Category: International

Posts related to international football

Team Ireland play historic fixture away to the Netherlands.

Saturday 27th August 2016 will go down as a historic day in Irish American football. It is the day that Ireland played its first ever full International game since the establishment of IFAF in 1999. Team Ireland, led by Head Coach Ciaran O’Sullivan played the very experienced Dutch Lions in hot and humid conditions at the ‘Webster University Bowl’ at Mandemakers Stadium, Waalwijk on Saturday evening.

The Irish equipped themselves very well, losing 20-0 to the Dutch in a game that was halted early due to heavy thunder and lightning. The first quarter started off as a tense affair with both defences playing well. The Dutch opened the scoring early in the second quarter with a 10 yard touchdown run by Kevin Wesselink. Miquel Castelen of the Amsterdam Crusaders added a second touchdown for the Dutch on a 20 yard run. The final score of the quarter was a 68 yard interception return by Dennis de Wit to make it 20-0 in favour of the Dutch at the half. Neither team scored before the game was stopped in the third quarter due to lightning. Eventually, the game was called as a result after it became clear that the weather would not improve for the remainder of the evening.

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In spite of the game being called early, the taste of top class International football was a great experience for the newly established squad.

The event was otherwise a tremendous success with a great football atmosphere. The Director of Webster University, Prof. Dr. Jean-Paul van Marrising did the coin-toss honours and the Alderman for Sport in Waalwijk, Hans Brekemans was on hand for the post-game ceremonies.

The Dutch Lions will now travel to Worcester, UK for the Group B European Championship tournament. Team Ireland will continue to develop its squad in preparation for the next round of European Championships.

Game summary

Webster University Bowl
29 August 2016
Netherlands – Ireland (friendly)
Mandemakers Stadium, Waalwijk
Kickoff 19:15
Referee: Tony Rivers (UK)
Attendance: 2,250

Scoring Summary
1st          2nd        3rd         4th         Final
0-0          20-0       20-0                     20-0

Second Quarter
#26 Kevin Wesselink (Trojans) 10 yard run, kick failed 6-0
#20 Miquel Castelen (Crusaders) 20 yard run, Rody Vink (Hurricanes) kick 13-0
#6   Dennis de Wit (Hurricanes) 68 yard interception return, kick failed  20-0
(game suspended at 10:10 3rd Quarter due to lightning)

Photo Credit: Sander Evenwel

 

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National Flag Football Team Gets Ready for International Friendly Event

Team Ireland Flag Football prepared for their upcoming international friendly series at Three Rock Rovers in Dublin last weekend. IAFA is hosting a six-team international Flag Football series in Gormanston, Co. Meath on September 10th. Two full squads from Sweden, the Dutch Lions as well as Team GB Silver Lions squad (2nd team) and local German team Ramstein Mayhems will travel to Ireland for the event. Team Ireland squad has been selected from players evolving in the IAFA Flag Football League, Emerlad Bowl Conference, which also opened its membership registration for 2016/17 recently. The tournament will take place at Gormanston Park in County Meath with all visiting teams being accommodated on site.

Team Ireland Flag Football Squad:

Coaching Staff
Head Coach: Steve Walsh
Assistant Head Coach: Áine Nic An Ghail
Offensive Coordinator: Dermot Corroon
Assistant Offensive Coordinator: Guillaume Poznanski
Defensive Coordinator: Paul Kirkwood
Physio: Eleni Henry

Team Roster

PlayerNumberClub
Joe Grey1Dublin Vipers
Danny Lucas Johnson5UCD
Conrad Cook8Dublin Rebels
Andrew Bracken10Dublin Vipers
Sean Douglas11Dublin Vipers
Conor Brennan13Westmeath Minotaurs
Paul Grogan18Dublin Rebels
Jason Owens20Westmeath Minotaurs
Conor McGroarty22Dublin Vipers
Bobby Smith27Dublin Vipers
Ben Arulogun32Dublin Vipers
Michael Sykes36UCD
Darren Byrne42Dublin Vipers
Gavin Quirke85UCD
Peter Loughran87Craigavon Cowboys
Niall King91Westmeath Minotaurs

Team Ireland International Preview

Saturday the 27th of August marks a monumental event in the history of American Football in Ireland, as the Irish National Team take on the Dutch Lions in Holland. The squad have been training hard in the National Sports Campus in preparation for what is sure to be a hard hitting contest. The top players from around the country came together less than a month ago, and have been putting in the hours ahead of Saturday’s matchup.  It’s been almost ten years since the last incarnation of Team Ireland and Head Coach Ciarán O’Sullivan, is aware of the prestige and hype surrounding the game. “This is the first full international game for team Ireland. It’s a remarkable event for football here. “Coach O Sullivan knows how steep the challenge presented is. “ It’s hard to gauge where we stand right now. It’s been a learning curve, it’s a different story altogether from club level football.”

