Thursday, April 17, 2008

DCU Saints football

So guess what.

They play American Football in Ireland too, yes, on top of the baseball league, there is also a thriving, energetic and competitive football league.

The DCU Saints offensive line in their 44-0 win over the Tallaght Outlaws last Sunday afternoon

There are nine teams in the league and they are dotted all over Ireland, north and south. There is also a development league with a further six teams in it. Check out the nifty league website right here.

A short history of the league, from the DCU website:
''American Football has been played in its current format since 1984 when the first ever team, the Dublin Celts, was formed as a direct result of the increased media access to the games from the States. Throught the Celts’ activites in various International games and tournaments, more teams were encouraged to be setup and in 1986 the first National tournament was played with the Celts, Belfast Blitzers, Craigavon Cowboys and Coleraine Chieftans. The competition, the Jack Daniels Summer Bowl was eventually won by the Celts. Also in 1986 the first ever Shamrock Bowl was held, with the Cowboys defeating the Celts 6-0 becoming Ireland’s first National Champions.In 1987, 11 teams joined the League and the first full season was played. The Celts eventually won and earned the right to participate in the European Championships ''

I began training with the DCU Saint's least year and it has been a really enjoyable experience. They are a great bunch of guys and the training sessions are good fun. The Coach, Dave Rothwell, is an Irish Football legend, having won several 'Shamrock Bowls' (The Irish Superbowl) with other teams. He has the respect of the young Saints team not from shouting or roaring at them, but from his obvious excellent grasp of the game and his friendly personality.

The Saints are a mix of rookies and experienced players, with many players from DCU itself but also many from outside the college, like myself. This is their third year as a team and the Saints are off to a respectable 1-1 start in 2008, playing out of the IAFL central league.

The Saints in action in their first game against the Carickfergus Knights

Sam Monson, one of the Saints stable of fine receivers, writes for an NFL think tank-website called 'Football Diner', under that guise he has written a couple of really good articles on his experience first joining and subsequently playing for the DCU Saints.

In the first article he talks about getting involved with the Saints, and in his second he talks about the initial training sessions. Keep an eye out for future 'rookie diary' pieces.

The Saints most recent game was a 44-0 win over the Tallaght Outlaws. You can read the game report at the Saints website right here. The Saints next game is in two weeks against the Dublin Rhinos. You can check out pictures from the Saints 44-0 win over Tallaght in the below slideshow.

So, how about that eh? Not only does Ireland have a baseball league, it also has a thriving American Football league too. If you want to find out more about the league a good start is the IAFL website. Other than that, stay tuned for more updates on the DCU Saints 2008 season right here.


1 comment:

Jimmy Chowda said...

Nice to see. I played football for 8 years and it was my favorite sport. One question, did they start playing football in Ireland before these guys?:

Irish National baseball team

Irish National baseball team
Team Ireland at the European Championships, Croatia, 2000.

A nice little mention for this blog on Fox Sports

A nice little mention for this blog on Fox Sports


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