Nominations are now open for the Grassroots Football Peoples Award vote
Nominate from our two individuals at the bottom of the page but first watch their videos explaining their roles within the clubs and what they have given to their local community.
David McQuigg has been involved with Fivemiletown United Football Club for the past 39 years. In this time the club has progressed significantly improving its facilities and winning multiple honours, due in no small part to the hard work and commitment of David.
David’s love for football is a key driving force for much of the success at Fivemiletown FC, with his enthusiasm helping to inspire club members and drive up standards in the local area.
During his time at the Club, David has held the positions of Secretary, Youth Co-ordinator, B.K.Y.L Youth Team Manager, Mid Ulster Youth League Manager, 1st Team Manager, Reserve Team Manager and currently holds the role of Chairman.
David talked about his journey at Fivemiletown FC: “Being involved with Fivemiletown FC for as many years as I have has provided me with a platform from which to make a difference and improve the lives of young people in the area. There is a great deal of passion for football in the area and nurturing that has been and continues to be a great privilege for me.
I have seen the local grassroots game evolve and improve and I am proud that Fivemiletown FC has been at the forefront of this nationwide movement.
Having held many roles in the club, I am now thoroughly enjoying the responsibility which comes with the role of Chairman. The beauty of football is that you’re always learning, I just hope I can impart some of what I’ve learned over the years to the people coming behind me.”
As one of the co-founders of the Brendan Keogh Youth League almost 20 years ago, David is still at the heart of this association. Since the B.K.Y.L was formed, David has held the positions of; Committee Member, Registrar, and Fixtures Secretary and currently holds the position of League Secretary.
His commitment to the club and development of youth has seen David take charge of the under 13 team which last year entered the Mid Ulster Youth League. The success of this team, which entered the league under the guidance of David has prompted the club to enter an additional two team into the Mid Ulster Youth League this season.
David’s longevity is testament to his passion and application to the local grassroots game. He continues to work as hard today as he did when he commenced his first role in the club almost 40 years ago.
Elaine Junk has been a mainstay in Mid Ulster Ladies’ Football Club since its formation in 1999. Away from the club she has become a leading administrator in the women’s game in Northern Ireland.
Professionally Elaine works full time as a Chartered Financial Planner. She is also the proud mother to two young sons and she strongly believes being involved in sport provides an excellent outlet physically, mentally and socially.
Elaine first got involved in football in the mid-1990s and she jokes that it quickly became evident she was never going to excel on the pitch or win many accolades for her playing ability.
But when Mid Ulster Ladies was formed in Cookstown in 1999, Elaine was more than happy to help organise and run the club from the side-lines.
Elaine is currently the chair of Mid Ulster Ladies FC, which has a thriving junior section, culminating in U13, U15 and senior squads.
Elaine points out: “One of the main reasons I willingly volunteer is to try and make a difference in encouraging, promoting and championing all members of our club to be the best they can be, both on and off the field.
“There have been many players who have come through the ranks of Mid Ulster Ladies who have played for Northern Ireland and one of our members, Jacqueline Burns, has just recently gone back to the USA to complete her football scholarship and play for Carson Newman University, while Simone Magill is now playing professionally for Everton Ladies."
From 2008-2012 Elaine was the chairperson of the Northern Ireland Women’s Football Association; she handed over the reins to the new committee less than one month after her youngest son was born.
Elaine still remains actively involved in the governance and organisation of football and in 2014, with the support of other women’s clubs, the mum-of-two was the first woman elected on to the Mid Ulster Football Association. She said: “It has been very inspiring to work alongside my colleagues on this committee as they have many years’ experience of administering and organising football in Northern Ireland.”
Following on from her election to the Mid Ulster Football Association she is now one of the four representatives for women’s football on the Irish Football Association’s Council.
With the full endorsement of her three fellow members from the women’s game she was nominated and elected to represent women’s football on the Irish FA’s Football Committee and the player registration committee. And she currently chairs the IFA Women’s Challenge Cup Committee as well as the IFA Club Education and Development working group.
In addition, Elaine sits on a sub-committee which is starting to consider a strategy and working plan on developing girls and women’s football further in Northern Ireland.
She adds: “There are many opportunities for girls and women in football, from playing, coaching and refereeing to sitting on committees and in boardrooms helping strategically to develop the game, and it would be excellent to see more females in all these roles.”