Preparations for the big game have been taking place at the National Sports Campus, located in Abbotstown.  The high performance centre has proved to be the perfect preparation zone for Team Ireland. “The national sports campus has been a great working environment” Coach O’Sullivan told us. “It’s an absolutely world class facility. We’ve had the likes of the Rep. of Ireland soccer team training beside us. “

Despite the quality training facilities, there has been a number of challenges in the run up to the game. The main issue – getting players together. Some members of the squad were still playing for their club up until only a week ago. “Having access to players only a few weeks prior to a game has been a challenge” O’Sullivan admitted. “Another couple of weeks could have made a difference. That’s the problem with international fixtures – club seasons in different countries don’t run concurrently.“ Logistical inconveniences aside, the progress being made for Irish American football on an international stage is fantastic and is vital for the sport to continue to grow here.

So are we ready to take on the Dutch? The 2016 Team Ireland can be thought of as a prototype, and the Dutch Lions as a test run. And a very important test run. “We’re really stepping into the great unknown” says Coach O’Sullivan. “This is not a one game project. This game allows us to judge here we are compared to other international programs. “Team Ireland’s performance will allow the coaches to evaluate and to prepare and develop for future international fixtures. While the Dutch are objectively the “favourites going into the game”, it doesn’t mean that Team Ireland won’t win. “We’re all working towards a good result. We’re going to play as hard as we can and be as competitive as we can be.” Coach O Sullivan asserted.

“We’d like to specially thank Orla McAleese, Team Ireland’s General Manager. This project has been a massive test logistically and it has been a huge accomplishment on her behalf.” O’Sullivan added.

The Irish American Football Association would like to wish Team Ireland Players, Coaches and Staff the very best of luck this weekend. Do us proud guys!

Team Ireland Senior Squad Named

Team-Ireland-Shield-Final_SeniorAfter a series of training sessions and camps over the past year, the final Team Ireland senior squad has been selected by Head Coach Ciaran O’Sullivan and the Team Ireland coaching staff. These players will represent Ireland against a friendly against the Dutch Lions on August 27th in the Netherlands.

The coaching staff selected the majority of players from Irish clubs, reflecting the high level of skill and athleticism that has made our domestic leagues extremely competitive; we have players from clubs in the Shamrock Bowl Conference (SBC), IAFL1 and IAFL2 conferences. We are also lucky to have several players who have graduated from the Team Ireland U20’s program on the squad – the high percentage of that team that made the Senior team once eligible represents the dedication and preparation of those players and the effort of their coaches. Team Ireland has also had involvement from eligible players overseas and they have representation on the squad.

“Team Ireland Coaching Staff & Management would like to congratulate these players and their clubs on this achievement”, said Head Coach Ciaran O’Sullivan. “We also appreciate the access IAFA clubs have given us to their players & coaches. Team Ireland is made up of more players than we have listed & we are thankful for the positive support of our team mates who will not be taking this trip”.

The following is the full Team Ireland Senior squad:

Offensive Line

Joe McGrath, Fergal O’Hanlon, Mike Bradford, Graham Murtagh, Ross McCoey, Mark Davidson, John Cannon, Tom Telford, Paul Kirkwood.

Running Backs & Receivers

Neil Montgomery , Ian Cahill, Oisin Russell Conway, Paul Grogan, David Richardson, Sean Goldrick, Adrian Garvey, Peter McMahon, Shane Sweeney, Sean Leamy, Conor O’Dwyer.

Quarterbacks

Tosan Memuduaghan, Andrew Dennehy, Tom Donovan.

Defensive Line

Donal Drew, Steve Walsh, Conor Becket, Aaron McNaughton, John Mullen.

