Find Your Local Club

Thank you so much for tuning in tonight! If you’re looking to give American football a go why don’t you click the link here and find your nearest club? 🏈 we have 31 clubs across the countries where you can play, coach, referee or volunteer!

Aidan Maguire, The Two Johnnies and Alan Orr, Director of the National Programme (left to right)

The 2 Johnnies Take On… The Irish Wolhounds

The Irish Wolhounds had a great day at the last training session, hosting the 2 Johnnies for their RTE series, ‘The 2 Johnnies Take On..’ in which they tried their hand at American with the National team at the Irish Sports Campus. A goods day craic was had by all and credit to the 2 guys for their efforts!

We look forward to the upcoming programme on RTE tomorrow night at 9:30pm

Best wishes to both Johnnies and a big thank you to all who participated and helped make this happen.

Aidan Maguire, The Two Johnnies and Alan Orr, Director of the National Programme (left to right)

AFI 2021 AGM NOTICE

Our AGM will take place at 2pm on the 7th of November 2021 @ Crown Plaza, Blanchardstown, D 15

All Clubs and Directors are required to have a representative attend the meeting to discuss association business and take part in the voting/election process.

Proposals

Any Club/Director that wishes to propose an amendment to the Bylaws should forward their proposal to commissioner@americanfootball.ie on or before the 24th of October 2021.

Any Club/Director that wishes to propose an amendment to the Constitution should forward their proposal to commissioner@americanfootball.ie on or before the 7th of October 2021.

Proposals should include three sections as set out below:

1. Existing wording as per Constitution/Bylaws and the relevant Section (if amending current rule).

2. Exact proposed wording for it to be replaced with (if amending current rule).

3. Reasoning for the Proposal.

Elections

There are 3 positions up for election as follows;

Management Board Member

Two X 3 Year Term
One X 1 Year Term

All candidates for election must be members in good standing with at least 3 consecutive years affiliation to AFI. The role of a Management Board member is to promote the growth and development of the sport in line with our governing documents and the Governance Code.

It is important that all these positions are filled for the continued management of the association. It is requested that all Clubs disseminate this notice to their members with a view to seeking nominations for election. Management Board Members are required to attend monthly meetings, special meetings and board member training courses.

The Nomination of Election form can be found at the back of the AFI Bylaws which are located on our website under resources (linked below). These forms must be returned to me at commissioner@americanfootball.ie on or before 24th October 2021.
American Football Ireland ByLaws (Updated June 2021)

Share the Knowledge – Virtual Clinic

Share the Knowledge – Virtual Clinic

AFI would like to remind you that there is an exciting free virtual clinic on this Friday the 27th of August which will be dedicated to the topic of “Scouting to Win and offered through AFI’s partners #Share the Knowledge. The event is free and open to anyone that would like to attend and will be delivered by the highly experienced coach, Nick Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald has an impressive resume, with over 30 years of coaching, several years of experience in coordinating and delivering clinics for the NFL all over the world, and a Doctorate in education from Capella University. He is also President of the Capital Region Football Hall of Fame.

This virtual clinic will be the first of two with the last one running in September.
You can register here to get the link to the zoom meeting if you haven’t already.

 

Download additional resources below:

Scouting Report,

Game Notes,

Play Sheets

AFI Survey: Have Your Say!

Have your say on how American Football Ireland develops into the future! A survey has been sent by email this morning to all AFI registered members and we would really appreciate if you could complete it – it should only take a few minutes. Note: If it is not in your inbox, please check Junk/Spam folder.

For all queries, please contact Gavin Nelson, Director of Development, Gavin_Ne@americanfootball.ie

Sports Capital Programme 2020 – Funding Award

American Football Ireland is delighted to announce we have been awarded €20,436 in the latest round of the Sports Capital Programme funded by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media of the Republic of Ireland. This funding will be used to purchase new equipment for our tackle and flag football national teams (Irish Wolfhounds) as well as a storage solution.

A total of €71,487 was also awarded between 6 AFI member clubs based in ROI who submitted applications for grants on various projects such as replacing outdated club owned equipment, purchasing new equipment for the youth team and new equipment for women in sport initiatives. Further details on the Sports Capital Programme can be found here.

Hope Through Football Virtual Clinic

AFI’s key partner, “HOPE THROUGH FOOTBALL”, will be hosting a virtual coaching clinic on Friday, July 30th at 8.00 pm (GMT) dedicated to the topic of the shield punt and punt protection. This virtual event is free and open to any coaches/players/members that would like to attend and will be delivered by the highly experienced coach, Garrett McLaughlin.

Coach McLaughlin has extensive coaching experience since his days as a student assistant at his alma mater, Syracuse University located in NY, USA.

After earning a Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse’s Falk School of Sport and Human Dynamics in 2012, Coach McLaughlin served as defensive backs coach at SUNY Buffalo from 2012 to 2016, helping the team to consecutive ECAC Bowl appearances in 2014 and 2015. He moved on to the University of New Haven to coach linebackers in 2016, then led the outside linebackers at Division I Wagner in 2017, helping the group progress from five sacks in 2016 to 17 in 2017.

