Category: Shamrock Bowl

2020 Senior Kitted Season Cancelled

Statement from AFI Commissioner Brian Cleary “The AFI board held an online meeting to discuss the current ongoing situation and the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.

It has been decided that the 2020 Senior Kitted season will be cancelled in its entirety. A number of factors were considered in making this tough decision. There remains uncertainty as to when this crisis will end, which makes it very difficult to publish a schedule that will allow for enough time to prepare and complete a season for our members. It may also prove very difficult to secure ambulance bookings for fixtures due to the increased workload of our front-line services. We are also very aware of the financial difficulties our clubs and members may be facing during this time and do not wish to add any more pressure than what they are already facing. Ultimately, we need to put our members physical and mental welfare first before football.

We will continue to monitor the situation and, if circumstances allow, we are open to the possibility of hosting a 2-3 week tournament at the end of the summer for clubs that wish to participate and have some form of kitted football in 2020.

With immediate effect all current Adult Kitted, Coaching, Officiating and Non-Playing memberships will be extended until 30th September 2021 and there will be no need to purchase or renew your membership for the 2021 season.

No decision has been made yet in relation to Youth and Flag football. We will continue to monitor the situation and liaise with our directors in the coming weeks and update you when we have a clearer picture on the possibility of the Youth and Flag seasons going ahead.

It is important to note that we have put our insurance on hold at this time and under no circumstances is any physical footballing activity to take place until further notice.

Please look after yourselves and your loved ones and we will continue to provide updates as the situation unfolds. If you have any queries please contact me at brian@americanfootball.ie.”

2020 Senior Kitted Schedule Announced

The American Football Ireland 2020 Senior Kitted Football schedule has now been released which includes 89 domestic games across 3 leagues as well as 2 exhibition games, with teams visiting from Great Britain and USA.

The season will start on the 8th March, with all three American Football Ireland college teams in action as UCD take on the UL Vikings in the Shamrock Bowl Conference and Trinity College hosting the Wexford Eagles in IAFL 1.

This year will see a significant change as there are 11 Saturday domestic games scheduled. In previous years, there have been limited Saturday games per season, so 2020 will see the most Saturday games ever played.

The 2017 BritBowl champions Tamworth Phoenix will make the short journey across Irish sea to take on the 2019 Shamrock Bowl winners Belfast Trojans on the 25th April in the first of two exhibition matches. The second will see the D3 Kentucky based college Centre Colonels travel to Limerick to take on the UL Vikings, which will take place on the 30th May.

The Shamrock Bowl Conference playoffs are scheduled for Sunday 26th July, with the top four teams in the league advancing to this stage following the conclusion of the regular season. The winners of the playoff games will advance to the Shamrock Bowl game, which is scheduled for Sunday 9th August.

The IAFL 1 playoffs are scheduled for Sunday 19th July, with the top four teams in the league advancing to this stage following the conclusion of the regular season. The winners of the playoff games will advance to the IAFL 1 Bowl game, which is scheduled for Sunday 2nd August. This game will be part of a doubleheader which will include the IAFL 2 Bowl game. There will be no playoffs for IAFL 2, instead the top 2 teams in the league will advance directly to the bowl game following the conclusion of the regular season.

Fixtures

Shamrock Bowl Conference

IAFL 1

IAFL 2

Shamrock Bowl XXXIII Preview

The main event in the Irish American Football Associations calendar is finally back once again as the Belfast Trojans take on the South Dublin Panthers for the Shamrock Bowl in its 33rd year. This year’s game will take place at Energia Park, Dublin which boasts excellent modern facilities including a 2,500 capacity seated stand, 3G playing surface as well as multiple spectator bars. There will be food vendors on site as well as Football America UKs travelling shop, with plenty of equipment and NFL merchandise to choose from. Corporate.ie will also have their throwing competition, with brilliant prizes on offer.

Belfast Trojans vs South Dublin Panthers

These two teams are well known to each, having faced each other multiple times in recent years. They last played each other on the 9th June in Belfast, where the Trojans came out 26-16 winners. This would be the first of a string of three defeats for the Panthers to end their regular season whilst the Trojans would win out their remaining four games.

