Huskers to Ireland: Gear gets on the road ahead of players

Huskers to Ireland: Gear gets on the road ahead of players
Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 7:58 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - On the surface, it may seem like a just a fun trip for the team and fans alike. But in reality, and behind the scenes, it’s taken countless hours, lists, and brain power to get the Husker football team ready to go to Ireland.

Thursday afternoon, the Huskers’ gear got final clearance from their equipment department and it’s the first part of the team to hit the road.

Before it could make the trip overseas, the gear has gone through a few important steps like weighing, itemizing, and labeling each container so when the team touches down next week, everything is already in place.

“So, it’s going to be all of our players practice stuff, the coaches practice gear, practice equipment, game clothes, uniforms, just kind of the necessities that we’re not going to carry-on under the plane,” said Assistant Equipment Manager Kyle Kotrous.

In total, the Huskers are taking about 16,000 pounds of stuff on a cargo plane that’s departing from Chicago. Every single item must be accounted for on a form known as a carnet. Otherwise, it won’t be allowed into Ireland.

“If any of these items aren’t right on our list, then it could delay the process quite dramatically,” Kotrous said. “And that’s obviously something we haven’t been wanting to do. So, we’ve been pretty meticulous about going through everything, making sure everything is 100% accurate to get us there.”

For the roughly 115 players and upwards of 20 people on the coaching staff, just about all they need to bring is themselves. They’ll be given bags that have outfits they’ll wear on and off the field. Nearly every detail is taken care of, down to the personal toiletry bags that have been hand-packed by staff and important travel information.

“The operations people took care of the passports for the guys that don’t have the passports,” Koutrous said. “Once the guys get on the plane, they’re gonna turn in their passports to them so they don’t lose them. And then, when they get off the plane, they’ll be handing in the passports to them to go through customs and all that.”

“This is about the easiest trip that there is going to be for the players,” Kotrous added. “They just have to show up.”

Members of the equipment team have made multiple trips to Ireland ahead of time and also consulted other college and NFL teams who have made overseas appearances to make sure everything goes as smooth as possible.

“Once we got through kind of the summer, then we really started putting stuff together on how we actually have to travel”, Kotrous said. “But now, obviously that we’re leaving, all that’s kind of finalized on how we’re taking stuff. It was not as difficult as I thought it would be. But it’s not easy by any means.”

The gear was set to depart Thursday evening at around 7 p.m. for Chicago. The cargo plane will arrive in Dublin over the weekend and the actual team is leaving on Monday.