Entry Now Open for SFAI Skechers National Cups 2019/20

The Schoolboys Football Association of Ireland is delighted to confirm that entry for the 2019/2020 SFAI Skechers National Cups is now open.

Following a record year in 2018/19, the competition will see teams from across Ireland compete both regionally and nationally for silverware from September 2019 to May 2020.

The SFAI Skechers National Cups continue to draw huge attention and interest, and next season promises to be another exciting one.

As was the case last season, entry is available online via the link below, and we thank our technology partners Sportlomo for their continued work and support in managing the competition.

Last season saw the likes of St Kevin’s Boys, Leixlip United, Cherry Orchard, Hanover Harps and Salthill Devon all claim national titles, while in the regional competition, there was huge excitement as several clubs claimed their first ever SFAI success.

The regional element of the competition is one that clubs should keep a close eye on, with several regions now making the finals a standalone event over one weekend.

These weekends have proven hugely successful, and we hope this can be replicated right across the across the country next season.

For those entering, they should be aware of the age criteria below, and they should also clarify with their leagues about the region they play in if they are not sure.

Age criteria details:

U12 – 2008

U13 – 2007

U14 – 2006

U15 – 2005

U16 – 2004

Competition Entry:

Please follow this link to enter the SFAI Skechers National Cups 2019/20: https://bit.ly/2XND9O6


STATEMENT: SFAI Chairman John Earley confirms his resignation from FAI Board

Statement from SFAI Chairman John Earley (19/06/2019)

In light of recent events, and after much discussion with my family and others, I regretfully confirm my resignation from the board of the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) and as Chair of the FAI Underage Committee, with immediate effect.

My time on the board, which came via my election as Chair of the FAI Underage Committee, has given me the opportunity to work alongside some excellent people within and outside of football in Ireland and elsewhere.

To my board colleagues and members of the FAI Underage Committee, both past and present, and to the staff in Abbotstown, I wish to extend my thanks.

In my role as Chairman of the Schoolboys Football Association of Ireland (SFAI), I have always tried to ensure the underage game in this country is recognised as one of the integral parts of the game.

With up to 120,000 young players under the umbrella of the SFAI, my role as Chairman is, and has always been, to try and provide them with the best environment to play the game we all love.

However, a combination of recent events during the ongoing governance review, and the failure to address my concerns at board level, has left me with no other option but to resign.

I wish all those working to better the game of football in this country the very best of luck, and I look forward to continue working with many of you in my role as Chairman of the SFAI.

SFAI Chairman

John Earley



Quarter Finals take centre stage at SFAI New Balance Kennedy Cup 2019

It was a truly memorable second day of the SFAI New Balance Kennedy Cup on Wednesday as 32 leagues booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Cup, Bowl, Shield and Trophy.

Longford have been the talk of the huge crowds that have gathered over the opening days, with Stephen Kelly’s youngster, who were ranked fourth in their group, topping the table.

They will play Galway, who have also been in fine form, while the DDSL will battle it out with Dublin rivals NDSL.

The other two quarter-finals will see Waterford and Carlow and Kildare and Mayo lock horns – all four sides have been impressive in their group ties, and will feel they can take a step closer to Saturday’s Final.

Elsewhere, in the Bowl, which sees the second placed teams from the groups compete, Wexford and Midlands face off, as do South Belfast YL and Limerick District, Drogheda and Cork and Kerry and Sligo/Leitrim.

The Shield competition will feature Inishowen v Wicklow, South Tipperary v Donegal, Kilkenny v Clare and West Cork v Dundalk.

Finally, in the Trophy competition, North Tipperary play Limerick Desmond, Limerick County face NECSL, Roscommon go up against Ahtlone and Cavan/Monaghan take on WWEC.

