Category: Youth

Youth League 2019: Cill Dara Crusaders

The fifth team competing in this year’s youth league is one of the originals, only under a different banner. The Cill Dara Crusaders have adopted the previous South Kildare Soldiers Youth Team and hope to emulate the success the Soldiers had at this level. The IAFL 2 club are keen to develop this section of their programme and get their young players some much needed match experience.

How are preparations for the youth season coming along?

“It’s been a slow start for us as we struggled to confirm training grounds, but we are starting to roll now.”

What do you hope to achieve this season?

“This year is about building for the future. We have a team of young rookies who have no experience at all and need to learn the basics. Winning games is important, and we hope to give a challenging experience to everyone we play.”

How important is youth football to your clubs’ overall football programme?

“Youth football is vital to the sport as a whole. Every team should be getting involved. Even if you only have two players, get them onto one of the other teams. Ourselves and the Cowboys have used each other’s players through the years, and it has been of huge benefit.”

What key points do you emphasise to your players?

“Teamwork. Family. Effort.”

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of starting to play American football?

“Try it out. Try different clubs and find one that suits you. Enjoy the greatest sport I was lucky enough to find. It doesn’t matter who you are, you will find a spot on a football team for you.”

Join The Cill Dara Crusaders

The Crusaders youth team trains from 12pm to 1.30pm at the Newbridge College Grounds on Sundays. They provide the equipment, all you need is boots and a gumshield. Text or call 0879507054, email cilldaracrusaders@gmail.com or message the Cill Dara Crusaders Facebook page for more information.

Youth League 2019: Louth Mavericks

The Louth Mavericks are another new team to the youth league this year, as the IAFL 1 club looks to build on their senior and flag programmes. The Mavericks are based in Dundalk and have been working hard to give 15 to 18 year olds in the area the opportunity to play American football.

How are preparations for the youth season coming along?

“Slowly but surely. As it is our first year developing a youth team, it took a while to get numbers up to where we wanted them to be but now, we’re starting to look ready to take on the league.”

What do you hope to achieve this season?

“The main focus of youth this year is to prepare new players and give them a basis in which they can enter adult football with key skills and techniques, as well as offering something new and different to those who might not have the most experienced sporting backgrounds and skills.”

How important is youth football to your clubs’ overall football programme?

“Recruitment is always a process which takes many forms and our youth team is an important part of that.”

What key points do you emphasise to your players?

“As all coaches should at all levels – we drill the fundamentals. Heads up, safe tackling. The basics of routes. How to block and get off blocks. Things that all football players should know.”

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of starting to play American football?

“Our advice would be to come on down to a training session. No one knows how to play until they do it and don’t worry about a lack of knowledge or fitness, that’s what the training sessions are for!”

Join The Louth Mavericks

The Mavericks youth team trains from 6pm to 7.30pm at the DKIT fields on Wednesdays. They provide pads and helmets free of charge for all youth members. Text or WhatsApp 0858172974 if you’re interested in joining or message the Louth Mavericks Facebook or Instagram pages.

Youth League 2019: Antrim Jets

The Antrim Jets formed a youth team in 2018 and will compete in the league for the first time when they are one of the hosts for game week 1 next Sunday. It is an exciting time for the IAFL 2 side, having prepared for so long, they are now ready to take on IAFA Youth League.

How are preparations for the youth season coming along?

“The players and coaches are looking forward to it and are eager to see their hard work pay off.”

What do you hope to achieve this season?

“We hope to give the players experience in full contact football and to prepare them for the next step into senior football.”

How important is youth football to your clubs’ overall football programme?

“We feel that youth football is vital as it teaches the fundamentals to the youth players and ensures a steady flow of experienced players into the senior team.”

What key points do you emphasise to your players?

“Play safe, play fair, play hard.  But most importantly, have fun.”

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of starting to play American football?

“It is the greatest team sport in the world. You’ll make lifelong friends and learn how to be disciplined and a team player.”

Join The Antrim Jets

The Jets youth team trains every Sunday at the Antrim Forum, from 1pm to 3pm.  Players only need boots & gumshield as the team supplies the rest. Contact the Antrim Jets Youth Team Facebook page or email gerrymccabe26@hotmail.co.uk for more information.

 

Youth League 2019: South Dublin Panthers

Next up in our youth team interviews, we chat with 2019 Shamrock Bowl finalists and youth league debutants, the South Dublin Panthers.

How are preparations for the youth season coming along?

“Preparations are coming along great; we have a great bunch of enthusiastic athletes who are all eager to play and learn. This has made training sessions flow really well and allowed the athletes to pick up the fundamentals really quickly.”

What do you hope to achieve this season?

“While winning is always fun, our goal first and foremost is to give our athletes a fun environment to learn the fundamentals of the game. We have a great team of qualified coaches with both Shamrock Bowl and international experience and believe that we can put the athletes the best possible position to allow them to learn, have fun and succeed.”

How important is youth football to your clubs’ overall football programme?