At Buffalo in 2014, McLaughlin coached five All-Conference players, while helping lead the Bengals to their first ECAC Bowl game in 16 years. The Bengals made as second straight ECAC Bowl appearance in 2015.

After graduating from Syracuse University, he spent time as a student assistant coach with the football program, working under head coach Doug Marrone. With the Orange, McLaughlin coached three players who went on to earn NFL experience, including Shamarko Thomas, who was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth round in 2013.

He also worked in equipment, operations, and video at Syracuse and completed a strength and conditioning internship with Thurman Thomas Sports Training.

He is also the Creator of Teams Talk alongside Jeff Reinebold for Specials teams clinics and certification.

This virtual clinic is the first of three Hope Through Football virtual clinics with future virtual events planned for the months of August and September so stay tuned!

To attend, please clinic on the link below to register your email and receive a zoom link to the event:

https://t.co/BjzGH2MW36?amp=1

Appointments Made To Key Management Roles

American Football Ireland have further strengthened our management team by appointing some keys role within the Communications Team. As a board, we are pleased to announce the following appointments after a successful recruitment campaign, in which the quality of applicants where of a very high standard.

Cecilia Saba has been appointed as the Chief Communications Officer. Cecilia has extensive experience in marketing, communications and event management having worked with a large leisure company, a high-profile boxing gym, two sports leagues and a major social media platform. Cecilia has a degree in Sports Business Management and is a passionate sports coach, currently in the position of head coach of the UCD Trampoline club. AFI are confident that Cecilia’s experience will help AFI to flourish as we exit these uncertain times.

David McMichael and Joe Kinahan have both been appointed as IT & Web Admins. David has been a member of the Craigavon Cowboys since 2017 and a board member with the club since 2018. David is currently studying Computer Science at Ulster University and is looking forward to getting started on quality of life upgrades across our systems and maintaining the websites.

Joe has been involved in the running of both the Westmeath Minotaurs and the MU Hurricanes in recent years, serving as President of the latter from 2018-20. Joe understands the importance of engaging social media content for the promotion of AFI clubs and of the association and is eager to expand the AFI’s reach on all our social platforms.

AFI Board Member Jo Buchanan stated “These are appointments that are essential for our growth as a sport. Cecilia, David and Joe all bring unique strengths through their education and experiences which will hugely benefit our clubs and association, particularly as we exit from the pandemic. My fellow board members and I are delighted with these appointments and look forward to working with Cecilia, David and Joe.

AFI to Fill Key Management Roles

American Football Ireland have further strengthened their management by filling some keys role within their Administration and Directorship. As a board, we are pleased to announce the following appointments after a successful recruitment campaign in which the quality of applicants were of a very high standard.

Shane Hawthorne has been appointed as AFI administrator. Shane has many years’ experience working within the sports sector including Dublin City Council and other sporting projects. His knowledge and experience in coordinating projects and events while working with multi diverse groups will help AFI further develop into a premier NGB on the island of Ireland.

Gavin Nelson has been appointed as AFI Director of Development. Gavin brings with him a long proven record of working on and leading, national community and sports development projects in multiple countries. Gavin has vast wisdom working for and with multiple NGB’s and developing and supporting sports clubs. He is currently the Club and Community Development Officer with the Irish Football Association, we are confident that Gavin’s experience will help AFI to flourish as we exit these uncertain times

Ty Henry has been appointed to the Development Department as an assistant and has great experience within the remit of developing and promoting football. An all American collegiate athlete for Western Colorado University, Ty’s experience of American football will be paramount as we look to grow the sport nationally. While living in Australia Ty has been accredited to the development and start up a number of teams.

AFI President Aidan Maguire has stated “the continued appointment of experienced professionals to key roles within AFI will only benefit our members and the wider community. I am very excited to work with Gavin, Ty and Shane as AFI navigates our way back to football. These are exciting times for AFI and the support from our members has allowed us to seek out and appoint the best people to help grow American Football Ireland”.

Stay tuned for more exciting announcements which are coming soon!

The Northwestern Wildcast will take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Aviva Stadium!

A WELCOME BOOST FOR IRELAND’S HOSPITALITY & TOURISM SECTOR AS DATE ANNOUNCED FOR THE 2022 AER LINGUS COLLEGE FOOTBALL CLASSIC

-THE NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS WILL TAKE ON THE NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS IN THE AVIVA STADIUM-

  • Northwestern (Chicago) will take on Nebraska in the Aer Lingus College Football Classic on Saturday, 27 August 2022 at the Aviva Stadium Dublin.
  • The profile Big Ten Conference fixture is scheduled for week zero and will open the 2022 College Football Season.
  • 18,000 US fans and 5,000 European fans are expected to travel for game week in Dublin 2022.
  • It is expected to generate a massive €63 million for the Irish Economy next year. There will also be the benefits of a live US TV audience of 3 million viewers.