The Trojans finished the regular season as second seeds, gaining home field advantage in the semi-final, of which they overcame UCD 14-0 in a rain soaked game at Harlequins RFC. Both defense’s took advantage of the weather, stifling each other’s offenses as both were finding it difficult to establish an air game in the tough conditions. The Trojans eventually broke the deadlock at the end of the second quarter, ironically through a passing play, before going on to score the games only other touchdown in the second half. Trojans head coach James McKelvey was happy with his team’s semi-final performance and is really looking forward to taking to the field at the Shamrock Bowl once again “It’s been a real journey this year for the Trojans after a good start and winning our first two games but then stalling in the next two. As a team we came together and put in a lot of work to finish the season strongly. Versus UCD we came up against a fantastic team who pushed us in every phase of the game and I was delighted with the win. I can’t wait to play at Energia Park and face a team who I have a ton of respect for.”

It would be fair to say that the Panthers were underdogs in their semi-final when they travelled to the 2018 champions and top seeds, the Cork Admirals. The Panthers scored on their first drive via a 50 yard run, before extending their lead to 21-0 going into the fourth quarter. The Admirals got one back but the resolute Panthers ensured that that would be their only score, with the game finishing 21-6 and the Panthers securing their first ever Shamrock Bowl appearance. Panthers head coach Steve Mack was delighted to cause an upset and is confident his team can come out of the Shamrock Bowl as champions “Obviously a lot of positives and great things achieved this season. Club records on both sides of the ball, Ian Cahill and Eoin Neville setting individual team records too. So a lot of positives. Very happy to have built on last year, getting to the semi-final and beating an undefeated team which is really a testament to the talent this squad has and how hard they work. The Trojans are going to be equally as tough. A lot of people who came into the sport when I did knew them as those groups of perfect teams that could not be beaten and our club and our team has tried to emulate in a lot of ways what the Trojans were doing back then. I’m expecting a very tough game. An entertaining game for the neutral and a great advertisement for our sport in Ireland.”

Location: Energia Park, Donnybrook, Dublin

Kick-off: 2pm

Get Your Tickets Here

2019 Key Stats
Trojans
Panthers
Regular Season Record
6-1-1
4-4
Avg Points Scored Per Game
20.2
20.1
Avg Points Conceded Per Game
9.6
16.0
Defensive Shutouts
2
0
Games W/L By 8 or Less Points
2
5
Most Recent Head To Head Results
09 June 2019
Trojans 26-16 Panthers
20 May 2018
Trojans 48-0 Panthers
07 May 2017
Trojans 9-0 Panthers

Shamrock Bowl XXXIII: Belfast Trojans

The Belfast Trojans return to the Shamrock Bowl for the sixth time, having previously won four in a row from 2012 to 2015. An impressive regular season saw them finish second in the Shamrock Bowl Conference with six wins, one tie and one loss. The Trojans then hosted UCD just under two weeks ago in the semi-final. In stormy conditions, the home team managed to beat the students 14-0 and book their place in Sunday’s game. We caught up with Trojans chairman Barry Keil to look back at the season so far as well as to get his thoughts on Sunday’s vital clash:

The Trojans finished the regular season with six wins, one tie and one loss. This meant that they would finish second in the Shamrock Bowl Conference. What was the key to success for the Trojans this season?

“I would say that our success this year is down to making small improvements in every area. We have made the semi-finals in each of the last eight seasons and have missed out on the final by small margins in the last two years so making adjustments, recruiting well, retaining talent and implementing the new ideas that head coach James McKelvey has introduced has allowed us to take that extra step into the big game.”

Two weeks ago, the Trojans beat UCD 14-0 in the semi-final to make it to the bowl game. What did you think of your team’s performance in that match?

“I think we were solid but still somewhat shy of our potential. UCD are a very dangerous opponent but I felt we dominated the game and really should have been able to put more points on the board. The team is capable of that and we know that in post season football you have to take every opportunity that is presented to you to get put the game beyond the reach of your opponent.”

The Trojans will take on the South Dublin Panthers in this year’s Shamrock Bowl. Having already played them this season, what are your expectations for the game and how have you been preparing?

