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History of KDFL


Brief History of the Kildare & District Football League 1994 - 2023

The early nineties witnessed a big increase in interest in Junior Soccer all over Ireland and many people in the County were of the opinion that Kildare should follow the example of Wexford, Meath and Carlow in forming their own Junior Football League. Heretofore Kildare based clubs were affiliated to Dublin based Leagues, mainly the Leinster Junior League (Dublin and Counties sections), The Leinster Senior League and the Amateur Football League. 

In early 1994 a group of people consisting of Michael Casey, Tony Lumsden (RIP), Regina Casey, Frank Tobin, Jack Connolly, Peter O'Neill, James Langton, Eamon Darcy (RIP) and Pat Ryan all of whom who were involved in Kildare Clubs that were competing in the Leinster Junior League decided to investigate the level of interest in the project. Well attended meetings were held in Allenwood and Newbridge and it became apparent that there was a broad agreement that the idea should be pursued. Following on from those meetings a general meeting was held in Newbridge Town Football Club in March 1994 and a Committee which was charged with the task of formulating a proposal to the Leinster Football Association to formally launch the Kildare Football League, was put in place. 

Representatives of that Committee (Michael Casey, Eamon Darcy, Jack Connolly and Peter O'Neill) met with the Executive of the Leinster Football Association on the 14th of April 1994 and presented them with a detailed proposal, which included Rules, Documentation, Budgets, Sponsorship proposals, etc. There was considerable opposition from the Leagues that would lose teams to the proposed new set up, nevertheless the LFA Executive, under President Bernard O'Byrne, gave the green light to the new League.

The LFA in its wisdom though, defined the recruitment area of the League as the County of Kildare and while they allowed the League a representative on the LFA Senior Council, this representative could not contribute to discussions at Council, neither had the delegate voting rights. On a more positive note the LFA appointed Senior Council member Noel Kennelly of the Amateur Football League to oversee the early operation of the Kildare Junior Football League and this turned out to be a wise move as Noel Kennelly was recognised as a superb legislator with decades of experience and was an invaluable source of guidance and information to the League in its formative years and indeed to this very day.

The KJFL kicked off in August 1994 with nineteen clubs in membership and a modest two divisions of 11 teams each. Many of our member teams in that first year were second or third teams of established clubs, whose first teams remained in their respective Leagues. All that was to change however just one year later when an influx of clubs and teams saw the League kick off the 1995/6 season with 65 teams in six divisions.

In 1997 the KJFL applied for District Status, which was granted by the LFA, thus removing the County boundary as a limit to the recruitment of clubs. The League was renamed the Kildare & District Football League and now has members in neighbouring Counties Offaly, Laois, Meath.

The League takes an active part in all National and Provincial Committees where they have Representative/s on the FAI General Assembly  and LFA Senior. Indeed on the 10th of June 2023 at the 129th Annual General meeting of the Leinster Football Association (our provincial governing body)  KDFL Executive member Karen Hickey was elected to the their Executive Committee. This was a momentous occasion for the KDFL and Karen as she become not only the first KDFL member to be appointed to a position on the Executive but also the first female to be appointed to the LFA Executive since the formation of the Association in 1892, 131 years ago. 

Through the years the membership has grown to in excess of 1800 registered players, including Junior, Over 35 and Women's Divisions and Under 20s, covering areas such as Naas, Newbridge, Kildare, Clane, Suncroft, Athy, Kilcullen, Castledermot, Portarlington, Coill Dubh, Caragh, Allenwood, Monasterevin, Straffan, Portlaoise, Edenderry, Sallins, Moone, Maynooth, Kilcock, Rathangan and Enfield, Celbridge, Leixlip, Longwood, Edenderry, Dunlavin and further growth is anticipated in the coming seasons, particularly in the Masters, Women's and Youth categories. 

