Our Seniors are well into preseason training, getting ready for the upcoming season which starts on Sunday 19th March with a home match against the Meath Bulldogs. An extensive rookie recruitment drive has seen many new faces join the Cowboys, while 2017 will see the veterans face new challenges as the team will compete in IAFL 1 this year. We spoke with Head Coach Greg Loughran to see how preseason is going, and his hopes for the team in 2017.
A 7 week rookie try-out campaign in 6 different locations took place towards the end of 2016, how have the rookies settled into the team so far?
“Our rookie try out days in a number of different towns has proved to be a great success, both for our sport and for our club. We have introduced our sport to a lot of new places and picked up a lot of talented players, who are doing really well. Even after we have had the rookie days, we have found that word is still circulating about the Cowboys having been in town and guys contacting us.”
A different league this year with some teams our Seniors have never played before, what challenges are you expecting to face?
“I have always found that every year presents us with a new set of circumstances as regards the opposition that we face. Just because we are in a different division doesn't mean that we will prepare any differently from the previous season. We expect to meet teams that have prepared to play hard ball. There will be no easy games, we will play every game from start to finish like the score is 0-0. We don't quit, that has always been our way.”
What is the main objective for the Senior team in 2017?
“I expect our team to compete and be competitive, no matter who we play or whatever level we will be playing at. We are not playing in the NFL but we don't want to play within ourselves. We have a lot to prove this year.”
While our recruitment drive may be over for this season, new players are always welcome. What advice would you give to someone thinking about giving American football a go?
“If you still want to play for the Cowboys, have an open mind. It is never what you expect. Be prepared to leave your comfort zone, you will be a different person with your involvement in our sport. And most importantly, be prepared to have fun."