Linebackers

Neil Graham, Conor Whitla, Laurent Doyle, Spencer McDowell, Jonathan McConnell, Mick O’Shea, Conrad Cook, Darragh O’Callaghan.

Defensive Backs

Oisin Dowling, Sean Sheehy, Craig Switzer, Adam Skelly, Ray Burke, Frankie Tchiofo, Alan Neary.

Kicker

Eric Lawless

On behalf of every IAFA member, we want to congratulate every player and wish them all the best of luck in their upcoming fixture.

Sewanee Tigers narrowly defeat Belfast Trojans

The Belfast Trojans fell to a narrow defeat this past weekend, losing 27-20 to visiting American college team the Sewanee Tigers.

Report from www.belfasttrojans.com 

It was a valiant effort from the four-time reigning champions, a performance and scoreline that will go down in the history of the game on these shores. The NCAA Div III Tigers were impressive with both sides of the ball performing at a level rarely seen in this country. Their defence gave the Belfast offence difficulties all day, while their offence was relentless in pounding the ball as well as finding tall receivers on the outside.

It was Sewanee who opened the scoring a superbly thrown deep ball caught by a wide receiver in the corner of the endzone. In the 2nd quarter and it was 14-0 on a similar play, with again their receiver who eclipsed the 6 foot mark going up and snagging the ball despite the blanket coverage by Trojans cornerback James Gallagher. However the Trojans showed they weren’t here to be in awe of the American squad and responded before the break. James McKelvey found rookie Jack Millar in the corner of the endzone and the rookie did the rest to cut the deficit. Into the 2nd half and it was the Tigers who added to the scoreboard first, with a tough run from their running back punching it in from close.

The moment of the game, however, was soon to follow and if you see a better touchdown in any form of football this year you will be doing well. On the ensuing kick off, Matt Armstrong fielded the ball and took a few steps forward. He then hit the brakes and laterally passed the ball to Jona Siri on the other side of the field. Siri then put the foot on the gas and weaved through the Tigers kickoff unit with some fantastic blocking. The home crowd went wild and Siri’s highlight went viral (video from nfl-ireland.com):

Trojans Kick ReturnIf you didn’t see this today, watch it now! Belfast Trojans

Posted by NFL-Ireland on Saturday, 14 May 2016

David Colvin scored with less than two minutes remaining to make the score 27-20 to Sewanee, a smart grab on a post route with McKelvey putting the ball on a dime.

That was all she wrote, though, as Sewanee ran out the clock, handing the Trojans their first loss of the season, albeit a heroic performance from Belfast against a team with such resources and knowhow. A fantastic day was had by all the visiting Tigers squad, staff and parents and indeed the hundreds of spectators that enjoyed their day out at Deramore Park watching American Football in Ireland.

Flag Football National Squad Named

Over the weekend, the Ireland Flag Football programmed worked with selected athletes to get to the 20 players that will compete in a friendly fixture later this year. These 20 athletes came from a wide range of clubs, some dedicated Flag clubs and others linked to kitted clubs. This is a great step forward for Flag Football in Ireland. Thanks to every player who turned up to the tryouts and training sessions, and congratulations to all the players that will represent Ireland later this year. The full list of these players are as follows:

PlayerNumberClub
Joe Grey1Dublin Vipers
Danny Lucas Johnson5UCD
Conrad Cook8Dublin Rebels
Andrew Bracken10Dublin Vipers
Sean Douglas11Dublin Vipers
Conor Brennan13Westmeath Minotaurs
Paul Grogan18Dublin Rebels
Jason Owens20Westmeath Minotaurs
Conor McGroarty22Dublin Vipers
Bobby Smith27Dublin Vipers
Ben Arulogun32Dublin Vipers
Michael Sykes36UCD
Darren Byrne42Dublin Vipers
Gavin Quirke85UCD
Peter Loughran87Craigavon Cowboys
Niall King91Westmeath Minotaurs

 

Team Ireland

Team Ireland American Football to play first International fixture

On August 26th, the Senior Ireland American Football team will travel to the Netherlands to take on the Dutch National team in a friendly fixture. This fixture is the first time an Irish National American Football side will take on another country’s National team and marks a significant forward step for our Ireland programme.

