The first competitive american football games on the island of Ireland since 2019 will take place this weekend, as a summer flag football tournament kicks off in Cork.
Teams from all over the country will converge on the people’s republic for the first of 4 blitzes taking place over 4 weekends in June and July.
The tournament is serving as a precursor to the official start of the flag football season, which is provisionally slated to start in early September.
The Raptors, Lions, Tigers, Hurricanes, Quetzals, Saints, Eagles and Outlaws will duke it out for bragging rights as the de facto number one flag team in the country.
Commenting on the summer flag tournament, Director of Flag Football Robert Caldwell spoke of how these fixtures are a great opportunity for teams to get some playing time in before the season starts in earnest. Caldwell also discussed the growth of flag football in Ireland in recent years: “When I first played flag football there were 16 teams, we’re up to 22 now, even as high as 26 and GP before me did an excellent job in putting a solid foundation in place for development long term.”
The outcome of the summer flag tournament should give a good indication of how the upcoming season will play out.
Caldwell’s vision for the future of flag football in Ireland is ambitious: “One thing I’d like to see is more regional teams, such as out west. The more teams we have the better it would be for everyone. We’ve got some great flag players and I’d love to see us competing in tournaments abroad and on the international stage. I don’t see any reason why we couldn’t compete.”
It has been a long offseason, but with the return of competitive football there is finally light on the football horizon here in Ireland.
Stay tuned to Gaelic Gridiron for all your Irish American football news!