The Belfast Trojans are the current national champions of American Football in Ireland. They are Northern Ireland’s most successful American Football Club having won the Shamrock Bowl, Ireland’s version of the Super Bowl, five times – mostly recently in 2019 and four times consecutively between 2012 and 2015.
Formation and Phase One
The Belfast Trojans were formed in 2006 by a motivated young group of players who split from the now disbanded Belfast Bulls. These players shared a vision of a truly modern team where egos were discouraged, players took the field on merit rather than reputation and forward thinking replaced old fashioned ideas.
The Trojans entered the Irish American Football League in 2007 and enjoyed mixed success in their first season. In their sophomore 2008 season the club enjoyed unprecedented success, rallying after a difficult start to win six games back to back and reach the playoff semi finals. However the Trojans were defeated soundly by the then-champions, the University of Limerick Vikings, who would go on to retain their crown. The defeat proved to be a hammer blow to the Trojans who would find themselves struggling both for players and inspiration over the next two seasons. Defeat was routine and morale was low. A corner was turned in 2011, a strong recruitment drive brought an influx of new talent and once again the Trojans were a playoff team, this time reaching the wildcard round where they were knocked out by the Craigavon Cowboys.
Phase Two – Champions.
Building on the growth of the 2011 season the club again recruited strongly and surged into the 2012 season winning all eight of their league fixtures and crushing the then-champions, the Dublin Rebels, in the playoff round. The Belfast Trojans then faced the University of Limerick Vikings in their first Shamrock Bowl and would triumph in a hard fought contest, defeating the Vikings with a late field goal that secured them their first national title.
The unbeaten streak would continue throughout the 2013 season that again saw the Trojans sweep aside domestic competition and they won their second straight championship by defeating the Dublin Rebels in a high scoring game at Tallaght Stadium. In 2013 there was another first for the Trojans – European success. The Trojans won EFAF’s Atlantic Cup tournament, defeating the Amersfoort Untouchables from the Netherlands and Trinity College Dublin to be crowned Champions.
Winning ways continued in the early stages of 2014 but complacency was evident and the team suffered their first defeat in 26 games when the explosive Trinity College Dublin put the Trojans to the sword on their own home turf. The Trojans rallied and won all of their remaining fixtures granting them the chance to face Trinity in the Shamrock bowl and gain revenge. In a hard fought game, where weather conditions stalled offensive play for both sides, the Belfast Trojans won courtesy of a defensive “pick-six” making them three-in-a-row champions.
Phase Three – The future
The Belfast Trojans approach the next phase of their history with the same determination that they had at their formation. They continue to boast one of the deepest rosters in Ireland, a roster that is constantly assessed and refreshed. In Deramore Park the Belfast Trojans have the premier home ground in the country. The backing of our key sponsors has helped us reach out into the community at large and build a following that keeps on growing and growing.
The Trojans currently only provide football for males over 18 years of age. We play full contact, kitted football under NCAA rules.