Category Archives: 2014

Red sky at night, shephards delight, red sky in the morning, its really really early

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Tomorrow morning, a group of 29 Belgium GAA men travel to Maastricht to compete in the European football finals. Fielding two teams, one in the senior championship and the another in intermediate, and following months of hard training and playing numerous tournaments, it all comes down to this one day of football.

The men have already won the Benelux region and now have their sights set on a much bigger prize. Good luck!

(P Varley sends his love to all)

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Last training session in ordinary time complete – Maastricht to see what we’re made of

What a year. 2014 has been an immense season. We’re a few days away from the close of an incredible year. .and we’ve this weekend to look forward to! The photos say more than I can. 4 Belgian teams will participate in the action across the day, topped off with a reception in the lovely city of Maastricht.

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Maastricht it is. One last push. The only men’s pan-Euro this year: the third and final pan Euro round for the ladies. Heaps to fight for. A great day of football awaits us all. . . we’ll update you as the day goes on.

All Stars you say?

 

BelgiumGAA_AllStars2014 - it's here.
BelgiumGAA_AllStars2014 – it’s here.

Kicking off early in the VUB, we’ll have mens, ladies, not quite ladies, not yet men’s matches all day: bring small change and notes because the formidable current players of Belgium GAA will be selling *raffle tickets* – oh yes, we’ll be doling out the prizes in Devs in the evening.

 

BUT – we’re also having a photo competition too, for the glory, honour and recognition and the promise of ‘Irish alcohol’ – tweet your photos of the day to @BelgiumGAA and @BelgiumGAA_AllStars2014 (quite the mouthful) and the best prizes, judged by an impartial jury, will be awarded the prize.

A Belgian belle returns

MBros on TV3, showing them how it's done

A post from our very own Bros about the impending weekend

It’s been six long months since I last set foot in Brussels – the longest I’ve stayed away since 2008, and I feel it, most acutely, in my soul. I’m in denial that Brussels and Belgium GAA continues on without me – sure how in the name of God could it survive without the Bomber? But it does, and training goes on, and new members join, and the craic is had and Championships are won. But it’s incredibly comforting to know that when I do return I can slide right back in as if I never left. And that’s all down to the club spirit of openness and the common bond that once you’ve thrown on the Craobh Rua jersey – the team, the club, Belgium GAA, never leaves you!

This is the second year for the Ladies All Stars and turnout from our side is a bit low. I could have done a bit more to cajole former players to book flights, but we have Malice, Aine Mc, and Rosine making the huge effort to fly over from Dublin. I’ve also tempted Jess, Mary B, Amy-Louise, Aine Murph and Clare Applebee to don the jersey for the day! We have numbers for a Camogie match and for the football we’re going to divide up the games into All Stars V Belgium GAA, Over 30s v Under 30s, but my personal favourite is 2008/2009 vs the rest. With the latter I’m allowed to return to my 23 year old self walking through the gates of Park 50 basking in the sunshine, with a quick glance up at the lads to spot the talent – not bad in fairness. At my first training, despite having clocked Anay, Babs invited me to Madrid for the tournament. That’s how it is with Belgium GAA – throw yourself into it or stay on the sidelines.

2008 was the most special. We had five pan-euro tournaments that year – hard fought. We had the bare bones of a team and had epic battles. Our spirit strengthened, friendships were forged. We were a new club, a new team, against the odds, taking on Europe. Victories in Madrid, Luxembourg, Rennes, Munich ensued and we took our first European Championship in Maastricht. We didn’t know what it meant but we knew it felt good to win and we didn’t want to let go of that trophy. And we haven’t since!

Camogie holds a place in my heart – in all the sports I’ve played I have never felt a bond with my teammates as I have with a hurl in my hand. The sacrifice and determination to win a Camogie championship takes sheer hard work, one that binds a team together for life. Ill never forget Aisling Fenton stopping a fast sliotar with her chest in Thurles. She tempted serious injury by putting her body on the line for the good of the team. I sympathise with people who have never experienced that connection.

Whenever Belgium GAA wins, we use to shout out “Its a great day for the Parish”. There is a sense of community instilled in the Club. The Club welcomes anyone who has moved to the parish with open arms. Members give up so much of their time for the good of the parish- to coach, plan trainings, fundraise, volunteer, collect goalposts in a different country, sell raffle tickets, clean toilets after a Fr.Ted night – but they reap what they sow – Belgium GAA is the best club in Europe.