“We all know how much of a niche American football is in Ireland and because of this we believe youth football is not just important to our organisation, but to the sport in Ireland in general. Youth football allows more people to get involved in all areas of the sport, from coaching and playing to watching.

With regards to the Panthers, youth football gives us another avenue to get athletes and coaches on board. It also extends our reach to youth football ages and allows us to give these guys a chance to play football before turning 18.”

What key points do you emphasise to your players?

“First things first we emphasise that the athletes should have fun and have a fun environment to play a great game in. After that we encourage the athletes to work hard and treat themselves and one another with respect. If we can achieve these things, we believe we give the athletes the best opportunity to learn, grow, achieve and have a good time doing so.”

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of starting to play American football?

“Give it a go! Come along to one session to see if it’s for you. Football is a great sport with positions for people of all shapes and sizes and a great way to meet new people with similar interests. Not to mention it’s immensely fun to play, watch and coach.”

Join The South Dublin Panthers

The Panthers train every Saturday from 12:00 at Garda Rugby Club, Westmanstown. The Panthers provide all equipment needed, all you need is boots and a gum shield. Contact their Facebook page, Instragram (southdublinpanthers) or through their website www.southdublinpanthers.com for more information.

Youth League 2019: Cork Admirals

The 2019 Youth League kicks off in just over a weeks’ time, with a record 7 teams competing. We caught up with last years champions Cork Admirals to find out a bit more about their youth football programme and their preparations for the 2019 season.

How are preparations for the youth season coming along?
“Preparations are going well; the lads are learning fast and picking up the playbook.”

What do you hope to achieve this season?
“What we’d like to achieve is to get all of our youth players to experience the game of football and to increase their knowledge of the game.”

How important is youth football to your club’s overall football programme?
“The youth programme is hugely important to our overall football programme as we have had youth players progress from the youth team to the senior team and contribute straight away for the last three years. We see it as an integral part of our recruitment every year.”

What key points do you emphasise to your players?
“The key points we emphasise to our players are to play safely, support their teammates and enjoy the game.”

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of starting to play American football?
“I would tell anyone thinking of trying the sport to give it a go & to keep at it, it can take a few training sessions to find your feet & to try as many different positions at possible when starting out. It’s a great team sport.”

Join The Cork Admirals

The Admirals youth team train on Tuesday nights from 7.30pm to 9pm and Sunday from 10am to 1pm at the PBC Sports Grounds in Glasheen. The club will provide helmets & pads for youth players. Contact club president Stuart Donaldson (086 775 2302), head coach Alan Lomasney (086 220 2093) or assistant head coach Conor Linehan (087 661 9774) for more information.

Youth Football: Teams Training Details

The primary purpose of the IAFA Youth Football League is to provide an introduction to the sport and basic skill development of youth players in a fun and safe environment. The Youth League will prepare young players to compete at the senior level.

No prior American Football experience is required. Youth coaches across the league will ensure players receive the proper training to safely and effectively participate in the sport. Many of the sporting skills acquired in traditional mainstream sports of Ireland are transferable to American Football. Even if a player has no previous sporting experience, youth coaches will make sure the player is prepared before stepping onto the pitch.

Age Requirements: Eligible players must have reached 15 years of age to participate in IAFA sanctioned youth competitive games. Players who are 17 on January 1st or later of the current football season year are eligible to play in that year; even after turning 18.

Example #1: Player X turns 18 years old on January 2nd, 2019. Player X is eligible to participate in the 2019 youth football season.

Example #2: Player Y turns 18 years old on December 31st, 2018. Player Y is NOT eligible to participate in the 2019 youth football season. Player Y should participate in senior level football. Senior level’s minimum age is 18.

Antrim Jets
When?
Every Sunday, 11:00 to 13:00
Where?
Antrim Forum Leisure Centre
Equipment Provided
Helmet and Shoulder Pads
Contact Details
Gerry McCabe (Head Coach) - gerrymccabe26@hotmail.co.uk
Belfast Knights
When?
Every Sunday, 10:00 to 12:00
Where?
Shaws Bridge Sports Grounds
Equipment Provided
Helmet and Shoulder Pads
Contact Details
Belfast Knights Facebook Page
Cill Dara Crusaders
Contact the Cill Dara Crusaders Facebook Page for all details.
Cork Admirals
When?
Every Sunday from 10:00
Where?
PBC Sports Grounds
Equipment Provided
Helmet and Shoulder Pads
Contact Details
Cork Admirals Facebook Page
Dublin Rebels
Contact the Dublin Rebels Facebook Page for all details.
Louth Mavericks
When?
Every Saturday, 10:00 to 11:30
Where?
DKIT Campus Sports Grounds
Equipment Provided
Helmet and Shoulder Pads
Contact Details
Iarla Donlon (Youth Team Coach) - 353858172974
South Dublin Panthers
When?
Every Saturday from 12:00 (Starting 31 Aug)
Where?
Westmanstown RFC
Equipment Provided
Helmet and Shoulder Pads
Contact Details
South Dublin Panthers Facebook Page