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#HappyGAA meets @BelgiumGAA, in the shape of one P. Varley

Dearest ladies and men of Belgium GAA, tis the season to be on Irish National media. Beware. There’ll be even more snap happy folk this afternoon as we take on the All Stars. The photo competition will go on all day, tweet your snaps to @BelgiumGAA with the hash tag #BelgiumGAA_AllStars2014; with some snappy caption too. Between TV3’s @Brosie8/Maria Brosnan, Elaine’s family wedding in the Irish Times, and now this, we’re just a terribly photogenic, telegenic, media coverage friendly sort of bunch of people. But the point of this post?

One P Varley losing his mind in the crowd as Galway equalised in one of this summers stunners. 

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More of this inimitable celebration dance can be seen on RTE’s #HappyGAA show of last night – from 1min 40 seconds in.

Wedding Bubbles? #AllIrelandFinal meets #MOTD

There are many ways in which you could arrange your wedding – but planning for September weddings when both the bride and grooms families could be described as ‘stone mad’ for hurling, well, it just adds another layer of complications. And what if the wedding was on today, in Clonmel, between Erraine’s lovely sister and her fiancée? Options could include changing schedule, arranging for a choir to learn the words to the most magical song “Tipp, Tipp, Tipp“, getting your sister to come back from Brussels (giving a certain advantages to the All Stars), and carry on with things.

Today’s Irish Times features the happy couple and their plans for today’s festivities.

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And the most important fizzy thing? That won’t be the champagne, but local boy and Tipp player Bubbles, who has been forecast by Anne Marie to score the winning point (for real this time, da*n you Hawkeye). We’d like to wish all the best to the Kennedy and Aylward families; and really hope that the post-match wedding celebrations aren’t marred by the final result, come what may. Love (and hurling) conquers all.

An Open Letter to the All-Stars

It’s that time of year again….

One Life. Two Clubs.

Dear All-Stars,

It’s that time of year. You’re coming back.

You have a big role to play on Saturday and you know it. Your job – a very important one – is to remind the guys and girls that line out for Belgium GAA in 2014 that they have a lot to live up to; that they are keeping the jersey warm for the next group coming through; that it should mean as much to the current crop to play for this club as it did and still does to you.

You will do that in a variety of ways – by booking flights and taking days off work; by making the long journey over to Belgium; by wiring into the current team on the pitch, preparing them for the challenges that lie ahead of them in Maastricht next month.

It is precisely because the All-Stars is an event of…

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OOOOoorrrrmmmmmmggggg *We have another tourament in Brussels goys

Hello from Wexford, hopeful hurling and definite camogie capital of Ireland. I’ll find and source lots of photos from the weekends action in Thurles this Sunday with Belgium GAAs finest Camogie officer, Erraine Kennedy, Miss Nickie O’Pacheo and one Lulu Moylan, Belgium GAAs erstwhile Alternative-Irish-Outreach-Liaison-Officer – BUT – in the risk of sounding like someone trapped in repeat post traumatic disorder, we’ve got a tournament going on, its the HURLING AND CAMOGIE EUROPEAN FINAL, it’s going to be seventeen shades of sunburn *(there’s a strong case to be made for us to get some sort of sponsorship deal with a sun cream outfit – Johnson and Johnson, here’s looking at you), sorry, I mistyped, it’s going to be seventeen shades of awesome, and *you*, yes *YOU*, THE ONE HIDING BEHIND YOUR LAPTOP, YES, YOU SHOULD COME AND JOIN US.

Ahem.

Sinead has created a booklet that I’ve linked to before with all of the possible details in it – the poster for you to share and invite your friends/colleagues/lovers/friends etc is in the gestation period (difficult creatives!) at the moment, and will be with you shortly, but with t-9 days till the final of the Hurling and Camogie 2014 European season to go, I just wanted to share some decor options, some fancy ass t-shirts and some interesting graphics for you all. And see you at Kituro!

Such stellar athleticism will certainly be on display in Kituro
Such stellar athleticism will certainly be on display in Kituro
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/13370130118915191/
Just, sigh.

For the house that has everything, but missing that little something - a camogie decal to brighten up even the darkest of places Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 16.34.31 Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 16.34.47 Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 16.35.04 Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 16.35.15 Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 16.35.31

What if football hadn’t been invented? Prospect magazine examines the ghastly prospect

Matthew Taylor is professor of history at the International Centre for Sports History and Culture at De Montfort University and in this months edition of Prospect magazine, chiming with the World Cup extravaganza he asks the question, “What if football hadn’t been invented?”. 