I have moved back to Dublin to start a different life but I am grateful to the universe for allowing me be part of this club. I learnt a lot in my years, some great lessons on and off the pitch that made me a better person. Even now in Dublin, my closest friends are ex-club members and I know for certain that they will be friends for life. There is something so special about this club, the community it creates, the meitheal it instills. I miss it dearly.

Craobh Rua abú!

Hurling and Camogie Finals 2014 – Belgium do the double

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The finals of the Hurling and Camogie competitions of 2014 came to Kituro Rugby Club – and our very own Paddy Donnelly’s brother wrote this report. We thought you’d enjoy it. He promotes GAA games both at home and abroad.

http://gaascores.com/2014/08/belgium-claim-european-hurling-and-camogie-championship-titles/

The final tournament of the European Hurling Championship took place in Brussels last week, with the home side claiming continental honours.

Belgium GAA won three out of the four tournaments this year to finish on a total of 95 points, with The Hague their closest rivals with 65. It was a Belgian double as the Camogs also claimed Championship success.

The 2014 tournaments took place in The Hague, Zurich, Luxembourg and Brussels where Irish men and women came together to enjoy that piece of home, despite being scattered across the continent.

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Belgium Hurling Squad: 1. Adrian Hiel, 2. Kevin Keary, 3. Beartla de Burca, 4. Louis Sexton, 5. Niall Goodwin, 6. Kit Rickard, 7. John Kennedy, 8. James Clarke, 9. Padraic Burke, 10. Daire Cott, 11. Paddy Donnelly, 12. John Mortell, 13. Dermot Buttle, 14. Darragh Cotter, 15. Declan Hillary, 16. Tadhg Murphy, 17. Derek Dignam, 18. Denis O’Sullivan

Crusher returns to Europe, people bow down before him

Results

HURLING RESULTS

Belgium (3-7) v (1-4) Dresden/Cologne

Viking Gaels/Paris (0-2) v (4-7) Amsterdam

Dresden/Cologne (1-5) v (2-7) The Hague

Viking Gaels/Paris (0-1) v (9-7) Belgium

The Hague (1-7) v (1-5) Amsterdam

Dresden/Cologne (1-11) v (0-6) Viking Gaels/¨Paris

Amsterdam (0-7) v (4-7) Belgium

Viking Gaels/Paris (0-5) v (0-10) The Hague

3rd/4th

Amsterdam (4-9) v Dresden/Cologne (2-3)

Final

Belgium (2-9) v the Hague (2-6)

Winners: Belgium

FINAL STANDINGS HURLING

The Hague Zurich Lux Belgium TOTAL
Belgium (1st) 20 25 25 25 95
The Hague (2nd) 25 20 20 65
Dresden/Cologne (3rd) 11 (+2*) 16 (+2*) 13 (+2*) 13 (+2*) 53 (+8) 61*
Zurich (4th) 20 16 36
Amsterdam (5th) 11 16 27
Viking Gaels (6th) 13 11 24
Paris (7th) 16 16
Luxembourg (8th) 10 10

* (+2 points) – European Competitions Regulations 2014 Annex B/3g

CAMOGIE RESULTS

(c) Jane Brennan Photography
(c) Jane Brennan Photography

Belgium A (0-5)   v (2-1) Belgium B

Zurich (0-5)  v (3-2) Holland

Belgium A (4-10) v (0-3) Zurich

Belgium B (4-06) v (0-3) Holland

Belgium A (4-7)   v (2-1) Holland

Belgium B (3-7)   v (1-2) Zurich

3rd/4th

Holland (4-3) v (0-5) Zurich

 Final

Belgium A (1-2) v (1-3) Belgium B

Winners: Belgium B

BRUSSELS TOURNAMENT STANDINGS

Belgium B: 25 pts

Belgium A: 20 pts

Holland: 16 pts

Zurich: 13 pts

Final Belgian Ladies squad - As and Bs zusammen
Final Belgian Ladies squad – As and Bs zusammen

 