May 20th, 2021: A joint announcement in the US and Ireland has today revealed that Northwestern University (Wildcats) will take on the University of Nebraska (Cornhuskers) in the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, 27 August 2022. The Aer Lingus College Football five-game series was due to start in 2020 but was disrupted due the pandemic so this announcement is a significant milestone in getting the series back on track.

This is the first time that either team has ever travelled to play in Ireland and so, were thrilled to accept the invitation to take to the field and open the 2022 College Football Season at the world-famous Aviva Stadium. Nebraska was set to travel to Dublin later this summer for their game against Illinois, however, it was postponed because of Covid-19.

As Nebraska is one of the most successful American College Football teams in history, and with such strong Irish ties to the city of Chicago where the Wildcats are based, the game is sure to be a huge draw to sports fans here in Ireland as well as across the US and Europe. It is expected that it will also generate a massive €63million for the Irish Economy next year, providing a much-needed boost for the country’s Tourism and Hospitality sectors.

The wholly anticipated fixture is scheduled for week zero, and as both teams are a part of the famed Big Ten Conference, over 18,000 US fans and 5,000 European fans are expected to travel for the game that will be a major international, post-covid event for Ireland. The Series principal stakeholders are Aer Lingus, Failte Ireland, Tourism Ireland and Dublin City Council.

Dan & Susan Jones Family Head Football Coach, Northwestern University, Pat Fitzgerald said: “This is an incredible opportunity for our entire University community, from student-athletes to coaches, alumni and fans. We are thrilled that our program will get to immerse themselves into the beautiful Irish culture, while we continue to help grow the game of college football on a global stage. It’s an honor to be included in this once-in-a-lifetime experience and can’t wait to have the Northwestern faithful join us in one of the world’s most amazing settings.”

Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos said: “We are excited to reschedule the trip to Ireland for our football program. The young men in our program have been looking forward to this trip and we are happy to provide them this memorable experience. I know our great Husker fan base will be excited as well and the opportunity to travel to Ireland to see their team compete on an international stage will truly be special. I also want to thank Irish American Events for being a great partner throughout this process the past couple years. We were pleased Northwestern was willing to move a home game to Ireland and look forward to a great season opener in Ireland in 2022.”

Taoiseach Micheál Martin commenting on the announcement: “The past year has been a very difficult one for us all in Ireland and in the United States. With our vaccination rollout advancing at pace, we are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel, and we can begin to look forward with optimism to welcoming visitors safely back to our shores. When we do, we will have a very special welcome ready for the teams and their supporters when they visit us for the Aer Lingus College Football Classic on the 27th of August 2022.”

Padraic O’Kane from Irish American Events Ltd. said: “The announcement of next year’s game marks a major milestone in both the recovery of major tourism and sporting events for Ireland along with the wider economy. On behalf of our stakeholders, we are delighted to welcome the Northwestern Wildcats, Nebraska Husker’s game, and later this year we plan to announce a further game for 2023, the second in the five-game Aer Lingus College Football series. As organisers in consultation with our stakeholders, the absolute priority is to ensure that players, staff, alumni and fans will be awarded our famous Irish welcome within a safe environment for their visit to Ireland next year.”

David Shepherd, Chief Commercial Officer, Aer Lingus, said: “Today’s announcement is a welcome beacon of hope for travel on both sides of the Atlantic.  As proud sponsor of the Aer Lingus College Football Series, we look forward to flying the Northwestern Wildcats, Nebraska Huskers and their respective delegations to Ireland next summer, and to promoting our airline to our valued US market.”

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu said: “I am thrilled with the announcement of the 2022 Aer Lingus College Football Classic in the Aviva Stadium. The benefit for our city, both economically and socially, will be immense, providing a welcomed boost for the tourism and hospitality industries. Such events strengthen our ties with other great nations, showcasing Dublin as a premier hosting destination and after a challenging year gives great optimism to the Country for the months ahead.”

Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, said: The announcement of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic for August 2022 is really good news. As we get ready to restart international tourism to the island of Ireland, the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and the Nebraska Huskers will deliver a very welcome boost for tourism from the United States, with about 23,000 people expected to travel here from the US and Europe. Our message to the teams and their fans is that we cannot wait to roll out the ‘green carpet’ and welcome them to Dublin and Ireland. I am confident that the Aer Lingus College Football Classic will be a truly wonderful opportunity to showcase Ireland and, more generally, the many attractions we offer as a holiday destination.”

Paul Keeley, Director of Regional Development, Fáilte Ireland, said: “This announcement will provide a welcome boost for the tourism and hospitality sector especially in Dublin which has been hit hard by the pandemic. We will be thrilled to welcome the teams and their supporters to our capital city when they visit in 2022.  These games are of critical importance to our economy, not just in Dublin but regionally too, as fans will travel and visit other parts of Ireland. The millions of fans watching the game in the US will also provide Ireland with a valuable opportunity to showcase our ability to host large-scale international sporting tournaments while also reaching out to viewers – and potential visitors – in one of our key markets.”