Wednesday’s Results:

Group 1 WWEC 0-3 Wexford, Wicklow 0-7 Waterford; Group 2 RDYSL 0-4 NDSL, West Cork 0-0 Lim Dist; Group 3 Inishowen 1-4 Galway, North Tipp 0-3 South Belfast; Group 4 NECSL 1-2 Midlands, Mayo 3-1 Dundalk

Group 5 Limerick County 0-2 Kildare, Clare 0-1 Kerry; Group 6

Drogheda 0-9 DDSL, Athlone 1-1 Kilkenny; Group 7, Carlow 3-0 Limerick Desmond, Sligo-Leitrim 1-0 Donegal; Group 8 Longford 2-1 Cork,

South Tipp 2-1 Cavan-Monaghan

Group 1 Wexford 0-2 Waterford, Wicklow 2-0 WWEC; Group 2

NDSL 0-0 Limerick Dist, West Cork 2-0 RDYSL; Group 3 Galway 0-0 South Belfast

North Tipperary 0-4 Inishowen; Group 4 Midlands 3-0 Dundalk, Mayo 2-0 NECSL

Group 5 Kildare 3-0 Kerry, Clare 3-1 Limerick Co; Group 6 DDSL 7-0 Kilkenny, Athlone 0-1 Drogheda; Group 7Limerick Desmond 0-3 Donegal, Sligo-Leitrim 0-1 Carlow; Group 8 Cork 3-1 Cavan-Monaghan, South Tipperary 1-2 Longford


Day One: SFAI New Balance Kennedy Cup Results

Day one of the SFAI New Balance Kennedy Cup 2019 saw some great games, as all 32 teams took part in 16 ties.

Longford had a superb win over Cavan/Monaghan in Group 8, while Galway were in superb form, beating North Tipperary in Group Three.

Others including Wexford, Waterford, Limerick District, Dundalk, Mayo and Kerry also won their first games, while Kildare came from a goal down to see off Clare on a 2-1 scoreline.

The DDSL and Carlow were the other winners on Day One, and Wednesday will see teams play twice as the groups reach their conclusion.

Tuesday’s Results:

Kennedy Cup Group 1:

Wexford 3-0 Wicklow

Waterford 1-0 WWEC

Kennedy Cup – Group 2:

NDSL 1-0 West Cork 0

Limerick District 3-2 Roscommon

Kennedy Cup – Group 3:

Galway 11-0 North Tipperary

SBYL 1-1 Inishowen

Kennedy Cup – Group 4:

Midlands 1-3 Mayo

Dundalk 5-2 NECSL

Kennedy Cup – Group 5:

Kildare 2-1 Clare

Kerry 2-0 Limerick County

Kennedy Cup – Group 6:

DDSL 3-0 Athlone

Kilkenny 3-3 Drogheda

Kennedy Cup – Group 7:

Limerick Desmond 1-1 Sligo/Leitrim

Donegal 0-3 Carlow

Kennedy Cup – Group 8:

Cork 4-0 South Tipperary

Cavan/Monaghan 2-3 Longford


SFAI welcome SBYL into this year’s SFAI New Balance Kennedy Cup

The Schoolboys Football Association of Ireland have recently confirmed the inclusion of the South Belfast Youth League in this year’s SFAI New Balance Kennedy Cup.

Their inclusion comes following the SDFL’s withdrawal from the competition, and builds upon an already very strong relationship between the SFAI and NIBFA.

Over recent years the both associations have come together to take part in the Subway Island of Ireland Challenge, with the competition taking place for the third time over the June Bank Holiday weekend this year.

The South Belfast Youth League will go into Group Three, alongside Galway, North Tipperary and Inishowen for the competition, which kicks off on June 11th in University of Limerick.

Speaking recently, SFAI Chairman John Earley said: “it was very unfortunate that the SDFL chose to withdraw from the competition this year, but having had interest before about entering, and because of the strong working and sporting relationship with the NIBFA, it was an obvious option to explore.”

The SFAI Chairman continued: “The SFAI New Balance Kennedy Cup is well known to those in Northern Ireland, and the idea of a league representative team from South Belfast coming to play in Limerick for the five days is an exciting one for many reasons.”

Robert Johnston, Chairman of the South Belfast Youth League said the opportunity to compete in the SFAI New Balance Kennedy Cup offers the players and the league a new opportunity, and all involved are eagerly awaiting the big kick-off.