FINAL STANDINGS CAMOGIE

Zurich Lux Belgium TOTAL
Belgium A (1st) 25 25 20 70
Zurich (2nd) 20 16 13 49
Belgium B 20 25 45
Holland (3rd) 16 16
Luxembourg (4th) 13 13

Not lost, nor lonely, Belgium wanders to Bavaria: An Ode to München

Monday, funday. Sometimes flashes of the weekend past are all you need to power through a desk and a computer based morning, when all you can really think of, or want to think of, is the weekend you’ve had, the football played, the sights you’ve seen (HUNDREDS OF GERMANS CROSSING THE ROAD WHEN THE GREEN MAN WAS NOT THERE!) and other such unexpected delights. As we continue to digest what was an epic weekend, and to let PVarley compose his particular peon to the Belgian men, I’m going to pass on this little gem, from our freckled Fraulein roving poet/reporter,  a Wordsworth inspired ode. Look at that. Culture. How fancy. And its for you. For free.

You’re welcome, you can thank me later.

But here it is, an Ode to München (not inspired by Giselle Bundchen)

An ode to München

(by Sylvia McCarthy)

We wander purposefully as a team

That floats round Europe, balls in hand

Our boots dry, our jerseys clean

Into Munich we did land.

Farewell Belgium, we’re turning German

(my mind is blank, what rhymes with merman?)

 

Breaking free from the Benelux theme

Our bags were packed, we were on the way

It was time to live the European dream

With As and Bs, the tiger and the grey.

Old and new faces were our foes

Torrents of rain and ants our woes

 

Facing Vienna, Paris, Zurich and our hosts

Our Bs were divine, our As were supreme,

It would not be fair to boast

But even the sun admired the scene

Grainne swooped and Margaux soared

Our men on the sideline drank beer and roared

With a happy mind and aching muscles

I think of Munich and wish I’d stayed

Back at my desk in the office in Brussels

This is of what dreams are made.

Next up: September and the Swedes

Where Belgium will once more be Dancing Queens.

Belgium bound for Bayern(Munich) & we need to talk about Kevin

It is cold, it is wet, it is miserable and yes, it is early July. This is unfair. It is bucketing down and wet and cold and *gasp* Belgium have been knocked out of the World Cup. Its just not fair or ok. With nights without 3 matches ahead of us, its going to be a strange summer to adjust to again – and having seen a montage of weeping Brazilian children, women and men set to an achingly beautiful Garth Brookes song, well, its just an emotional overload – akin, I’m told, to being a Mayo football supporter.

Munich City Centre
Munich City Centre

From Etterbeeks finest son, Marouane Felliani, brought up mere meters away from our training ground in the VUB, to the somewhat eery similarities with the Irish named Kevin De Bruyne, who IN NO WAY LOOKS LIKE ANYONE WHO PLAYS FOR BELGIUM GAA…we’ve had a rollercoaster World Cup ride.

Kevin De Bruyne, or Kevin Brown
Kevin De Bruyne, or Kevin Brown

Nope, no one at all (no names, but think of a handy footballer/super-striker impact player of mysterious origins in the club and see what I mean). Much more handsome of course. But still. Uncanny.

We no longer need to talk about Kevin, but we now need to talk about Bayern, being in Deutschland, and being involved in a sports competition that is *more exciting* and *more tightly fought* than last nights Germany v. Brazil wipeout. Yes, the fortnightly Belgium Ladies Interleague competition. No. I jest. I joke. The InterLeague continues, but the turning of the tides and the passing of the months means that we’ve arrived at PAN EUROPEAN COMPETITION TIME (for the ladies, and an equally exciting, but somewhat different combined regional tournament / pan-Euro grading event to decide which level they will play at October’s Pan-European event in Maastricht for the men). This means more teams, more competitions, more matches and much much much more fun! PARTYZEIT KIDS!

Do you want to go home yet? The answer, at all times, should be the following. “Nein man, ich will noch nicht gehen, ich will noch ein bischen tanzen”. Here’s a nifty tune to help you to say no to going home, specially for you.

Munich you say, tell me more!

Ok. Munich (/ˈmjuːnɪx/; German: München, pronounced [ˈmʏnçən] ( ),[2] Bavarian: Minga) is the capital and largest city of the German state of Bavaria. It is located on the River Isar north of the Bavarian Alps. Munich is the third largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg. About 1.47 million [3] people live within the city limits.

