Dutch Lions Take On Team Ireland – Players to watch!

The Irish set off this weekend to take on the Dutch Lions in Holland as Team Ireland prepare for their first ever competitive game. The Netherlands national team are a well known outfit and have competed on the international scene for years, but for Ireland this is a brand new level of football never experienced.

With kickoff looming and the excitement building, we thought it best to give you an idea of who to keep an eye on by showcasing some of the talent that will take to the field at Mandemakers Stadion, in Waalwijk, Holland

TEAM IRELAND

Team Ireland showcase their new jerseys

Team Ireland display their new jerseys.

QUARTERBACK: TOM DONOVAN 
UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN

Tom Donovan

Tom Donovan was one of the most exciting players to watch in Ireland this year. The spark of the UCD offence helped lead his team to their first ever playoff run and showed his quality by producing play after play. He offers the perfect blend of accuracy and escapability, often using his feet to keep drives alive. The playmaker is a nightmare for defenders, proven by his 20+ touchdown total. Fellow quarterbacks, Andrew Dennehy and Tosan Memuduaghan may offer a more commanding presence, but Tom certainly has the intangibles to be a threat should head coach Ciaran O’Sullivan choose to use him.

RUNNING BACK: NEIL MONTGOMERY
BELFAST TROJANS

Full Back, Neil Montgomery storms through for the touchdown. Photography by Bob Given

Full Back, Neil Montgomery storms through for the touchdown. Photography by Bob Given

The Trojans fullback is a tough, physical runner who isn’t afraid of contact. He has a quick burst from the snap and his size and tenacity makes it extremely difficult for defenders to bring him down. The Trojans often turn to Montgomery in critical situations, so expect Ireland to use him to the same extent. His yards after contact is one of the best in Ireland and in short yardage situations, he is a mismatch for anybody.

WIDE RECEIVER: DAVID RICHARDSON
BELFAST TROJANS

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In similar fashion to his favourite NFL wide-out Dez Bryant, Richardson can talk the talk, but also back it up on the field. His safe hands and ability to break coverage has seen him become an essential part of the Belfast Trojans receiving corp. His combination of route running and awareness allows him to break away from defenders, which is the reason why he remains atop of the Irish American Football Leagues receiving charts.

LINEBACKER: CONRAD COOK
DUBLIN REBELS

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Cook could be the most in form player in the Irish squad heading to Holland. He was recently named MVP in Shamrock Bowl 30 a few short weeks ago with two interceptions in the Dublin Rebels title win. His move from local rivals the South Dublin Panthers helped solidify a Rebels defence that had been struggling for consistency. He offers a stout presence in the run game and his coverage ability was there to be seen in the final.

 

SAFETY: CRAIG SWITZER
UNIVERISTY OF LIMERICK VIKINGS

Ireland - Craig Switzer-2

The Vikings are a solid unit defensively, but with Switzer in the backfield it makes them even more dangerous. Craig is a smart player and has an excellent reading of the game. He is often at the right place to make vital interceptions and can also come down into the box on running plays. He isn’t afraid to tackle either and will be a valuable addition to Ireland’s secondary.

TEAM NETHERLANDS

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WIDE RECEIVER: DYLAN VON GERHARDT
AMSTERDAM CRUSADERS

Holland - Dylan von Gerhardt

Dylan Von Gerhardt was a key for the Amsterdam Crusaders in their run to the European Football League final and is also a go-to receiver on the Dutch Lions. He possesses Wes Welker-like speed and moves. He is extremely agile and has a reputation as a playmaker. Ireland’s secondary must be wary of him.

QUARTERBACK: RICHARD BOUTHOORN
ALPHEN EAGLES

Richard Bouthoort

Bouthoorn led the Lions to a 17-3 victory in their IFAF Europe qualifier against the Belgium Barbarians last year, helping them to advance to the European qualifying tournament this fall. His leadership and quality will be vital if the offence are to move the ball successfully. With plenty of weapons around him, he has all the tools neccessary to be a threat to Ireland’s defence.

DEFENSIVE END: KEVIN BOURNE 
AMSTERDAM CRUSADERS

Kevin Bourne

The Dutch defence work collectively and are both a productive and relentless unit. However, defensive end Kevin Bourne is one of the primary leaders and has been a stalwart for the Lions over the years. The veteran’s size and strength makes him a force on the defensive front, so game-planning for him could be essential. He plays for the current national champions in Holland, the Amsterdam Crusaders.

RUNNING BACK: MIQUEL CASTELEN
AMSTERDAM CRUSADERS

Holland - Dutch Lions - MIQUEL CASTELEN-2

The Netherlands have a very deep crop of running backs, and all are equally as talented. However, Castelen could be the player to watch out for. His speed and quickness will make him elusive against defenders, but he also has the size to add power to his running game. Expect to see him with the ball on plenty of occasions.

 

Scott Morrow
Scott is an aspiring Sports Journalist who enjoys writing about all things American Football. He is a regular contributor to AFI Review and also writes for both NFL Ireland and Double Coverage, and currently plays for the Belfast Trojans. He also supports the Green Bay Packers.
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