The Ireland programme is a country-wide and cross-border initiative that was started last year to develop competitive teams to represent Ireland at the International level. The programme includes a Senior and Junior team full contact team and a Flag Football team, all with the goal of competing in friendly fixtures as well as European and International competitions.

“I am delighted that our senior team will be playing in their first friendly game against the Dutch Lions later this year” said Ireland General Manager Orla McAleese. “Our coaches and players have worked extremely hard over the past few months and they are really looking forward to putting that work into practice. The work and efforts to get the national team programme up and running by all involved is looking positive for the future and it is our hope that this will be the first of many games to come with our neighbours in Europe. Our senior players and coaches are looking forward to playing the Dutch Lions in September and I know our entire organisation is behind them. This is a great boost for the programme as it leads us closer to joining the leagues in Europe.”

At the signing of the agreement, Irish American Football Association President, Michael Smith, reinforced the importance of this game. “We have a fantastic relationship with the AFBN, having competed in many European competitions with Dutch clubs, and we’re very much looking forward to playing against their National side. This game marks a significant step for us on the International stage and, combined with the significant increase in membership and followers we are experiencing, makes this a very exciting time for American football in Ireland”.

IAFA President Michael Smith (left) and AFBN President Gian Zandoná
IAFA President Michael Smith (left) and AFBN President Gian Zandoná

Players on the Ireland squad come from the 22 Senior American Football clubs currently active around the country. Players are scouted by the Ireland coaching staff, comprised of the most experienced coaches in the Irish league, and invited to a number of assessment and training sessions before being

Tickets will be made available for Irish fans closer to the game and further information will be available here on our website

GFLI Atlantic Cup – Belfast Trojans win European Title.

BTac2015

The Belfast Trojans added a European title to their Irish title by winning the GFL International Atlantic Cup in Groningen over the weekend. The Trojans had a comfortable 26-7 win over Dutch hosts, Groningen Giants in the Final played on Sunday 27th September. The previous day, they defeated Gent Gators of Belgium in their Semi-Final. This is the second time the Trojans have won the title in three years – they won the 2013 title held in Ireland in conjunction with The Gathering.

 The turning point in the first quarter of the game was an interception by the Trojans which set up a 30 yard field goal by Gregory Gibson. From that point forward, the Trojans never looked back. Their defence came good again early in the second quarter when Neil Graham sacked the Groningen QB in the end zone for a safety. The Trojans capitalised even further when David Colvin returned the ensuing free kick for a touchdown to give the Trojans a 12-0 lead, which they held onto until halftime.

 The Trojans running game got going in the second quarter adding two touchdowns. Neil Montgomery had a short yardage touchdown in the third quarter to put the Trojans up 19-0. The game was then sealed in the fourth quarter with another rushing touchdown, this time by Matt Armstrong. Groningen scored a touchdown late in the game to make the final score 26-7 to the Trojans. The Trojans finish the 2015 season with an unbeaten 12-0 record for their first team – prior to this game, Groningen had also been unbeaten in 2015.

The previous day, the Trojans defeated Gent Gators of Belgium by a score of 27-14 in their Semi-final. The Gators opened up the scoring early in the game, but three unanswered touchdowns gave the Trojans a 20-8 lead at halftime. Both teams scored touchdowns in the second half to make the final score 27-14 to the Trojans.

The Trojans performance in this tournament serves to underline the significant improvements in the standard of play in Ireland in recent years – where the SBC is now regarded as one of the best purely amateur leagues in Europe.

 Next years Atlantic Cup is being hosted by Luxembourg with the tournament expected to return to Ireland in 2017.

 Atlantic Cup Results 2015:

 FINAL – Belfast Trojans 26-7 Groningen Giants

 3rd PLACE PLAY-OFF – Gent Gators 26-12 Luxembourg Steelers.

 SEMI-FINALS:

 Belfast Trojans 27-14 Gent Gators.

Groningen Giants 35-6 Luxembourg Steelers.