The University of Nebraska fans are renowned for taking over stadiums, home and away, with their famous “Sea of Red”, and so with this trip to Dublin, natives can expect to see more red than ever before in the country.

The Northwestern Wildcats are also known as “Chicago’s Big Ten Team” due to its proximity to Chicago which makes for a great celebration amongst the Irish spectators, with the high number of the population with close connections and roots in the US city that are so highly valued.

The specially commissioned Waterford Crystal trophy is the perpetual prize for the Aer Lingus College Football Classic. The Keough-Naughton trophy bears the names of two powerhouses of Irish America, Don Keough and Martin Naughton.

Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Ticketing / Hospitality & Travel Packages
Hospitality packages for the 2022 game are on sale now through the official corporate hospitality game partner Corporate.ie. Travel packages are on sale through the official travel partner On Location in partnership with Abbey Group Ireland. Corporate group ticketing opportunities will also be launched towards the end of the year. General ticketing information to be released in due course, with a pre-sale sign-up option available on the official game website.

The health and safety of those travelling to Dublin for this not to be missed event is at the forefront of all plans for Ireland. Over the next 15 months the nation will be continuously working behind the scenes to ensure a safe environment for all visitors in the late summer of 2022.

The Aer Lingus College Football Series will be bringing the usual college football fanfare with it, so attendees can expect lots of fun events including marching bands, cheerleaders and tailgating parties. For exclusive information see www.collegefootballireland.com and follow College Football Ireland on Twitter @CFBIreland, Facebook @CollegeFootballIreland and Instagram @CFBIreland with the official game hashtag: #MuchMoreThanAGame

New AFI Commissioner Appointed.

While sport in Ireland on both sides of the border gradually begins to open up, the importance of having the right person at the helm of the AFI’s Administration is paramount.

Following a successful recruitment campaign and subsequent interview process, American Football Ireland are pleased to announce that Erin Brown has been appointed as the new Commissioner of American Football Ireland. A successful project and events manager with World Rugby, Erin brings with her great experience and a skillset that will help guide AFI through the remainder of these uncertain times and back to fulltime american football. NGB management is nothing new to Erin either, as she previously sat as an external board member on the board of Softball Ireland. As a result, Erin has great knowledge on good governance compliance and the role and responsibilities of those charged with governance, leadership and embedding a good culture within a national governing body.

Speaking in relation to the appointment, AFI President Aidan Maguire stated, “We are delighted to appoint Erin Brown to the role of Commissioner within American Football Ireland. This is a momentous occasion, as Erin Brown has now become the first female Commissioner of American Football Ireland. As a board, we are excited to learn from Erin’s wisdom, experience and ultimately grow as the National Governing Body of American Football. We look forward to closely working with Erin and providing her with the necessary supports and development opportunities needed to fulfil her duties as Commissioner”.

Erin Brown stated on her appointment, “I am extremely honoured and excited to be joining the team at AFI and supporting its mission to grow this fun, inclusive, and increasingly popular sport. I look forward to engaging with the AFI community to support football’s return to play after a long absence as a result of the pandemic and helping to promote this vibrant and dynamic game”.

The appointment of Erin Brown as Commissioner marks the beginning of a number of key roles being filled within AFI Management in the very near future. Stay tuned to our website and social media platforms for further appointments.

Thank You Commissioner Brian Cleary!

On Saturday 8th of May, Mr. Brian Cleary fulfilled his term as Commissioner with American Football Ireland, marking the end of a 5+ year run of involvement within the sports’ management team. His positive impact has certainly been felt in all levels of AFI, and he will be missed going forward. In a recent correspondence with AFI members, Brian wrote,

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support over the last five years. It’s amazing looking back to see how far we have come in such a short space of time and it wouldn’t have been possible to make the changes we did without your support. I won’t mention any names, I think I’ve already mentioned them at the AGM, but I would like to thank the board members and directors past and present who fought the good fight, worked hard and continue to work tirelessly to improve our association and its reputation. I have no doubt that the current management will continue to develop and grow our association, there is some exciting times ahead and I wish them and you every success.”

On this, AFI President Aidan Maguire issued the following statement,

“Brian has been a part of AFI management since 2015 and throughout his time he has shown a commitment and an unyielding dedication to promoting American Football in Ireland. At all times he has acted in good faith with the best interests of all AFI members at heart. His commitment and love for the AFI and its members has been second to none.

The last number of years has brought about some significant changes within AFI. As a board member and as Commissioner, Brian can hold his head up high known that the endless hours of hard work he has put into our sport, as a volunteer, has played a huge part in AFI’s growth and development. As Interim Commissioner and Commissioner of AFI, Brian has brought a strong sense of impartially across the board when dealing with teams or gameday issues/queries.

