Patience… I’ve never had much of it, never cared for it. Even as I type this, I’m not only thinking about the game next weekend, but I’m also thinking to next year and beyond…
The Sealand Seahawks origin story starts in Franklin’s bar in Belfast in 2021. Well, maybe a bit earlier than that… hold on tight, I’ll keep it as simple as I can.
I started playing American Football in 2006 in Chester for the Romans. I loved the game. I loved the fact that so many people from so many weird and wonderful backgrounds could come together over the love of a sport that was equally weird and wonderful. 22 players on a pitch, with effectively 2 teams on a single team – an offence and a defence – one trying to throw and run the ball and the other trying their damn best to stop them. With schemes, plans, tactics, tricks and all sorts going on in bursts of only a few seconds of absolute chaos, reset and go again.
I stayed there for almost my entire playing career, becoming General Manager; building an academy, a women’s team and branching out into the local University, always trying to build and get more people involved and share the love of the sport.
In 2017, I teamed up with an old mate to build ‘The Thundering Herd’- a bunch of pals that knew each other through the sport, playing overseas but COVID-19 effectively shut that down and everyone went their own ways as there were no games to schedule.
My last ‘season’ I played overseas in Belfast and remembered my love of travel and playing with new people, so, a couple of pints of Guinness down with my wife Nia and a friend, a ‘boss idea’ formed. The little black book came out and messages were sent to my player contacts, followed by an email to the Principality of Sealand, “Hiya, want an American Football team?” with the reply being; “Erm, yeah, sure.” And here we are, 4 teams strong, all playing American Football across Europe.
As for specifics on the Seahawks? You’ve had my backstory, have a little patience folks and I’ll get to that as soon as possible eh?
Sir Mike Ireland of Sealand
President of the Sealand Seahawks National Football team