Category: Ireland

Posts related to the Ireland programme

Flag Football National Team First Tryouts A Success

Last Saturday, 43 flag football players gathered at the National Sports Campus to take part in the first try outs for the Ireland Senior Flag Football team. Led by an experienced coaching staff, the players were put through their paces. Players first underwent a series of combine drills to assess their athleticism and stamina, before running through drills focused on testing flag football skills. The session finished up with a scrimmage where players could put the skills they learnt into practice.

Last weekend’s try outs were the first of two try outs planned for the Ireland team, the next being March 19th, again in the National Sports Campus. The Ireland coaching staff will select the final 40 players to make up the squad. More information on these tryouts can be found here.

Ireland U20 Training Camp

Yesterday, 37 youth players from all over the country met in Westmanstown, Dublin for the first ever under 20s Ireland Training Camp.


This first session was designed to give these players an introduction to the Ireland programme, so the coaches kicked things off with classroom sessions to give an overview of the day and explain the playbooks and strategies for the programme.

The afternoon was used for on field activities with players being taken through positional drills and exercises followed by an offense vs defence session to put what they learnt into practice.



They were put through their paces by an experienced coaching staff comprising of coaches from many clubs around the country.


Today’s session also leads into the opening event of the Youth Football League on September 13th – more details to follow.

Orla McAleese, Ireland General Manager

IAFA Announce new Ireland General Manager

Orla McAleese, Ireland General ManagerThe Irish American Football Association (IAFA) is delighted to announce that Orla McAleese has been appointed as the General Manager of the Irish National team. As well as her 15 years’ experience in Event Management, Orla has held the position of Event Manager of Ireland’s largest hotel, event and convention centre in Citywest. Orla is the Chairperson of the North Kildare Reapers and has been instrumental in developing the Reaper’s football programme over the past three years.

As General Manager, Orla will be responsible for working with the Ireland coaching staff to put structures in place develop a sustainable and successful National team, with a view to competing against other National teams throughout Europe. Orla will also be responsible for the recruitment of a full time Head Coach of the National programme.

Speaking on Orla’s appointment as General Manager, IAFA President Michael Smith commented “The Ireland programme has been put in place to develop our players to enable them to compete on the International stage. Orla’s appointment as General Manager is part of IAFA’s development of a full National programme which will include Senior, Youth and Flag Football teams and is a step towards competing in international competitions. We look forward to working with her and the rest of the team to continue to develop the programme and squad over the coming months”.

Orla’s appointment as General Manager is part of IAFA’s development of a full National programme which will include Senior, Youth and Flag Football teams as well as Centres of Excellence to develop players and prepare them for the National stage.

“I am delighted to be asked to be involved in the Ireland Team”, Orla said after her appointment. “There was a lot of concern in the direction of team in last few months. IAFA have pushed forward to restructure its backroom management, which is a positive step towards the team’s progression. We have a lot of talented players and coaches in Ireland and it will be a fantastic experience for them at this level.”

In addition, Ciaran O’Sullivan will carry out the duties of the Ireland Senior Head Coach pending the appointment of a permanent Head Coach.

Players invited to Ireland training

Following yesterday’s announcement of the Ireland coaching staff, Head Coach John Judge and his fellow coaches have invited players from clubs in Ireland, the UK and Europe to participate in upcoming training sessions. These sessions will work towards building an Ireland team to compete in future International fixtures and will take place in Johnstown House Hotel, Enfield on the following dates:

  • Saturday November 1st 2014
  • Saturday November 29th 2014
  • Saturday January 31st 2015

The players selected to attend the training sessions are as follows:

