National Football League (Ireland)

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National Football League
Current season or competition:
2014 National Football League
AllianzLeaguesLogo2011.png
Irish Sraith Náisiúnta Peile
Founded 1925 – 1926
Region Ireland (GAA)
Trophy Irish National Insurance Cup
Title holders Dublin (11th title)
First winner Laois
Most titles Kerry (19 titles)
Sponsors Allianz
TV partner(s) TG4, Setanta Sports
Motto Unexpect the Expected

The National Football League (NFL; Irish: Sraith Náisiúnta Peile) is an annual Gaelic football competition between the county teams of Ireland plus London. Sponsored by Allianz, it is therefore officially known as the Allianz National Football League.

The Gaelic Athletic Association organises the league. The winning team receives the New Ireland Cup, presented by the New Ireland Assurance Company. The National Football League is considered to be the second most prestigious inter-county competition in its code, with the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship held in higher regard.[1]

Dublin, the reigning league champions, defeated Derry in the 2014 league final.

History[edit]

Down and Galway in action in the 1965 National League semi-final

The National Football League was first held in 1925–26, thirty-eight years after the first All-Ireland Senior Football Championship. Laois won the inaugural National Football League. The NFL has traditionally played second fiddle to the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, with most counties using it as preparation for that event. This was not helped by the fact that the League was initially played in winter (usually November–March), while the Championship had the more attractive summer dates and knockout structure.

In 2002, the league was changed to a February–April calendar. This has increased interest, boosted attendances and led to live games being broadcast on TG4. The 2009 season was broadcast live on Setanta Sports. Coverage of the 2010 finals in Croke Park saw TG4 become the most watched channel, with 650,000 viewers tuning in to watch some of the games. The Division 1 final had an average audience of 220,000 viewers.[2]

The National Football League winners receive the Irish National Insurance Cup, first presented to Kerry in 1929. Kerry are the most successful team in the League, having played in the final on twenty-three occasions and won nineteen of these. Both of these (final appearances and wins) are records. Kerry also are the team to have most often achieved the "double", by winning both the League and All-Ireland Senior Football Championship.

Division placings for 2014 season[edit]

Division 1

Cork | Derry | Dublin | Kerry | Kildare | Mayo | Tyrone | Monaghan | Donegal

Division 2

Cavan | Down | Galway | Laois | Meath | Kildare | Westmeath | Roscommon

Division 3

Armagh | Fermanagh | Limerick | Longford | Offaly | Sligo | Wexford | Louth

Division 4

Antrim | Carlow | Clare | Leitrim | London | Tipperary | Waterford | Wicklow

List of finalists/champions[edit]

Below is a list of all NFL finals (or NFL champions for those seasons in which no final was played). The letters AI indicate the county went on to win the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship that year. The NFL is in general a poor prediction of summer form: only 26% (20/78) of League winners have gone on to become All-Ireland champions. However, since the re–formatting of the competition in 2002, the winner of the national league has gone on to win the All–Ireland on six out of eleven occasions: Tyrone (once) in 2003, Kerry (thrice) in 2004, 2006 and 2009, Cork (once) in 2010 and Dublin in 2013.

Performances by county[edit]

County Wins Runners-up Years won
Kerry 19 4 1928, 1929, 1931, 1932, 1959, 1961, 1963, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1977, 1982, 1984, 1997, 2004, 2006, 2009
Mayo 11 7 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1949, 1954, 1970, 2001
Dublin 11 12 1953, 1955, 1958, 1964, 1976, 1978, 1987, 1991, 1993, 2013, 2014
Cork 8 5 1952, 1956, 1980, 1989, 1999, 2010, 2011, 2012
Meath 7 9 1933, 1946, 1951, 1975, 1988, 1990, 1994
Derry 6 6 1947, 1992, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2008
Galway 4 5 1957, 1965, 1967, 1981
Down 4 4 1960, 1962, 1968, 1983
Cavan 2 5 1948, 1950
Laois 2 1 1926, 1986
Tyrone 2 2 2002, 2003
Armagh 1 3 2005
Donegal 1 3 2007
Roscommon 1 2 1979
Offaly 1 2 1998
Monaghan 1 1 1985
Longford 1 0 1966

The top provinces by number of wins are as follows:

Province Wins Top county Last win
1 Munster Munster 27 Kerry (19) Cork (2012)
2 Leinster Leinster 22 Dublin (11) Dublin (2014)
3 Ulster Ulster 17 Derry (6) Derry (2008)
4 Connacht Connacht 16 Mayo (11) Mayo (2001)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Scott, Ronan (30 January 2009). "Only the league...". Gaelic Life. p. 10. 
  2. ^ "VIEWING FIGURES FOR GAA BEO - ALLIANZ FOOTBALL LEAGUE FINALS 2010". TG4. 27 April 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  3. ^ [1]

External links[edit]