History of KDFL
Brief History of the Kildare & District Football League 1994 - 2021
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 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 Representatives on the FAI Junior Council, LFA Senior, Junior Councils.
Through the years the membership has grown to in excess of 1800 registered players, including Junior, Over 35 and Women's Divisions, 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. and further growth is anticipated in the coming seasons, particularly in the Masters, Women's and the proposed development of an Under 17 girls League.
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
One of the most far-reaching decisions taken by the League in recent times was the move to a one Calendar year 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 is one of just two Junior Leagues in the Country to embrace the ‘One Calendar Year’ ethos.
Since the move the KDFL have experienced growth year on year and have now increased their affiliations to include 2 extremely competitive Over 35 Divisions – In 2011 the League made the decision include Womens Football which has increased to two Divisions and is anticipating further growth in the years to come. 2013 being the most successful year to date in the Womens game 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. The League have held annually for the past eight years its very popular Womens Futsal Tournament which is a precursor to the League proper.
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 who have worked tirelessly in the promotion of the game for the past 27 seasons – 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)
Joe Burke (Committee member)
Hollie Casey (Committee member/Fixtures Secretary)
Provincial & National Representatives.
Michael Casey (LFA Senior Council)
Regina Casey (FAI Junior Council/LFA Senior Council/LFA Junior Council)
Karen Hickey (LFA Senior Council/LFA Junior Council)
Hollie Murphy (LFA Youth Committee)