Playing Squad
Andy Dennehy Dublin Rebels
Dave Murphy UCD
James McKelvey Belfast Trojans
Dan Finnamore DUAFC
Daniel Mullan Tyrone Titans
Stephen Hayes Cork Admirals
Neil Montgomery Belfast Trojans
Dave Colvin Belfast Trojans
Sean Leamy Dublin Rebels
Erin Kelly North Kildare Reapers
Oisin Russell Conway West Dublin Rhinos
Brian Sullivan Waterford Wolves
Brian Curry Tyrone Titans
Lee McLaughlin Tyrone Titans
Adrain Garvey UL Vikings
Pete McMahon Meath Bulldogs
Chris Carson University of East Anglia Panthers
Glen Carr UL Vikings
Ian Cahill UL Vikings
John Mullen UL Vikings
Brian Leonard Cork Admirals
Conor Beckett Carrickfergus Knights
Augustus Zigimantavicius South Dublin Panthers
Fergal O’Hanlon Dublin Rebels
Steve Walsh Dublin Rebels
Patrick McElkerney Belfast Trojans
Conor Blythe Mullingar Minotaurs
Eoghan Hurley DUAFC
Jono Cribbin Galway Warriors
Darragh McDonald West Dublin Rhinos
Paul Grogan Dublin Rebels
Sean Goldrick UL Vikings
Dave Richardson Belfast Trojans
Peter Loughran Craigavon Cowboys
Chris Purdy Dublin Rebels
Adrian Cassidy Belfast Trojans
Dan Breslin West Dublin Rhinos
Adam Skelly West Dublin Rhinos
Sean Sheedy UL Vikings
Ryan Brolly Tyrone Titans
Corey McKenna Tyrone Titans
Senan O’Mahony Dublin Rebels
Kevin Finnegan Dublin Rebels
Oisin Dowling Drogheda Lightning
Chris Mikheal Belfast Trojans
Thomas Brockebank North Kildare Reapers
Darragh Farrell Lubeck Cougars
John Sullivan Cork Admirals
Ross McCooey Dublin Rebels
Barry Bolton West Dublin Rhinos
Darragh O’Callaghan UL Vikings
Mohamad Ramadan Belfast Trojans
Kieran Coen UL Vikings
John Cannon UL Vikings
Joel Neill Carrickfergus Knights
Derek McGarr South Dublin Panthers
Tom Telford Dublin Rebels
Paul Kirkwood Dublin Rebels
Michael Bradford Belfast Trojans
Mark Davidson Belfast Trojans
Barry Kiel Belfast Trojans
Mark McGrath Belfast Trojans
Mark Beattie Craigavon Cowboys
John Scott Craigavon Cowboys
Simon Cherry Belfast Trojans
Justin Graham Tyrone Titans
Kevin Catney Tyrone Titans
Kevin Tempany Mullingar Minotaurs
Alan O’Carroll UL Vikings
Craig Switzer UL Vikings
Stuart Lecky Belfast Trojans
Conor Whitla Belfast Trojans
Jonny Connell Belfast Trojans
Rick Duffield Belfast Trojans
Harris Monaghan Cork Admirals
John McGrath Waterford Wolves
Franklin Tchiofo Waterford Wolves
Mick O’Shea Drogheda Lightning
Robert Smith Dublin Rebels
Luke Ivers West Dublin Rhinos
Aidan Waters South Dublin Panthers
Neil Graham Belfast Trojans

Ireland coaching team announced

Since the launch of the Ireland football programme earlier in October, Head Coach John Judge has been building a coaching team from some of the best coaches around the league. These coaches will select the panel of players to take part in future training sessions later this year.

The Ireland coaching staff are as follows:

Coaching Team
Head Coach John Judge
Assistant Head Coach / Offensive Coordinator Ciaran O’Sullivan
Defensive Coordinator John Romanoski
Special Teams Coordinator Paddy Lally
Offensive Line Coordinator Paul Braniff
Offensive Line / Strength & Conditioning Coach Mark Thompson
Quarterbacks Coach Adam Devenney
Receivers Coach Brendan McAleese
Running Backs Coach Robbie Andrews
Defensive Line Coach Russell Kerley
Linebackers Coach Garland Drake
Defensive Backs Coach Robert Wills

The first training session will be held in November and to help run this and other sessions, the Ireland coaching staff are looking for assistants. If you would like to apply for an assistant role, please email John Judge at

Team Ireland Flag Football playing at European Championships 2013 in Italy.

The Team Ireland flag football team is currently competing in the EFAF European Championship Finals in Italy. The competition is taking place in Pesaro from 22nd to 24th September.


Ireland has been drawn in Group B for the group stages alongside Germany, Italy, Denmark and the Netherlands. Group A consists of Austria, France, Israel, Czech Republic and Great Britain.

