2022 American Football Ireland Pre Season Power Rankings
Kitted football in Ireland in back! Yes, the 2022 season has been confirmed to go ahead, and we’re so excited for Irish American football that we might actually go to watch a game this year. No, seriously. While the schedule still hasn’t officially been released, enough teams have posted their match ups on social media for us to have a good idea of who will be competing in the Premier Division this year!
Now, we’re fully aware that the Galeic Gridiron 2022 power rankings may cause some good natured debate, and some people are not going to be happy. Just remember: we don’t care. So don’t @ us!
2. Cork Admirals
4. Belfast Knights
6.. Craigavon Cowboys
8. Dublin Rhinos
- Belfast Trojans.
The Trojans are without a doubt the undisputed best team on the Island of Ireland. Are they infallible? No, but it’s pretty fucking close. Out of the last 10 Shamrock Bowls, the northerners have claimed 5 and are my preseason favorites to win the first post covid championship. They’re preparation and dedication is second to none. A truly complete side on all three phases of the game.
- Cork Admirals
A mainstay of Irish American football in the 00’s, the Admirals bounced back onto the scene after reforming with a Shamrock bowl victory in 2018. Boasting killers on both sides of the ball, the Leesiders are bound to make a postseason push in 2022 and could well be lifting the trophy again this August.
- South Dublin Panthers
The Panthers are ranked third here by virtue of their sole Shamrock Bowl appearance back in 2019.(Who else remembers their insane field goal from that game that is definitely an Irish American football record?) You really have to admire what Steve McDonnell has done with this program. He’s instilled discipline and has forged a very competitive side with talented players at all positions. With a strong rushing game and a fierce defensive front, the newly Tymon Park based side can expect to be back in the playoffs come the summer.
- Belfast Knights
Being Belfast’s “other team” is not an easy task. The artists formerly known as Carrickfergus have performed consistently well in recent years, but have been absent from the Bowl since 2017. Will relocating give them a competitive edge and help with recruiting? Our money is on the Knights going one and done this season, most likely in the Wildcard round.
To be honest, it could have been either UCD, Craigavon or the Rebels in this spot. UCD have simply shown more in recent years, and so they’re ranked higher. Despite having talent at key positions, UCD have never really been able to get their shit together and get themselves into a bowl game. Maybe this comes down to coaching or management. Whatever it is, the boys from Belfield need big changes if they have any chance of making their first championship game this year.
- Craigavon Cowboys
It seems the Cowboys have been promoted to the Premier Division for 2022. But will they hold their own after dominating in the lower league? They certainly have the talent to compete but the level of competition will be a lot stiffer. There’s not a lot else to say here, but the Cowboys are a generally sound bunch who play hard and fair and we wish them all the best in their return to top flight Irish American Football!
- Dublin Rebels
As we mentioned above, the 5,6 and 7 spots are pretty interchangeable at this point of the season. The Rebels have gone through a reformation of sorts over the last few years. The vast majority of the old crew have retired, but they still have a few killers. An athletic Amercian transplant at the helm of the offense and a bodybuilder for a running back should be a pretty good combination for success. But again, this incarnation of the Rebels just doesn’t quite have the same X factor as it would in the old days.
- Dublin Rhinos
Look, it pains us to have the Rhinos here. But somebody has to be last. The Castleknock side could and should be contenders but they’ve never shown enough to make it happen. It’s not for a lack of talent – they’ve had players in the national team set up for years. Whatever it is that’s holding the Rhinos back, we genuinely hope that this is the year they shake it off and make a real push for a playoff spot.