A meeting held on the 26th of October 1863 with representatives of 12 clubs at the Freemasons Tavern in London discussed the common aspects of this newly established came, which was, at that stage, played with very different techniques, rules, and practices…. No particular rules about biting shoulders, but creating compulsory composite rules about ‘hacking’ (at shins in this case) and ‘running with the ball’ or dribbling as the main method of propulsion of the ball were discussed.

He goes on to examine what different advocates pursued – and the eventual establishment of the Football association, the Rugby Football Union and the establishment of these two different sports. But could a game like Gaelic have been the one been the one that soldiers, engineers, and colonial officials took with them as they endeavoured to create an empire where the sun never set? Taylor sees the impact of ‘British sports’ as a result of the global power and influence of Britain itself, positing that any sport could have had the same success, as football flourished in parts of South America, Africa and Asia and embraced as a national sport, and, with the introduction of the World Cup in 1930, became a global game.

As we too participate in a global game with ever increasing popularity, it’s interesting to consider what if and what next? Our national sports are now played and viewed around the world, with diasporic and historical routes and roots, what could the future hold for the games in the next 100 years? 

Continue reading What if football hadn’t been invented? Prospect magazine examines the ghastly prospect

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 GAA tears up the Ring of Kerry Cycle

There’s very little to add, except that its worthy of a country and western ballad…Ring of Fire and all that….
Congratulations to all involved and cannot wait to see the footage of the main event!

One Life. Two Clubs.

Last weekend saw the participation of five current and former members of Belgium GAA in the Ring of Kerry Cycle.

The heroes were Johnny Phelan, Kevin Keary, Olof Gill, Keith Stephens and Jenny Doran. The cyclists were ably assisted by their manager, Maria Brosnan, who provided logistical and motivational support.

This amazing crew were cycling to raise money for two important charities: the Kerry Hospice Foundation and Pieta House Centre for Suicide Prevention. Feel free to head over to the team’s MyCharity.ie page and donate to two great causes.

Oisín Kearney and Pete Graham worked behind the camera during the shoot – which included following the team before, during after the 180km cycle around one of the most beautiful coast roads in the world. Their professionalism, work ethic and talent with filming were key to making this shoot a huge success.

This was an important sequence to film…

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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!

 

 

 

“A bit Game of Thrones, isn’t it?” – GAA + Sky TV

GAA basics from Sky

Sky Sports will be screening 20 live matches from this summer’s GAA championships.

And while most of you will be more than familiar with the rules and regulations of Ireland’s two most popular sports, there will be some people in dire need of a beginner’s guide!

With that in mind, skysports.com has drawn up a basic introduction to Gaelic football and hurling, which will help people grasp some of the aspects of both codes.

Gaelic Games

Both Gaelic football and hurling are 15-a-side

Gaelic football is played with a ball that is slightly smaller than that used in soccer, while in hurling players use a stick – or hurley – to strike the ball, called a sliotar, which is similar in size to a hockey ball. Hurling is believed to the oldest and fastest field sport in the world.

Teams in both codes consist of 15 players – one goalkeeper, six defenders, two midfielders and six forwards. Six substitutions can be made in football, five in hurling.

Matches are played on a pitch that is bigger than that used for soccer and rugby – it can be up to 145m long and 90m wide. Goalposts are similar to rugby, with the crossbar slightly lower. Lines are marked parallel to the end lines at distances of 13m, 20m, 45m and 65m. The middle of the pitch is marked with a small parallel line that has a maximum length of 10m.

Rules

A player must solo the ball after every four steps

Inter-county matches consist of two 35-minute halves, while club games are 30 minutes per half.

In Gaelic football, players are allowed to carry the ball in their hands and it can be kicked or hand-passed. After every four steps the player must bounce or solo the ball. A solo involves dropping the ball onto your boot and kicking it back into your hand. You cannot bounce the ball twice in succession but you can solo as many times as you wish. The ball cannot be lifted straight off the ground – a player must put his boot under it.

Shoulder-to-shoulder contact is permitted, while a player can slap the ball out of an opponent’s hand. More than one player can tackle the player in possession but their tackle must be aimed at the ball. Deliberate body contact such as punching, tripping, jersey pulling or a full frontal charge is forbidden, as is blocking an opponent’s shot with the foot.

