Q&A with IFL Star Brandon McDougald

Brandon McDougald in action
Brandon McDougald in action

Meet one of the superstars of the Israeli Football League,  RB Brandon McDougald. Brandon is one of the faces of the IFL. Brandon brings a lot of experience, as he played high school football in the United States, something almost none of the other players can claim they have accomplished. Despite this, he has been very impressed with the development of the league and is proud to be able to bring his experience to help it grow. In his spare time Brandon is an up and coming musician. He will be releasing his mixtape called  “street music” in the next month. You can catch Brandon performing at nightclubs all over the country! (I’ve heard his stuff it’s very good, everyone should check it out)

I got a chance to speak to Brandon about his time in the IFL, life in Israel and his future plans!

RG: How many seasons have you played in the IFL?

BM: I’ve played in the league since the 2010-2011 season and have loved every moment of it!!

RG: What has it been like playing in the IFL?

BM: Playing in the IFL has been one of the best experiences I’ve had in Israel. I never thought that I would play football again competitively outside of high school. I’ve met so many great guys and other fellow Americans that I’m proud to say that I am a player in the IFL.

Brandon McDougald cutting for additional yards

RG: How would you rate the competition in the IFL?

BM: I grew up in North Carolina and my high school was 1A/2A high school (depends on size of school). Wed didn’t have large size football teams, so I would compare the IFL to that of a good high school Junior Varsity (JV) football squad. Its mainly because in the US we start playing football at a really young age,so by the time we are in middle school most of  the US kids know more about football and how to play the game more than the average IFL player.

RG: How did you get to Israel, and how have you enjoyed your time here?

BM: I was offered the opportunity to work in Israel and after taking the time to think about it, I decided it was a great chance for me to visit the country that lots of religious Americans and others in the world hold so high above most. I have enjoyed most of my time in Israel, only because of all the great people I have met. Most of the people I have met in Israel has been through friends of friends who are apart of the IFL. I’ve been here for three and half years and have enjoyed partying,bars, clubs, bbq’s, shabbat dinners with close friends and just hanging out with really good people.

RG: Which team will you be playing for in the upcoming season?

Brandon McDougald in action

BM: After spending two seasons with the the Beersheva Blackswarm, I decided that for this upcoming season I will play in Tel Aviv for the Tel Aviv Sabres. I’ve had a good time playing with the Blackswarm, but I think that its best for me if I move on and play for another team. I love the guys there and I respect all of them for who they are and what they represent.

RG: How do you like the refereeing in the IFL and the equipment?

BM: Due to the  fact that I understand that this league is still “a baby” in the sense of the game of football, I’m understanding of the refs here. Its nerve racking and frustrating that they miss calls on the field, make calls that did not happen and sometimes have no idea what is going on, but I’m OK with it. I just hope that in the future they get better and not worse. I’ve been fortunate to have nice playing equipment while playing on the field, but there are little to none training equipment for the team I’ve played for and from what I hear around the league there isn’t much training gear.

RG: What is your favorite thing about being in Israel

BM: The one favorite thing I like about being in Israel, is constantly meeting new people.I also love the fact that it doesn’t rain much here, because I don’t like rain.

RG: How many more years do you see yourself playing in the IFL?

BM: As of now, this will be my last season playing in the IFL, but who knows? Maybe I will keep playing after this season to help make football a sport that the entire country of Israel recognizes.


About the Author
Raphael is the founder of Gellar Sports Radio and is a contributor to The Times of Israel. Raphael has interviewed scores of sports figures including, ESPN’s Dan Shulman, Marc Stein, Tommy Smyth, 3-time World Series Champ Curt Schilling, Butler Coach Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics President Richard Gotham and 7 time Emmy award winner Jim Williams among others. Raphael also hosts a soccer show on World Football Daily and 106.2fm. You can tweet him @raphaelg23