The Juniors entered the inaugural IAFA Junior League 2015 where, for the first time, matches would be played exclusively for 16-20 year olds. Our Juniors won the championship, and are currently in preseason for the upcoming 2016 season. We caught up with Juniors head coach, Manny Bell to talk about the 2015 season and preparation for the 2016 season.
2015 saw the Juniors bring home the league title, what were the factors to this success?
"The key to our success was an experienced coaching staff and a dedicated core of young players who consistantly trained at a high intensity."
The 2016 season is due to start in September, how is the preseason going?
"We have a number of players returning from last season which is great help, also there is some promising new talent which will push the experienced guys. Some players are off on holiday which is understandable but we will be expecting full turnouts as September arrives."
What goals have you and the team got for the 2016 season?
"Our goal this season is to win the title again, but this time, without losing any games. We also want to bring the older youth players into the senior team, and make the jump as easy as possible for them. We have placed a big emphasis on our recruitment and making the Cowboys known within the community - we hope this will raise the profile of our club and sport. "
Many new, young players started their American football journey last year with the Juniors, what advice would you give to players looking to join?
"My advice would be to stick with it, generally American football is a difficult sport to master. Ask questions from your team mates and your coaches, no question is stupid! Becoming part of our team is more than just a team, it's a brotherhood. We look out for each other and encourage each other. As long as your giving your all nobody can or will ask more."
The shortlist for the Juniors 2015 Awards is as follows:
Overall MVP - James Rolston, Gavin McConnell, Kieran Flynn, Anton Nulty, Darren McCann, Scott Buchanan, Owen O'Neill, Jonny Hood
Offensive MVP - James Rolston, Anton Nulty, Darren McCann, Scott Buchanan, Ryan Prunty, Andrew Moore, Shane Burns
Defensive MVP - Gavin McConnell, Jonny Hood, Bartholomew Burzynski, Jason Duddy, Padraig Dynes, Kieran Flynn, Owen O'Neill
More information on the awards night can be found here - sure to be a great night for all the family/friends!