Donnybrook Stadium welcomes top U.S. high school and college American football teams as tickets go on sale for Global Ireland Football Tournament

From MPreston Sports, March 12, 2012
by Michael Preston, MP@MPrestonSports.com, (001)-781-363-0305

Donnybrook Stadium, the traditional home of Rugby Union in Leinster, will host two American football games featuring top high school and Division III college teams from the United States playing in Ireland this summer as part of the Global Ireland Football Tournament (GIFT) 2012.

Donnybrook Stadium, located on Dublin's southside, is the former home of the reigning Heineken Cup European champions Leinster Rugby Club, and joins GAA venues Páirc Tailteann in Navan, County Meath, and Parnell Park in Donnycarney on Dublin's northside for the series of games on Friday, August 31.

Organizer Global Football has also announced that tickets for all GIFT 2012 events, which each offer six hours worth of top-quality American football action, will go on sale on March 15 through www.Tickets.ie/GIFT2012 priced 15 Euros for adults and 10 Euros for students, with free admission for children aged 12 and under.

High school teams Loyola Academy from Illinois and Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas, Texas, will kick off the Donnybrook event at 4pm, followed by a 7.30pm clash between John Carroll University from Ohio and St Norbert College from Wisconsin. The 'double-header' in Dublin is one of three American football showcases that day featuring a total of 12 teams on the eve of the Emerald Isle Classic at the AVIVA Stadium between Notre Dame and Navy. Details of all games can be found at www.GIFT2012.com.

"From my first visit to Dublin, I identified Donnybrook as an ideal setting for two of our historic games," said Patrick Steenberge of Global Football. "Upon entering the stadium I got the feeling of a traditional sports stadium where thousands of classic games have been played. Leinster Rugby is the premier club in all of Europe, and our partnership with them and the other rugby clubs that share Donnybrook is very special. With its proximity to City Center Dublin, this will be the easiest GIFT stadium for fans to access."

"Leinster Rugby are delighted with the announcement that four American Football teams will play in Donnybrook on Friday, August 31." said David Ross, Leinster Executive Services Manager and Operations Manager for the Donnybrook stadium. "It is the traditional Leinster home ground for our main Schools Rugby Cup Competitions, as well as our Leinster Domestic Rugby Representative sides at underage levels Under 18's / 19' s. In addition, Leinster U 20's and Leinster 'A' teams also play their top home games in Donnybrook.

"Being so close to the Aviva Stadium, the August 31 American Football games will be the ideal 'opener' for the big game there on September 1 and we look forward to welcoming the large number of American visitors to our grounds."

The Irish American Football Association (IAFA), whose 2012 league season kicked off in Ireland this month and is highlighted by the Shamrock Bowl on the weekend of July 14/15, endorses the GIFT 2012 games.

Media may download action photos of Loyola Academy for media use only and the GIFT 2012 event logo, here: https://rcpt.yousendit.com/1412096696/842d30afbb1d48fba9d7d7cadb227384

Media may download action photos of St Norbert College for media use only and the GIFT 2012 event logo, here: https://rcpt.yousendit.com/1412092876/63c4ff0b984427d8e4236f5d93090dcf

The teams:

John Carroll University, led by head coach Regis Scafe, is no stranger to Global Football events, having participated in their European Tours every three years since 1996. Most recently, in May of 2010, the Blue Streaks visited France for ten days of football and sightseeing, culminating in a game against the Brussels All-Stars. In 2011, JCU fell short in its bid to retain the Cuyahoga Gold Bowl, finishing the season with a 5-5 record.

St. Norbert College has won nine Midwest Conference championships, appearing in eight NCAA Division III playoffs under head coach Jim Purtill. The Green Knights finished the 2011 season with a 7-3 record, ensuring St Norbert has recorded at least seven wins in each of the past 13 seasons.

Loyola Academy won the 2010 Chicago Catholic League Championship and the Prep Bowl Championship in 2008 and last season posted 13 wins before losing in the 8A Illinois State finals. During head coach John Holecek's six years at Loyola, the team has qualified for the IHSA largest school division state playoffs each year.

Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas, a top Texas private school program, is one of two private schools that is a member of the University Interscholastic League and competes in District 9 of Class 5A, the state's largest classification. In 2011 Dallas Prep reached first round of the state playoffs.

About Donnybrook Stadium: The 6,000-capacity stadium has 2,500 individual seats and hosts multiple rugby games for Leinster friendly games, Ireland A, the Ireland women's team and Leinster schools teams. Local club sides Old Wesley and Bective Rangers also play at Donnybrook, which hosted a Michael Bublé concert in 2008 following its renovation.

About Global Football: Under the guidance of President Patrick Steenberge, a former Notre Dame quarterback and high school All-American at Erie Cathedral Prep, Global Football has produced football games in 19 nations during the past 16 years. Working partners include USA Football, NFL, Super Bowl Host Committees, American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), Notre Dame, Penn State, Pop Warner, Tanzania Sports Council and dozens of NCAA Division III colleges as well as National Football Federations worldwide. http://www.globalfootball.com

About Education in Ireland
World Class Standards, Warmest of Welcomes:
Ireland's worldwide reputation for high quality education is built on the solid foundation of commitment to excellence. Ireland is a beautiful island, combining contemporary modern cities with an unspoilt countryside, offering cityscapes steeped in history and landscapes lush with a rich natural habitat. Renowned for friendliness, our safe, English speaking country offers the warmest of welcomes to students from all over the world. http://www.educationinireland.com

About the Irish American Football Association (IAFA): The National Governing Body for American Football in Ireland is recognised by the Irish Sports Council and the Federation of Irish Sports. It is affiliated to the European Federation of American Football (EFAF) and the International Federation of American Football (IFAF). The Irish American Football League (IAFL) plays adult, full contact American football U.S. college football rules and has also established an 8v8 league to allow new teams to progress.

About Anthony Travel: The leader in university and sports travel management, playing a critical role in the success of the Emerald Isle Classic and Global Ireland Football Tournament. Providing over 10,000 guests with comprehensive travel solutions to Ireland, Anthony Travel is sure to deliver an unforgettable experience.

For information about the Global Ireland Football Tournament 2012 please visit www.GIFT2012.com or email Patrick@GlobalFootball.com. All team and fan travel for GIFT is being expertly handled by Anthony Travel, which also manages all team and fan travel for the Notre Dame and Navy. Contact Sheldon Baxter, sheldonbaxter@anthonytravel.com for details, or visit http://www.anthonytravel.com/globalfootball/gift.