Going forward, I am confident that the systems which Brian will leave behind as Commissioner will pave the way for his successor in a way that will ensure a smooth transition of power. On behalf of the American Football Ireland, I would like to thank Brian for all his hard work over the last number of years.”

From all in AFI; thank you Brian, for your years of dedication and hard work given to the development of AFI, without which we wouldn’t be as far along as we are today.

We wish you every success for your future endeavours!

Board Member Appointments

AFI is pleased to announce the appointments of Kelly Dwyer (left) and Helen Smyth (right) to the Management Board as Board Members.
 
Both Kelly and Helen were already members of the AFI Management Team (officiating department and flag football department respectively) and completed the coveted Women In Sport Leadership Programme last year.
 
Congratulations to both and best of luck in your positions!

International Women’s Day 2021

Today we celebrate the achievements women have accomplished within AFI, particularly in the last 5 years – from coaching and officiating at the highest levels available to pioneering feats achieved in our flag and tackle football programmes. We are also pleased to announce an increase in female membership, from 57 (2019) to 80 (2020) – an increase even amid a pandemic.
 
AFI is committed to providing opportunities for all in the community and whilst we have reached significant milestones, we will continue to work hard to make our sport accessible to as many as possible through playing, coaching, officiating and volunteering.

Apply To The NFL Academy

The NFL Academy, which opened in September 2019, is a major UK initiative by the NFL, which aims to use American football to create life-changing opportunities for young people.
 
The NFL Academy offers student athletes aged 16-19 the opportunity to combine their education with a life skills programme and an intensive training in the sport, under the guidance of full-time professional coaches.
 
Education is the main priority and, in partnership with Barnet and Southgate College in North London, the Academy aims to create pathways into further education, employment and potentially an opportunity to study and play NCAA college football in the United States.
 
Athletes have access to elite sports training facilities, kit and equipment, as well as an opportunity to learn from players and coaches from the NFL. The character development programme aims to provide students with the tools to be successful in whatever pathway they take following the NFL Academy.
 
This unique opportunity is open to students aged 16-19. Entry into the Academy is based upon a series of physical tryouts, along with a one-to-one interview and educational assessment. Successful students will be offered provisional places, dependent on meeting academic requirements.
 

New President & Board Members Elected

At yesterdays AGM, Aidan Maguire (top left) was elected as President of AFI on a 3 year term.
 
In addition, Frieda Gallagher (bottom left), Paul Kirkwood (top right) and Stephen McDonnell (bottom right) were elected as board members, each on 3 year terms.
 
Congratulations to all four and best of luck in your positions!

AFI Partner With Hope Through Football Foundation

American Football Ireland (AFI) are delighted to announce an exciting new partnership between AFI and the internationally renowned, Hope Through Football Foundation. Founded by NFL Hall of Famer and Super Bowl Winner Rod Woodson, Hope Through Football is a non-profit association created so that coaches and players can develop, expand and sharpen their football knowledge and skills, all while learning character & life skills. The foundation offers a platform which allows highly experienced coaches and players to share their knowledge and wisdom of the game to football lovers all over the world. 

“This is a phenomenal day for our sport and members. We are delighted to agree a partnership with Coach Woodson and the Hope Through Football Foundation. The potential for the growth and development of our members cannot be understated. This partnership will improve the standard of coaching across all areas of kitted, flag and youth football within our association. It is our hope as a board, that this opportunity will also encourage more AFI members to get involved in coaching, and ultimately encourage more young males and females to become involved in playing our sport at all levels. This is a fantastic opportunity for the sport of American football on our island, and I encourage all members to embrace and soak up all the knowledge which Hope Through Football can bring forward” Aidan Maguire, AFI President

Hope Through Football Founder/NFL Hall of Famer, Coach Rod Woodson stated that: Hope Through Football and #sharetheknowledge are super excited to embark on this relationship with American Football Ireland. Opportunities can be explored together with the forward-thinking process of the AFI. We look forward to a long and growing relationship to benefit the football community in Ireland, whilst bringing international relationships closer. We would like to thank the AFI for allowing us the opportunity to be involved.

Irish Wolfhound Head Coach, Ciaran O’Sullivan stated: “Before I was approached by an old friend of football in Ireland, Coach Tariq Ayub of the London Olympians I had already tuned into several Hope Through Football virtual seminars. I was impressed by the quality of the information being shared, the level of coaches delivering the seminars, the understanding that football is a global game played at all levels and most of all the calibre of the people involved starting with Coach Rod Woodson whose passion for football is infectious and uplifting even in these dark days. When Coach Ayub explained that HTF wanted to explore the possibility of a working partnership with AFI I was delighted to get both parties in the same virtual room working on a partnership. I am looking forward to working with Coach Ayub and Coach Woodson to ensure our players and coaches get the most out of this amazing resource. As Head Coach of the Irish Wolfhounds I will be advising our players and coaches make the most of this wonderful opportunity. At the same time hope that every club in the American Football Ireland gets involved and we work to improve Irish football together.”