“Firstly we have huge respect for the South Dublin Panthers, the strides they have made as an organisation in last few seasons have been impressive and we are delighted that their hard work has brought them to the Shamrock Bowl. We expect the Panthers to have a thorough plan for how to take us on. They did their homework and pulled off an upset in Cork against the Admirals in the semi-final, we expect the same in the Bowl. It will be a tough tactical battle that, as always, will come down to who makes the fewest mistakes. In terms of our preparations, it’s been very much business as usual. We tend to focus on our strengths rather than the opponents weaknesses, if we play to the best of our ability, we have confidence in our ability to win.”

Finally, what advice would you like to give to your team that will hope to bring home their fifth title on Sunday?

“Play hard, focus only on what is happening in the moment, stay united, give everything on every play, leave nothing on the field, be Trojan, let em know.”

Coaching/Volunteer Staff

Head Coach
James McKelvey
Offensive Co-Ordinator
Ian Shaw
Defensive Co-Ordinator
Nathan Armstrong
Defensive Line Coach
Stephen Cheevers
Defensive Line Coach
Teddy Canty
Offensive Line Coach
Paul Braniff
Offensive Line Coach
Dave McCully
Wide Receivers Coach
Daniel Shaw
Running Backs Coach
Mike McAuley
Linebackers Coach
Chris Weir
Defensive Back Coach
Scott Morrow

Playing Squad

Number Name Position
01
James McKelvey
QB
02
Connor Whitla
DL
04
Andrew Henderson
S
05
Mark McVeigh
QB
06
Carlos Delgado
DL
08
Michael Ferris
WR
10
Oran McMenamin
WR
11
Ross Allen
DB
12
Jona Siri
RB
13
Sammy Geddis
LB
14
Keith Stevenson
WR
16
Marty Devlin
DL
18
Scott Fischaber
S
24
Ben Sloan
DB
25
Ted Elston
DB
26
Jonny Bryans
LB
30
Gareth Millar
RB
31
Alex Kusmirek
S
39
Peter Roberts
RB
40
Neil Graham
TE
43
Jake Warry
RB
45
Stephen Donnelly
DB
46
Eugene O'Furphy
DL
47
Peter Hamilton
DB
53
Jamie Wright
LB
54
Mark McGrath
OL
57
Stuart Leckey
LB
66
Mohamed Ramadan
OL
68
Hassan Jaafar
OL
69
John Mahon
DL
70
Ruairi McCann
OL
71
Dave Gordon
OL
72
Harry Creelman
OL
73
Barry Keil
DL
74
Zakk Appleyard
OL
77
Jonathan Stoops
OL
78
Danny Tarr
LB
79
Mark Davidson
OL
80
Tom Morris
WR
85
Gael Reverte
DB
87
Gil David
TE
88
David Richardson
WR
89
Andy Moore
TE
90
Thomas Boyde
S
92
Ross Thain
DL
94
Jordan Murphy
DL
98
Chris Currie
DL
99
Stephen Cheevers
DL

Shamrock Bowl XXXIII: South Dublin Panthers

The South Dublin Panthers will make their first ever Shamrock Bowl appearance this Sunday, as they beat top seeds the Cork Admirals 21- 6 in the semi-final to reach the big game at Energia Park, avenging a 14-20 defeat to them earlier in the season. The Panthers finished fourth in the Shamrock Bowl Conference, winning four games and losing just as many. We spoke with Panthers chairman Brendan McAleese about the season so far and Sundays historic game for the club:

The Panthers started the season really well, going 4&1 before finishing the regular season with three losses and a fourth place finish in the league. What was the key to success for the Panthers this season?

“It was an absolute belief in themselves as team and trusting what the coaches were implementing. We knew this was a talented bunch of athletes who take pride in every rep. They bonded as a team and a family very early on and as the season progressed that belief became the drive to never give up and as they say in football, just do your job and finish what you started.”

The Panthers overcame the Admirals in the semi-final through a 21-6 win. What did you think of your team’s performance in that match?

“It was typical of what we were seeing all season and we knew we matched up well against the Admirals. The team was well prepared by the head coach and his staff and the team applied that to the game.”

This year’s Shamrock Bowl will see the Panthers take on the Belfast Trojans. Having already played them this season, what are your expectations for the game and how have you been preparing?

