Category: Management

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between 6 AFI member clubs based in ROI who submitted applications for grants on various projects such as replacing outdated club owned equipment, purchasing new equipment for the youth team and new equipment for women in sport initiatives.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.

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!

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!

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!

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

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

Management Board Changes

AFI President Orla McAleese “This weekend saw the departure for two of our board colleagues, Christine Bolton and John Lynch. Both have left for personal reasons. I would like to acknowledge the work, input and support they have given to the association during their time on the board.

Their time and effort to work with their fellow members to help maintain and grow the sport has not gone without notice. Giving up their free time to attend meetings, work with our directors and members on queries, and endless nights of going through paperwork and policies.

From everyone on the board, our directors and our members, we thank both Christine and John for everything they have done over the past months and years.”

New External Board Member Appointed

AFI is delighted to announce the appointment of Peter McKenna to the board as an external board member.

Peter is a keen sports enthusiast and brings a vast wealth of experience including involvement in the GAA at various levels. Peter has worked in Ireland, the US, Canada and Europe in all levels of an organisation from board level to staff. Peter has a wide range of qualifications including a Professional Diploma in High Performance Business Development, a Professional Diploma in Applied Performance Analysis, a GAA Accredited Performance Analyst and is a Sport Ireland Accredited Coaching Tutor. Welcome to AFI Peter and best of luck in the role!

This now means that the board is running at full capacity with 9 board members – details of the AFI Management Team can be found here.

Peter McKenna

Statements Of Intent (Flag & Youth)

A reminder to all clubs that statements of intent (non-binding) to compete in the 2020 flag and/or youth seasons should be sent to AFI by the deadlines set below:

  • For flag football, by 8pm on Thursday 18th June. This should be sent to robbie_ca@americanfootball.ie
  • For youth football, by 8pm on Monday 22nd June. This should be sent to bill@americanfootball.ie

2020 Senior Kitted Season Cancelled

Statement from AFI Commissioner Brian Cleary “The AFI board held an online meeting to discuss the current ongoing situation and the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.

It has been decided that the 2020 Senior Kitted season will be cancelled in its entirety. A number of factors were considered in making this tough decision. There remains uncertainty as to when this crisis will end, which makes it very difficult to publish a schedule that will allow for enough time to prepare and complete a season for our members. It may also prove very difficult to secure ambulance bookings for fixtures due to the increased workload of our front-line services. We are also very aware of the financial difficulties our clubs and members may be facing during this time and do not wish to add any more pressure than what they are already facing. Ultimately, we need to put our members physical and mental welfare first before football.

We will continue to monitor the situation and, if circumstances allow, we are open to the possibility of hosting a 2-3 week tournament at the end of the summer for clubs that wish to participate and have some form of kitted football in 2020.

With immediate effect all current Adult Kitted, Coaching, Officiating and Non-Playing memberships will be extended until 30th September 2021 and there will be no need to purchase or renew your membership for the 2021 season.

No decision has been made yet in relation to Youth and Flag football. We will continue to monitor the situation and liaise with our directors in the coming weeks and update you when we have a clearer picture on the possibility of the Youth and Flag seasons going ahead.

It is important to note that we have put our insurance on hold at this time and under no circumstances is any physical footballing activity to take place until further notice.

Please look after yourselves and your loved ones and we will continue to provide updates as the situation unfolds. If you have any queries please contact me at brian@americanfootball.ie.”

COVID-19 Statement

Statement from AFI Commissioner Brian Cleary

“In light of this mornings announcement by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, AFI have decided to postpone all football activities including practice sessions, scheduled games and combines up to and including the 29th March.

We will continue to monitor the situation over the coming weeks and keep you updated on any plans to reschedule the season.

We have a few options to consider including a new, reduced schedule commencing end of April/start of May. We may also consider all postponed games as 15-15 ties as per the bylaws. We need further time to consider the options and want to be fair to all clubs for the remainder of the season.

We urge all our members to follow the advice of the HSE in an effort to contain this outbreak and hope you and your families all stay safe and well.”

New Commissioner Appointed

AFI is delighted to announce that Brian Cleary has accepted the position of Commissioner following a recent recruitment campaign. Brian brings a wealth of experience to the association as well as having served as Commissioner on an interim basis in the past. All general queries as well as queries relating to senior kitted football should be sent to Brian at brian@americanfootball.ie

Congratulations Brian and best of luck in the position!