Coach Tariq Ayub, #sharetheknowledge stated “I am very pleased to help develop the relationship with the AFI and Hope through Football. At the core of this is the ability to share knowledge and grow the sport we all love. Immensely proud and pleased Coach Woodson and the AFI have entrusted me with this endeavour. I look forward to working closely with coach Ciaran O’Sullivan.”

“At this time, I would like to thank Coach O’Sullivan and Coach Ayub for putting the wheels in motion so that this partnership could be discussed and agreed. Thank you to Coach Woodson for showing a commitment in helping us grow as an association from a knowledge-based standpoint” Aidan Maguire AFI President.

American Football Ireland now looks forward to a long and healthy partnership with Hope Through Football. Stay tuned to our website and social media, as our first live session will be coming to a screen near you shortly.

Super Bowl Super Raffle – Winners Drawn

The Super Bowl Super Raffle, hosted by American Football Ireland and GalaBid, has now concluded and winners have been drawn. A total of €14,316 was raised for our member clubs – many thanks to everyone who supported the raffle and American football here in Ireland.

All winners have been contacted by email (please check Junk/Spam folder).

Super Bowl Super Raffle – Fundraiser For Clubs

The “Super Bowl Super Raffle”, hosted by American Football Ireland and GalaBid, provides a safe way for clubs to raise much needed funds in what has been a very challenging year, with great prizes on offer – support your local club!

This fundraiser was created in lieu of Super Bowl parties not being allowed to take place this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. Super Bowl parties are critical events for our clubs as they provide the main source of fundraising income each year.

All member clubs will have their own Super Bowl Super Raffle link to sell tickets, with 72% of funds raised going directly to the club. Ticket sales will close at 8pm on Sunday 7th February 2021 with the draw taking place later that evening. Winners will be notified by email and the results will be posted on www.americanfootball.ie

 

SUPER BOWL SUPER RAFFLE 2021 Prizes

€500
Two Night Stay For Two People At The Crowne Plaza Blanchardstown

A two course evening meal on one night and breakfast each morning included

2 x Aer Lingus College Football Classic Tickets

Compliments of corporate.ie

€50 One4All Voucher

Compliments of Garland Drake

American Football Themed Food Hamper

Compliments of Garland Drake

Emerald Sports Bundle:
– Signed Jersey by Super Bowl winner William Perry
– Jimmy Garoppolo 49ers Jersey
– €30 Emerald Sport Breaks credit

Compliments of Emerald Sports Breaks

£25 EP Sports Voucher

Compliments of EP Sports

set of 4 Take & Bake Cookie Jars

Compliments of Amarc Catering and Events

£100 Advanced Overwatch Voucher

Compliments of Advanced Overwatch Ltd.

$50 NFL Shop Voucher

Compliments of Paddy Pigskin Podcast

Terms and Conditions

Two New Clubs Granted AFI Member Status

The AFI Management Board has approved associate membership to two new clubs: Belfast City Lions and Thomastown Tigers. Both will compete at flag football level. Welcome to AFI!

There are now 31 member clubs of American Football Ireland:

Club

Competing Teams

Antrim Jets

Senior Football & Flag Football

Belfast City Lions

Flag Football

Belfast Knights

Senior Football & Flag Football

Belfast Trojans

Senior Football & Flag Football

Causeway Giants

Senior Football & Flag Football

Cill Dara Crusaders

Senior Football

Cork Admirals

Senior Football & Youth Football

Cork City Outlaws

Flag Football

Craigavon Cowboys

Senior Football & Flag Football

Donegal/Derry Vipers

Senior Football, Youth Football & Flag Football

Downpatrick Saints

Flag Football

Dublin Bay Raptors

Flag Football

Dublin City Quetzals

Flag Football

Dublin Rebels

Senior Football, Youth Football & Flag Football

Edenderry Eagles

Flag Football

Galway Warriors

Flag Football

Louth Mavericks

Senior Football & Flag Football

Maynooth University Hurricanes

Flag Football

Meath Bulldogs

Senior Football

NI Razorbacks

Senior Football

North Dublin Pirates

Senior Football & Flag Football

South Dublin Panthers

Senior Football, Youth Football & Flag Football

Thomastown Tigers

Flag Football

Trinity College Dublin

Senior Football & Flag Football

UCC Raiders

Flag Football

UCD

Senior Football & Flag Football

UL Vikings

Senior Football

Ulster University Elks

Flag Football

West Dublin Rhinos

Senior Football

Westmeath Minotaurs

Senior Football & Flag Football

Wexford Eagles

Senior Football

Resignation Of Finance Officers

Chief Finance Officer Conor Gibney and Finance Officer Michal Kazio have stepped down from their positions after over two years of volunteer service. Conor and Michal played critical roles in producing the first set of fully audited accounts – a requirement set by Sport Ireland due to an increase of funding. Furthermore, they developed a payment policy and introduced online banking which removed the need for cheques, streamlining our financial processes and improving transparency.

