Category Archives: Pan Euros

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.

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.

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 🙂

To Maastricht and the north

Belgium ladies and men’s teams are split today – with the two ladies football teams taking on the first pan Euro of their season and a men’s 15-a-side playing on Maastricht. As we have yet to manage bilocation, Jelena will be reporting from the Netherlands and I’ll be covering the action up north….

Best of luck to all teams!

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From the Lovely Laney
All roads lead to Stockholm, as 17 strong, fit and determined Belgian women descend the Swedish Capital for the second round of the Pan European Ladies Football Championship.

After a very successful day out in the Munich round, where the Belgian Ladies took home both the Shield and Championship trophies, captain Aisling Fenton is expecting a strong display from both sets of panels.

‘We have prepared very well for this tournament and we are really looking forward to a competitive day of football. We are expecting very stiff competition from the local teams, as well as Holland and Munich.’

Vice-captain Anay Rios, who has dubbed the tournament ‘the Dancing Queen Tour’ is hoping the Belgian girls will continue to play the free flowing football that saw them win the first round in very impressive fashion.

‘I’m hoping the girls will continue to work as a team, move the ball quickly and take score like they did in Munich.’

‘We will just take each game at a time and hope we play to our potential. The nature of European football is that there are surprises at every tournament, we can take nothing for granted and we need to be 100% focussed going into every game’.

The trip to Stockholm marks the fifth tournament of the year. Belgium ladies have successfully sent two teams to each of these tournaments, no mean feat given the costs involved.

Best of luck to all the girls, hopefully they will we celebrating on the streets of Stockholm on Saturday night!

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!