throw away their potential dream career.

It is astounding.

What can us Irish football players take from this? It really is the age old advice of Working Harder. Football is an amazing sport, but it’s also a difficult one to excel at – especially given the fact that the majority of players in Ireland also hold day to day jobs, too! But that shouldn’t stop us from trying to maximize our return on the time we do spend at football. Although it is a recreational league, nothing sucks more than losing a game you know you should have won – especially for those of you spending hours in the gym and on the track specifically training to be better football players.

But just imagine what football in Ireland could be if every player in the league approached their training this way. Our beautiful, small, cultured country would quickly become one of the best outside of north America to play this wonderful sport, and every single one of us would be the reason for it!

Belfast Trojans competing in the Atlantic Cup

This weekend, 2015 SBC Champions the Belfast Trojans will be travelling to Luxembourg to take part in the 2016 Atlantic Cup. The Trojans are the current Atlantic Cup Champions after beating the Groningan Giants 26-7 last year in the Nethelands.

The Atlantic Cup is the Western European Championship, of which Ireland is a founding member, and this year will be hosted by the Luxembourg Steelers in State JF Kennedy in Dudelange. Also taking part are the Brussels Black Angels and the Groningen Giants.

The Atlantic Cup will take place on Saturday and Sunday:


12:00 Belfast Trojans vs Brussels Black Angels

16:00 Groningen Steelers vs Luxembourg Steelers


11:00 3rd/4th place game

14:30 Final

Best of luck to the Trojans!