Each team plays round robin within their group on the 22nd and 23rd. A series of play-off games on he 24th will decide the final order from 1st to 8th.

The Irish team is being coached by Ken Farrell and consists of players from senior flag football.

Team Ireland Squad:
Brennan, Conor – QB, Mullingar Minotaurs
Corroon, Dermot – WR, Mullingar Minotaurs
Elston,Ted – S, South Kildare Soldiers
Elston, Will – CB, South Kildare Soldiers
Grey, Joe – QB, Terenure Titans
Loughran, Peter – CB, Cragavon Cowboys
Moran, Darragh – LB, Edenderry Eagles
Nolan, Gary – LB, Mullingar Minotaurs
O’Donnell, Brian – LB, Edenderry Eagles
Purcel, Nathan – C, Edenderry Eagles
Sommerville, Gary – WR, Dublin Rebels
Whelan, Eoin – RB, South Kildare Soldiers

Group B Fixtures/Results:
Sunday 22nd:
Germany 52:13 Ireland
Ireland 00:58 Denmark

Monday 23rd:
Ireland 36:60 Netherlands
Italy 39:06 Ireland

Tuesday 24th – 9th place play-off:
Ireland 24:39 Czech Republic

IAFA U20s have historic win against Greendell Falcons

Greendell Falcons (green) in action against IAFA U20s (white)

The IAFA Under 20 Selection had a historic 22-20 win against the Greendell Falcons of Canada in a challenge game played at Westmanstown last night. This marks the first time in the history of the sport that an Irish team has defeated a highly rated team from North America. The IAFA U20 Selection was comprised of young players from IAFL teams, many from the emerging squads who competed in IAFL-1 over the past number of months. The Greendell Falcons  team comprised of a mixture of players from their high school (16-18) and college (18-22) aged squads.

This game was marked by an excellent performance by the U20s defence which created four crucial turnovers including 2 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries. The Falcons started well on offense, driving downfield into scoring range on their first possession. However, Dublin Rebels cornerback Senan O’Mahony intercepted a Falcons pass and returned it 80 yards for the games opening touchdown. A 2 point conversion gave the Irish an early 8-0 lead. Greendell responded straight away, moving the ball effectively on the ground and then scoring on a running play to make the score 8-6. Later on in the quarter, the Irish recovered a fumble deep inside the Greendell half, but failed to punch in the ball for a score. The U20s next big defensive play came early in the second quarter when they recovered another Falcons fumble, this time close to midfield. U20s quarterback , Dan Finnamore of Drogheda picked up a first down on the ground and shortly afterwards, North Kildare running back Sean Leamy scored a 25yd touchdown run to give the Irish a 14-6 lead.

Sean Leamy #85 en route to a rushing touchdown for the Irish

The play that sealed the win for the Irish came later in the second quarter, when linebacker Luke Ivers of the West Dublin Rhinos got the U20s second key interception and returned it for a touchdown. Another two point conversion gave the Irish a surprising 22-6 lead close to halftime.

The start of the second half was delayed due to a Greendell player having to be transported to hospital after picking up a serious knee injury on the last play of the second quarter. When it resumed, the U20s faced an aerial onslaught from the Falcons who now had to chase the game. Indeed, Greendell attempted 37 passed in total during the half. On offense, the U20s tried to control the clock by keeping the ball on the ground. The aerial power of the Falcons soon showed with them scoring two passing touchdowns to bring the game back to 22-20 in favour of the Irish. However, the Irish offense did enough to take some time off the clock and the defense put up sufficient resistance to keep the score down and give the Irish an unexpected 22-20 victory.

Greendell QB #10 attempts to pass.
Greendell QB attempts a pass.

After the game, the U20s coach squad, led by John Judge, praised the work that the players and coaching squad did during the short time that they have been together.

The Greendell Falcons have a couple of days rest before facing the Bristol Academy Pride in the Gathering Bowl at Tallaght Stadium on Saturday, kick-off 7pm. The Pride is the UKs best U19 club and play in the European US High School league, where they ranked in the top 4 in 2012. This game is expected to attract a large crowd – tickets are free of charge and can be obtained via the link on this website.

IAFA U20s on offense (white jerseys).

Team Ireland Squad for European Flag Football Championships Announced.

