Category Archives: The Hague

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.

 

 

Hurlers held in Den Haag final – 1st round

Belgium’s finest hurlers travelled north for the 1st round of the European Hurling Championship, held in Den Haag. The other teams represented were Den Haag, Dresden, Vikings, .

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It was a difficult day for the hurlers, who lost out in the final to the Hague, having lost two players earlier in the day to injury. However, the only way is up, and we look forward to more from this team.

We’re hosting the 2nd round of the Benelux regional tournaments – Saturday 12th of April 2014 – you should come!

We're having a tournament, you should come!
We’re having a tournament, you should come!

Its that time of the year again, when the regional rounds of tournaments really start getting into gear. It’s our turn, privilege and pleasure to invite you to join us for this next round of the regional competition.

The lovely lads and lassies of Belgium GAA are delighteturnd to host the 2nd round of the Benelux regional football tournaments on Saturday 12th of April at the Royal Kituro Rugby Club, 50bis Ave Des Jardins, 1050 Brussels

kituro

Tournament times and schedules will be posted closer to the date itself, but 9am starts are traditional so prepare yourselves for an early start.

Volunteers, are, as ever needed, loved and cherished. Should you wish to volunteer some of your time on Saturday, we’d be really delighted to have your help – please let the code officers know if you’re interested in helping out. As this is a football tournament, if the hurlers, camógs and social members were free to help out to free up the footballers, it would be most appreciated.

Very much looking forward to this, and looking forward to welcoming you to Belgium/ seeing you in Schaerbeek!

schaerbeek-heart
Schaerbeek is for lovers, and potentially lovers of football – Image courtesy of Solamente55 – http://www.solamente55.com/ – 55 countries, 55 stories

 

 

Belgium Tournament Round-up: Results

men championship

 

GROUP GAMES
Belgium A (4-8) – Amsterdam (0-4)
Luxembourg (1-7) – Belgium (3-3)
Amsterdam (1-5) – Luxembourg (2-6)

 

FINAL
Belgium (3-11) – Luxembourg (0-7)

 

STANDING
1. Belgium – 25 pts
2. Luxembourg – 20 pts
3. Amsterdam – 16 pts

 

ladies championship

 

GROUP GAMES
Belgium A (3-9) – Belgium B (1-5)
Belgium A (1-7) – Holland (1-15)
Belgium B (3-9) – Holland (3-8)

 

FINAL
Belgium A (0-13) – Belgium B (1-5)

 

STANDING
1. Belgium A – 25 pts
2. Belgium B – 20 pts
3. Holland – 16 pts

 

men’s shield

 

GROUP GAMES
Belgium B (0-3) – Belgium C (3-6)
Belgium B (0-1) – Düsseldorf (1-14)

 

FINAL
Belgium C (2-6) – Düsseldorf (3-10)

 

 

 

STANDING
1. Düsseldorf – 25 pts
2. Belgium C – 20 pts
3. Belgium B – 16 pts

A brief history of Belgium GAA

Some highly recommended reading material on the history of Belgium GAA from former player, captain and trainer Eoin Sheanon for livegaelic.com

http://www.livegaelic.com/gaa-abroad/gaa-abroad-belgium-gaa/

Belgium GAA

A friend of mine once asked me was Belgium in Brussels or was Brussels in Belgium? Indeed.
Ordinarily famed for its chocolate, the pissing boy and “the place that tells us what to do”, Brussels is not generally recognised; never mind as a GAA stronghold.

But visit any of the city’s watering holes, such as DeValera’s on Place Flagey or The Old Oak on Rue Franklin and you will see the trophies, jerseys and memorabilia of Belgium’s only Gaelic Football club.

Originally founded in 2004, Brussels Hurling club was renamed Brussels Hurling and Camogie club in 2007. A year later, this fledgling club, based in the heart of Europe, changed its name for the third time in 4 years to “Belgium GAA.” This time to accommodate football, not just camogie. The demand for the big ball game was healthy and Dave Barrett, a Cork native, working with Toyota, at their plant in Evere on the outskirts of the city, decided that the time was ripe to put a team together.

