|Belfast Trojans on offense at the recent Shamrock Bowl in Tallaght Stadium|
When we launched The Gathering Dublin last year, little did we realize how much we'd learn about American Football, both here and abroad. Apparently in Germany there are 40, 051 registered players! I was speaking to one last week (now living in Bray, Co. Wicklow) and he says the thing he's most looking forward to is The Gathering Bowl in August.
Well, when I told him we were having the Greendell Falcons from Canada coming over to play he had the biggest smile on his face!
The Greendell Falcons Football Club is a community center-based program and has been in existence for close to 40 years. Their program offers "Canadian rules" football to players starting at the age of 7 years, all the way to 22 years. They are traveling to Ireland with over 50 players, coaching staff, team officials and parents. The trip is a first for the club with the players and club fundraising for nearly a year in advance of the trip. The Falcons “Euroteam” consists of players from 16-19 years of age pulled from two different age divisions or teams within the Falcons Football club.
Their club has a diverse make up of nationalities and backgrounds including players from the English and French Communities, Congolese and other African Countries, as well as Aboriginal and Metis athletes, and even some born in Ireland!
Very exciting for us, as while we've had many visitors here to South Dublin over the year, we've not had so many Canadians visit us at one time!
Yvonne Hansen Convenor of Greendell Falcon Football Program and an Irish native, commented on the skills that will be learned and the excitement amongst the traveling team, “We are all looking forward to the many tours planned for our team while in Ireland, as well as having the chance to see how we can adapt to "American rules" kitted football. While the basic game is the same, there are a lot of adjustments that we need to make in our play for the "American" game, some of which are very foreign to our players and coaches. A smaller field and less players on the field are only a couple of differences we need to adapt to. The Falcon Euro Team is comprised of players from two of our teams, the older players from our 15-17 year old team, and the younger players from our 18-22 year old team, and without exception the players are extremely excited about participating in this new opportunity.”
Considering this weekend the Irish American Football Association just hosted the Shamrock Bowl in Tallaght Stadium (with the Belfast Trojans winning their second consecutive Shamrock Bowl with a 48-18 victory over the Dublin Rebels) it looks like South Dublin is the home of American Football in Ireland.
You can see the Greendell Falcons play in the Gathering Bowl at Tallaght Stadium from the 30th of August, 31st of August and 1st of September 2013.
Admission is FREE, but pre registered tickets are available from mid July on www.americanfootball.ie.
For further information log on to www.thegatheringdublin.com.