“We expect a very physical, hard-hitting game based on what we witnessed this season and from our fixture against them earlier in the year. The Trojans are a very experienced team who give no quarter and expect none. We’ll do what we have done all year and prepare for a football game.”

Finally, what advice would you like to give to your coaches and players taking to the field on Sunday?

“All the work has been done at this stage. Believe and never give up. Stay in your routine. Just concern yourself with what you can control. Trust the man beside you and most of all trust yourself. We’ve got your back.”

Coaching/Volunteer Staff

Head Coach/Offensive Co-Ordinator
Stephen McDonnell
Assistant Head Coach
Emma Burrows
Defensive Co-Ordinator
Conor O'Driscoll
Special Teams Co-Ordinator/Offensive Line Coach
Brendan McAleese
Assistant Defensive Co-Ordinator
Rob McCann
Defensive Line Coach
Conor O'Sullivan
Defensive Backs Coach
Eoghan Whelan
Linebackers Coach
Sean Higgins
Conditioning Coach
Luke Doherty
Assistant Coach
Andrew Healy
Assistant Coach
John Romanoski
Assistant Coach
Steve O'Rourke
Assistant
Finn Connaughton
Assistant
Ruben Ruiz Torres

Playing Squad

Number Name Position
01
Andrew McMahon
WR
03
Ben Arulogun
RB
06
Eoghan Whelan
DB
07
Ryu Robles
LB
08
Stephen Lally
DB
10
Michael Lynch
RB
11
Ryan Eccles
WR
12
Raymond Burke
WR
13
Stephen Daly
DE
16
Ian Cahill
QB
21
Micheal Staunton
DB
23
Calvin Comerford
DB
25
Andrew Reddy
DB
28
Alan Barnewell
LB
29
Adam Bowe Devereux
DB
30
Ryan Hewitt
LB
31
Dominic Luxton
WR
32
Eoghan Gately
DB
34
Petru Bogdan
LB
41
Thomas Phelan
HB
42
Conor McGrath
DB
43
John Kelly
RB
47
Eoin Neville
DB
50
Colin Kelly
LB
52
Niall Burke
DT
55
Anthony Burke
DE
57
Gareth Fogarty
DT
59
Ciaran Jones
LB
62
Gustavo Andrade
DE
66
Oisín Russell-Conway
C
68
Gavin Jackson
DT
70
Stuart Bowles
OG
71
Allan O Kearney
C
73
Conor O'Sullivan
DT
75
Aaron Carbury
OT
77
Shane Roberts
OG
78
Stephen Connor
OT
84
Sean Goldrick
WR
85
Adam Conway
WR
87
Kevin Mayo
LB
88
Keith Lally
WR
89
Stephen Mooney
HB
96
Paul Fages
LB
98
Danny Curran
DT
99
Evan Allen
DE

SBC Playoffs: Trojans vs UCD Preview

This is an extremely exciting match-up, with both teams finishing the regular season with almost the same record – the Trojans recording one more win than their playoff opponents. UCD have the most prolific offense in the league, scoring 205 points over eight games but they come up against the second best defense in the league, as the Trojans only gave up an average of 10.75 points a game. These two teams have already met twice this year – on the first occasion, UCD travelled to Harlequins RFC in April, with the game finishing in a 6-6 tie. In the return fixture, the Trojans would prove too strong for the students, winning 32-12 only a month ago.

It has been a much improved season for the Trojans, having bettered their fourth seed finish in 2018 to finishing second seed this year. The Trojans are in great form coming into the playoffs, having won their last four games, including beating Belfast rivals the Knights in their most recent game. Trojans head coach James McKelvey knows his team have worked hard to secure a home playoff game, and will want to take full advantage of that this Sunday “UCD are one of the strongest and physically gifted teams we’ve played this season. They are well coached in all aspects of the game. As a team, we will need to be at our very best. Practice has been good and I’m confident that we will perform to our best.”

Another superb year from UCD saw them finish the regular season as third seeds having only lost to the Admirals and Trojans. Last year’s semi-final agony will be at the forefront of most of UCDs staff and players, losing out on a spot in the Shamrock Bowl by a single point. UCD club secretary Thomas Fitzgerald is confident his team can use that experience last year to overcome the Trojans and book their spot at Energia Park on 4th August “UCD had a lot of positives from our last game versus the Rebels on both sides of the ball. We’re looking to keep our momentum going from that game and continually improve to defeat the Trojans. Last time we went away to Belfast we drew 6-6 with them and this time we’re hoping to secure a win and win our first ever playoff game in what will no doubt be a hard fought game.”