Mr Johnston said: “South Belfast Youth League are delighted with the opportunity to participate in the 2019 New Balance Kennedy Cup, this is a tournament we have been well aware of for many years and have admired the level of promotion and support it receives throughout the country.”

He continued: “We are the first league team from Northern Ireland to take part in the event and we are looking forward to a new challenge and making many new friends throughout the week.”

The South Belfast Youth League will consist of club players from across the league. In total, almost 240 clubs will be represented at this year’s SFAI New Balance Kennedy Cup, and it is those clubs, led by volunteers, that deserve some credit for nurturing the players.

The opening games of this year’s competition will begin at 4pm on June 11th, with the second set of fixtures being played at 6pm.

For the full run down of the competition click here:


Gainstown set to host U12 and U16 SFAI Subway Championship and Plate National Finals

Gainstown in Mullingar is the place to be this weekend as the final games of the season in the SFAI Subway Championship and Plate take place.

Both the U12 and U16 sections of the competition will come to a conclusion on Saturday and Sunday, and there is plenty of great football to look forward to.

The action begins on Saturday when the NDSL and Longford play for the SFAI Subway Plate National title.

The NDSL overcame Cavan/Monaghan in their semi-final, while it took penalties to separate Longford and Kerry.

The U16 SFAI Subway Plate National Final will be the second game of the day, and Clare SSL will be playing Cavan/Monaghan.

Clare saw off Mayo in the semi-finals while for Cavan/Monaghan there was a tough test against the NECSL to overcome on the way to Saturday’s showpiece event.

On Sunday the SFAI Subway Championship National Finals take centre stage, and Donegal will play Cork in the U12 competition.

Both teams recorded strong wins against Galway and DDSL respectively last time out, and this is sure to be a thrilling tie.

The weekend comes to a close with a replay of last season’s U16 final, with the DDSL and Cork set to battle it out for the SFAI Subway Championship.


U12/U16 SFAI Subway Championship and Plate National Finals

Saturday May 18th

U12 Plate NDSL v Longford 12.30pm

U16 Plate Clare v Cavan/Monaghan 3pm

Sunday May 19th

U12 Championship Donegal v Cork 1pm

U16 Championship DDSL v Cork 3.30pm



The FAI and the SFAI note recent views raised by underage leagues in relation to the calendar season element of the Player Development Plan. The FAI’s PDP consists of 10 principles – principles 1-9 continue to be FAI Board approved policy going forward. Principle 10 is focused on the continuity of football and the most appropriate calendar in which to achieve same.

The Board of the FAI is aware that a number of SFAI affiliate leagues have had difficulty implementing trophy football in the calendar season and feel their leagues would be better equipped to deliver trophy football by following the winter season in line with the school calendar.

Following discussions between the FAI and the SFAI, the Board of the FAI have agreed the following:

  • Any underage league currently playing in the calendar season or about to implement calendar season football may continue to do so
  • Those leagues currently playing in calendar season that have faced serious challenges may consider a return to the winter season
  • Leagues currently playing in the winter season may continue to do so
  • SFAI competitions will remain in their current format

The FAI, in conjunction with the SFAI, are establishing a Committee to look into this particular matter and are aware that any change may pose challenges as the non-alignment of the Schoolboy season with the National League season can lead to difficulties for various stakeholders.



Following a weekend of thrilling national semi-finals in the U12 and U16 SFAI Subway Championship and Plate competitions, the details for the Finals have now been confirmed.

The ties will take place in Gainstown, the home of Mullingar Athletic on the weekend of May 18th/19th, and we thank the club and Midlands Schoolboys League for their ongoing help and support in staging the finals there.

On Saturday May 18th, both U12 and U16 SFAI Subway Plate National Finals will take place. Up first is the U12 Final between NDSL and Longford which will kick-off at 12.30pm.

The NDSL came through a tough test against Cavan/Monaghan on Sunday while Longford saw off Kerry in their semi-final, eventually winning on penalties.