Commissioner: Brian Cleary

Press Release: American Football Ireland

Following a unanimous vote at Januarys SGM, the Irish American Football Association (IAFA) has changed its name to American Football Ireland (AFI), effective immediately.

AFI President Orla McAleese “This is a very exciting time for American Football Ireland. We are going into a new decade with a new brand and look. While we are evolving our name rather than completely changing it, it was the best strategic move for the association. It is important not to forget the 34 years the association has been part of sport in Ireland. That history will never be forgotten, it is part of us and what we are made of. We are just beginning a new step in our journey.”

Official logo of American Football Ireland

New Associate Member Clubs

At the recent SGM, 8 flag football clubs were made associate members of our association. We would like to extend a warm welcome to each and look forward to seeing their progress in the future:

  • Edenderry Eagles​
  • Dublin Bay Raptors​
  • UCC​
  • Ulster Elks​
  • Downpatrick Saints​
  • Norton Wasps​
  • MU Hurricanes​
  • Cork City Outlaws​

Further details of the SGM will be released at a later date.

New Board Members Appointed

American Football Ireland are delighted to announce two appointments to the management board. John Lynch (Wexford Eagles) and Paul Kirkwood (Dublin Rebels) have been co-opted on to the board with immediate effect. We would like to extend a warm welcome to both and wish them all the best in their roles.

Further opportunities to join American Football Ireland management can be found here.

Notice of SGM

The IAFA Management Board have scheduled a Special General Meeting which will take place on the 25th January 2020 at 2pm. It will take place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Blanchardstown, Dublin.

Further details of the meeting have been sent to all clubs via email.

20×20: Frieda Gallagher

Whilst we have so far highlighted those whose action takes place on the field, we next speak with Frieda Gallagher who pretty much takes to do with everything off the field as a volunteer. Frieda has held a number of positions within the Derry/Donegal Vipers including Chairwoman.

What sparked your initial interest in American football?

“I’ll be honest, I had no interest in American football, none whatsoever. My partner Cathal Curran turned around to me one day and said I’m going to set up an American football team – I said ‘you’re mad, they don’t even have that sport in the country, don’t be silly’… and the rest as they say is a lot of hard work, swearing, sleepless nights and laughter which led to the formation of the Vipers and that began my interest in American football.”

How did you get involved with your club/IAFA?

“After Cathal informed me he was going to set up an American Football club, I was making tea one day and when I opened the fridge to get milk, I noticed about £500 sitting in the drawer – now things like that aren’t the strangest thing Cathal has done, but I asked the question anyway. ‘Cathal, why is there £500 sitting in the fridge?’ ‘It’s the Vipers fees, I don’t have the bank account set up yet’ (At this stage, we didn’t have a club set up yet, but that’s another story). ‘Grand but why is it in the fridge Cathal?’ ‘Well if you were a robber, would you look in the fridge?’ Fair point, I thought, so that is where my OCD and organizational skills got me involved with the Vipers. We set it up from there along with James Fox and haven’t looked back since. The first few years were very tough, we had no money, no pitch, little equipment and very few volunteers. Now I can say over the past few years, I’ve went from having no brothers, to almost 40 – they can be absolute head wreckers at times, but I wouldn’t change them.”

What role(s) do you currently hold within your club/IAFA?

“I have been the Secretary and the Chairwoman of the Donegal Derry Vipers, currently enjoying my time as an ordinary Committee Member. I can also be found most game days perched on top of a very wobbly ladder with a video camera in one hand and frostbite in the other. As much as I give out, I wouldn’t change it for the world…well maybe a sturdier ladder!”

What is the American football environment like in Ireland?

“It is growing, definitely growing, from when the Vipers first started out. There has been some amazing work done this past few years, but we have a lot more to do. The amount of conversations I have had with people who had no idea there was a league in Ireland, and they are always shocked when I tell them how many teams are in the country. But that’s where we can play a part also, boosting the profiles of the teams, that’s done on the ground, and I’m sure the Vipers will tell you, I’m never done telling people to like/share/tweet etc, but it all helps.”

What advice would you have for a fellow female interested in getting involved in American football?

“Jump right in! As a supporter of a team or further afield in the league, wherever your interest is. I am very lucky that there were trailblazers like Kim Wilton Neville, Orla McAleese, and Emma Burrows already established in the league. I felt very welcome and very comfortable from the get-go, there are plenty of positions available and to be honest, the league just needs our help, male or female, it’s irrelevant.”