Irish American Football 2023 Season Preview

Irish American Football 2023 Season Preview

The NFL season may be in our rearview, but there’s still plenty of football to come as the Irish American football year is about to get started! In just over 2 weeks’ time, domestic American football will return and there are some mouth watering fixtures look forward to on the season opening day.

The first game of the 2023 season is a rematch of last year’s cracking Shamrock Bowl and see’s the reigning champions UCD kick off their title defense against runners up, Dublin Rebels. Will the Rebels get revenge or will UCD continue in the same dominant form that saw them claim their first ever Shamrock Bowl last August? One thing is for sure: At least one of these teams will feature in the 2023 championship game. Both sides are stacked with talent at all positions, and this is becoming a nice little rivalry that quite frankly the league needs to generate a bit more interest and excitement!

Other contenders for the American Football Ireland crown in 2023 include the South Dublin Panthers and the Belfast Trojans. The 2019 Shamrock Bowl finalists won’t meet on the field until mid-June and will be looking to enter this fixture in strong shape. We all know how good the Trojans have been historically, claiming 5 of the last 9 Shamrock Bowl titles. The Belfast side had a surprisingly average season in 2022, going 4-4 and finishing just short of a playoff spot – and will be gunning for a return to postseason action in 2023.

One team hoping to make an impact in their first season playing in the Irish American football premier division, will be the Westmeath Minotaurs. The boys from Mullingar are replacing the relegated Rhinos and will face two stiff tests in swift succession when they face the Belfast Knights and the Craigavon Cowboys in their first two matchups. Joe Kinahan & Co are likely to find the jump from first division to premier challenging and will need to bring their “A Game” week in week out if they want to survive, let alone thrive. Having said that, the Knights came close to demotion themselves last season & avoided the drop by the grace of points difference.  It will be tough for any of these three teams to crack the top half of the table this season.

There were high hopes before the 2023 Irish American Football schedule was released that this would be the year of a ten-game slate. Unfortunately, this still hasn’t materialized. We firmly believe that ten regular season games is a very feasible concept for the league to implement. But that’s a topic for another time and another article. All we’ll say on the matter for now is that with a little bit of wrangling (and merging the lower divisions) it could be easily done. But the desire has to be there.

For now, we are eagerly anticipating the beginning of the new season, and you can check out the full 2023 Irish American football schedule here.

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