In hurling, the ball can be struck on the ground or in the air – with the hurley or boot – but it must be lifted off the ground with your hurley. The ball can be carried in your hand for a maximum of four steps. After that you can bounce the ball on the hurley and back to your hand, but you cannot catch the ball more than twice. Players get around this by balancing the ball on their hurley while running.

Players can block an opponent’s strike using their hurley. They can also hook a player’s hurley as he is attempting the strike the ball. Like football, shoulder-to-shoulder contact is also permitted.

Scoring

A goal is scored when the ball crosses the goalline between the posts and under the crossbar, while a point is scored when the ball goes over the crossbar. A goal is the equivalent of three points. Teams’ scores are written in a goals-points format. For example, 2-10 is two goals and 10 points, which is a total of 16 points.

A goal is signalled by the umpire raising a green flag, while a white flag signals a point. The game restarts with the goalkeeper kicking out the ball from the 13-metre line.

Format

Each county competes in their provincial championship before then competing for the All-Ireland Championship.

There are four provincial championships in football – Connacht, Leinster, Munster and Ulster – and three in senior hurling – Leinster, Munster and Ulster. However, the Ulster Hurling Championship is a standalone competition, meaning the winners don’t advance to the latter stages of the All-Ireland series.

Galway are the only county to play senior hurling in Connacht so they compete in Leinster, as do Antrim.

When a county loses a provincial game they enter the All-Ireland qualifiers. The provincial winners progress to the All-Ireland quarter-finals in football, and semi-finals in hurling.
Officials

Match officials comprise of a referee, two linesmen and four umpires.

Two umpires stand at either end of the pitch – beside each goalpost – and signal scores, wides, ’45s’ or ’65s’, and assist the referee in controlling the game.

Dead balls

A ’45’ is awarded when a defending player knocks the ball over his own endline

A ’45’ is signalled in football when a defending player knocks the ball over his own endline. Instead of a corner like in soccer, a free-kick is awarded to the opposing team on the 45-metre line. The same occurs in hurling but the free is taken from the 65-metre line.

When a team plays the ball out over the sideline in football, a free-kick from the hands shall be awarded to the opposing team. In hurling, a sideline cut is awarded, but the player must strike the ball off the ground.

Discipline

A black card is awarded in Gaelic football for a cynical foul

Yellow and red cards are issued in both codes but there is also a black card in football, which is issued for cynical behaviour fouls such as deliberately pulling down an opponent. The offending player is ordered off but can be replaced, provided the team hasn’t already used their full quota of six substitutions.

 

http://www.newstalk.ie/Bit-Game-of-Thrones-innit-British-Twitter-reaction-to-Dublin-V-Wexford-hurling

Top ten unofficial rules of GAA

http://www.irishtimes.com/sport/gaelic-games/the-top-10-unofficial-rules-of-the-gaa-that-referees-must-observe-1.1834021

With the recent advent of Sky Sports covering GAA matches, we’ve noticed (even more) puzzlement with some refereeing decisions. The problem is many of the rules of hurling and football are not in the official rulebook. They are handed from generation to generation.

Here are 10 of the most important unofficial rules of the game that GAA referees traditionally observe.

1 If any team breaks a deadlock by scoring as time runs out, the referee shall give the losing side a chance to square the match. Should the winning team gain possession from the puck/ kick-out, it is okay to blow the full-time whistle. But it is seen as considered bad form to end the match if the losing side has the ball.

Known as the . . . One for the road rule.

2 It is, of course, a foul for a player going up for a high ball to knee an opposing player in the back or elbow them in the face . . . unless they catch it. Then, well, fair play.

Known as the . . . Machiavelli rule.

3 player is not fouling the ball if an opposing player is fouling them at the same time. Therefore, a referee will not start counting steps a player takes with the ball in hand until the opposing player has let go of their jersey.

Known as the . . . What’s good for the goose rule.

3A Subsection to the above rule: The more likely a player is to score a goal, the more steps the referee will allow them to take with ball in hand.

Known as the . . . Forwards rule! rule.

4 One-on-one fights are the responsibility of the referee. However anything involving more than two or three players can be construed as a melee and the referee only has to note its occurrence for a later committee.

Known as the . . . One death is a tragedy, 30 is a statistic rule.

5 The only thing on the ref’s mind when throwing in a sliotar is not getting hit himself. Where it goes, or who else gets hit, is not his problem.

