Oilcats to step-up and represent Scotland in Celtic Bowl

Peterhead's Gary Elliot with Calum Stopani and Scott Forbes
Peterhead's Gary Elliot with Calum Stopani and Scott Forbes

A group of flag football players from the North-east have been named in the Scotland squad for a major tournament in Ireland this week.

The four, all members of the highly successful Aberdeen Oilcats flag football team, have been chosen to play for their country against eight club teams from around the Republic of Ireland, with the two top teams going on to play for the top prize in what has been dubbed the Celtic Bowl.

Group members, defensive back Scott Forbes, 26, and centre Calum Young, 23, will play with the elite Scottish Chieftains, while Chieftains squad member Calum Stopani, 24, will play defensive back and wide receiver with developmental team, the Scottish Barbarians, to assist with offensive playmaking.

Peterhead native and wide receiver/defensive back, Gary Elliot, 29, who is recovering from a broken collarbone, is eligible for either squad.

The tournament will be held in Dublin on Saturday, October 10 .

Flag football is a non-contact derivative of American football, also known as Grid Iron, where tackles are made by ripping a flag from a player’s belt, rather than with full contact.

Gary, who is also player and coach with the Aberdeen Oilcats, said: “We are all really proud to be given the opportunity to represent our country in our chosen sport.

“While as a team the Oilcats were disappointed to miss out on this year’s Brit Bowl, even after a long season we are ready to head to Ireland and give it everything we’ve got.

“We are looking forward to teaming up with players who we have lined up against at club level throughout the year to show the Irish teams what we can do.”

The Aberdeen Oilcats were formed in 2003 after the collapse of the former Granite City Oilers ‘kitted’ American football team.

The team has been hugely successful, reaching the finals of the British American Football Association (BAFA) National League for the past six consecutive years, narrowly missing out on a place in this year’s ‘Brit Bowl’ due to injuries.

As well as producing players who have won caps for Scotland, a number of current and former players have been chosen to represent Great Britain at an international level.

Flag football is an inclusive, mixed sport, open to male and female players of all ages and abilities, primarily played in a five-a-side format.

Anyone interested in trying the sport is welcome to attend a training session, which are usually held on Sunday afternoons at Seaton Park, Old Aberdeen. Anyone who would like to attend should contact the team via their Facebook page – www.facebook.com/aberdeenoilcats

Sponsorship opportunities for the 2016 season are now available and anyone who would like more information on packages on offer should contact the club.