The Team Ireland squad to compete in the 2013 European Flag Football Championships was announced today. The 12 man squad was chosen from in excess of 30 players who attended the recent trials/training sessions and includes players from 5 clubs.

Conor Brennan – Mullingar Minotaurs.

Dermot Corroon – Mullingar Minotaurs.

Sean Douglas – Terenure Titans.

Ted Elston – South Kildare Soldiers.

Wil Elston – South Kildare Soldiers.

Joe Gray – Terenure Titans.

Connor McCarthy – South Kildare Soliders.

Darragh Moran – Edenderry Eagles.

Gary Nolan – Mullingar Minotaurs.

Brian O’Donnell – Edenderry Eagles.

Gary Sommerville – Dublin Rebels.

Eoin Whelan – South Kildare Soldiers. 

Head Coach – Ken Farrell.

 The EFAF 2013 European Championships are due to take place in Pesaro, Italy from 22-24th September. The tournament line-up is as follows:

Great Britain

Ireland Senior Flag Team – Euro Flag squad to be chosen soon.

37 players representing 11 teams attended trials for the Ireland Senior Flag Team over the past 2 weeks. Trialists included both specialist flag football players and players with IAFL experience who also play flag. Head Coach Ken Farrell now has the difficult task of chosing the final squad of 12 players who will represent Ireland at the European Championships in Italy in September.

The EFAF 2013 European Championships are due to take place in Pesaro, Italy from 22-24th September. The tournament line-up is as follows:

Great Britain

Ireland last entered a team in 2009 when it hosted the Championships in Belfast. Italy has good memories for Irish flag football – the Irish Junior squad finished 2nd in the 2010 Junior European Championships, which was the last time a major flag tournament was hosted by the Italian Federation.

Team Ireland Junior Flag Try-outs.

The Irish Flag Football Association is holding try-outs for the Team Ireland flag football teams on the first two weekends in June. Team Ireland hopes to field 3 x teams in the upcoming European Junior Flag Championships. Players are being sought for the following teams:

U13 Boys – born on or after 1st January 1999.

U13 Girls – born on or after 1st January 1999.

U15 Boys – born on or after 1st January 1997.

Tryouts will take place as follows:

Saturday 2nd June (5:30pm) – Edenderry.

Saturday 9th June (3:30pm) – Rathangan.

Any interested players or parents of players should contact Ken Farrell – for further details.

Team Ireland U13’s finish 2nd in European Championships

The Team Ireland Under 13’s squad had a very impressive debut in the European Flag Football Championship Finals, played in Rome, Italy over the weekend of 17th to 19th September. The team finished in second place overall, after reaching the Final, where they were defeated by reigning Champions, the Netherlands.

The Irish team got off to a very impressive start in the league stage of the competition with comprehensive victories over Austria and Germany on Saturday morning. The team then lost to Switzerland on Saturday afternoon.  On Sunday morning, they were involved in two close games – losing to host country Italy by only 1 point and then beating the Netherlands by 1 point.  Three wins qualified the team for the Semis.

Team Ireland had a comfortable 33-24 victory over Austria in the Semi-final, but then lost by 39-13 to the Netherlands in the Grand Final.

The players representing Ireland were selected from the schools currently participating in the Schools Flag Football programme underway in the Midlands.  This is the first time that an Irish underage flag football team contested a European finals. All of the players in the squad were introduced to the sport for the firts time through the Schools Flag programme. The team is being coached by Ken Farrell and Aidan Waters, both of whom are involved in the programme.  What is also notable, is that the Irish squad was the youngest in the competition. As the players were selected from Primary Schools, the majority are only 11 or 12 years old and so will still qualify for U13 level next year.

All games were played in Rome’s Stadio Pasquale Giannattasio.

The tournament website is:

Team Ireland Results:

Saturday 18th:

Ireland 32 -14 Austria

Ireland 49-19 Germany

Ireland 0-13 Switzerland.

Sunday 19th:

Ireland 26-27 Italy

Ireland 20-19 Netherlands.


Ireland 33-24 Austria


Ireland 13-39 Netherlands.

Team Ireland U13 Flag in Euro Champs.


The Team Ireland Under 13 Flag Football team is competing in the European Junior Flag Championships taking place in Rome, Italy over the weekend of 17th to 19th September.

