BAFA Announce New Commission Leads

The British American Football Association have announced the six appointees to the new Commission Lead roles, shared back in August.

The Commission Leads will combine with elected representatives from BAFRA and BAFCA to form the new Operations Team – headed up by Director of Operations Steve Rains, who was successfully appointed at the BAFA AGM in September.

The team is made up of a number of passionate individuals from across different aspects of the British Sport, many of whom will be familiar to the Britball Nation and bring a wealth of experience and expertise with them.


BAFA are delighted to announce the following appointments to the Commission Leadership roles in our new Governance structure.

BAFA Chair Nichole McCulloch is pleased to announce the successful candidates who will take on Commission Leadership roles in our new Governance structure, commenting:

“I would like to officially welcome the new members of the BAFA family who will form our operations committee. These individuals will be tasked under the leadership of Steve Rains to help grow, develop and ensure our sports runs efficiently and safely. This operational layer will allow the board to get on with developing and executing strategy whilst they manage the day to day operations.”


National Teams – Kirsty Cavanagh

Kirsty has an extensive background in Association Football having worked for Southampton FC, Brighton and Hove Albion FC, and Stoke City FC in roles that included Safeguarding, Player welfare and development pathways, tournament organisation, travel and transportation arrangements for players.

She then took on a similar role for the Football Association dealing with the England National Teams (both men and women). During international fixtures, Kirsty was assigned as Head of Delegation for all international teams from the ages of 15 to the senior team. She also acted as Tournament Director on behalf of UEFA for UK based tournaments.

Kirsty is currently a Senior Management Team member for Team Doncaster dealing with HR, Safeguarding and Governance for both the Association Football and Rugby teams.


Adult League and Women’s Football – Clive Dobbin

Clive has most recently been the acting coordinator for the National teams where he successfully steered the Men’s team through the recent European tournament campaign.

He has also set in place both finance and logistical plans for recent tournaments and International fixtures both past and those to come in the short term. In football Clive leads the Solent Seahawks Academy as its general manager, successfully turning the club into a benchmark organisation.

A Senior Employment Lawyer by trade Clive has the resilience and problem solving skills which will be essential for this role.


Age Groups, Flag and BUCS – Russ Hewitt

Russ has carried a mega workload for BAFA as the previous Competitions Director.

He has proven skills as an American Football organiser and a real passion for the development of our young players.

An experienced Coach, Statistician and former player his experience which includes management roles in University Football, BAFCA and BAFA will be invaluable in this new role (he may also get a bit of his life back!)


Events – Andrew Free

Andrew has extensive experience with the English Football Association organising events both on and off the field. The highlights of which include managing a team during the UEFA Champions League Final in 2013 and also playing key roles in the Womens FA Cup Final, FA Trophy, FA Vase and other England International events.

He was Team England Operations Co-Ordinator and led on numerous high level projects including the U17 UEFA Elite round and FIFA World Cup in Chile.

More Recently he was the Deputy Operations Manager at Tottenham Hotspur FC before moving on to his current role as Games Services Co-ordinator with the British Olympic Association where his most recent major task was arranging the departure and arrivals operation for Team GB at the recent Winter Games in Korea.


Schools – Ally Reid

In addition to being a long-time American Football player Ally is a professional in the field of School Sports.

Currently a School Sport and Training Adviser with Active Surrey, he is responsible for the organisation of sports events and competitions working directly with over 400 schools.

His work involves the creation of pathways and opportunities for all (particularly the less active) and links from school sports into community clubs. He also works with youth insight, in particular, supporting schools creative positive active environments.


Clubs – Jonathan Pearce

Jonathan has been involved in the development of clubs throughout his career with Wyre Borough Council, the England and Wales Cricket Board and with the Rugby Football Union.

Currently a University Partnerships Officer with the RFU he works with the clubs to ensure the agreement of KPI’s which are designed to ensure students stay in the game and get the most from their involvement in it.

His previous roles included development work for Womens Rugby in the South West and with member clubs in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.


The Operations team is completed by the elected representatives from BAFRA (David Parsons) and BAFCA (Wayne Hill)

Operations Director Steve Rains said:

“I am delighted with the team we have appointed which brings a wealth of relevant experience to our operations both from within British American Football and from other major sports. The Commission Leads will of course not be working alone and hope to have the support of the volunteers who have helped with operations in the past – plus of course any new volunteers who want to help the new team move our sport forward.”




Nick 'Willy Tee' Wilson-Town hails from the South West where he's spent the last decade bouncing around various teams at the university and senior level. He came to fame on the now departed unofficial forum thanks to his regularly irreverent Uniball predictions and general 'BUAFL wafflage'. Follow him on twitter @WillyTee1