History in the making, as Belgium Ladies Footballers debut in the All-Ireland Championship
Belgium Ladies Footballers will take on Wolfe Tones of Liverpool in the preliminary round of the All-Ireland Junior championship on Saturday in Parc na hEireann, Birmingham. It will be the first time a team from Europe will compete in the All-Ireland Ladies Football Championship.
After a dominant display in the European Premier 15s final against Holland Ladies last Saturday, the Belgium Ladies will be hoping to continue this good form, with a win over the All Britain Champions.
Captain Aisling Fenton, a Kerry native, is hoping that her side can continue their winning ways and prove that European Ladies Football can compete with the best in the UK and Ireland.
‘Our preparations for the Championship have been going very well, and we are adapting our playing style to suit the larger numbers and bigger pitch. We are more used to playing nine or seven aside in Europe, but every single girl is thrilled to be playing in a 15 aside championship. It’s a new challenge and we are hoping for a big performance.’
The prize for the winner is a date with the Munster champions in a home All Ireland quarter final, a prospect that Fenton relishes.
‘Of course it would be an honour as captain to welcome an Irish team over to Maastricht to play an All-Ireland quarter final, but we are not focusing on that, all our focus is on next Saturday’s game’
It is a testament to the work done by European GAA and Belgium GAA that the Ladies Gaelic Football Association had the confidence in European players to enter them into an All-Ireland Championship. Let’s hope that this situation continues into the future.