So, for the first time in three years, we’re setting off to play in the home of Munich Collumcilles, a club founded in 2001 by a group of Irish ex-pats in the Englischer Garten, they’re both a hurling (at underage) and a football club (ladies and mens). The Colmcilles have their own (gorgeous) training grounds within SV Gartenstadt Trudering, and it is there that 9 mens football teams from County Europe and 7 ladies football teams will face off, in again, inclement weather (we’re currently promised a thunderstorm, oh joy, oh raptures). Last time we played in Munich we all got sun stroke, so perhaps a little rain mightn’t be a bad thing.

Given the distances involved, its perhaps not surprising that the predominant areas represented in this 1st PAN EURO COMPETITION are Benelux, Central and Eastern Europe, with no represntation from Iberia or the Northern European Clubs. Which is a pity, but I’m sure we’ll see more of them in September when we head up to Stockholm. But that’s me getting away with myself.

Who are the teams you say? What are they like you wonder? Well, hold on to your seats as we go through the few teams that will be competing this weekend.

Mens 

Augsburg – Belgium – Munich AMunich BGeneva Padova Paris Vienna Zurich (on websites along, Padova ‘Paddies’ takes the crown)

Ladies

Belgium A – Belgium B – Paris – Munich A – Munich B – Vienna Gaels – Zurich Inneoin.

Though Rennes head the Ladies Championnats de France & îles Anglo-normandes 2014 Paris is travelling to Munich, Belgium are the only team from the Benelux region to join and the Eastern and Central European region are represented with heaps of teams.

All roads lead to Mayo

Munich mens and ladies A teams have topped the Eastern and Central region – so no matter what the weather brings, we’ll certainly have great football ahead of us. And Sunday – a mere matter of a million more matches, and this site, pending recommendations from our Munich hosts, gives us a few options for where to watch the World Cup final, definately surrounded by  few excited Germans!

 

 

 

Destination: Junkers Bunker (aka Lux)

together at lastFriday, 27th of June, 2014.

A surreal day. Brussels is locked down as European Heads of State come together in the aftermath of the European Parliamentary Elections 2014/*Bun Fight 2014 – to carve up who gets what part of European Priorities/cake for the next five years, and guess who is on the head of the list of conversation topics? One Mr. Jean Claude Junker, by now the most famous Luxembourgian to ever grace the planet. The personal attacks and the newsprint inches about his suitability for the role of Head of the Commission aside, we’re heading to his neck of the woods to play in the 2nd last round of the European GAA Hurling and Camogie Championship. I’m sure he’d love to join us, but he’s currently being slagged by the European Press and is otherwise occupied…

 

Grey bureaucrat, moi?
Grey bureaucrat, moi?

Luxembourg is lovely, even if the taxi drivers there aren’t up to much. But that’s just an aside.

Belgium’s hurlers are heading down with one team, and the camogs are sending two squads (divided this time, for some baffling reason, by hair colour). The battle of the Blondes v. the Brunettes and Luxembourg and a mixed team from Zurich and Holland will be the fun for the ladies, while established hurling teams will be flocking to prove their worth at different venues throughout the day.

A camogie workshop will also be provided – hosted with the group games at the International School of Luxembourg grounds in Merl. See http://www.islux.lu/page.cfm?p=687 and http://www.luxgaa.lu/?page_id=85#merl for GPS co-ordinates and full addresses.

The tournament will then move on to Stade Michel Wagner in Weimerskirch (http://www.luxgaa.lu/?page_id=85#weimerskirch) where the Hurling matches as well as the final games of the Camogie tournament will take place at ISL – International School of Luxembourg. We’ ll be back up in Brussels to celebrate (we hope) in the Old Oak – please do join us there!

 

Ladies football intra-club league set to start tomorrow – Brussels hospitals primed and ready for influx

Ladies football summer intra-league
Ladies football summer intra-league

The team that plays together stays together. But the team that divides up by nationality/province/provenance –  well – is certainly setting itself up for some intense battles. Les capitanas have decided to split the ladies players into Munster v. Leinster v. Rest of World. Basically, ROG v BOD v the UN.

These three teams will fight pitched battles in the VUB for the summer session. Continue reading Ladies football intra-club league set to start tomorrow – Brussels hospitals primed and ready for influx