Category Archives: Benelux

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.

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!

 

 

 

Serious Saturday plans – guided tour of Ypres/Ipers this weekend

pre assissination group photo
Pre assassination group photo

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.”

Plucky little Belgium

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.

Royal military expo

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.

Ypres guided tour

Make your way there for 11am –  bring as many hangsangades as you think you’ll need, and enjoy the day!

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!

 

Wet wet wet – Amsterdam and other stories

Can you drown while standing up?

How can it rain so much?

Those of you of a certain vintage will no doubt be familiar with the somewhat plaintive song by Travis, ‘Why does it always rain on me?’ … Supporters, players and the sodden sportsfans that endured the rotten weather on Saturday in Amstelveen could have been forgiven for thinking that it was written directly for them… And the answers to the questions are almost, and God knows.

Sodden. Soggy, squelchy. So much so that the ladies had to migrate to the main pitch in front of the lovely new clubhouse after the last three blades of grass on the side pitch gave up the ghost and it tuned into a complete mudbath. Fearing that we might lose legs, limbs or some of our smaller players, after two matches, another pitch turned to mud (making soloing an absolute dream) and all of the action moved to the main stage.

Fearing the onset of trenchfoot, the games were played with grim determination by the sodden teams, who took turns huddling in the new clubhouse changing rooms or the bars, waiting for the deluge to stop. And it finally did, at the end of the day, after a hard days football.

Filming for the ‘One Life Two Clubs’ documentary didn’t take place, as there were no facilities for underwater filming.

In the men’s competition teams from Dusseldorf, Zurich, Amsterdam, Brussels, Eindhoven and Luxembourg did battle – with Belgium beating Luxembourg in the final, having beaten Eindhoven, Dusseldorf in the group stages and Amsterdam in the semi final.

Group games:

Amsterdam (1-8) v Zurich (2-3)

Luxembourg (4-4) v Amsterdam (1-3)

Luxembourg (2-6) v Zurich (0-5)

Belgium (3-9) v Eindhoven (0-2)

Eindhoven (1-7) v Dusseldorf (0-3)

Belgium (0-14) v Dusseldorf (1-2)

 

Semi-Finals:

Luxembourg (3-7) v Eindhoven (1-1)

Belgium (1-8) v Amsterdam (1-3)

 

Final:

Belgium (0-8) v Luxembourg (0-2)

 

The standing heading into the final round of the Benelux competition is as follows

Ranking Amsterdam (3rd Benelux round)

Belgium: 25 points

Luxembourg: 20 points

Amsterdam: 16 points

Eindhoven: 13 points

Zurich: 11 points

Dusseldorf: 10 points

 

For the ladies competition, the group games welcomed Dusseldorf to their first European ladies competition and we’re *SO* delighted to have them play with us!

Group games:

Belgium A( 2-8) v Holland (1-2)

Belgium B (8-16) v Dusseldorf (0-0)

Belgium A (4-14) v Luxembourg (1-2)

Belgium B (1-8) v Holland (2-6)

Luxembourg (2-3) v Dusseldorf (0-3)

Belgium A (0-8) v Belgium B (0-4)

Holland (4-5) v Luxembourg (1-1)

Belgium A (2-8) v Dusseldorf (0-0)

Belgium B (8-5) v Luxembourg (0-0)

Holland (8-3) v Dusseldorf (0-1)

 

Semi Final:

Belgium A v Luxembourg (Luxembourg conceded)

Holland (1-2) v Belgium B (5-12)

 

Final:

Belgium A (0-8) v Belgium B (2-4)

 

Ranking Amsterdam (2nd Benelux Round)

Belgium B: 25 points

Belgium A: 20 points

Holland: 16 points

Luxembourg: 13 points

Düsseldorf: 11 points

All in all, a tough, sodden, hard day of football…

 

 

Belgium Footballers lope down the road to Luxembourg for round 3 / finals of the Benelux regional competition

Benelux-Meeschterschaft am gälesche Fussball (This, friends, is Luxembourgish, a language not invented by three people as a joke, but a REAL LIFE ACTUAL LANGUAGE. This contradicts the constant refuting of ‘Belgian’ as a language. ‘Luxembourgish’ lives.

This weekend, we’re heading down the E411 to Beggen Sports grounds outside Luxembourg City (well, not really a city city, but more a beautiful town where princes and princesses should live)

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FC Beggen Avenir pitches will host the Gaelic Sports Club Luxembourg finals of the Benelux Gaelic Football Championship on the 14 June 2014 at Stade Beggen in Luxembourg City. Men’s and women’s teams from the region will battle to lift the Black Stuff 7s Cup and the Peil na mBan trophy – spectators can expect a fun day out with a grill and drinks. Fáilte roimh chách – Jidfereen ass haerzlëch wëllkomm!

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We’ll keep you updated on how the games go during the day. (Do you see what I mean about the fairytale place though?)

Amsterdam football tournament

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Amsterdam takes centre stage in the European GAA calendar this weekend as the 3rd round of the Benelux Mens Championship and 2nd round of the Benelux Ladies Championship takes place on Saturday May 10th. We’re heading up at unmentionable o’clock tomorrow morning, with squads depleted by the recent rush to leave Brussels, the ongoing European Election campaigns (for the love of god, please vote people) and the month of May and its generous Bank Holidays.

We’re very much looking forward to playing against unknown teams in the shape of Dusseldorf ladies and our other familar friends, Luxembourg, and Holland Ladies. Two Belgian ladies teams will head up – with a 2014 record breaking 6 matches potentially ahead of us. WHOOOP!

In the Mens Championship, Belgium will face Amsterdam who’ll be looking to avenge their defeat in the final by Belgium in our home tournament in Kituro last month – Dusseldorf GFC, Eindhoven Shamrocks, Luxembourg and newcomers to the Benelux Championship, the somewhat geographically challenged Zurich Inneoin, will also take part in the competition.

We’ll be updating you on Facebook, but really looking forward to a great day of competition and the promised BBQ in the fancy new clubhouse in Amsteelveen, followed by an evening watching Kasper Juul presenting the Eurovision upon our return to Devs.