EFAF is followed by IFAF Europe
Four teams again to compete for EFAF Atlantic Cup
After inauguration in 2009 this year's Atlantic Cup again will bring together four teams for one action-packed weekend of American Football. Soon after the first tournament with teams from four nations from Western Europe at Brussels had turned into a successful event the Irish federation signaled its interest to host Atlantic Cup II in summer 2010. Preparations for the tournament at the Irish capital of Dublin are already underway, and the schedule for the weekend of June 26/27 has been set.
Three of the four Atlantic Cup participants will be able to make their international debut at Dublin, as the Dudelange Dragons of Luxembourg are the only team that has played in Atlantic Cup 2009 as well. While the Dragons are the only team in their tiny country and thus were nominated automatically for the Luxembourg starting spot, the three other federations nominated different teams this year. This is very much in line with EFAF's intent in providing these regional tournaments like Atlantic Cup: to help as many teams as possible to gain international experience, getting used to a higher level of competition and building up international relationships. The Challenge Cup provides the same opportunity for teams from countries in Eastern Central Europe, and a current initiative by EFAF will lead to the installation of a similar tournament for the far-most Eastern part of the continent in 2010.
At Dublin reigning Irish champion Limerick Vikings will be facing Dudelange in the semifinals on June 26. The Vikings are determined to reach the final and continue the Irish quest to win an European trophy. Last year the Dublin Rebels just fell short in the final against West-Vlaanderen Tribes from Belgium, losing by a margin of two points. Limerick was responsible for the second defeat of the Rebels in a final game last year, when the Vikings won Ireland's championship final and beat the Rebels by 9-6 in overtime.
Belgium this year is represented by the Brussels Bulls, who will face the Lelystad Commanders from the Netherlands in the second semifinal of the Atlantic Cup. Lelystad comes out of a strong 2009 season with only one defeat, and even as this strong performance just earned the Commanders the promotion to the Dutch first division they clearly are one of the teams on the rise in their country. Now they are eager to make impact not only in league play at home, but are bound to make an impression on European level as well. And the Atlantic Cup is the appropriate event for fresh and young teams to enter the European stage.