Atlantic Cup 2015 – Trojans seek European title this weekend in the Netherlands

ACsmall

Irish Champions, Belfast Trojans travel to the Netherlands this weekend to play in the GFL Atlantic Cup. The team has high hopes of winning the title for the second time, but will face stiff opposition from the Benelux countries. The GFL Atlantic Cup is the officially recognised Western European amateur club championship. The tournament was established by the EFAF, and is now operated by GFL International – the international wing of the German American Football Federation (AFVD) operating in nine western European countries. This year’s tournament is being held in Groningen in the Netherlands over the weekend of 26/27th September.

The Trojans have just completed an unbeaten season in the IAFL, retaining their Shamrock Bowl title. They face the Gent Gators in the first of two semi-finals on Saturday 26th. The Gators qualified for the tournament by winning last years Belgian Bowl by 38-0 over the Brussels Tigers. They have a 6-1 record in 2015.

The other semi-final sees the Groningen Giants playing the Luxembourg Steelers. The Giants have had a spectacular season in the Dutch Eerste Diviste, finishing with an 8-0 record, including 6 shut-out victories. The Luxembourg Steelers recently won the inaugural Luxembourg league with an unbeaten record and without conceding a point – in 2014 they played in the Belgian League.

The final and third/fourth play-off take place on Sunday 27th.

 

2015 Atlantic Cup Schedule:

 

Saturday 26th September:

12:00 Belfast Trojans @ Ghent Gators.

16:00 Luxembourg Steelers @ Groningen Giants.

Sunday 27th September:

 11:00 3rd/4th Place Play-off.

14:30 Atlantic Cup Final.

Boston College and Georgia Tech to come to Ireland

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The Irish American Football Association welcomes today’s announcement of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic between Boston College and Georgia Tech, which is scheduled for 2016. This marks the third regular season college football game to be held in Ireland in recent years.

In 2014, IAFA was an official partner of the Penn State versus University of Central Florida game. Over 20,000 people from North America travelled to Ireland to watch the game and as well as bringing significant tourism to Ireland, it also helped to highlight the sport in this country.

Commenting at today’s announcement, IAFA Commissioner Cillian Smith said “Having major American football fixtures in Ireland helps to not only shine a light on the massive growth the sport is currently experiencing in Ireland, but it also reinforces Ireland as a prime destination for sporting events of this scale. As the National Governing Body for American football in Ireland, we’re delighted to hear that Boston College and Georgia Tech, two of the top teams in college football, are considering Ireland as a location for a future fixture and we look forward to working with both of them”.

Atlantic Cup joins GFL International. Netherlands to host 2015 tournament.

The Atlantic Cup grouping has formally joined German Football League International (GFL International). This years tournament in the Netherlands will be the first to be run by GFL International.

GFL International currently runs Europe two most prestigious club competitions – the Big6 EuroBowl and the European Football League (EFL). Like the Atlantic Cup, both of these competitions were formerly run by EFAF. The inclusion of the Atlantic Cup means that GFL International competitions now include most western European nations. The current line-up of countries inlcudes Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Ireland. A number of other countries are expected to be included in the future.

This years GFL International Atlantic Cup will be hosted by the Netherlands with the provisional line-up as follows:

Belfast Trojans (IAFA).

Groningen Giants (NL)

Gent Gators (BEL)

Dudelange Steelers (LUX)

The tournament will take place over the last weekend in September, with Shamrock Bowl Champions, Belfast Trojans representing the IAFA.

With the standard of play improving every year in Ireland, joining GFL International will also give Irish clubs access to the EFL in future years. The IAFA will now also be able to cooperate with the other GFL International countries in areas such as coaching and officiating.

Brussels Tigers win EFAF Atlantic Cup

Brussels Tigers (white) - winners of Atlantic Cup VI

The Brussels Tigers won Atlantic Cup VI today with a 9-7 victory over Dutch entrants, Hilversum Hurricanes. The win means that Belgium draws level with Ireland and the Netherlands with 2 wins each since the tournament was incepted in 2009. The final was a low scoring defensive affair which was edged by the host team.

Earlier today, Ireland’s Dublin Rebels had a comfortable 20-7 victory over French entrant, the Vileneuve d’Ascq Vikings to take 3rd place in the competition. The Rebels were defeated 24-14 by Brussels in Saturday’s semi-final – with the difference between the team being some uncharacteristic costly defensive errors by the Rebels. Hilversum defeated the Vikings 16-13 in the other semi-final. 

