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Noel's Notes

Observations from Noel Kennelly - the Honorary Secretary of the AFL

New Season Thoughts

Posted: Aug 18 2008

The most important commitment I gave to the last management meeting of the League was that I would have published on the web and in the Herald the opening stance the League would adopt for the new season by way of Discipline / Respect:
"Over the last number of seasons we have suffered from a dramatic reduction in the number of referees we have available to officiate in our League. The main reason referees are walking away is the level of abuse that they are forced to endure during some (not all) of our games. Abuse towards our officials is totally unacceptable and it will not be tolerated by the Honorary Officers of the League. As we embark on a new season we would like all players and officials from our clubs to work with us to ensure that we remove this abuse from our League. We are instructing all of our referees to deal with abuse / dissent by applying the letter of the law. If you abuse or show dissent towards the referee or his assistant(s) disciplinary action will be taken. All referees are under instruction to report all cautions / red cards immediately to the League. The Executive of the Amateur Football League will adopt a zero tolerance policy in respect of any such report received, as we are determined to support our officials and ensure they have an opportunity to enjoy their sport."

Attendance at Management meetings.

It is incumbent on all clubs in the League that they have a representative attend the management meetings (the list is published here on the web). Failure to attend will result in the imposition of a "Non attendance fine at management meetings of €35 payable within 14 days of non-attendance notice sent by Hon. Registrar. Failure to pay fine will result in fixtures being forfeited"

End of Season Thoughts

Posted: June 12 2007

Welcome to the new season. We are still rejoicing at the success of our Oscar Traynor Trophy win over Kilkenny. It is appropriate that we should have won the competition named after a previous Chairman of the Football Association of Ireland and it being played in the Oscar Traynor Coaching and Development Centre. It was a proud occasion in showing off the excellent facilities available for the development of football of all ages, both for boys and girls and for advancing years. In the passage of time it will be truly a Centre of Excellence. Well done to all associated with the preparation of the representative panel stretching back to last October.

Getting back to realities of organising the League for next season it is important to avail of the email facility available resulting from our website. Communication is encouraged by using the email facility to my home address at Be assured you will get a return email from me to deal with your concerns. As much information as you require is available on the web to download to keep in touch with the league, thereby saving you time not having to travel out to the Centre.

We look forward to getting your emails. The formal presentation of Cup and medallions takes place in the Centre on Thursday 21st. June at 8.30p.m.

Draft Rules of The LFA

Posted: Dec 2nd

The draft Rules of The LFA are available on this site. To get your copy check out the 'More AFL Documents' link on the home page. This draft will be the subject of an EGM of the Leinster Football Association in Mid February. Details of meeting will appear on the site and in the Evening Herald and other papers. They will also be discussed at the AFL Management Meeting on Monday 11th December and again if needs be on Monday 22nd January 2007.

For and on behalf of the Amateur Football League

Noel Kennelly
Honorary Secretary

Amateur Football League 0 Athletic Union League 0

Posted: Nov 30th

The above result shows the benefit of the meticulous preparation carried out by the Manager Gerry Davis, his management team and all the players on his panel. I thank the clubs for their encouragement and support for the players selected. Our next challenge is to change over to playing on grass in preparation of our next Oscar Traynor Match against Carlow on January 6th in Carlow. Till then everyone must remain focussed. My sincere thanks to Peter Connolly, the Directors, management and staff the Oscar Traynor Centre and the ground staff for providing the facilities for the match.

Noel Kennelly
Honorary Secretary

An Appeal to all AFL Members

Posted: Nov 26th

This is the second week of major disruption of fixtures as a result of the weather and its effect on playability of pitches. 15 matches played last week and 19 this weekend. There are two more weekends before the 4 week shutdown.

As interested people log on to this website for updates on the weekend activity can I get a message across to the wider membership of the Amateur Football League. All involved from player to manager to club secretary and league legislators are strictly voluntary, trying to provide a competent service to those who wish to play Association Football at our level. The website is designed to try make communication as efficient and informative as possible. In my position I am the link between teams and their Honorary secretaries and our divisional managers. The link breaks down when a degree of apathy creeps in when some people take things for granted. Every piece of information necessary for the smooth running of a club is available on the website. No matter what information you need, be it playability of Corporation or Council pitches, clubs, referees, divisional managers or procedures or rules of the League; they are all there, just log on.

If you, as a viewer, are not a club secretary and your club secretary does not have access to a computer and our website, will you accept the responsibility of passing on pertinent information regarding your club fixture and any other information you feel can help him.

Now for the period over the Christmas can I ask each club honorary secretary to help us with making a genuine effort to encourage someone in your club to undertake training in the Art of Refereeing. Unless Clubs respond in a positive manner there is a grave risk to the provision of fixtures on a consistent basis.

For those who might say "I would be afraid to become a referee because of abuse of the decision making requirement of a referee" The Amateur Football League guarantees to ensure proper respect for referees who make decisions which are made 'in the opinion of the referee' and to impose severe sanctions on reported offenders.

