Category Archives: Ladies football

Belgium GAA Are Recruiting For 2016

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.

Training sessions

Training is at the VUB, Boulevard de la Plaine 2, 1050 Ixelles.

Ladies and Men’s Football every Monday and Thursday night beginning the 15th of February.  Hurling and Camogie training  every Monday and Thursday night beginning the 3rd of March.

Hurling
Mondays and Thursdays
19:30 – 20:45

Camogie
Mondays
19:30 – 20:45 (warm-up at 19:15)
Thursdays
20.45 – 22.00 (warm-up at 20.30)

Men’s Football
Mondays and Thursdays
20:30 – 22:00

Ladies’ Football
Mondays
20.45 – 22.00 (warm-up at 20.30)
Thursdays
19:30 – 20:45 (warm-up at 19:15)

Belgium GAA are recruiting for 2016

If you want to join up, email:  pro.belgium.europe@gaa.ie

Or get in touch with us via Facebook or Twitter.

Heartbreak, sadness. But heads held high, 2015 awaits.

The trip to Maastricht for the Ladies Football extra curricular bout with the Munster champions Murroe Boher will go down in history as a great day. A tough, sadmaking, heartbreaking sort of day, but one from which we can’t but build and ‘drive on’ from (in the parlance of Aisling, Capitana the Great). We faced off against a team that were half-centaur, half-girl. Half-coltish girl, who had all perfected the art of telepathy and mid-jump turns, and who had yet, in the majority of players, to face that cruelest of tests, the Leaving Cert. We had them on seniority, fertility, disposable income (though thats perhaps debatible) and the many things that life has in store after the age of 16, but they beat us. They played the semis this Sunday past and held the team they played against scoreless. It’s an interesting fact that they’ll be promoted to Senior next year, as a quirk of being a Limerick team – having won their division this year, they will play senior next year. And, to be fair. . . they should be playing at that level. Our lovely Wicklow based ref (though this is not the time for a rendition of the Wicklow Song) did congratulate all present for the level of football played. But still. Hearts burnt, bruised and burning for next year. We’ll see.

Here are some photos from the day itself. Taken by the lovely mamas and photographers on the sideline from Belgium GAA (I think we should give Maude some sort of stipend) and the Murroe Boher team – who would put Munich to shame with their coordination. We made it to Eurosport too – but the final score of 5-16 to 2-6 tells it all. A valliant attempt and a great success for our 3rd full game as a 15-a-side team – and to get to where we were is no great shame at all. Its just the dream. That terrible awful dream of getting futher along in the competition. Not that we have a heap of nay-sayers or begrudgers, but, I suppose in the words of Kanye, that its the beautiful twisted fantasy of continuing on – and the horrific what ifs. I couldn’t write this post till now cause I was just too heartbroken to do so. But with the efforts and enthusiasm of the girls and shoeless wonders involved, who knows what 2015 will hold.

Elaine has a little nap
Elaine has a little nap

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So the wrappings up of the season have well and truely got underway. We have the annual camogiehurling Christmas quiz, and the end of year dinner (to be held in the Old Oak on Saturday 6th of December, pester Sylvia with your registrations – but places are limited so do so soon). We’ve the European GAA AGM, to be held in Irish College in Leuven, and this year the position of Secretary is up for grabs, as Tony Bass retires after a decade at the helm of European GAA. There are few who would venture to take on what Tony has taken on, and in his farewell speach he sets out his reasons for stepping back from the role after a lifetime at the helm of European GAA – read it, it’s worth the effort. . . So, if you’d like to get involved – please do – it’s your club – it’s what you make of it. Do consider getting involved next year. If you find these posts too long (not looking at you Conor Mull) – how bout taking on the PRO role next year? It’s an interseting one I promise.

So for now, til the 6th of December and the annual danceoff of wonderfullness.

The end of the 2014 season comes to a thrilling conclusion in Maastricht

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.

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.

Belgium Ladies V. Liverpool Wolfe Tones – Match Report from Birmingham

From Cathal Harkin – from the pitch side in Birmingham, comes this fairly excellent report of the day.

All-Ireland Junior Championship Quarter-Final
Wolfe Tones (Liverpool, Britain) 1-02 v 1-12 Belgium (Europe)


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.

Wolfe Tones: Kitty Murray; Ruth Kelly, Nicola Donaghey, Niamh Cahill; Shannon Finnegan, Grainne O’Gara, Clodagh McPeake; Janette Maguire (0-01), Caroline Donaghey; Nikki Laverty(0-01), Aoife Jacob, Laura Farrell; Denise McDonagh, Carmel Hackett (1-00), Patricia Moyna (c).
Subs used: Karina Grehan, Eimear O’Kane, Leah O’Halloran, Susanne McKerr


Belgium GAA: Irene Kirwin; Nickie Pacheco, Grainne Ni Fhlatharta, Jane Brennan; Michaela Duffy, Aisling Fenton (c), Margaux Mansanarez; Elaine Kennedy (1-02), Caoimhe Ni Shuilleabhain (0-01); Orlaith Downey, Ciara Farrell (0-05, 4f), Sinead Fitzsimmons (0-02); Anay Rios (0-01), Carragh O’Connor (0-01), Barbera Wynne;
Subs used: Ellen Hade; Anna Bates.

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 days work done (for les damsels), men to fight again tomorrow morning @10:00

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We’re dissecting the finer points of today’s play in Stockholm, let it not be said that the Stockholm Gaels cannot organise a stunner of a tournament, because today would then have to beg to refute you.

Stockholm is a magnificent city built on 7 islands in an archipelago of wonderful proportions (your dear author nearly had a conniption when we exited our final tunnel and flew down a bridge over & beside & around the waterside – Stockholm is fairytale made life.) That aside, perfect 18° and semi clouded football weather, fair refs, gold competitive football, lovely buzz and crowds at the venue all day. {The sports  fitness classes we witnessed were also memorable – called either frumble rumble, or grapple, they were an interactive series of ‘primal movements’, generally carried out in pairs, but akin to well, things that aren’t generally carried out in public parks in the repressed southern countries from where we hale. By why ever the hell not?} The Swedish – Irish society also deserve an extra special shout out for providing tea, coffee, cakes, taytos and biscuits for us and all passers by freegratis! It was so lovely and much appreciated.

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There’s a cup involved. They’re looking after it well. Here’s how the day went….

Belgium A 5-13 v Munich 2-3
Holland 6-11 v Stockholm 2-4
Munich 4-14 v Gothenburg/Bordeaux 1-3
Stockholm v Belgium B 2-6
Belgium A 9-29 v Gothenburg/Bordeaux 0-1
Holland 4-12 v Belgium B 2-7

Then we had lunch. Not fikka. Nor open sandwiches, but proper lunch.

Then the football calmly started up again.
Playoff stages now.
Belgium B faced Gothenburg/Bordeaux and won. 4-12 to 0-3

Semi final one saw Belgium A dispatch Stockholm 4 -23 to 0-1.
Holland ladies finished at 2-12 in a tight match against Munich who managed 2-10.

Final face off, countdown, battle for the ages? Belgium A v Holland ladies. I’ve spoiled the ending by posting the cup photos haven’t I? Well. A great, exciting final was had – and Belgium A won.

We’re celebrating our newest Rose of Tralee nomination too (ask for videos). Its another step closer to the 2014 championship for the Belgian Ladies, while Belgian men are in bed tucked up asleep – ready and raring to go we hope at ten tomorrow 🙂

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!