Known as the . . . Every man for himself rule.

6 Players should try not to get on the wrong side of the umpires. Apart from them possibly having to make a 50-50 call later in the game, one of them is probably the referee’s lift home.

Known as the . . . My mate’s the boss rule.

7 Umpires can change their minds at any time. They may for example, put their hand up to draw the referee’s attention to an off-the-ball incident . However, if the referee doesn’t notice the signal inside a minute, it’s perfectly acceptable to put their arm down and forget the incident ever happened.

Known as the . . . My arm is getting sore rule.

8 If the crowd loudly complains that a free-taker has stolen a few extra yards before placing the ball, the referee will insist the player retreats even if he didn’t see it happen. GAA referee’s trust the crowd more than the player.

Known as the . . . Home town benefits rule.

9 After awarding a free, the ref may bring the ball forward 13 metres for dissent. However, no referee is expected to know how far 13 metres is – anywhere between five metres and half the length of the pitch is considered acceptable. Unlike soccer, no magic spray needed.

Known as the . . . A piece of string rule.

 

 

Belgium Regional Football Tournament – Happy women – 12th April 2014

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Anna (BE/Irl), Grainne (Kerry), Astrid (Flanders), Maja (Germany), Irene (Dublin), Caragh (Irl/BE), Niamh (Kilkenny),
Laeti (Bel), Aukeline (Flanders), Mary (Irl), Sarah (Canada), Anay (c) (Essssspana) and Caoimhe (Wicklow)
5 “Belgians” and the rest of the world

 

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Elaine (Tipp), Babs (Dub), Nickie (Colombia/US), Jenny (Canada), Maggie (Bulgaria), Justine (UK), Meabh (Sligo)
Margaux (France, via Holland Ladies), Aisling (Kerry), Jane (Dublin), Sylvia (Cork), Ciara (Cavan), Pascale (Belgium via Stockholm Gaels)

 

 

Ladies of Belgium GAA turned out in force for the Belgium GAA regional football tournament, with 26 players on the day ready to don the red (tigers) and grey (grey haired) jerseys of Belgium. The teams, even, faced off against themselves, and players from Luxembourg, Marie Therase and her charges and only one of the formidable Holland Ladies, the emblematic Donna, who played what was a lovely day of football.

The Greys were captained from the sidelines by an injured Anay, and the Reds by La Fent.

I can’t put the day into words better than the captains, so I won’t try.

Here’s what Aisling had to say, with a little addition from Jane.

Tournament Report – Belgium Red

So once again the Belgium Ladies had too large panels for our home regional tournament this Saturday in Kituro. Belgium Red (Tigers 🙂 and Belgium Grey. A super reflection of the commitment shown by all in training.

Some even felt that research was needed into determining the average age and height of both panels :0 Once the goals were set up off we went to warm up and get ourselves going for the day.

Team Grey captained by Anay Rios and the Reds by Aisling Fenton. Spain versus Kerry. Anay unfortunately couldn’t play as she was literally taped together due to injury but she was a force for her team nonetheless.

We each played 3 matches with the all Belgium matches being of a great intensity and competitiveness. I’m happy to say that both teams played the full day in the right spirit. I’m very proud of the Red team and the positive atmosphere shown all day, even when we were up against it, this is where it really counts.

Big thanks to Pascale for making her debut in goal, she timed her kick outs well and was very brave given the experienced forwards attacking her goal.

Our backs with Jane, Sylvia, Nicky were excellent and grew as the day went on. Jane with her usual calmness on the ball, fielding superbly and linking well with her midfield. Sylvia, the cute fox 🙂 tackling very well and winning the breaking ball and Nicky on her tournament debut positioning herself well and in particular making one savage block in the final!! Our midfield duo of Elaine and Margaux were outstanding, both attack minded players but adapting well to the Greys two super midfielders 😉 a great battle in both Belgium matches. Elaine drove us on attack after attack taking some lovely scores and making some incredible tackles, never giving up. Margaux, winning super kick outs, safest pair of hands all day and taking great scores too. Some good solo runs aswell 😉

