Gridiron Australia is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Jen Welter as the Australian Outback Women’s National Team Head Coach to lead Team Australia at the 2017 IFAF Women’s World Championship.

Dr Jen Welter is uniquely qualified for this important position having played professionally and having coached at the highest level of the sport.

Dr Welter graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Boston College and graduated with a master’s degree in Sport Psychology followed by a PhD in Psychology at Capella University.

She was a member of the gold medal-winning Team USA at the International Federation of American Football’s (IFAF) Women’s World Championship in 2010 and 2013. In 2014, the Indoor Football League’s Texas Revolution announced signing Welter as a running back making her the second female player for a position other than kicker or placekick-holder on a men’s professional football team, and the first at running back making her not the first female to play a male dominant sport; however, the first woman to play a “contact” position in a male dominant sport.

In 2015 the Revolution named Welter as their linebackers and special teams coach making her the first woman to coach in a men’s professional football league. In the same year she was presented with the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Sports Pioneer award at the United Nations. On July 27, 2015, the Arizona Cardinals hired Welter as an assistant coaching intern for training camp and the preseason – making her first female coach in the NFL.

“In 2010, I had the opportunity to represent Team USA in the inaugural Women’s World Championship. Under Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator John Konecki, Defensive Coordinator Anthony Stone and Special Teams Coordinator Mark Mclaughlin (Coach Mac), we committed to not only winning a gold medal but also to being International Ambassadors for the game of American Football. I am honoured to uphold this promise by assuming the Head Coaching role of Team Australia with my original Offensive Coordinator, John Konecki and Defensive Coordinator, Anthony Stone. These coaches had 2 profound impacts on my career and I know we will do the same for Team Australia. Additionally, I hope other teams will follow suit and continue to open doors and expand the roles of women in football and sport as a whole” – Head Coach Jenifer Welter

Gridiron Australia and the Australian Outback Women’s Program looks forward to the positive influence that Dr Welter will have with our first-ever Women’s National Team and welcome her to the position of Head Coach. We look forward to a successful 2017 IFAF World Championship campaign.

For more Information:
Matt Steel
Gridiron Australia

Elissa Manera
Team Manager

Updated Member Protection Policy

The GA Board has endorsed a revised Member Protection Policy, in line with ASC recommendations. This policy went in to effect 22 January 2017 and replaces the previous policies.  This policy applies to all affiliated members and associations.

GA MPP January 2017

Marketing RFQ

We are undertaking a renewed focus on our online platforms including a brand refresh, online review and digital strategy going forward to connect with potential and existing members and other stakeholders.

We are looking for interested suppliers to send us a proposal responding to our specific requirements as detailed in the RFQ Gridiron Australia – Marketing.

Closing date is 28th February 2017.

Assistant coaches for the 2019 Outback Team

Gridiron Australia is now looking for Assistant Coaches for The Men’s National Team Campaign which will be competing against other countries in Oceania for a spot in the 2019 World Cup.

Applications close on Sunday the 5th of February 2017 and must be submitted by email to

The position description can be downloaded here

IFAF 2016 Congress

The IFAF Congress for 2016 was held in New York on September 17.

Australia was represented at the congress by GA Chairman Darrin Mitchell, and by GA International Relationship Commissioner Chris Josey. During the Congress, Chris Josey was elected as Secretary of IFAF.

Read the full press release from IFAF here.

Gridiron Victoria to join Gridiron Australia board with Observer status

Gridiron Australia and Gridiron Victoria have come to an agreement allowing GV to appoint an Observer to the GA board.  GV have nominated Mark Levin to take up this position.

This agreement does not amount to a return to full membership of GA by GV, but is a preparatory step for what is hoped to be a full return.  There are still several issues that need to be resolved between GA and GV before full membership, and it is planned that this arrangement will assist in this process.

GV will be an observer in board activities and participate in the planning of the 2017 GA budget.  It is our optimistic intention that agreement will be reached and GV return to full membership at the start of 2017, including participating in the Junior Nationals in QLD in April.  However, even if agreement is not reach by then both sides are committed to continuing discussions and enabling an eventual return to full membership by GV.

The boards of both GA and GV ask members on both sides to cease the negative comments and instead work constructively as we all attempt to advance the sport throughout the country.  Should members or other interested parties of either side have concerns, please speak with your local representative for clarification as the first step.

Gridiron Australia 2016 Budget

The board of Gridiron Australia has approved the budget for 2016.

The total budget of $175,415 includes:

  • $35,750 for coaching development and coaching programs.
  • $45,100 for marketing.
  • $11,000 for officiating development.
  • $42,257 for public liability and management insurance.

Full details are available here.

National Coaching Director

paulGridiron Australia would like to congratulate Paul Manera on his appointment as the Gridiron Australia National Coaching Director.
Paul will be responsible for implementing our new Online Coaching Accreditation Scheme through USA Football which will include the Heads Up Football Principals and Safe Play. Paul will also be driving the Outback Outreach Program which is designed to assist in the development of players and coaches across the country. Paul has been involved with the sport in Australia for 32 years and has coached at Club, State, National and International level. We wish him every success in his appointment.

Australian Development Team in Tahiti

2016 - Tahiti SquadThe Mens Australian Outback Development Team travelled to Tahiti to participate in the first Tahitian Football Festival hosted by the Fédération Tahitienne Football Américain (FTFA).  The purpose of this trip was to assist Tahiti with the development of their very first National Team.  American Samoa were also invited to the festival which is also aimed at assisting the growth of the sport in the Oceania Region.

Australia played 2 games during the 12 day trip with some great results.

Game 1 was held on Wednesday 27 July 2016.  The Australian Outback Development team defeated American Samoa 40-14.  Touchdowns by: Mark Shoebridge (QB), Josh Taylor (WR), Conor Foley (RB), Max Nina (WR), Jacob Kerin (WR) and Ben Gough (RB) Punt Return. Kicker Aaron McEvoy kicked 4/6


Game 2 was held on Saturday 30 July 2016.  Australia defeated Tahiti 82-6. Touchdowns by: 3 x Liam Bennett, 3 x Ben Gough, 2 x Ben Raglione, Brad Ferguson, Mark Shoebridge, Brad Ebdon and John Leilua. 9/11 kick conversion by Aaron McEvoy with 1 unsuccessful run through and 1 x safety.


Game Film – Both games have been loaded into our YouTube Channel and can be watched here:

Game 1 – Australia v American Samoa
Game 2 – Australia v Tahiti

Photos – Some photos of the event can be viewed in our Facebook Album

Finally, we would like to thank the Fédération Tahitienne Football Américain FTFA for the opportunity to travel to Tahiti, we thank the federation for their hospitality and we hope to see them again very soon!