Commissioner Brian Cleary “It was a pleasure to work with both Conor and Michal over the last two years. Their hard work was invaluable to improving our financial governance which resulted in significant increases in our funding. They have been a true asset to the AFI and I would like to wish them the best of luck in their future endeavours.”

Interim President Aidan Maguire “On behalf of American Football Ireland, I want to take this opportunity to offer our thanks and sincerest gratitude to both Conor Gibney and Michal Kazio. During their time within AFI, they played a key role in setting up a reformed finance department, while also putting systems in place to help AFI succeed long into the future. Both Connor and Michal embraced their roles as volunteers and ultimately the sport of American football. We wish them all the best in their future endeavours.”

Following a thorough recruitment process, Alan Browne was appointed as Chief Finance Officer in October 2020 and has since been undergoing a transition period with Conor and Michal.

Women In Sport Leadership Programme 2021

Last October, Sport Ireland endorsed a Women in Sport Leadership Programme which was being ran by Swim Ireland. As a result, AFI recommended 3 female candidates who were accepted onto the 8-week programme and who successfully completed the course.

Now this same opportunity has arisen again for 2021 and AFI would like to put forward more female candidates to participate in this prestigious programme. Please see further information about the course as well as testimonials below.

This programme is open to all female members of AFI. Participation in this programme will be funded by AFI pending successful completion of the course.

Due to time restraints, interested candidates should complete the form at this link and submit it by 10pm on Monday 18th January 2021.

This eight-session course will take place online over an eight-week period from 7pm – 8.30pm.

  • Course 1 – Commences Monday 1st February and finishes on Monday 22nd March
  • Course 2 – Commences Tuesday 2nd March and finishes on Tuesday 20th April

The aim of the course is to provide training, guidance and expertise to support women to thrive in leadership positions in sport. The interactive practical classes allow each participant to work and focus on their own development while learning from others as part of a team over an extended period. There will be some group and individual exercises during the programme and the size of the class is limited to 16 to ensure everyone has the opportunity to fully engage and reach their full potential.

 

The course is specifically designed for female leaders within your organisation. Those selected should already be in a leadership position or be a female recognised by your organisation as having the potential to take on a leadership role in the near future.

 

Course Content

The course modules include the following core topics:

  • Leadership and Values
  • Networking and Collaboration
  • Handling Challenging Situations and Developing Resilience
  • Crisis Management and Influencing in leadership
  • Communications and Developing Your Personal Brand
  • Wellbeing
  • Change Management
  • Governance

Participants will also receive a one-on-one coaching session and support in producing their own Personal Development Plan. Modules will also include inputs from guest speakers relating their own personal leadership experiences.

Frieda Gallagher, Donegal/Derry Vipers & AFI Diversity and Inclusivity Committee Member

A lot of effort was put into this course from Lisa Clancy and Sarah O’ Shea. Well researched and interesting guest speakers attended every class. Each session was a networker’s heaven, with so many NGB’s represented on the course. It gave female leaders and administrators the tools, techniques and skills necessary to undertake senior positions efficiently and a greater confidence within clubs, leagues, regional and national level.

 

Helen Smyth, Belfast City Lions & AFI Flag Football Committee Member

The course was really good! I got a lot more out of it than I expected and it was useful for career/personal development kind of things too, not just sports related things. Lisa and Sarah who ran it were great and really helpful and all the guest speakers they had on were all so interesting and had a lot of brilliant advice. It was so nice to get to meet lots of other women from different sports and backgrounds and I've definitely made connections that will hopefully be useful for flag and I think some of the girls would be up for giving flag a go too! Was honestly such a good experience!

Kelly Dwyer, Louth Mavericks & AFI Officiating Committee Member

Throughout the course, I was impressed with the level of knowledge, experience, openness and honesty of the women delivering the course; Sarah O’ Shae and Lisa Clancy. I felt the course content was educational and empowering  for participants. I enjoyed that the course was delivered through a variety of means including zoom, one-to-one mentoring, guest-speaker talks, group tasks; thereby keeping engagement and interest in the course content high. Having completed the course, I feel that my contribution to AFI will be more impactful, refined and better-informed. Overall, I felt the course was as follows:

  • Excellent in educating, upskilling and preparing it’s participants for leadership roles.
  • Excellent in tackling and dismantling some barriers to female participation in sport and leadership, examples include low confidence and Imposter Syndrome
  • Excellent fostering many positive relationships within the Irish's sport community and within the AFI female community.
  • Excellent at motivating it’s participants to continue and increase their engagement with sport.
  • Excellent at encouraging it’s participants to take up leadership roles within sport and/or professionally.

