As our regular season ended over a week ago, the Cowboys earned the number one seed in the playoffs, winning the league and securing a home semifinal. The ‘Boys host Trinity College Dublin this Sunday to determine who goes to Navan to play in the IAFL 1 Bowl game. We had a chat with Defensive Coordinator Mark Beattie to get his thoughts...
Defensive Coordinator Mark Beattie talking tactics with D Line man Joe Marley. Pic credit: Eamon McCormick
Well Beats, it's been over a week since the Minotaur game, how do feel the 'D' performed?
I was over the moon generally with how we stacked up, we done some homework and what we expected to see, we saw in the game. I was pleased with how we adjusted, we changed a few small tweaks in game to react to what we were seeing and our guys really took it on board and were able to do what I was looking from them so that is really pleasing.
With the League ending, the Cowboys Defense was 2nd overall in fewest points allowed this year and with another impressive performance with a big-time shutout against the Minotaurs, you must feel good knowing that you're the brains behind this operation?
I'm not really, I'm just the guy who trys to look like he knows what he is doing! To be honest it's no use me coming up with ideas or plans if the guys arent able to do it and it's down to the players that we have been able to finish 2nd in points conceded. It speaks well to the leadership and commitment from the defensive players.
So looking ahead to the playoffs, as top seed and league champs, we're hosting Trinity College Dublin, the only team to have got one up on the Cowboys this year. Nervous?
Not really, I dont get nervous too much to be honest. I did when I played for sure. But now I have to trust my preparation, trust my players and trust in the game plan.
Since that first game where the Defense only conceded 6 points against Trinity (Offense giving up a pick six and a safety), do you think the defense for both sides will be the main decider or will the offenses take over this time round?
I dont care what side of the ball has the best game, aslong as there is Orange in the Bowl game I'll be happy. I'll be treating Trinity for exactly what they are, a highly talented and dangerous side that could cause any team in Ireland problems no matter the division. Of course they are the only team to beat us this year so we will want to right that wrong as well.
Finally, what's the last thing you'll say to the 'Boys before the war starts on Sunday? Any words of encouragement to settle any pregame nerves?
We play our game, we will do what we do and have done every game this season. I place high expectations on my guys and they know that. I expect almost perfection but I'm realistic. Aslong as they give everything they have got, show full commitment to your position, your scheme, your team mates and the name on the front of your Jersey then I will be happy. I love this team and this group of guys and I have no doubt whatsoever that they will give me everything they have come Sunday 2pm, the big question is - will it be enough?
We interrogated 2nd year player and Youth Representative David McMichael before Sunday’s clash with the Westmeath Minotaurs...
Pic taken by Eamon McCormick
So David, even though you were out of the last game with an injury, the Eagles were a run heavy offence so are you excited for a more air attack style of offence with the Minotaurs?
First of all, I’m excited to get back to playing and helping the team in anyway that I can. I’m excited to play against the Minotaurs to face a different challenge and gain valuable experience.
Playing cornerback, from a lineman’s perspective, can look quite a monotonous job, cover the guy and don’t let him grab the ball, is it as simple as that in reality?
In laymen’s terms that’s really all it is. Personally I have been really trying to work on my run support no matter where the running back is going, it matters to get involved on every play.
This is your second year in the senior team, and second year in the playoffs, are you getting used to making it to the post season?
I’ve never known the Cowboys to not make the playoffs in my time but that doesn’t change the approach I take to any game. All games are a must win in our season if we want to make a run at the bowl and I’m sure everyone on the team can agree with that.
Having got a safety last year, are you focused to try and get more points or will you settle for an interception?
As long as we can hold the opposing team to minimum points and win the game I don’t mind how we do it, but I’d be lying if the idea of scoring some points the other way wasn’t something I’d love to do.
To finish then, you came runner up in last years rookie initiation, any advice you’d give to this years new recruits going into Sunday?
Honestly just give it you’re all and don’t care what anyone thinks, it’s banter and you’ll make more memory’s if you go all in, I know I definitely did.
In the countdown to Sunday, we caught up with Defenisve Coordinator Mark Beattie for a chat...
Coach Mark Beattie giving the Defense a few words of wisdom. Pic by Eamon McCormick.
To start off our last week of regular season football, we spoke to a few players and coaches to gather some thoughts on the previous game and the league standings. We started off by cornering Club President Jo Buchanan, who is always willing to give a few words...
Jo Buchanan (#22) getting to the outside of a Wexford Eagles defender. Photo by Eamon McCormick.
The Cowboys overcame a tough Wexford Eagles team 27-13 to cap an excellent Alumni Day, which was particularly poignant as we paid tribute to the Cowboys first chairman Marcell Seeley, who passed away earlier this year.
Our points came through 2 rushing TDs from Peter Loughran as well as 2 passing TDs from P Loughran to Conrad Smith. Stephen Brennan ran in a 2PAT as well as kicking a PAT. This crucial league win doubled up with silverware as we won the Marcell Seeley Memorial Cup.
The Craigavon Cowboys American Football Club are delighted to announce the details of our flag programme for 2019.
Our goal is to have at least two flag teams competing in the Irish flag football leagues this year - one team in the Emerald Bowl Conference and at least one team in the Glas Bowl Conference.
By Liam Grimley
Ahead of tomorrows crunch game against the Vipers, we spoke with Cowboys Defensive Co-ordinator Mark Beattie to get his thoughts on the season so far as well as tomorrows game.
By Liam Grimley
On Sunday, your Craigavon Cowboys play Trinity College Dublin. It is a tough fixture for us and it will be a learning experience for sure. This Trinity side is completely different to what we have faced in the past. Head Coach Greg Loughran has acknowledged the threat of the students that will be “gagging for football”. He is feeling confident going into this week stating, "It will be nice to kick off our season at home". Also praising his offensive line and his defense’s progression, Loughran has confidence that his team can prevail at People’s Park in Portadown on Sunday, “Generally, If you are at home you have a better chance of winning.” This statement hopefully staking a claim to our opponents this weekend.
We are currently looking for videographers to join our media team. The roles would include filming training and matches. Footage captured would be used for team reviews and highlights - video editing is also an option if able to do so. Travel to away games will be provided as well as the opportunity to travel further afield with teams within the club having been to Copenhagen, Vienna, Glasgow and Salou in the past 3 years. The club will also pay for volunteer training such as first aid and child protection courses. The roles will require you to be available on most Sundays when there is training and matches on. See more information on volunteering within our club here.
This is a great opportunity to add quality experience to your CV or continue your passion in a new area. You don’t need to have any knowledge of American Football, just be willing to learn!
Please note: This is a volunteer position, not a paid position. The successful candidate will be required to undertake an AccessNI check, with the club covering the cost.
Interested candidates should fill out the below form, and we will be in touch with you in due course.
Calling all former Cowboys - This year’s Alumni Game will commemorate the Cowboys first chairman Marcell Seeley, who passed away recently. Marcell was a cornerstone of the club when it was first established in 1986: organising and running the club, raising money for equipment, travelling to London for the American Bowl games, as well as winning the very first Shamrock Bowl.
A lunch is being organised pre-game at Bennetts, Portadown. This will be from 12 noon, of which we invite Marcell’s family and all Cowboys Alumni to attend. Please contact Jo Buchanan (email@example.com) so we have an idea of numbers to book.
Bennetts is a 5 minute walk away from our home venue at Peoples Park, where the Cowboys will battle the Wexford Eagles for the Marcell Seeley Memorial Cup. Kick off is scheduled for 2pm.
The team will then be heading to the Parkside Bar after the game for drinks and food – all are welcome to share stories with old and new Cowboys.
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