That will be followed by the U16 final which will involve Clare and Cavan/Monaghan, with a kick-off time of 3pm. Both sides put in stellar performances last weekend to overcome Mayo and the NECSL respectively.

Sunday will see the SFAI Subway Championship National Finals take place, and the U12 final between Donegal and Cork will be up first at 1pm.

Donegal beat Galway on Sunday in Illistrin, while Cork came to Dublin and returned home with a 2-0 win after beating the DDSL in their semi-final.

The last game of the weekend will feature DDSL and Cork in the U16 SFAI Subway Championship, with a kick-off time of 3.30pm.

U12/U16 SFAI Subway Championship and Plate National Finals

Saturday May 18th

U12 Plate NDSL v Longford 12.30pm

U16 Plate Clare v Cavan/Monaghan 3pm

Sunday May 19th

U12 Championship Donegal v Cork 1pm

U16 Championship DDSL v Cork 3.30pm


Tramore AFC set to host SFAI Skechers South East Regional Cup Finals

Tramore AFC will play host to the SFAI Skechers South East Regional Cup Finals this weekend, with five games taking place across Saturday and Sunday.

The Regional Finals in the South East will feature nine clubs, with Evergreen of Kilkenny playing in both the U12 and U13 finals.

The games begin on Saturday, with the U12s which will see Bohemians take on Evergreen at 12pm.

Gorey Rangers of Wexford will play Waterford side Villa FC in the U14 final at 2pm, and Wexford Albion will face Hanover Harps of Carlow at 4pm.

Hanover Harps will be looking to clinch the regional title ahead of the SFAI Skechers National Cup Final against Stella Maris next weekend.

On Sunday, Evergreen play Tramore at 12pm, while the last game of the weekend will be between Twomileborris St Kevin’s and St Josephs.

SFAI Skechers South East Regional Cup Finals Fixtures:

U12 Bohemians v Evergreen 12pm (Saturday)

U14 Gorey Rangers v Villa FC 2pm (Saturday)

U15 Wexford Albion v Hanover Harps 4pm (Saturday)

U13 Evergreen v Tramore AFC 12pm (Sunday)

U16 Twomileborris St Kevin’s v St Josephs 2pm (Sunday)


FIXTURES: U12 and U16 SFAI Subway Championship and Plate National semi-finals

This weekend will see eight teams book their place in the U12 and U16 SFAI Subway Championship and Plate National Finals to be played later this month.

The national semi-finals at both ages will be played across Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday, with some very exciting ties across the country.

Saturday will see the first of the games as Longford and Kerry play in the U12 SFAI Subway Plate National semi-final in Abbeycartron.

The majority of the other games will take place on Sunday, with the DDSL and Cork SL and Donegal SL and Galway SL playing in the U12 SFAI Subway Championship.

The DDSL and Galway are also in action in the U16 competition – they will play in Eamon Deacy Park on Bank Holiday Monday, while Cork SL take on Inishowen on Sunday.

In the U16 SFAI Subway National Plate, Mayo SL welcome Clare SSL to Ballyheane and NECSL host Cavan/Monaghan on Sunday.

The full list of fixtures can be found below, and we wish all those taking to the field the very best of luck, enjoy the occasion.

The dates for the finals are the 18th/19th May, with the fixtures TBC next week.

U12 and U16 SFAI Subway Championship and Plate National semi-final Fixtures:

U12 SFAI Subway Championship National semi-finals (May 5th)

Donegal v Galway 2pm – Letterkenny

DDSL v Cork SL 2pm – Ballyowen Park

U12 SFAI Subway National Plate semi-finals (May 5th)

NDSL v Cavan/Monaghan 2pm – Oscar Traynor Centre

Longford v Kerry SL 1pm – Abbeycartron

U16 SFAI Subway Championship National semi-finals

Galway v DDSL 2pm – Eamon Deacy Park (May 6th)

Cork v Inishowen 12pm – Ballea Astro, Carrigaline (May 5th)

U16 SFAI Subway Plate National semi-finals (May 5th)

Mayo v Clare SSL 2pm – Ballyheane FC

NECSL v Cavan/Monaghan 12pm – MDL Grounds