The club has grown exponentially over the years and has many individuals to thank for that. Conan MacOscair, who moved to Brussels over ten years ago, was there when the club was founded. Conan played hurling for Setanta and was used to the bright lights of that famed pitch in Ballymun, the San Siro, before his big move to Brussels. Conan runs the Delish Cafe in the centre of town but still takes the time to train the Belgium footballers whenever the opportunity arises.

Breeding Ground

The club’s chairperson is Maria Brosnan, a Kerry native who worked as a Press Officer for Fianna Fail in the European Parliament, a breeding ground for new recruits. At one point in 2011, there were 12 Members of the club working in Committees and Plenary sessions on Rue Wiertz. The European Parliament is also host to the club’s honorary President, none other than Sean Kelly –former President of the GAA.

Are they any good? Well, their ladies are the best in Europe, having just completed five European County titles in a row. They have some outstanding footballers, including Grainne Ni Fhlatharta, a former inter county Kerry footballer, Anay Rios a former semi-professional Spanish soccer player and Carragh Rowan, who is the only person in the club, past or present, male or female, who can kick a 45.

They’ve trampled on everyone from Budapest to Paris and it seems most of the other teams in Europe are plain sick of them. Just as it was for Tony Soprano, it’s tough at the top.

The men don’t have this weighty burden of being the perennial favourites but have certainly had their fair share of success.
They won their first European County Football Championship in 2008, under Barrett’s leadership. Having been beaten out the gate in the first tournament in Munich – not Belgium’s favourite ground – they made up for it with sterling performances in Budapest, Rennes and Maastricht.

Winning the county title in their first year was an incredible achievement and perhaps the enormity of that success was overlooked because thereafter would follow three barren years whilst The Hague, led by Limerick man Denis Reidy, and the Channel island, Guernsey, shared County successes between them.

Champions Again

That was to change in Maastricht in November, 2012, at the penultimate stage of the three European Championship Rounds. Two points down in the final against Guernsey, with a minute left on the clock, Corkman Timmy O’Donovan galloped down the field and buried the ball in the net. Belgium GAA held on and reclaimed the title they had first won four years previous.belgium gaa hague winners

 

 

 

 

Belgium have won two hurling county championships, in 2009 and 2010. They had an exceptional team that were unbeaten for the entirety of those two years. But things have become a little leaner since with clubs such as Zurich St Gallen putting up sterner opposition after some of Belgium’s hurlers moved on in 2011.

The Irish community that the GAA club in Brussels creates is a home away from home. Oliver O’Callaghan told this author that “It’s great just to be a part of it because when I came to Belgium first, I didn’t know anyone at all. Within a week I had met the hurlers and footballers. Now I know half the Irish in Brussels”.

Another one of Oliver’s fellow players, Brendan “Bob” Lynch spoke of thrill and craic of the weekends away, “I have travelled all over Europe, to Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Budapest, Paris and beyond. But my most memorable trip was to Munich in ’09. The trip is famed because I drove a 12 seater bus down to Munich from Brussels the night before the tournament. After an 8 hour trip through the night and a couple of hours sleep in a hostel, we awoke in Munich the next morning and headed off to the pitch in plenty of time. Someone, who will remain anonymous, put the wrong pitch into the Sat Nav and we ended up in the middle of nowhere. Two hours late for the tournament our then manager Dave Barrett, went bezerk.”

“Even now if the subject is brought up it causes a divide between those who were on the bus and those who weren’t” said current Belgium manager, flame haired former Ballyboden St Enda’s man Ross Church. “Although it has ensured that no Belgian player has arrived late for a tournament since!” he continued.