Provincial/National honours received by KDFL Clubs and Individuals


Kildare Town AFC (LFA Junior Cup Champions 1997/98)

BBC United (LFA Junior Shield Champions 2008/09)

Kilcullen AFC (FAI Womens Junior Challenge Cup Champions (2013)

FAI John Sherlock Services to Football Award - Michael Casey (Chairman KDFL) (2014) 

FAI John Sherlock Services to Football Award - Anthony 'Snigs' Brogan (Newbridge Hotspurs FC/KDFL) (2014) 

FAI John Sherlock Services to Football Award – Adrian Melia (KDFL Photographer 1994 to 2017) (2018) 

FAI John Sherlock Services to Football Award – Anne Maher (Enfield Celtic 2018)

Kildare Town AFC (LFA Over 35 Cup Runners Up (2014/15)

KDFL Womens Representative Team (LFA Inter League Plate winners (2013/14)

KDFL Womens Representative Team (LFA Inter League Plate Runners Up (2014/15) 

KDFL Womens Representative Team (LFA Inter League Plate Runners Up (2015/16) 

Castle Villa Ladies FC (Leinster Womens Football Council Shield Winners (2015/16)

KDFL Womens Representative Team (FAI Angela Hearst Inter League Trophy Semi Finalists 2018) 

Kildare Youths (Galway Plate Winners 2014)

Kildare Town & Straffan AFC (LFA Over 35 Cup Semi Finalists 2017) 

Kildare Town AFC (FAI Midland Womens Football Committee Junior Shield Runners Up) 

KDFL Womens Representative Team – FAI Angela Hearst Inter League Trophy Champions 2019

Straffan AFC – Leinster Football Association Junior Shield Champions 2019

KDFL Womens Inter League – Leinster FA Womens Inter League Shield Runners up. (2022/23)

FAI Centenary Medal recipient – Freddie Mitchell (Kilcullen AFC)

One of the most far-reaching decisions made by the League affiliates was the move to a summer Season, which was taken in 2008. Many clubs felt that the disruption of the fixture schedule due to worsening weather conditions was inhibiting the development of the game and they supported a plan formulated by the Committee to introduce the initiative for a trial period of two seasons. The move was made permanent at a Special General Meeting in February 2010 and the KDFL was at the time one of just two Junior Leagues in the Country to embrace the ‘summer football’  ethos. 


Since the move the KDFL has consistently maintained their affiliation despite a general down turn in team sports. They continue to promote the womens game with 2013 being the most successful year to date for the Kildare League with Division 1 side Kilcullen AFC claiming the KDFL’s first ever National Trophy when they overcame Corrib Rangers from Galway at Station road in front of more than 800 supporters to lift the FAI Women’s Junior Challenge Cup. 

On the mens side the league introduced Under 20s following several town hall meeting with Newbridge United claiming the League and Cup double in spring of 2023. The Under 20s experienced a two fold increase the following year with 17 clubs participating across two division. 

Over the years there have been many Club members who have stood on the KDFL Executive, and we thank each and every one of them who have contributed in no small way to the success of the KDFL. There remains however only two original members on the Committee to this day – Michael Casey (Chairman) and Regina Casey (Secretary)


The Current League Executive members are :-

Michael Casey (Chairman)

Regina Casey (Secretary) (Childrens Officer/PRO/ISC Tutor/Designated Liaison Person)

Tom Stanley (Vice-Chairperson/Registrar)

Karen Hickey (Treasurer/Asst. Secretary) (Childrens Officer/ISC Tutor)

Hollie Casey (Committee member/FAI Connect Admin/Fixtures Secretary)

Jamie Connolly (Committee member – Social Media Officer)

Joe Burke (Committee member)

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Provincial & National Representatives.

Michael Casey (LFA Senior Council)

Regina Casey (FAI General Assembly member / LFA Senior Council member)

Karen Hickey (LFA Executive member / LFA Senior Council Member)

Hollie Murphy (LFA Youth Committee)

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