Please send email to me: with the name of your candidate as soon as possible and not leave it to someone else. We will then arrange the training.

Noel Kennelly
Honorary Secretary

ICE - In Case of Emergency

Posted: Nov 23rd

Seeing that as a football organisation we are used to dealing with accidents on the field of play here is a useful idea to pass on to your family and friends. The concept of "ICE" is catching up quickly. It is simple, yet an important method of contact during emergency situations.

One of the difficulties long faced by emergency services personnel is how to locate next of kin for (or obtain other necessary information about) a victim who is unconscious or otherwise unable to respond to questions. Even if the victim is carrying one or more forms of identification which have remained with them (such as a driver's license), those items don't necessarily provide information about where and how relatives or other interested parties can be reached, resulting in delays as officials try to track those people down through ancillary details. The idea is that you store the word "ICE" in your mobile phone address book, and against it enter the number of the person you would want to be contacted "In Case of Emergency". In an emergency situation, ambulance and hospital staff will then be able to quickly find out who your next of kin are and be able to contact them by simply dialling the number stored as "ICE"..

It's as simple as that, and for more than one contact name you can use ICE1, ICE2, ICE3 etc. It really could save your life, or put a loved one's mind at rest. A great idea that will make a difference.

Congratulations to the AFL Oscar Traynor Team

Posted: Nov 9th

Congratulations to Gerry Davis, his collective panel of players and management team on the impressive performance in recording at 4 nil win against the Leinster Football League in the first match of the Oscar Traynor Trophy. Well begun is well begun and the road ahead is long. Keep everything in perspective and keep your enthusiasm for training and playing.
The rewards can be great.
On behalf of the Honorary Officers, Executive Committee and the overall membership of the League
Noel Kennelly

Rules for Signing Foreign Players

Posted: Oct 30th

For any club interested in signing players from outside the jurisdiction of the FAI
here is an extract from the current FAI Rules:

(e) Any player wishing to be registered within the jurisdiction of the Football Association of Ireland having last been registered within another jurisdiction must obtain an International Transfer Certificate. If the Association does not receive a response to the ITC Request within thirty days, it shall immediately register the player with the New Club on a provisional basis (“Provisional Registration”). A Provisional Registration shall become permanent one year after the ITC Request. The Association may withdraw a Provisional Registration, if, during this one-year period, the Former Association presents valid reasons explaining why it did not respond to the ITC Request.

Referees Beginners Course

Posted: Oct 27th

As can be judged from the number of Amateur Football League matches published with RTBA (Referee to be advised) after the fixture, the following notice should be taken seriously by Saturday clubs especially. Clubs should encourage someone to attend and ease the pressure on me as the Referees Allocations Officer for our League. Then I can again enjoy this voluntary position I hold.

NDSL Referees beginners course - A career in World Football awaits successful Applicants

Venue: Glebe North FC, Market Green, Balbriggan

Date: Wednesday 8th November 06

Time: 6.30pm

Cost: 20 Euro per person (includes membership to FAI and a copy of the laws of the game)

Note: Applicants must be 16 years of age upwards, be available to start refereeing right away after the course and this course is open to male and female referees. Refreshments will be served and the League wish to thank Glebe North for their cooperation. All enquires to Gary Tolan at 087-2251495 after 4pm

Major decision announced at the Oct Management meeting of AFL Clubs

Posted: Oct 17th

The imposition of fines as sanctions: Last Thursday the Registrar advised the Executive that a substantial amount is outstanding on fines imposed by the executive on players and in some cases on clubs. The FIFA directive is that players/clubs cannot play until fines are paid. The Executive Committee have decided to introduce a change in the way they impose fines. In future Clubs will be fined, which will include a fine on the player, (if needs be). Fines are imposed on a Thursday and the notice is given to the club representative on the night. If players or clubs fail to appear, the executive will make a decision and the notice will be posted to the registered Hon. Secretary. Allowing at least three days for the post to be delivered every club should know the executive decision before the following Thursday. Every team manager should ensure that players who have received red cards, that the club has paid the fine imposed by the Thursday following the hearing. If a player has accumulated 4 yellow cards, the Club Secretary will be notified of a match suspension and fine. If any of the fines are not paid in time, the club/team fixture for the following week will be forfeited. The moral of these changes is to encourage greater control over players by Team managers and Club Secretaries to respond to the Registrars correspondence (Mr. Bob Donnelly) regarding fines.

Other items on the agenda were:

Abandoned Fixtures:

Public Liability Insurance: Every Club must submit current insurance cover.

Registered Players: The Registrar is concerned that there are player’s names appearing on Cards for which we have no registration forms.

Oscar Traynor squad:

The continuing shortage of Referees: This is a major concern, especially on Saturday and Sunday morning. We are going to ask the Leinster Football Association to organise a meeting of all Dublin Leagues to try to address the shortage of referees.

Date of next management meeting: November 20th and next payment of League fees due.

The Honorary Secretary's Book is now available for collection in the Centre by Clubs and referees.