Location: Harlequins RFC, Belfast

Kick-off: 2pm

SBC Playoffs: Admirals vs Panthers Preview

The reigning national champions Cork Admirals are two wins away from retaining the Shamrock Bowl, but they face a tough visit from a South Dublin Panthers side entering their first ever semi final. The Admirals finished the regular season top of the table and unbeaten with seven wins and one draw whilst the Panthers finished as fourth seeds, winning four and losing four. The Admirals possess the best defense in the league, only giving up 63 points in eight games. They come up against a Panthers offense that has scored an average of 20 points per game this year. The last match-up between these two sides was back in March, when the Panthers travelled to Cork. An enthralling game ended 20-14 to the hosts – a one score game meaning this playoff game should be a brilliant watch.

A significant season for the Admirals sees them finish as league champions and with vital home advantage. Finishing unbeaten shows how much this team has come on, after losing three games in 2018. The Admirals enter this match full of confidence having dispatched the West Dublin Rhinos 47-7 in their most recent match two weeks ago. Admirals head coach Alan Lomasney will be looking for consistency of a high level in all three phases of the game, which will be crucial to getting that all important win “The Panthers are a good team, always well coached and every time we play them the games are always close. We are looking forward to welcoming the Panthers to Cork and it’s going to be a tough, hard hitting game of playoff football. We have been practising well and we will be doing our best to get a result and to continue to defend our title.”

A historic season for the South Dublin Panthers as they reach the Shamrock Bowl semi finals for the first time in their history. The Panthers started the season well, as they were sitting with four wins and one loss after five games but have been struggling recently, recording three defeats in a row – most recently a 7-10 loss to the Vikings. Panthers head coach Steve Mack knows his team must find the form they had earlier in the season in order to book their place in Shamrock Bowl XXXIII “Looking forward to the game. Obviously very happy to be at this stage of the season considering how close and unpredictable the regular season was. That being said, we didn’t come this far to only come this far and we know Cork are a very tough team but we’re confident in ourselves and our preparation. Should be an exciting game.”

Location: Presentation Brothers College Sports Grounds, Cork

Kick-off: 2pm

Facebook: Cork Admirals
Facebook: South Dublin Panthers

Shamrock 33 Official Sponsors Announced

IAFA is delighted to announce Football America UK and Americanfood.ie as sponsors for the upcoming Shamrock Bowl 33 in Energia Park on the 4th of August.

Football America UK are committed to providing UK and European American Football teams and individuals and specialise in all forms of Football Equipment not just helmets and shoulder pads. They also supply great genuine products from various US and UK official suppliers, such as Nike, New Era Headwear, Majestic Apparel, Wincraft, Mitchell & Ness and Forever Collectibles. From replica jerseys to snack helmets for your NFL Party, they have a massive range available all year round.

Americanfood.ie bring you all the best food items from America to your doorstep.They import a vast range of American food products that can’t be readily purchased in Ireland to all fans of American goodies.

Shamrock Bowl 33 Logo and Venue Announced

The IAFA board is delighted to announce Shamrock Bowl 33 will be held on August 4th in none other than Energia Park. With its great central location and access to local amenities, Energia Park will make a great venue for the Shamrock Bowl and a fantastic day out for all football fans and their families alike.

The IAFA board is also delighted to announce (after a long and strenuous selection process 😉) the winner of the IAFA Shamrock Bowl 33 logo competition.

We’ve received several very good entries, all strong contenders, and we would like to thank everyone who submitted one. Unfortunately, we could only use the one.
So, and without further ado, the lucky winner is Robert McCann from the South Dublin Panthers.

Robert will be receiving a nice little hamper for his effort including the following:

  • a €200 All-4-One Voucher
  • 2 VIP tickets to Shamrock Bowl 33 on August 4th
  • 2 Tickets to the U20’s Wolfhounds v Bristol Pride home game
  • Selected IAFA and Wolfhounds merchandise
Well done Robert!! 👏✋🤚
SB-LOGO#003.5