The 2016 season is almost upon us, and this year’s a big one. Our hurlers and camogs are aiming for their 4th European Championship title in a row and our ladies footballers are aiming for their 9th!
Are you Irish and working/studying over here in Belgium this year? Keep your ties with the GAA and join our family. We’re looking for new members for our Hurling, Camogie, Gaelic Football and Ladies Football teams. All skill levels are welcome.
All nationalities are welcome too. We have players from Belgium, Estonia, Spain, Serbia, Colombia and even Cork! Why not pick up one of our legendary Irish sports in 2016? We get to play in tournaments all over Europe and the craic is mighty! If you don’t know what ‘craic’ is then come down to training to find out.
Monday always seems a surreal sort of day post tournament. Aches. Pains. Bruises. Strangely shaped strangenesses in places that you didn’t know could hurt the way that they do now. But all that aside, what a weekend we had! What a weekend it was. It’s 9 degrees now and the 23 degree scorcher that we enjoyed in Maastricht seems like a million miles away, but it’s not really that far away, and yes, it really did happen.
Belgium GAA have finished the 2014 on an incredible high. Mens and women’s football, and hurling and camogie: we’ve topped all of these competitions. It’s insane. There were photographers and camera men abounding around the place on Saturday, so here’s a collation of some of the coverage from the day. Breandán Kearney was there with his intrepid camera friends, so there’s sure to be something wonderful to watch in the ‘One Life, Two Clubs‘ documentary that he’s been making over the course of the 2014 season.
The GAA were there in force, with the following video reportage from the day by Jerome Quinn – featuring the lovely heads from all over the European GAA clubs, but some familiar faces too – Diarmuid O’Loingsigh, previously from Naomh Abán captained the Belgian men’s championship team, Club Secretary Jelena Radakovic, POT Margaux Mansarnez, Ladies Capitan Fantastic Aisling Fenton and several dancing and running body parts of everyone else who attended the day seems to have been captured in the background. Wait and see if you can spot yourselves in this one.
There’ll be reports from all the captains and code officers in the week, but for the moment, it’s worth just thinking back on the absurdly successful year that we’ve had as a club: and drive on for the next two weeks for the Ladies Footballers as they still pursue more football challenges in the shape of the Munster Club Champions in Maastricht on the 1st of November at 4pm. All support most definitely welcome.
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.
What do you get if you cross a Colombian, a French, a Canadian, a Spaniard, some Belgian and a few Irish girls with an Australian coach? A damn good gaelic footballing team. This is exactly what this Belgium team were. Make no mistake about it, they were full value for their comprehensive victory over the Liverpool Wolfe Tones and in the process of winning this All-Ireland Junior Championship Quarter-Final; they created history by being the first European champions to be incorporated into the All-Ireland series. History will continue when they play the Munster champions in two weeks time at the Maastricht.
This game was a home tie for the British Junior champions and it took place in perfect Autumn conditions in Pairc na hEireann, Birmingham. What was only a two hour journey for the Wolfe Tones, was a 2-day journey for the Belgian team, as coach Peter Jenson stated. “We made the journey yesterday (Friday) from Belgium and we went through the tunnel and stayed overnight in Luton, or as the Colombian girl called it Loo-ton.” Travelling was just not one of the problems that the Belgian team faced as the pronunciation of Luton would suggest. “Some of the girls don’t have the greatest English but we would always try and shout at them anyway!” Encouragement was not a problem for the team because from the sideline both substitutes and coach alike, made plenty of noise in spite of their non-existent support.
