Monday, September 19, 2011

GRIDIRON AUSTRALIA TO RUN ADVERT TO ENTISE ATHLETES TO PLAY AMERICAN FOOTBALL

Gridiron Australia  will run an advert enticing athletes to play American football – or Gridiron as they call it down under - on Channel ONE HD, which is showing NFL games season.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hawkins is leading Team USA with arm and attitude

Cody Hawkins has shined during the first two games of IFAF Senior World Championship group play. The U.S. Men's National Team starting quarterback has been extraordinarily efficient for Team USA, connecting on 26-of-32 passes for an 81 percent completion rating. He has thrown for 352 yards and three touchdowns, with most of those statistics coming in the first halves of the games because of substantial U.S. leads.



But it's been his leadership that has helped solidify the squad as Team USA looks to defend its gold medal. Whether in meetings or on the field, Hawkins has displayed the qualities looked for in a national team player. This was most evident during a 61-0 win over Australia in which Hawkins chased down a blocked extra-point return, tackling the Australian runner inside the 10-yard line to preserve the shutout.

Hawkins is doing it with his arm as well. Against Australia, he completed first half touchdown passes to RB Nate Kmic and WR Alex Anderson, throwing just two incompletions during the contest in earning game MVP honors for his performances.

He steadied the U.S. offensive attack during a 48-7 win over Germany with his 13-of-17 performance for 152 yards. Hawkins has yet to throw an interception during the tournament.

“We came to win gold,” Hawkins said.  “No one wants to finish second. It is America’s game, and we take a lot of pride in that. We expect the best from ourselves, and even though everyone on our team came from different levels and from all over the country, we have no problem coming together for one goal.”

See video feature on Hawkins...>

One Win Away From the Gold Medal Game

The Mexican Senior National team is one win away from the Gold Medal game at the IFAF Senior World Championship, a goal they have had their eye on since arriving. But in order to reach it, Mexico must first face the United States. Both teams enter the game 2-0, and the winner will win the first spot at in the championship game on Saturday, July 16 in Vienna, Austria. 

In the first two games, Mexico defeated Germany in a thrilling 22-15 game and then dominated the game against Australia. 



But even though all the players and coaches are focused on the mission on hand, they still are enjoying the journey. 

“It has been a great experience,” said Mexico’s assistant coach Gabriel Sanchez. “The team is enjoying the tournament. This is a one time opportunity for most of us. We are trying to enjoy it.” 

For some, this is the end of the road for their football careers and are leaving everything on the field like cornerback Roberto Silva who has had a very impressive football career including some time spent playing in NFL Europe. 

“This is my last tournament,” said Silva. “I am turning 30 this month, so this is my graduation of football. It is a pleasure to play with these guys. Six or seven I played with them for ten or twelve years. We finished college in 2005 and then we played in NFL Europe."

“I think every player wants to have a good farewell. It is hard to say goodbye to this sport, I have been playing since I was 6 years old. It is a great time being here.”

The schedule at the IFAF Senior World Championship has been grueling playing three games in six days, something both Mexico and USA are not used to doing. 

“It has been tough, but we knew it would be coming here,” said coach Sanchez. “We tried to choice great players. In the first game we played with some players and in the second game we played with others. And they were all at the same level.”

Silva explained he didn’t play as much in the second game against Australia so his body would have more time to rest. 

“I am pretty old,” joked Silva.  “And we needed to get ready for USA. It is hard to play games so close together. We play hard. Every play is like we play to die. This is war for us. And we are ready.”

Mexico enters his game with the confidence that they have a shot at beating the USA, but know it will be a difficult task.  

“USA is a great team,” said coach Sanchez.  “They run the ball good, so first we need to stop run to beat them.  “We are prepared. We know how they play. USA will play without mistakes, so we have to make sure we don’t either. I feel we have the right kind of offense that can hurt them. It will be an interesting game.”

Watch a preview video of the Mexico vs USA game...>

Monday, July 11, 2011

Team USA preparing for ‘toughest opponent’ despite lack of rest

Written by Will Frasure, USA Football

Baseball and basketball players compete in games on an almost daily basis. For the U.S. Men’s National team in football, players are adjusting to that pace, which is common to football played overseas.

