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BAFA is delighted to announce the launch of the U19 11-v-11 Regional Football series for Autumn 2024.

The initiative marks a significant milestone in developing young talent and expanding the sport’s reach across the UK. The series will provide a competitive platform for young athletes, fostering their skills and allowing their talents and skillset to be scouted by National Programme coaches.

Current GB U19s squad (credit: Ben Rogers @br7film)

The U19 regional series serves to both enhance the competitive landscape of Youth American Football in the UK and also strengthen the grassroots Britball sporting community. It establishes a collaborative approach between domestic clubs and the National programme with the regional franchises delivering a pipeline for talent to flow. After a round of panel interviews, Head Coaches and General Managers have been appointed for four teams – representing Scotland, North of England, Midlands and the South.

Team Scotland U19

Head Coach: Tam McKendrick | General Manager: Sam Stoddart

Tam will return to his role as Scotland’s Head Coach having previously served on the staff under former head Coach Matthew Davie. His extensive background in coaching at the U19 level as HC of the East Kilbride Pirates U19 is expected to drive Team Scotland forward with strategic insight and a deep understanding of the game. Sam will also return as Scotland’s general manager and spearheading the regional pilot following conclusion of his 7th season as head of the Edinburgh Napier Knights U16 & U19 club.  Whilst supporting the development of the other three regional franchises, he will support the team’s administrative and logistical needs, ensuring smooth operations and effective management for the Scottish outfit.

Team North U19

Head Coach: Jonathan Homer | General Manager: Verity Dean

Jonathan, currently the Head Coach of National Champions, Manchester Titans will head up Team North. Returning to his roots supporting U16 & U19 football as a former U17 & U19 HC he will draw on his renowned aptitude for player development at the helm. Verity, with her strong managerial background – previously supporting Manchester Titan’s U16 & U19 programmes as well as previously serving as Great Britain U19 Team Manager – will oversee team operations, ensuring that the athletes have the resources and support they need to succeed.

Team Midlands U19

Head Coach: Grant Lawless | General Manager: Paul White

Grant brings a robust coaching philosophy focused on discipline and skill enhancement to Team Midlands. With backgrounds at both University of Nottingham, Nottingham Caesars and the Great Britain National Team. Paul’s experience in team management – serving as Northants Knights and the National Programme’s equipment manager – will provide a solid foundation for the team’s infrastructure and player welfare.

Team South U19

Head Coach: Aaron Alexis | General Manager: Habib Ola-Kareem

Aaron currently with the London Warriors U19 programme and former National Champion with Kent Exiles U19, will lead Team South, aiming to develop a dynamic and competitive squad bringing a wealth of experience and passion for U19 football. Habib’s strategic management approach with success in overseeing Basketball teams playing abroad and in regional fixtures will ensure that the team is well-organised and prepared for the challenges ahead to ensure talent in the south is cultivated appropriately.