The Algarve Pirates American Football team will play their last home game of the regular season on Sunday 24th March at Mexilhoeira Grande, at 3 pm, and will dedicate the game to the memory of their Head Coach, Llew Gittens, who sadly passed away on 12th March after losing his battle with cancer.
Coach Llew, as he was known to all associated with the team, was not only instrumental in establishing the Pirates as a football team but also inspired the players, who had never before been exposed to the disciplines and rigours of the American game. Whilst his person will be missed by the team, his passion for the game is carried on by all who are involved with the Algarve Pirates.
On the 24th the Pirates will host the Porto Mutts, who lost their last outing against another team from Porto, the Celtics. A victory for the Pirates will see them move into the end of season “playoffs”, a feat which has never been achieved by a team in its formation year in the Portuguese league. Reaching the playoffs would be an incredible achievement given that the Pirates have only been playing as a team since December last year and for half of this season their Head Coach has been side-lined through illness.
Food and festivities will begin at 2:30 leading up to the 3 o’clock kickoff and will commence with a minute’s applause by both teams in appreciation of the life and contribution of Coach Llew, before battle commences in the Pirate’s bid to make football history. The Portuguese league has asked all teams to pay this same mark of respect at their next game and all have willingly agreed to do so.
Entry to the game is free of charge, but as the Algarve Pirates also support the Algarve Food Bank (Banco Alimentar Contra a Fome) they invite spectators to bring an item of non-perishable food to the game for the Pirates to deliver to the charity.
Celebration and Creation of Youth Flag Football League
As this is the last home game for the Pirates, they have arranged for American style burgers and hot dogs to be on sale at the game and there will also be entertainment at the half time interval. The event will include a flag football demonstration to introduce youngsters to the game as well as a display by an American Majorette, who arrives with a group of young Americans who will add a number of cross-cultural events to the last week of this year’s “Março Jovem” program of the CM-Portimão and come through the Rede VidaMAIS Association.
The Pirates, staff, and players along with the American youth who are visiting are hoping to create a Flag Football league this Spring and will welcome male and female participants ages 13 and upwards to Flag Football on the beach Monday – Thursday, March 25 – 28, from 1:30 – 5 pm, in the sports area of Praia da Rocha.