For and on behalf of the Amateur Football League

Noel Kennelly

Hon. Secretary.

Communication and cooperation is essential

Posted: Oct 10th

On opening referees cards last night a few items came to my attention which, with a little bit of care, could ease the responsibility on the voluntary officials who run clubs/teams and the League.

1. Confirm the fixture on Tuesday with the opposition and the referee. Last Saturday night I got a phone call at 8pm from a very frustrated club Secretary regarding a change of kick-off from 11am to 1pm. That should not happen. Another referee rang me to know if his match was on Sunday as no one contacted him or answered his text messages to confirm the fixture.

2. When the referees cards is being filled in before the match commences make sure the correct names are entered against the number on the card and the shirt the player is wearing. This will allow the referee identify the scores and the bold boys.

3. Confirm with the referee that the result of the match will be rung in to me before 5.30 Sunday evening.

4. If, for whatever reason a fixture does not take place I need to know. Then I can insert off instead of NR (No result) in the classified results. We will then ask for explanations.

A message to all Clubs, their managers, players and supporters from the Honorary Secretary .

Posted: Oct 2nd

The Amateur Football League was founded in 1954 to provide football for people who were amateurs, playing in a competitive spirit. It is important that everyone involved can return home after a match to enjoy normal life. The League provides soccer as a sport, administered on behalf of the members by voluntary officials, who endeavour to be impartial at all times in the way they administer the League.

In recent weeks we have three incidents at our matches which are totally unacceptable. Two of which I spoke about at our recent management meeting.

The first incident occurred when a spectator ran on to the pitch and assaulted a goalkeeper.
The second related to a match in which in the opinion of the referee had to be abandoned in the 85th minute.
The third incident took place over the week-end and resulted in the referee abandoning the match in the 88th minute.
The last incident resulted in a young player having to be taken to Hospital by ambulance.

The message I wish to get across to all involved in football organised by our League on behalf of member clubs and players is that any player who in the opinion of the referee violates the Laws of the Game by committing an unjustified assault on another player can be reported to the nearest Garda Station to where the match took place on the basis of common assault. The Amateur Football League Executive will co-operate fully with an Garda Siochana to ensure that respect for all involved in football organised by us is more important than winning or losing a game.

For and on behalf of the Amateur Football League
Noel Kennelly
Honorary Secretary 2nd October 2006

Inclement Weather

Posted: Sept 25th

As this is the first weekend that St Annes was called off can I request all club Honorary Secretaries to make arrangements with the opposition and referee to prepare contingency plans regarding possible switching of matches. As a large number of our grounds are not owned by clubs the decision of the Local Authority Ground staff must be respected. All local authorities fax or email on Friday the information on playability of grounds to me by lunchtime. That only leaves the afternoon for arranging the notification process. My difficulty is not knowing if switches have been arranged and does the referee know?

With the use of the web we may take the uncertainty out of "Is the match on or off".

Shortage of referees

Posted: Sept 25th

As the person who allocates the referees to matches and having to work off a very small panel of referees and accepting that referees have the right to be unavailable for week-ends I ask all involved in football to try and get candidates to undergo a beginners course in knowing the laws of the game. The most frustrating aspect for all who wish to play football is to see after their published fixture Referee to be appointed (RTBA) or Referee to be confirmed (RTBC). It clubs know of qualified referees who may live adjacent to where you play your home games, it might help if you check if he/she would be available in emergencies. when there is no referee.


Posted: Sept 25th

A club manager rang me on Friday enquiring if I had a referee for their Sunday morning match. The reason he was ringing so early was the pressure he was under from his players as to whether they could 'live it up with a few pints on Saturday night or had they to take it easy and prepare for their match. The moral of this story is the correct attitude in preparation for a match. Early to bed and possibly a better attitude to the instructions of the manager and for the decisions of the referee.

Feigning Injury?

Posted: Sept 12th

Without mentioning names or matches I wish to draw team managers' and players' attention to an incident reported to me by a referee arising from a match last week-end. " A player of a team leading by a single goal coming towards the end of the game fell to the ground. The referee was near the scene and stopped play, recognising the player was in difficulties. The opposing players nearest to the referee and the player in question suggested the player was feigning injury to waste time to protect the lead. The Referee assured them that he was in control. And that if the situation was reversed he would give the same consideration to their player. As it turned out the player was in serious difficulties and could not continue. He could not drive home and was taken for immediate hospital attention and detained. The diagnosis was a collapsed lung which has now created difficulties with the other lung." The moral of this message is that players and team mentors should not to jump to conclusions and team managers should try, as much as possible, to ensure that their starting elevens are reasonably fit. We wish the player a speedy return to good health.

Phantom Players

Posted: Sept 12th

During the match the referee had reason to book a player. He asked the player for his name and having the match card in his possession before the match started, (League instruction) he just happened to check the name. The name given did not match the name against the number on the card. The player was then asked to leave the field of play. All sorts of explanations ensued. The moral in this case is only registered players can play in matches. It would be better to start with 10 rather than have to appear before the executive and be sanctioned.