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BAFA is pleased the announce the establishment of a new competition management team for adult, U16 and U19 contact formats. This will be led by Joe Walker II who joins as Contact Competition Delivery and Development Manager with specific focus on our adult league. 

Deliverables for his role include making sure planning and processes are in place for the 2023 season ahead, developing an ongoing contact club forum and reviewing and making recommendations on the future of contact competition management including minimum standards for clubs.

Joe will also act as a key point of contact for our adult league in the short term and is already working to review 2023 alignments. He reports to BAFA Operations Manager Amanda McDonald and CEO Pete Ackerley.

He has been involved with British American football in the UK as a player and coach in our university and National Leagues for over twenty years. He’s also worked full time within the sport in several roles including as Head of Coaching and Delivery for American Football Development Limited, Head Coach and Director of Education for Gridiron Egypt and Gezira Thunder and most recently on a short-term contract as NFL Flag Competitions Manager for Limelight Sports.

Our aim is to give a renewed focus on our adult contact league, putting stability and sustainability at the forefront. Joe was already on our radar as someone we wanted to bring on board, having recently interviewed for other roles with BUCS and BAFA. We’re delighted he was able to step into this role.

Pete AckerleyChief Executive, BAFA

Joe takes on the role on a part-time contract basis and is joined by Verity Dean and Sam Stoddart-Durning as volunteer U16 and U19 Competition Delivery and Development Managers. Sam and Verity will work together to help improve the integrity, stability and experience of the U16 and U19 competitions. They will also support new and existing teams in their growth and will create and activate a plan to move U16 competition from 5v5 to 7v7 between 2023 and 2025.

Verity started her relationship with American football in 2009 as gameday manager for the Manchester Titans. She established the Titans U19 team, a key part of which involved rebooting the club’s then-U17s programme and creating a clear and successful development pathway through the club.

Since then, she’s participated in over ten championships as both a team manager and a player and held the role of general manager for the GB U19 team for the 2018/2019 competition cycle.

Sam is a former Edinburgh Napier University Knights committee member. He has extensive experience in U16 and U19 football as one of the founders of the Edinburgh Napier Knights community club, which offers U16 and U19 contact football, and U14 flag.

He is currently club president and U16 Head Coach, and more recently has been involved in the management and establishment of the Scotland U19 regional 11v11 team.

Also contributing to the management of adult, U16 and U19 formats are a some important supporting roles, who will also assist with the NWFL where required.

Neil Adcock joins BAFA as a volunteer to manage contact scheduling in partnership with our contact competition leads. A self-confessed ‘fixtures nerd’, Neil brings extensive experience in scheduling gained through his work supporting the British Basketball League. He’s been scheduling BBL Men’s fixtures since he joined in 2007, and the Women’s British Basketball League since it was formed in 2014.

Tony Martin continues to volunteer within the competition management team, using his expertise to support on a number of projects. He will also be managing the review and approval of club credentials as we push forward with enforcing minimum required documentation to be provided by contact clubs each year as part of their team registration process. In addition, Tony will also continue to manage and develop our League Republic results system.

Faye Eastwood will step away from her current role with the GB National Programme over the coming period to concentrate on the planning and delivery of major BAFA events, with a focus on our contact finals including Britbowl XXXV. A review of learnings from this year’s finals events, and venue sourcing for next season is already underway.