Team USA has played two games in four days during group play of the IFAF Senior World Championship in Austria, leaving little time for recovery and recuperation between contests. A third one – the biggest one yet – is Tuesday vs. Mexico.

The players are trying to counter the scarce time off with a variety of methods.



“A lot of ice and water treatment,” running back Nate Kmic said about what he’s been doing to recover. “This tournament is a grind with three games in six days. People are trying to stay off their feet as much as possible and get in the pool to stretch out. Anything to get ready for the next game.”

Kmic, who has 183 receiving yards from his running back position, will have to recover quickly, but the victories by wide margins over Australia and Germany have allowed Team USA rotate its players.

Quarterback Cody Hawkins, who has thrown for 356 yards in the two games, said this is why he and others should be back to full form by the time Team USA plays Mexico on Tuesday. Kickoff is 1 p.m. EST
“It has been tough playing so many games,” Hawkins said. “Luckily for me, our defense has been taking care of business and I haven’t played in the second half of the last two games. My body feels nice, but for a lot of these guys it feels like two-a-day practices.

“Playing games back-to-back-to-back, you barely have time to take a deep breath and relax.”

The team will need to be fully rehabilitated for its next contest. Team Mexico poses the biggest challenge yet for Team USA in group play. Mexico is 2-0 after beating both Australia (65-0) and Germany (22-15). The opening win against the Germans came after Mexico trailed, 15-12, at the beginning of the fourth quarter.

“Mexico without a doubt is the best team we will face so far,” Hawkins said.

Size, speed and experience are what most concern the United States about Mexico. Hawkins has been impressed with the speed of Team Mexico’s skill players. He also mentioned how most of Team Mexico played at competitive colleges in their home country.

“We know that Mexico is going to be a tough game,” head coach Mel Tjeerdsma said.  “Mexico is very talented, and they play hard. We are going to have a real challenge.”

Tjeersdma mentioned Jonathon Barrera as a player to watch out for on Mexico. The running back has been a dual threat with his running and pass-catching. The tandem of Barrera and Jose Reyes has been a huge factor during Mexico’s first two wins.

Even without much rest and the possibility of their toughest opponent looming, Hawkins and the rest of Team USA haven’t forgotten about their top task: to take home a championship.

“We came to win gold,” Hawkins said. “No one wants to finish second. It is America’s game, and we take a lot of pride in that.”

What Team USA game highlights...>

Peterson a strong advocate for football across the world

Written by Will Frasure, USA Football

USA Football chairman Carl Peterson couldn’t help but acknowledge the continued and growing global popularity of football as he watched the IFAF Senior World Championship in Austria this past weekend.
The former NFL coach and executive has been a bullish supporter of international football for years. He was an active supporter of international football and NFL Europe when he was the president and CEO of the Kansas City Chiefs.  Peterson has attended more than 10 football championships in Europe during his prolific career.



“I think without question, the level of competition throughout the world is getting better,” Peterson said to media during a press conference after the U.S. Men’s National Team defeated Australia.  “It is obvious that the athletes in Europe are as good as ours. All they need is more exposure to our training and background.
“I think there will come a period in time when more European players will be in the National Football League. And we have some younger players right now that are working very hard to accomplish that. I am very confident that will happen.”

The growth of football around the world – bolstered with an all-time high with 59 countries playing the sport – excites Peterson. After starting as a collegiate coach nearly 40 years ago, he has seen how the game “gives many attributes to young people that perhaps other sports do not.”

He also was impressed with the level of competition he witnessed during the championship’s first weekend. The effort exuded by not only the players but the coaches and everyone else involved is something that Peterson complemented.

“The competition is key, and I was very proud of the American team and our coaches and players but equally so for Australia and all the other participants,” Peterson said. “I know what goes into this game.”

With the first weekend finished, Peterson was more than satisfied with the production IFAF put on for everyone across Austria. From the quality of play on the field to the hospitality off of it, the USA Football chairman had only good things to say about the first couple of days of the tournament.

“We thank everyone in involved for this hospitality,” Peterson said. “It has been wonderful, and I know it will continue to be a great couple weeks in the great country of Austria.”

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Mexico & Germany Receive Gold Star for Team Spirit

Germany and Mexico’s fans made the trip to Innsbruck, Austria and brought along team spirit and noise makers as the stand was vibrating with noise throughout the Mexico / Germany game on Friday, July 8 at Tivoli Stadium. 

