Wolfhounds Flag Football: Squad Selection

The Irish Wolfhounds Flag Football coaching staff has finalized the selection of the first 32 athletes to train with the Wolfhounds Flag Football squad in 2021.

The selected athletes will be given a training plan to follow over the next few months in order to prepare for squad training beginning in 2021. The plan will cover strength and conditioning, nutrition, regular check-ups, individual position-based and skill-specific drills, and when possible (within COVID-19 guidelines) group drills.

The coaching staff are keen to reiterate that if you were not selected on this occasion, keep working hard to improve your game – chances to be selected into the squad will arise in the future.

The 32 athletes selected are listed below:

2020 Season – Statement from the HC

It’s Sunday about noon and while the football community would normally be gearing up for the latest round of AFI games today is different. No clatter of gear and cleats in cramped dressing rooms, no pre-game rituals, no pre-game nerves. Yesterday the American Football Ireland board took the decision to cancel the AFI 2020 Season.

I know that this was not an easy decision to make. I totally agree and support this decision. But as I was trying to digest the news a part of my brain kept coming back to… “could we not just…….”.  I logic’d through the ramifications and arrived back at the correct decision – cancel the season.  So I know a lot of thought and consideration was put into making the right call and I would like to thank each of them for their leadership and clarity in this time of uncertainty and fear.

I watch as other sports worldwide are trying to salvage something from 2020 and I question the sense being applied. When this pandemic has passed there will be a new landscape in which sport will have to fit. But these are future concerns. Right now there can be only one focus, safety. I am proud of our sport always. When I am asked to explain what makes American Football so special, the conversation always comes around to decision making under pressure. All 22 players on the field are thinking through situations that evolve violently in seconds. Coaches likewise are challenged and challenge each other to make the right call dozens of times a game. That for me sets us apart from the rest of the field. Our board have demonstrated this winning trait. Thank you.

From my den I can see the Cork University Hospital. A few months ago we were talking about the illness in a Chinese province. I will never forget the day the news broke that the illness had arrived in the CUH. The news has been filled with other locations that previously were known to me through football. Bergamo in Italy which I associated with quality football and the Lions now has a different resonance for us all.

My perspective on people has changed too. I may have known you as a player, coach, official or committee member. I am now seeing more. The job you do, some on the front line. The family you have that you are fighting to keep safe. The time you give others as you reach out to those who may be suffering through the isolation and fear. I thought I had seen the best of you on the field, I was so wrong. You are amazing, all of you. At this point I would like to wish my Belgian counterpart, colleague and friend, Coach Spencer Woods well as he continues his recovery from Covid 19. Through his illness he continued to reach out and inspire.

To the Wolfhounds family the message is simple. Stay safe.

Merchandise Now Available Online

We are very pleased to announce the opening of our online merchandise shop, in partnership with SquareWear NI.

There is a good selection of great quality Wolfhounds’ branded clothing, including T-shirts, hoodies, hats and fan jerseys.

Show your support for the team and start shopping!

Video Coaching Assistants

The Irish Wolfhounds invite applications to join the coaching staff in the role of Video Coaching Assistant.

We make extensive use of video analysis of training skellies, scrimmages and games to enhance and accelerate our coaching.

The role involves helping with the following steps:

  • Recording the video at training sessions
  • Cutting the raw video into separate plays
  • Adding each play video to the private website, using the WordPress CMS (or, potentially, Hudl in the near future)

We have current players and coaches that carry out these tasks, but we are unable to turn the video around quickly enough to get maximum benefit between coaching sessions. It is envisioned that 2 or 3 dedicated Video Coaching Assistants could share the bulk of this work and enable us to be able to start adding coaching comments to training plays within days of a session. This is crucial in the final training sessions before a game, which are often just a week apart.

The Video Coaching Assistants would be able to observe training drills (the video cameras are on fixed mounts and only require occasional re-positioning), and will also be able to read the coaches’ feedback, which amounts to large amount of first-hand coaching experience.

Whilst we welcome applications from any interested party, this is a role that would be ideal for an existing club coach with some technical knowledge, who is also keen to improve their coaching knowledge.

As with all positions on the hard-working Wolfhounds coaching staff, this is an unpaid, voluntary position.

To apply for this position, please fill in the contact form on this site.

Wolfhounds kicker trains with Nick Novac

Nick Novac with Marty Caskey at Dundalk Rugby club with the Mavericks at their training session.

Marty is the Wolfhounds’ kicker and said, “It was really good in terms of learning the mechanics. He was impressed with my approach and stance when connecting (upright rather than a ‘C’ shape). But he was able to give some great coaching tips on what to be thinking about, pelvic thrust on contact, wasted motion etc”.

Nick Novak successfully kicked for a number of NFL teams, over an eleven year period including the LA Chargers, Houston Texans and Washington Redskins

Irish Wolfhounds U20s to play home & away vs ‘The Pride’ (Filton College Football Academy)

The Irish Wolfhounds are pleased to announce the friendly fixtures this Autumn with the Filton College Football Academy for two games, firstly, welcoming ‘The Pride’ Academy to Ireland on *5th October and a return fixture on November 9th away to Bristol (*Venue & KO TBC).

Alan Orr, General Manager of the Irish National Teams remarked. “We are delighted to have these games confirmed for the youth team which will be a fantastic opportunity in our progress of the national programme with the young Wolfhounds. Bristol are a well founded football Academy with great pedigree and are well respected across Europe. Ben Herod who leads the Academy is totally invested in the development of youth football and over the years they have produced a lot of talented athletes. These games will be a great assessment of our own talent and simply it’s just great for our young guys to get the chance to play, learn and develop against quality opposition and another first for the junior squad to have an away game, should be fun and no more than they deserve.”

Coach Ben Herod of The Pride, Bristol commented on the news. “We have been waiting a long time to come back to Ireland and it’s a fantastic opportunity for us to build on a strong relationship with IAFA and the Wolfhounds staff and team, which I hope matures into a strong rivalry and continuing encounters in our Academy’s development and programming. There are some great people involved in Irish football and rebuilding the national programme and we are delighted to be considered to be part of this.

This will be the second time ‘The Pride’ have come to our shores, the first time they played here was in The Gathering Bowl in 2013 against Greendell Falcons from Manitoba, Canada at Tallaght Stadium. We look forward to seeing them back here and have no doubt it will be another competitive performance.