National Football League (Ireland)

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National Football League
Current season or competition:
2016 National Football League
AllianzLeaguesLogo2011.png
Irish Sraith Náisiúnta Peile
Code Gaelic football
Founded 1925–26
Region Ireland (GAA)
Trophy Irish National Insurance Cup
No. of teams 32
Title holders Dublin (12th 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 Cork in the 2015 league final.

History[edit]

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.

Mayo dominated the early NFL, winning seven titles in eight seasons until the tournament was suspended during the Second World War. For many seasons in the 50's and 60's, the winners of the "home" league played New York in the NFL final; the journey to New York formed an additional prize for the winners. New York won three of these finals.

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 1928–29. 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.

List of finalists/champions[edit]

The Division 2 final sees Westmeath take on Derry

Final results[edit]

Performances by county[edit]

County Wins Runners-up Winning seasons
Kerry 19 4 1927–28, 1928–29, 1930–31, 1931–32, 1958–59, 1960–61, 1962–63, 1968–69, 1970–71, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1973–74, 1976–77, 1981–82, 1983–84, 1996–97, 2004, 2006, 2009
Dublin 12 10 1952–53, 1954–55, 1957–58, 1975–76, 1977–78, 1986–87, 1990–91, 1992–93, 2013, 2014, 2015
Mayo 11 6 1933–34, 1934–35, 1935–36, 1936–37, 1937–38, 1938–39, 1940–41, 1948–49, 1953–54, 1969–70, 2000–01
Cork 8 6 1951–52, 1955–56, 1979–80, 1988–89, 1998–99, 2010, 2011, 2012
Meath 7 6 1932–33, 1945–46, 1950–51, 1974–75, 1987–88, 1989–90, 1993–94
Derry 6 6 1946–47, 1991–92, 1994–95, 1995–96, 1999–2000, 2008
Down 4 2 1959–60, 1961–62, 1967–68, 1982–83
New York[a] 3 7 1949–50, 1963–64, 1966–67
Galway 3 5 1956–57, 1964–65, 1980–81
Tyrone 2 2 2002, 2003
Laois 2 1 1925–26, 1985–86
Cavan 1 6 1947–48
Donegal 1 3 2007
Armagh 1 3 2005
Roscommon 1 2 1978–79
Offaly 1 1 1997–98
Monaghan 1 1 1984–85
Longford 1 0 1965–66
Kildare 0 5 Last final appearance: 1990–91
Wexford 0 3 Last final appearance: 2008
Carlow 0 1 Finalists in 1953–54
Louth 0 1 Finalists in 1948–49
Clare 0 1 Finalists in 1946–47
Fermanagh 0 1 Finalists in 1934–35

a. ^ New York received a bye to the final in 10 NFL seasons between 1949–50 and 1988–89.

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 23 Dublin (12) Dublin (2015)
3 Ulster Ulster 16 Derry (6) Derry (2008)
4 Connacht Connacht 14 Mayo (11) Mayo (2000–01)
5 Overseas 3 New York (3) New York (1966–67)

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. 

External links[edit]