A NEW sport has touched down in Antrim & aspiring American Footballers are now being invited to give the game a try.
The Antrim Jets club was formed by local man Neil Adams & three pals & the lads are aiming to join the Irish American Football League Division 2 & be fully kitted out by next March.
Up to 30 people are turning out to train every Sunday at the St. Joseph’s primary school pitches & the Jets have just received sponsorship from the Maldron hotel, based at Belfast International Airport.
In all there are seven sides in Northern Ireland & 25 in total across the island of Ireland, with the Belfast Trojans recently winning a European Championship.
There is also a national team.
And despite the stereotypes, Neil (33) says that you don’t have to be a man mountain to take part.
“I have been following the New York Jets for ten years since I first visited New York & have been taking a keen interest in the sport here”, he said.
“With more & more teams setting up & doing well, I thought it was time that Antrim had its own team too”. “You don’t have to be a big guy to take part, if you are big you can go into defence, if you are small & fast you can be a wide receiver – you can be any shape or size & don’t have to worry about your fitness level, we have a great coach, who has worked with the Coleraine Elks, & we can help you with training.”
With a plethora of training equipment required due to the high-impact nature of the sport, the Jets are now fundraising ahead of their entry into the IAFL2 League in 2017.
“Our first event is a Night at the races on July 2 in the Maldron Hotel,” said Neil.
“Pads and helmets are very important & we invite people to come along & for firms to offer sponsorship to help get us up & going.”