And the fans had plenty to cheer about during the back and forth affair between the two rivals.

Here is a fan from Mexico before the game: 


Also check out some videos of the fans during the pregame ceremonies. It was a great atmosphere.  

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You can check out more videos from the IFAF Senior World Championship at www.youtube.com/IFAFInsider. 


Players and Coaches Alike Soaking in the Experience


The first day of games is in the record books at the fourth IFAF Senior World Championship in Austria. Four teams saw action in Innsbruck – United States who defeated Australia 61-0 and Mexico who beat Germany in a thriller 22-15. 

But what everyone agreed on was that is a special event and opportunity to be part of. 

USA’s starting quarterback, Cody Hawkins had a superb opening game against the Australians finishing 13-15 for 204 yards and two touchdowns but did not want to dwell on his performance but of the performance of his team and the other participants at the tournament. 



“I think if you are not motivated enough by wearing your country’s name on the side of your helmet and jersey you shouldn’t be here,” said Hawkins. “That is the great thing about this event, because whether you win or lose it’s all about giving everything you have to represent your country.  And I am confident Australia did that and I know everyone on our team did.”  

“We are all really excited about this opportunity, and I think we are going to see a lot of really good football throughout this tournament.” 

USA head coach Mel Tjeerdsma echoed his quarterback statement as this experience is not taken casually by anyone involved here in Austria.

“I’ve coached in a lot of games in my career, but this is a big event,” said Tjeerdsman.  “And our players have played in big games, but it is something special when you are representing your country. Not many people can say they played at a World Championship for American Football. And I can’t say it enough, this event has been outstanding. The whole experience has just been awesome.”

Despite the lopsided score, Australia was proud of their performance against the United States and are soaking in the experience of playing the sport they love against the best players from around the world.



Australia’s MVP running back Nathan Lansdell who led his team in rushing yards, stated this is the proudest thing Australians can do – wear your team colors and your country’s name on your jersey. 

“To represent our family, friends and country, it is a dream come true,” said Lansdell. 

“We all love game and we came here to play our hearts out. And to play against the country that the sport originated from is a dream come true. To see where we are at, and I know if anyone looked at the score they would go ‘oh wow, Australia didn’t play well’ but I thought our boys played with their hearts and really played as hard as they possibly could. And I am very proud of the effort we put in.”

But now that game one in complete, the teams and coaching staffs has the task off preparing for their next opponent in a very short amount of time. The four teams’ next group play game kicks off on Sunday, July 10.
A difficult task, but everyone is up for the challenge.



Australia’s next opponent will be Mexico who is coming off a thrilling 22-15 victory over Germany. But Australia’s head coach John Leijten believes the experience playing against the Unites States will be a great asset in the coming game. 

“We started off with the toughest team we could play against, and I am really happy how hard our guys fought,” said Leijten. “I am past US, and my mind is on Mexico right now. Our team got used to bigger and faster guys in the game against the United States and that will help us when we play Mexico.”

It won’t be an easy task though, as Mexico continues to have one goal in sight. And that is a gold medal.
“We have to prove our ability as a team,” said coach Manuel Neri Fern├índez. “We want to show the world that we are a successful organization. And our goal is to win.”

Germany will look to rebound after the heart breaking loss to Mexico as they face the United States on Sunday, but know the task will not be an easy one. 

Head Coach Marshall Happer stated, “We are going to look a lot of film on the United States. The US is going to be a tough team. Anytime you beat a team by 61-0 you know you have a pretty good team. We will certainly prepare, we aren’t giving up. We just had one loss, we win the next two and we are back in it. We don’t go into games to lose, we go in to win. So that is what we’ll do against the United States.”

Coach Tjeerdsman also stated he and his coaching staff will be reviewing the game films in preparation of the next game. 

“I learned a long time ago when you think you played well and then you watch film and you realize you didn’t play as well as you thought,” said Tjeerdsma.  “And in reverse you may find you didn’t play as bad as you thought. I think overall we played pretty good. There are obviously some things we can work on, and we have two days to get them ironed out before our next ball game.”

Two days, plenty of time!

IFAF Insider Video

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