Stalwarts

Still playing and with a combined age of over 150, Martin Crowley, Derek Dignam and Fergal Mythen are among the club’s older brigade showing Ryan Giggs like longevity. But the club is built on a blend of experience and youth with many coming straight out of college to internships across Brussels. It is this blend that makes the club something special.

Transience plays havoc, however. Of the 2008 team, that won the Championship, only four stalwarts remain, Phil Cushen, Kevin Keary, Olof Gill and Colin Byrne. The rest have headed to pastures new and every year sees a big turnover of players. Because of this it’s important that those who arrive buy in quickly and they usually do.

The Belgium men won their first football tournament of the Year in the Benelux Championship last weekend. They overcame their neighbours Amsterdam in the final on a scoreline of 2-7 to 0-7. The Benelux region is generally regarded as the most competitive in Europe with football powerhouses, The Hague, generally always there or thereabouts. Luxembourg are a very strong club with many of their players involved in the banking sector and Amsterdam have a constant stream of Irish passing through to bolster their ranks. Eindhoven and Dusseldorf are relatively new clubs but appear to be going from strength to strength.

Gaelic football and hurling in Brussels is no different to any parish up and down Ireland, except your greatest rivals are 200 miles up the road. A thriving Irish community is now based around the GAA club and if you walk past the VUB University, in Etterbeek, on any Monday or Thursday night don’t be surprised to see a flame haired man from Ballyboden and a Cafe owner from Ballymun standing in the middle of a pitch roaring at their charges as they prepare for battle at the weekend.

To find out more about Belgium GAA, check out their terrific website, follow them on twitter @BelgiumGAA or find them on Facebook

For all the latest daily news follow LiveGaelic on twitter @GAALive or join us on Facebook

 

 

Belgium GAA set down marker in The Hague with double win

The Hague, Sat, April 20th

Benelux_rd1_DONEBelgium GAA got their competitive season off on the right foot with wins in the Men’s Championship, Ladies Championship and a 2nd place in the Men’s Shield.
Ladies Championship
Competing in the Ladies Championship with Belgium were Holland Ladies and Paris. The ladies were straight out of the blocks marking up an impressive 4-11 to 0-2 win against Holland Ladies.
The second group game against Paris was a different affair as Paris won by a narrow margin. (Belgium 3-4 Paris 5-1)   However, in a tightly contested final the result was flipped. Belgium found another level to their play and edged a narrow contest 0-9 to 1-4 for Paris.
Men’s Championship
hague winnersAfter an early departure from Brussels, the Men’s Championship team got off to a great start with a 2 point win against Luxembourg (Luxembourg V Belgium A 0-6 to 1-5), before handing a heavy defeat to newcomers Eindhoven (Belgium A V Eindhoven 6-8 to 0-4).
Despite a one point defeat to Den Haag (Den Haag V Belgium A 1-7 to 1-6), the Men’s Championship finished off the group round with a strong performance against Amsterdam (Amsterdam A V Belgium A 0-3 to 3-6).
Once the rule book was checked and points difference taken into account, Belgium A would face Amsterdam A in the final.
The final was a tense affair and closely contested, but the Belgium boys were able to take their goal opportunities when they came and ran out deserved winners 2-7 to 0-7.
Congratulations to goalkeeper Shane Ryan on his player of the tournament award. A pair of point blank saves in the final a highlight from a great day between the posts.