EFAF Atlantic Cup VI Results (all games played in Brussels, Belgium): 

Sunday 7th September: 

FINAL – Brussels Tigers (BEL) 9-7 Hilversum Hurricanes (NL).

3rd PLACE – Dublin Rebels (IRL) 20-7 Villneuve d’Ascq Vikings (FRA).

Saturday 6th September:

SEMI: Brussels Tigers 24-14 Dublin Rebels

SEMI: Hilversum Hurricanes 16-13 Villneuve d’Ascq Vikings.

Atlantic Cup 2014 – Rebels seek to retain title for Ireland

The Dublin Rebels travel to Brussels today with the aim of retaining the Atlantic Cup title for Ireland. The Atlantic Cup is the official Western European Championship for amateur clubs. On Saturday they face the Brussels Tigers in their Semi-Final with the winner facing the winner of the Villeneuve d’Ascq Vikings (FRA) v Hilversum Hurricanes (NL) semi in Sunday’s Final. A win for the Dublin Rebels would give Ireland it’s third title in six years, pulling ahead of the Dutch who have also won two titles to date and the Belgians with one. The Belfast Trojans won the 2013 tournament, played at Tallaght Stadium in Dublin. 

Brussels Tigers v Dublin Rebels

The Rebels finished their 2014 season as the third ranked team in Ireland, though with an impressive 7-1 regular season record (same as the Champions). The Tigers won the Francophone Conference, but lost to the Flemish Conference champions in the Belgian Bowl. They won the Belgian Bowl in 2013. As with all International tournaments at this level, the host team usually has the big advantage of having it’s full squad in situ – with simple economics/availability dictating that the travellers cannot bring every player on their rosters. While the Rebels are travelling with a reasonably strong squad, the Tigers should have the numerical advantage. The Rebels last faced Belgian opposition in Brussels in the 2010 Atlantic Cup – losing by 2 points to West Flanders in the final. The Tigers were defeated by Trinity College in the 2013 Atlantic Cup Semi-finals. While most experts would agree that the IAFL is currently a slightly stronger league than the BFL, it is likely that this game will come down to home field and numerical advantage for the Tigers versus superior talent for the Rebels. Rebels QB Andy Dennehy and RB Simon Mackey will be the key players.

Rebels in action during their last trip to Brussels in 2010

Villeneuve d’Ascq Vikings v Hilversum Hurricanes.

The addition of France to the Atlantic Cup family is expected to give the tournament a major boost in both territorial and standard of play terms. The Vikings are a significant upgrade from the normal Luxembourg entry. As they are the first French entrant, there is an element of the unknown about how they will match up. Villeneuve d’Ascq is a large club, fielding two squads at senior level, with the best of those playing in the ‘Casque d’Argent’ Division of the French League. The Vikings had an impressive 6-1-1 record, winning their conference. Like all of the previous Dutch entries, the Hilversum Hurricanes are expected to be strong. Recently promoted, they now play in the Dutch superleague which is affiliated to GFL International’s semi-pro European Football League. As such, they have been dubbed the tournament favourites and will be difficult to defeat should they reach the final.

2014 Atlantic Cup Schedule: 

6th September – Semi-Finals.

7th September – Finals & Third place play-off.

Atlantic Cup newcomers - Villeneuve d'Ascq Vikings (red/white).

Atlantic Cup 2014: Dublin Rebels to play Brussels Tigers in Semi-Final.

The Semi-Final draw for the 2014 Atlantic Cup has been announced. Ireland’s representatives, the Dublin Rebels, have been drawn against the Brussels Tigers from the host nation. The Hilversum Hurricanse from the Netherlands will play the Villeneuve Vikings from France in the other Semi-Final.

This years Atlantic Cup is being held in Brussels, Belgium over the weekend of 6th/7th September. The tournament is the Western European Championship for amateur American football clubs. Traditionally contested between teams from the Benelux countries and Ireland, the tournament has been given a major boost with the addition of France – the Villeneuve Vikings are the first ever French entrants. The tournament has also been moved from it’s late June timeframe to early September so as to avoid clashing with the play-offs in some of the participating countries.

This is the 6th edition of the tournament. Ireland is the current holder of the title with the Belfast Trojans having won the final, played in Tallaght Stadium, in 2013. The UL Vikings have also previously won the tournament, again on Irish soil in 2010.

