About Schmyder

The story of the Schmyder Series starts in 2005: A lad called Mike Ireland chances his hand at the Chester Romans American Football Club and starts training with them.

Loves the game, loves the people, has a great time in preseason, goes on the pitch for the first time for kickoff and gets knocked the f**k out. First play. Out cold. Maybe should’ve seen it as a sign to call it a day, but the people around him, made him want to carry on for the feeling of belonging to something.

Mike then becomes the GM of the Romans and has a grand old time meeting folk and enjoying the game. Ten years after he started, in 2015, knowing that the season ending normally brings around a massive depression for players, coaches and fans, he has a think about putting an extra game on in Chester. Anyone can play or coach and it’s an odd mix of people. Some coming to prolong the season, some coming to meet new people and some coming thinking that it’s actually trials for the national team or something. *Remember this bit, it might come in handy later…*

Only slightly poking fun at the governing body, our man doesn’t do a ‘North vs South’ match, but an ‘Eastern All Stars vs Western All Stars’ and raises a few quid for charity.

People from all over britball could, and indeed did, get involved, and the plan to raise funds was simple – find out how much the costs are, how much a jersey costs, then add a tenner for charity.

2016, he did another- Marvel vs DC – Marvel was a massive deal in the cinemas, so it was a no brainer, then with the release of various Star Wars films, in 2017, Jedi vs Sith.

2018, he followed Simon Wainwright to the Halton Spartans for two reasons. Firstly, Simon was one of the only people that gave him the time of day in 2006 when he first started and Mikey owes him, like all the Freddos in the world, but secondly because everyone told him it was time for him to retire.

Then he went on a little jolly over to Belfast to play for the Razorbacks, well, before COVID put a pause on it. Thanks for that.

Talking of Covid, everyone was on the same boat: Lockdown. No football, no football friends, no going out and the only exercise was an hour’s walk from your house or as many pressups you could do before you got bored and just watched the Tiger King.

At the time, our man thought we’d definitely be out of lockdown by October, so spoke to his old mates at the Cheshire County Sports Club, booked a pitch, met a new friend in Dario Viallet of Ridge Sports in France and then put it out there for people to get involved on Facebook.
As with all the other games it needed a theme. I mean, Mike could’ve gone with something original… Or, he could just reuse an old pub golf theme from his time at Chester Uni – Team Europe vs Team USA, not the Ryder Cup, but the Schmyder Cup.

Turned out that over 150 people wanted to play in this Schmyder Cup, so the jerseys were ordered, pitch ready, players keen to go.

Lockdown 2. Knackers.

So, it was all moved to 2021. After the disappointment of not being able to play in 2020 and then being able to go back to their domestic clubs, there were a LOT of dropouts. Still, the game was played, it was live streamed and everyone had a giggle. Alongside the Schmyder Cup was the Slate Cup (the UK’s first Canadian rules match) and the Watergate Bay Beach Bowl (the UK’s first beach flag tournament).

Why is this relevant…?So remember that bit we said to remember because it’d be relevant later? (I even put asterisks round it…) Well, turns out that as a result of the Schmyder/ Slate/ Beach, Mike had a metaphorical little black book of folk he could contact and build a travelling team with.

So, in a bar in Belfast with Nia Ireland, his missus and Mikey Gray, a few Guinnesses down and with a band screaming off key covers into a microphone in the middle of the day, they came up with the idea to represent the Principality of Sealand as Nick Ireland, Mike’s Dad, had been made a Lord of that particular principality a few Christmases ago and despite them being a micronation, they had a football team, a curling team, but no American Football team.

A few more Guinnesses and the Seahawks name was chosen over about 20 others including the Sealand Sausages and Prince Michael of Sealand was messaged, “Hiya, got a boss idea…”

We’ve had Watergate Bay Beach Bowl 2, Schmyder 2 (well 3, but who’s counting eh?) Slate 2 and the Stone Cup – Canadian (ish) rules for a women only game and the Charcoal Cup – a flag tournament… Funnily enough, the Seahawks developed a flag team and their women’s team – the Shehawks.

Folk can come down to play in any of these charity events provided they’ve played at least one season; have fun, make new friends, do something different and just enjoy football without the worry of over complicated playbooks or even that the scoreline means anything. We just want people to have fun, have something to look forward to and raise a few quid for charity.

The Schmyder series will be rolling on in 2023 and onwards, for as long as people want it to really.

So if you want to be involved, you can either contact us through the link below or find us on Facebook and give us a shout on there.
And yes, I did just refer to myself in third person throughout. Sorry, not sorry.

Sealand Seahawks