Men’s Shield
The Men’s Shield had a later start to the day not setting off until 11am due to the smaller number of teams in the Shield competition. Upon arrival the first group game had ended in victory for Dusseldorf against Amsterdam B. The Men’s Shield team would face off against an Amsterdam team fighting for survival in the small group.
After a tense start, the team grew in confidence and skill as the game drew on. A flurry of points and a goal from Pierce put the Belgian boys ahead. A penalty was awarded after Conor Mulv was taken out in the box. Unfortunately when the penalty was missed, Amsterdam sprang back to life, scoring a goal and a couple of points.
The last few minutes were tense but the final whistle came in time for the Belgian boys who held on for the win to knock out Amsterdam B. (Amsterdam B V Belgium B 1-5 to 1-6)
That set up a double header with Dusseldorf. The final group game or “shadow boxing match” was unspectacular with both teams ringing the changes and keeping their cards close to their chests. Dusseldorf edged it with a couple of goals in the second half (Belgium B V Dusseldorf 1-7 to 3-7)
Although the Men’s Shield were ready for a tussle in the final, the concession of an early goal left a mountain to climb against quality opposition.
As in the Men’s Championship, goal opportunities were key, in this case Dusseldorf profited, running out winners by 5-4 to Belgium B’s 1-4.
A great days work and debut by Padraic Varley in mid-field was rewarded with the Men’s Shield player of the tournament trophy.
Looking forward
Overall it was a great start to the competitive season for Belgium GAA with a double win and two players’ of the tournament. The next round will be in our own backyard on Saturday May 18th, where Belgium GAA will hope to go one better and secure a rare clean sweep in all competitions.
Until then, training is every Monday (20h) and Thursday (20h30) in VUB. New players’ are always welcome! Check out our website (Belgiumgaa.com) for more!
Full results from The Hague

Men Championship

GROUP GAMES

Amsterdam A V Den Haag 0-8 to 0-4 Luxembourg V Belgium A 0-6 to 1-5 Amsterdam A V Eindhoven 3-4 to 0-3 Luxembourg V Den Haag 1-4 to 0-7 Belgium A V Eindhoven 6-8 to 0-4 Amsterdam A V Luxemb’g 0-9 to 0-9 Den Haag V Belgium A 1-7 to 1-6 Luxembourg V Eindhoven 5-8 to 1-2 Amsterdam A V Belgium A 0-3 to 3-6
Den Haag V Eindhoven 4-8 to 0-1 Belgium A 6
Amsterdam A 5*
Den Haag 5*
Luxembourg 4
Eindhoven 0
* Amsterdam A went through to final due to group win V Den Haag
3/4th PLAY-OFF
Den Haag V Luxembourg 0-6 to 4-2
FINAL
Belgium A V Amsterdam A 2-7 to 0-7
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Ladies Championship

GROUP GAMES
Belgium V Holland Ladies 4-11 to 0-2
Belgium V Paris 3-4 to 5-1
Holland Ladies V Paris 0-2 to 5-3
GROUP STANDINGS: Pts
Paris Gaels 4
Belgium 2
Holland Ladies 0

3/4th PLAY-OFF
Den Haag V Luxembourg 0-6 to 4-2
FINAL
Belgium A V Amsterdam A 2-7 to 0-7
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Ladies Championship
GROUP GAMES
Belgium V Holland Ladies 4-11 to 0-2
Belgium V Paris 3-4 to 5-1
Holland Ladies V Paris 0-2 to 5-3
GROUP STANDINGS: Pts
Paris Gaels 4
Belgium 2
Holland Ladies 0

GROUP GAMES
Belgium V Holland Ladies 4-11 to 0-2
Belgium V Paris 3-4 to 5-1
Holland Ladies V Paris 0-2 to 5-3
GROUP STANDINGS: Pts
Paris Gaels 4
Belgium 2
Holland Ladies 0

Paris Final V Belgium 1-4 to 0-9
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Men’s Shield
GROUP GAMES
Amsterdam B V Dusseldorf 1-2 to 1-7
Amsterdam B V Belgium B 1-5 to 1-6
Belgium B V Dusseldorf 1-7 to 3-7

GROUP GAMES
Amsterdam B V Dusseldorf 1-2 to 1-7
Amsterdam B V Belgium B 1-5 to 1-6
Belgium B V Dusseldorf 1-7 to 3-7
GROUP STANDINGS: Pts
Dusseldorf 4
Belgium B 2
Amsterdam B 0
FINAL

GROUP STANDINGS: Pts
FINAL
Dusseldorf V Belgium B 5-4 to 1-4