The Wolfe Tones started the game well and bossed possession in the opening stages but could not take any scoring chances. Belgium in fact opened the scoring through the boot of Caragah O’Connor after a poor kickout from Kitty Murray, but finally after 10 minutes the Wolfe Tones opened their account and in somewhat traditional fashion: a goal from Carmel Hackett. Hackett, opened the Tone’s scoring in the semi-final with a goal and was on target again. A great run and lay-off from Denis McDonagh to her, resulted in the Augher native finishing to the net with their left boot. Another good run from McDonagh resulted in Nikki Laverty pointing from a difficult angle to put them three points to the good. This point in the 11th minute was to be their last until the 58th minute, a gap of 47 minutes. You do not win All-Ireland quarter-finals playing this way. Subsequently the European champions began to play football and tore their opponents apart. Margaux Mansanarez who would excel at wing-back all day teamed up with Ana Rois who would in turn find the marauding Elaine Kennedy to shoot and score. Kennedy would go on and play a huge role for Belgium with her aggressive and direct running. Two more points quickly followed with a free from Ciara Farrell and a great score from long range courtesy of Sinead Fitzsimmons. Then travesty struck for the Wolfe Tones when Kennedy after another searing run, blasted the ball to the back of the net to leave the score 1-04 v 1-01. From here Belgium would not look back and from the 23rd minute onwards there only looked like one winner. Time and time again Fitzsimmons and Mansanarez cut holes through the centre of the Wolfe Tones defence and were unlucky not to add more scores on numerous occasions. Another free from Farrell finished the scoring for the opening half to leave it 1-05 v 1-01 in favour of Belgium.
The Liverpool Wolfe Tones were missing some of their influential players for this game, however this does not excuse them for their poor performance in the opening half. It seemed that they made the long journey for the game instead of the Belgians because they were sluggish throughout and somewhat disinterested. If the game was within striking distance for the Tones at the start of the second half, then the opening 5 minutes would squash such notions. Kennedy again was to the fore, as she rifled over a fierce shot after a strong run. Fitzsimmons, had a great chance of goal but blasted over. Then the flurry of scores was completed from a Farrell free. The scoreline quickly ticked over and it read Belgium 1-09 v 1-01 Wolfe Tones. The Wolfe Tones struggled for penetration in front of goal and any ball they decided to hit in long was mopped up by towering full back Grainne Ni Fhlatharta who was a colossus all day. Time and time again she repelled the Liverpudlian’s attacks and set up moves for her team. It was then the fast-moving Belgians made hay. For many of the Belgian players this was only their second-ever game in the 15 a-side format but you couldn’t tell. What was clearly evident however, was the skill-set they used during their 7 and 9 a-side games in Europe, was brought to the table and the Wolfe Tones couldn’t live with it. When the Tones did manage to get through, goalkeeper Irene Kirwin was equal to deny McDonagh on two occasions. Scores from Caoimhe Ni Shuilleabhain and Rois, both from tight angels piled on the misery for the British champions. A late score for the Wolfe Tones from Leitrim lady, Janette Maguire finished the scoring in what was a very disappointing day for the girls in green, white and yellow. A lot of the Tone’s girls failed to turn up bar Niamh Cahill, Grainne O’Gara and the industrious and hard-working Maguire, however even if the team performed better it may not have swayed the result. Belgium were simply fitter, powerful and the better footballers and deserved their victory.
The shy and retiring team captain Aisling Fenton was gracious in victory. “I want to thank the Wolfe Tones today, they put in a super effort. We knew we would have to play out of our skin and we are really delighted to have won this and especially in 15 a-side. We are looking forward to the visit of the Munster champions to our home ground in the Maastricht in early November.” Aisling would again state the togetherness of the club which has up to 130 club members “We have girls from all various nationalities who play and they are as Irish as us. This is who we are.”
This result is a milestone in the history of the GAA, history was created in Birmingham on Saturday; watch out in the next round for more from this exciting Belgium team.
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 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.
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
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!
We’re delighted to host the finals of the Camogie and Hurling competition this year. It will be held on the 2nd of August in Brussels, in the Royal Kituro Rugby Club in Ave des Jardins in Schaerbeek, Brussels 1030.
The complete information pack, for your delight and delectation, is available on the clickable link above.
Dear Potential Tournament Attendee,
The Belgium Gaelic Athletic Association proudly invites you to the 2014 Hurling & Camogie European Finals, which will be held on Saturday, August 2nd, in the European Capital—Brussels.
We hope that this information package provides the necessary information for you to plan your attendance at this year’s Finals. If there is any additional information required, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Belgium GAA Chairperson
We're the biggest GAA club in Europe, with over 100 members playing in all 4 codes: Hurling, Camogie, Men’s and Ladies’ Gaelic football. New members are always welcome, so why not give it a try! Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org