#Ball4All — “OG Women of AFI” by Lyndsay McVeigh

Football for me isn’t a “thing” to do on a Sunday, it’s a 7 day a week commitment and that isn’t just because I live with a Head Coach! Football is something I love, something I want to help grow and something that I feel genuinely proud to be a part off.

I was speaking with the living AFI Legend that is Dr Kelly Dwyer and we both agreed that at this point football makes up about 90 percent of our personalities and we honestly wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m 13 years, two governing bodies, many, many away trips and two football teams deep now. I like to think of myself as an “OG” woman of the AFI but truth be told the league has always had a female presence. I’ve seen WAGs make the transition from spectator to the like of Bowl Ref, Coach, Starter and Commissioner. I myself have gone from videographer to a member of the AFI comms team and the occasional ref. I’ve filmed teams across Europe, sat in on Div 3 Huddles, and have had the opportunity to capture so many league firsts. Never once have I felt out of place in what is considered a “Sport played by Men”.

I may be known as “wee” Lyndsay around the league but I’ve always been treated like one of the “team” no matter where I’ve went. The NFL celebrate women in football as something ground breaking but the AFI have been doing this from as long as I’ve been associated with the league.

From profile pictures to podcasts, women have be producing a high proportion of the AFI’s social content for a number of years. This content has had the league grow from a niche sport to 3 divisions of competitive football, a national programme and now the development of a grassroots programme. Arianne, Charisse, Kelly and that’s but to name but a few, you’ve paved the way for female content creators within the AFI and I’m so proud to have stood beside you along the way. I cannot wait to see where this journey take us. To the next 13 years!