An excellent day out by our midfielders covering huge ground it has to be said. Our forwards had a tough battle with the Greys backs but showed super determination and took lovely points. Maeve and Jenny played brilliantly, Maeve with a injured ankle bravely battled on and I lost count of how many high balls Jenny caught at half forward, especially in the final. An all Canadian battle with Sarah Taylor was a joy to watch! Justine making her debut performed very well and made some cool, calm hand passes to her mids and full forward line. Babs, who took one of the points of the day from a very tough angle, Maggie who showed for many balls coming in and took some lovely points and the excellent Ciara, who had had a super battle with Laeti, drove on our outstanding comeback in the final, where at the start of the second half we were really on top. But one of the Greys midfield maestos Ms Ni Shuilleabhain took a wonderful long range goal which turned the final in their favour. And the rest is history 😉 Well done to the Grey team, an outstanding performance all day and an exhibition in determination and skill, lead by Grainne in the backs and my own tormenter Caz in the forwards 😉 But, I could not be prouder of the Reds, we kept going and played some lovely football, we had a great spirit and atmosphere and I thank you all for being such a pleasure on the day. All in all, every girl enjoyed themselves and that is the most important thing. Lets build on this now and keep going with high numbers at training. It really is fundamental to days like yesterday as the regionals are our preparation for the Pan Euros.

Special mention to Elaine who was her usual wonderful support as vice captain. Very well played Elaine all day. Thank you to the girls who volunteered to help out Luxembourg and to Pete for helping out on the sidelines. We did ourselves proud and I’m already super excited about the next regional in Amsterdam 🙂

NOTE: The above was written by Aisling but I want to mention what an amazing day she had herself – culminating in being voted Player of the Tournament by her own team, with Margeaux a close second!

As usual Aisling played a stormer, literally putting her head/life on the line on more than one occasion, and leading by an example the rest of us can only aspire to!  She left her 20s in style – can’t wait to see what her 30s bring!

-Jane

From the Grey Captain, Anay

Tournament Report – Belgium Grey

Dear team,

Just wanted to congratulate you for Saturday’s performance at our home tournament. You all gave a lesson of Gaelic football,  and passion for sports. For winning the Cup we had to beat an amazing team made of our own players and that’s not easy at all. You all found the right balance of playing with a good and fair spirit and tough competition. The atmosphere on the team really was nice, and very positive!  Even when things got very tense at the start of the second half of the final , everyone encouraged each other and some real inspirational play by a couple of players really lifted us all to put 110% in.

First of all I want to thank our dear vice Grainne  for all  her support during the day and congratulate her for the POT award, really deserved. She was our main rock in defence and showed all that a good attack starts from a good defence. Another player who showed us that was Leti, our inspiration of the day, who fought for every single ball coming in her way, in particular when she had in front one of our Belgium GAA stars. It was also great to see Astrid performance during the day, every time becoming stronger and supporting the rest of the defence. And the same goes for Sarah, her defending was crucial in some moments of the final, where every  single winning ball counted a lot. And of course, the key for a great defence is an outstanding goalie and we had that with Irene, she was super solid under the post, only two goals were conceded in the whole tournament and clean sheet at the final!!.And not only that, but  her goal kicks were the basis of most of our attacks!!!

And as the attack starts from a good  defence, the defence started from a committed  forward line. Our forwards showed not only great coordination to allow beautiful scores but also made a great work in making hard for the defence to start the movement of the opposite teams. Myself as I forward  was particularly happy to see that  every single forward scored, including the new players Auklien, with a very fast movement, and Maja with her unique German soccer ‘style’. I’m sure both of them were  inspired by the most experienced forwards, Caragh, who had a tough battler with our dear captain to be able to score, Mary with really beautiful movements and scores, and Anna Bates with some crucial points and goals.

And my last word for the players that ran as many miles as in Dunderdomnde, our incredible mids, Caoimhe and Niamh, who certainly had the toughest battles in the games and who started, complemented or finished every single defence and attack. It was really great to see and an inspiration for all about fitness, toughness and dedication.

As I mentioned I was gutted I couldn’t play with such an amazing team, and I’m sorry if sometimes I shouted a bit too much from the sideline, but I only ask because I know you can always perform better. So just only worry if I don’t tell you anything ;).  It was an excitement tournament to watch and I’m sure you feel as proud of yourself and our team as I am. Many thanks!!!And the most important thing: You did enjoyed playing football!!And the party afterwards :)

N.B. In our traditional POT awards many people, for great performances, were mentioned, and the ones more voted were Leti, Caoimhe, and Grainne. Well done!!

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The next round of the regional tournaments will be held in Amsterdam on the 10th of May 2014. Really looking forward to playing against more teams as we’ve been unlucky with clashes so far this year.