The players representing Ireland have been selected from the schools currently participating in the Schools Flag Football programme underway in the Midlands. This is the first time that an Irish underage flag football team will contest a European finals. The team is being coached by Ken Farrell and Aidan Waters, both of whom are involved in the Schools Flag Football programme.

The other participants in the U13 category are Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands and host country, Italy. Team Ireland will play Austria, Germany and Switzerland on Saturday 18th and Netherlands and Italy on Sunday 19th. The top teams in the league stage will qualify for the final on Sunday afternoon.

All games are taking place in Rome’s Stadio Pasquale Giannattasio.

The tournament website is:

Results of Team Ireland’s games will be posted on this site.


Celtic Classic III

Team Ireland 8-35 Coventry Cassidy Jets
Venue: Butts Arena, Coventry

Team Ireland put in their best performance of recent years against the semi-pro Coventry Jets team in Celtic Classic III, played in Coventry on Sunday 15th October. The Jets are the current British Division 1A Champions and are unbeaten over the past 3 seasons. Their roster includes several Great Britain Internationals and players with professional experience. The Celtic Classic was sponsored by the Cassidy Group who also sponsor the Jets. Erin Wagner was Team Ireland’s MVP after making numerous tackles and picking up some first downs on the ground while rotating in on offense.

Ex-NFL Europe star, wide receiver Mark Cohen, was instrumental in the Jets victory, scoring two touchdowns and making several first down receptions. The other scorers include the Jets 2006 MVP, Jeremy Simms and running back Anthony Perkins. Perkins got the opening score of the game mid way through the first quarter after making a number of first down runs during the Jets drive. Team Ireland responded with an 80 yard drive with Simon Mackey, Chris Flinn and Erin Wagner picking up first downs in a long drive. Team Ireland got to the Jets 6 yard line, but good defensive play by the Jets just managed to keep them out of the end-zone. The Jets had two scoring drives in the second quarter. One was set up by a spectacular sideline catch by Cohen inside the Irish 5 yard line. Cohen also caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Tim Spaull after he and Team Ireland cornerback Willie Coyne both came down in the endzone with their hands on the ball. The Irish had another opportunity to score in the second quarter when quarterback Adam Devenney led them on another long drive into scoring range, picking up several first downs on the way. However, the Irish were again stopped by the Jets on fourth down.

The Team Ireland defence opened the third quarter strongly, making several tackles for losses. James Kay, Chris Weir, Erin Wagner, Glen Carr and Kenny Hudson all made tackles. However, the Jets got the ball in scoring range after recovering a fumble. Team Ireland nearly stopped the drive when Ross McCooey came close to making an interception, but the Jets managed to score a few plays later. Team Ireland continued to have a strong third quarter, moving the ball against a strong Coventry Jets defense which was led by Adrian Newey. The Irish appeared to get stronger as the game went on in spite of the Jets kept their star players such as Cohen, Newey a nd Simms on the field right the way through the fourth quarter. Early in the fourth quarter, with Conor Buggle now at quarterback, Team Ireland put together another drive and after getting first and goal, running back Sam Hodgins scored on an inside run. Simon Mackey got the two point conversion after hurdling over the Jets defensive line. The Team Ireland defense also came up with a turnover forcing a fumble which was recovered by Darragh Farrell. The Jets got their final score in the fourth quarter when GB Lions QB Tim Spaull threw a long touchdown pass to Jeremy Simms. Team Ireland caused another turnover and also got the ball in the endzone for an apparent score during the fourth quarter when Willie Coyne recovered a muffed punt and sprinted into the endzone, however, the officials ruled that the Jets returner never had full possession of the ball thus it could not be advanced, however the Irish retained the ball.

Team Ireland Head Coach Marcus Naylor was happy with the teams performance. The team, which was only selected a week earlier, played better than expected in spite of having a new coaching staff and new team management and very limited practice time.Team management were also impressed with the team’s friendly and well behaved attitude off the field. A rematch is being scheduled in Dublin in 2007.

John Carroll Win Celtic Classic


Venue: Greystones RFC.