The Rebels are hoping to be the first Irish team to win the tournament on mainland European soil.

A spokesman for the IAFA said “We are very excited with the addition of France to the Atlantic Cup family – it adds a new dimension to the tournament. The Rebels are an experienced team who will proudly defend the title on behalf of Ireland.”

Atlantic Cup Draw:

Saturday 6th September, Brussels.

12:00  Hilversum Hurricanes (NL) v Villeneuve Vikings (FRA)

15:30   Brussels Tigers (BEL) v Dublin Rebels (IRL).

Sunday 7th September, Brussels.

12:00  Third place play-off.

 15:00  Atlantic Cup Final

Croke Park Classic Schedule of Events Announced.

With over 20,000 overseas tourists expected for the game, the majority travelling from North America, the economy is set to benefit to the tune of an estimated €30 million from the event.

Lord Mayor of Dublin, Christy Burke said; “The economic benefit from the Croke Park Classic and the various social, business and entertainment events surrounding the game are hugely significant to the country. It’s a wonderful platform to showcase what Ireland has to offer to the many tourists who are over for the game and all those watching on television around the world. I am certainly looking forward to what promises to be an exciting build up followed by a superb spectacle in Croke Park.”

Temple Bar will become a Croke Park Classic fanzone over the weekend from Thursday, August 28th to Sunday August 31st providing travelling fans and locals with an area to mix and mingle and get behind their chosen teams. Both teams Pep Rallies will be hosted here on Friday 29th and the pre-game Tailgate Party will also take place here on the morning of Saturday 30th. Dublin Bus will offer a complimentary shuttle service from Temple Bar to Croke Park to take fans from the Tailgate to the game.

The Croke Park Classic game spectacle will be a full days entertainment for all the family featuring parachute jumps, the Penn State marching band, Extreme Rhythm, The Dublin Gospel Choir, cheerleaders, team mascots and the Super 11’s. Tickets including a special August Family Ticket Offer are still available for the event.

UCF and Penn State will be playing for the Dan Rooney Trophy and there is a special coach’s Waterford Crystal helmet for the winning coach.

American Football is set to dominate the Irish sports calendar this August with the Irish American Football Association’s ‘Shamrock Bowl’ between Trinity College Dublin and Belfast Trojans in Tallaght Stadium this Sunday 10th August.

Event Schedule

Knights without Borders (4th – 10th August), Lourdes Community Hall

Student athletes from the University of Central Florida are in Dublin this week as part of their ‘Knights without Borders’ social programme to help renovate the Lourdes Community Hall on Sean McDermott Street. This community initiative was developed in association with Croke Park Stadium and Habitat for Humanity Ireland to coincide with the Croke Park Classic.

American Irish Business Forum (AIBF) – Thurs 28th August, Croke Park Conference Centre

The business forum will be held on Thursday 28th August at the Croke Park Conference Centre, focusing specifically on trade and enterprise between Florida, Pennsylvania and Ireland, and will feature a number of high profile speakers from both sides of the Atlantic.

UNESCO Symposium on Youth Civic Engagement and Leadership through Sport and Recreation – Thursday 28th August, Croke Park Conference Centre.

The symposium will bring together experts, practitioners, members of development organizations, UNESCO goodwill ambassadors, and youth leaders to create innovative solutions to issues that directly impact youth and their communities.  The event will develop a series of key policy directions and a major formal UN declaration on utilizing sports and recreation as mechanisms for youth development worldwide.  This declaration will be presented to the UN, UNESCO, and UNICEF as a platform for them to build global programming and policy.

Croke Park Classic Fanzone, Pep Rallies & Tailgate Party – Temple Bar

On Friday 29th August both sides will host their Pep Rallies in the area with UCF set to take over Meeting House Square at 4pm.  UCF will be working with Irish drumming sensation Extreme Rhythm on their performance which will include the UCF Cheerleaders, Head Coach George O’Leary, members of the team and their mascot Knightro.

At 4.30pm on the same day, Penn State will kick off their Pep Rally close by on East Essex Street, Temple Bar and their party will include a dance troop, members of the Penn State Marching Band, a large contingent of the team as well as cheerleaders and their official mascot, The Penn State Nittany Lion.