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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Amsterdam (4-9) v Dresden/Cologne (2-3)
Belgium (2-9) v the Hague (2-6)
FINAL STANDINGS HURLING
The Hague (2nd)
53 (+8) 61*
Viking Gaels (6th)
* (+2 points) – European Competitions Regulations 2014 Annex B/3g
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
If you’re not heading to hurl this weekend, there are really interesting alternatives on offer for those of you who are in anyway historically minded. Tomorrow, Saturday, is the 100th anniversary of the assassination of the heir to the Habsburg throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his consort of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, an event in the powder keg of the Balkans that would spark a series of events that ended up in the brutal organised senseless killing of World War One. ‘Plucky Little Belgium’, home of the trenches played a significant part in this theatre of war. A complex series of agreements – unabashed militarism, convoluted alliances, imperialism and rampant nationalism all combined to plunge Europe into a devastating 4 year war.
“Germany’s invasion of neutral Belgium, which led Britain to declare war in August 1914, should have been swift and fierce yet the unexpected heroic defence, against great odds, of Belgian fortresses, frustrated the German Schlieffen Plan for a thrust to Paris and a lightning victory. The plucky Belgian resistance proved successful in buying time for French and British troops to mobilize and report to the front, where the Belgians would then go on to fight, stubbornly defending the northern end of the Allied trench line for the rest of the war.”
If you’re in Brussels and wanted to visit the excellent military museum – they have a dedicated exhibit for the centenary of the beginning of the war.
The city of Leuven have taken photos of the war damaged buildings and blown them up to huge size, and put them on display in front of the repaired buildings. It very much brings home the enormous scale of the destruction and devastation that was inflicted upon the country.
Ypres, in West Flanders, had been a major cloth trading town for hundreds of years, a flourishing area in competition with the northern towns of Ghent and Brugges, which was completely reduced to rubble over the course of the 1st World War. The European Communities Gaelic club (our sort of sister club) are going there tomorrow and have arranged a guided tour. For more information, and to register, click here.
Make your way there for 11am – bring as many hangsangades as you think you’ll need, and enjoy the day!
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…
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.
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