1st Quarter: JCU: Aaron Taylor 1yd run (0-6); JCU: Rob Pratus 3yd pass from Spence, Goodrich 1xpt (0-13); JCU: Matt Kehoe 10yd run, Goodrich 1xpt (0-20); JCU: Jim Fink 15 yd int return (0-26).
2nd Quarter: JCU: Matt Matteucci 16yd pass from Troy (0-32).
3rd Quarter: Pete Bernini pass from Spence, Goodrich 1xpt (0-39); IRL: Safety – Ken Hudson/Liam Ryan (2-39); JCU: Stephen Spence 5yd run (2-45).
4th Quarter: JCU: Jeff Johnston 1 yd run, Goodrich 1xpt (2-52).

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John Carroll University of Ohio won the Celtic Classic with a comfortable 52-2 victory over Ireland (IAFL Allstars) on front of a large crowd at Greystones RFC. However, the big winner was Irish football – this was the first time the Ireland has fielded a representative squad since the reformation of the IAFL in 2001 and the first time Ireland has played against a US college team. The John Carroll University Blue Streaks are the best team ever to play against domestic opposition in Ireland. Playing against players who practice daily was a big step up in standard for the IAFL players and coupled with the fact that this is the first time the team was playing together meant that this was always going to be a difficult fixture for Ireland, however, the team performed admirably.

John Carroll opened the scoring early when the got a first an goal on their first play from scrimmage. 21 stone full back Aaron Taylor punched in the first touchdown from 1 yard out and a Bill Goodrich extra point made the score 7-0. A turnover gave John Carroll the ball in the Ireland half after the kick-off and the Blue Streaks capitalized with Rob Pratus scoring on a 3 yard pass from Stephen Spence. Ireland failed to move the ball on their next possession and John Carroll drove into scoring rang and Matt Kehoe scored on a 10 yard run. John Carroll got a lucky break on Ireland’s next possession when a tipped pass from Kevin Downs was intercepted by Jim Fink and returned for a touchdown. Ireland finished the first quarter on a high when Dave Wheeler took a hand off on his own 2 yard line and broke free on a 70 yard run to give Ireland the ball in scoring range. However, Ireland failed to covert a 4th down on the John Carroll 10 yard line early in the second quarter. Ireland’s good spell continued during the second quarter when Mark Helferty intercepted John Carroll’s Paul Troy at mid field to give Ireland back the ball. Again Ireland picked up some yardage, but failed to convert on 4th down in the John Carroll half. John Carroll finished the half well, when after picking up a couple of first downs on the ground through running back Nick Cerni, Matt Matteucci scored on a 16 yard touchdown pass from Paul Troy to go in 32-0 ahead at the half.

John Carroll came out strong in the third quarter, scoring on their first possession with a 9 yard pass from Spence to Pete Bernini. Ireland then began to move the ball through the air from deep inside their own half with 2 passes from Rob Olwill to Robert Popciobobartepelus and another to Patrick Ryan. After reaching the John Carroll 37 yard opted to punt on fourth down. John Carroll ran the ball out to the 20 yard line before Ireland’s Liam Ryan intercepted the Blue Streaks quarterback, Stephen Spence to give Ireland the ball on the John Carroll 38 yard line. Ireland moved the ball through Dave Wheeler and another catch from Patrick Ryan before again failing to convert a 4th down in scoring range. However, Ireland got on the scoreboard 2 plays later when a combination of Ken Hudson and Liam Ryan, assisted by Steve Harrison tackled John Carroll’s Matt Matteucci in his own endzone to score a 2 point safety. John Carroll got the ball back on Ireland’s next ensuing possession when Greg Deja intercepted Olwill on the 35 yard line. John Carroll scored shortly afterwards with a 5 yard bootleg by Stephen Spence.

Ireland came back into the game in the fourth quarter, moving the ball through fullback Adam Culvertey and passes from Olwill to Marcus Naylor and Dave Wheeler. However the John Carroll defense held strong and their offense scored the final touchdown of the game – a 1 yard run by running back Jeff Johnston to make the final score 52-2 in favour of John Carroll. John Carroll Head Coach Regis Scafe was then presented the Celtic Classic Trophy. After the game, Global Football representative Jim Lyall, happy with the organization and attendance at the fixture, asked the IAFL if he could bring another college team over in 2005 for a second Celtic Classic.

Game Photos

Photographer: Emer McLoughlin

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