Notice of 2020 AGM

The AFI 2020 AGM will take place on Sunday 14th February 2021 at 2pm. The AGM will be hosted online using Zoom, in accordance with government COVID-19 restrictions. All clubs and directors are required to have a representative sign into the meeting to discuss association business and take part in the voting/election process. 

Proposals
 
Any club/director that wishes to propose an amendment to the Constitution should forward their proposal to the commissioner (Brian Cleary) on or before the 15th January 2021.
 
Any club/director that wishes to propose an amendment to the Bylaws should forward their proposal to the commissioner (Brian Cleary) on or before the 24th January 2021.
 

Proposals should include three sections as set out below:

  1. Existing wording as per Constitution/Bylaws and the relevant section (if amending current rule).
  2. Exact proposed wording for it to be replaced with (if amending current rule). 
  3. Reasoning for the Proposal. 

Elections

There are 5 positions up for election as follows;

President 

  • 1 x 3 Year Term

Management Board Member 

  • 3 x 3 Year Term
  • 1 x 2 Year Term

All candidates for election must be members in good standing with at least 3 consecutive years affiliation to AFI. All Management Board members are expected to attend monthly meetings, attend occasional midweek training courses and meetings with external organizations. The role of a Management Board member is to promote the growth and development of the sport in line with our governing documents and the Governance Code.

It is important that all these positions are filled for the continued management of the association. It is requested that all clubs disseminate this notice to their members with a view to seeking nominations for election.

The Nomination of Election form can be found on page 45 of the AFI Bylaws which are located here. Completed forms must be returned to the commissioner (Brian Cleary) on or before 24th January 2021. 

COVID-19 Supplementary Funding for Sport

AFI is pleased to announce we have been awarded a total of €58,000 from the COVID-19 Supplementary Grant Scheme with €36,000 awarded to AFI as part of the NGB Resilience Fund and €22,000 between 7 ROI clubs as part of the Sports Club Resilience Fund.

Club

Award

Donegal Derry Vipers

€7696.93

Dublin Rebels

€4561.75

Louth Mavericks 

€905.25

South Dublin Panthers

€5809.58

West Dublin Rhinos

€710.00

Westmeath Minotaurs

€776.39

Wexford Eagles 

€1552.59

Strategic Plan 2021-2026 Release

AFI is delighted to release our 5-year strategic plan. This plan intends to give the management team and members of American Football Ireland (AFI) a focus for the development of American football in Ireland over the next five years and to build upon the existing achievements of AFI.

With thanks to Charmaeducs Photography, Terrance McCann Photography, Ian Humes Photography and Keith Elgin Photography for use of their fantastic images throughout the document.

The plan is built on 4 key pillars:

  • Growth of overall membership – Increase the number of playing and non-playing members from 1650 to 3000.
  • Safeguard the future of our sport – Increase the number of members aged under 21 from 500 to 1000.
  • Be a leader in governance – Excel in Sport Ireland compliance. Have the necessary tools in place to be able to run the association as efficiently as possible.
  • Build our reputation with IFAF – To be included in proposed international games and championships each year at senior kitted, youth kitted and flag football levels.

One of the predominant themes throughout is to increase female participation at all levels as well as developing our youth and flag programmes to increase participation of under 18-year olds. Please see the full plan below or at this link.

AFI Strategic Paln 2021-2016

AFI Sports Capital Grant Webinars

American Football Ireland is delighted to announce two exciting club grant sessions for our clubs. The first session will focus on the Sports Capital Programme for our ROI clubs while the second will look at the relevant grants for our NI clubs. Details are as follows:

  • ROI Sports Capital Programme: Tuesday 17th November 2020, 7pm-8.30pm
  • NI Grant Landscape: Thursday 19th November 2020, 7pm-8.30pm

AFI encourages as many clubs as possible to register for these events.  By attending the online forum, you will be well-positioned to apply for new funding for your club, in a competitive environment. Recordings of the webinar and supporting documents will be made available to attendees following each event.

Each club has been sent details on how to register for the appropriate session – if your club has not received this email, please email jo@americanfootball.ie

Resignation of Orla McAleese

Orla McAleese, Ireland General ManagerOn behalf of the American Football Ireland board, I wish to inform you of the resignation of our president, Orla McAleese due to unforeseen circumstances.

First of all, I would like to acknowledge the tough decision Orla made to step away from a sport and a membership which I know she loved.

Most people in life strive to achieve success. While in her role as president of AFI, Orla has far exceeded success. Her dedication and commitment to American Football Ireland is unmatched and undeniable. In 3 years, Orla has worked tirelessly to develop strong relationships within AFI and with our external stakeholders. As a result, this has really set up AFI for continued growth and success long into our future. She has given up her free time to run and promote our association at all levels. She is a key figure and reason why AFI are on a journey of governance compliance.

On behalf of the AFI board, our administration, our directors and our membership, I wish to say a huge thank you to Orla for all she has done for American Football Ireland over the past 3 years.

Aidan Maguire
Interim AFI President