The Belgian Barbarians, the national team of Belgium, are gearing up for another busy fall with three games on tap in the space of six weeks.
Perhaps the busiest national team in Europe over the past five years, Team Belgium is scheduled to face the Irish Wolfhounds, aka Team Ireland on September 7 in an international friendly. They will then enter the IFAF European Championship qualifying rounds as they first take on Israel on October 6 and then play Team Hungary on October 26.
Since 2014, the Barbarians have had one of the most crowded schedules of any national team in Europe playing between two and four games a year. Late last year, Belgium earned a historic win when they defeated Team Holland for the first time ever, beating them 14-7. Belgium had dropped a 20-19 decision to a surprisingly tough Team Ireland squad. The Belgians played two international exhibition games in 2017 defeating Team Spain 18-16 in a controversial thriller, and then downing the Russian national team 7-2 in a tight defensive battle. They beat both Spain and Hungary in 2016 and in 2015, they played four games including a tough loss to Holland in a European qualifier in front of almost 5,000 roaring Dutch fans.
In 2018, Spencer Wood took over the coaching duties of Team Belgium from Lee Rosky, who stepped down after four years in charge of the program in Belgium. He added All-Europe running back Jaycen Taylor as running backs coach, and Saarland Hurricanes (German Football League) head coach Joe Sturdivant as defensive coordinator.