First Award of the Year…

…didn’t go to one of our teams, instead, it went to Conan Mac Oscair for his design of this very website. This is the first time that an overseas club has won a McNamee Award and it proves that on the field and off Belgium GAA can compete with the best.

Don’t believe me? This is what Croke Park said about our site:

Best Website – Belgium GAA, Brussels, www.belgiumgaa.com
The site has excellent design features with notable integration of current web trends such as a blog feature, forum and Flickr integration. In addition, as an overall service to GAA fans in the region – the site has excellent news features, modern up to date content whilst employing outstanding usability and coding standards. Overall, a first rate site.

Click on the link to read about the other winners.

Congrats once again to Conan for all his hard work being recognised!

 

Munich Tournament Report: The Ladies

(Editor’s Note: the following is the Munich tournament report detailing yet another triumph for Belgium GAA’s footballing women, written by the irrepressible Whisk)

Belgium A + Belgium B + injured supporters Ana & Lorraine + Coach W + Avril Brennan = Ladies Winners of Munich tournament 2009!!

Well, where to start – yet another incredibly successful tournament for Belgium GAA Ladies footballers!

We all set off for Munich on Friday at various points throughout the day – most of us by plane. Some of the less fortunate among us, namely young Avril Brennan, who has been taken under the wing of Belgium GAA ladies, had to travel in a car for 11 hours with some of the Belgium boys (names cannot be revealed for legal reasons). Needless to say upon her arrival at 3am she was so disorientated that she woke up myself and Jane saying that she could not go to sleep in her room with Rosine as somebody else was in her bed. Note: there was no one there. Sigh.Continue reading “Munich Tournament Report: The Ladies”

Belgium’s King Poc

As well as playing a central part in helping Belgium’s hurlers sweep to an unstoppable 2009 European Championship victory, Meathman Conor Aylward secured even more silverware for the club in July when he won the European Poc Fada competition. Aylward, pictured here demonstrating his unique Poc Fada stretching technique to Maria “Bomber” Brosnan, beat all comers to take the title, ritually humiliating the club’s many Corkmen who have since threatened to go on strike. Well done Conor.

 

Munich Tournament Report – 2009

The following is a tournament report from the first Pan-European Football Championship of 2009, held on 25 July in Munich, Germany. As usual, the organisation of the tournament was a triumph from start to finish – many thanks and well done, Munich GAA!

Editor’s note: this post concerns only the matches played by the Belgium GAA men’s ‘A’ team. Reports from the Killer ‘B’s and the Ladies to follow soon. This post by Belgium A Captain and goalkeeper Stephen ‘Cluxton’ Kearney.Continue reading “Munich Tournament Report – 2009”

Belgium crowned European Hurling Champions

Better late than never (!), here is the official tournament report from the 11 July Hurling tournament in Zurich, where the men of Belgium sealed the European Championship title with a hard-fought victory.

Many congratulations to the hurlers, who under the steady guiding hand of manager Martin Crowley have been unstoppable this season.

 

Here I Go Again (Whitesnake)

Travelling great distances is a common feature when playing GAA in Europe & personally, I enjoy the ritual of it: Get up early, make the sandwiches, have a big breakfast & the n drive for hours to get some GAA, then head out, have a good time & then drive all the back on the Sunday; I couldn’t think of anything better to do on the weekend.

The 1st Odyssey of this year (of which more will follow with the Football) was to Zurich to play Hurling. We had 4 cars going: Dennis (or Densor as we call him) & Aidan headed off on Friday evening.

They were followed on the Saturday by Jarret, our Captain Kevin Keary & Pierce in 1 car; Willie, Conor, Dec & Martin in the other & finally Adrian, Eoghan & myself in the 3rd car.

So off we left at about 5:30 to a foreign soil, to fight to claim the title of European Hurling Champions & to retain last year’s title, armed with lots of hurleys & more Air Guitar than you’ll find at a Status Quo, Whitesnake & Def Leppard concert!

Highway to Hel-vetia (AC/DC)

After the long drive through the beautiful surroundings of France & then Switzerland, we reached of destination of Zurich at about 1.

First up, Zurich vs. Lux.

A good game of hurling followed with Lux proving dangerous with the long ball into their full forward, Sully.

Final score: Zur 1-6, Lux 5-5

The chance to see our 2 opponents play first suited us well, as we had the chance to see the danger men (& women) in both sides. Using this, we prepared for our 1st encounter…Zurich

Back in Black (AC/DC)

Zurich have improved a lot from last year’s encounter & you can see a big improvement in both the men & ladies’ team…but we needed to beat the team-of-black to continue to the final.

Our team was:

Martin

Willie

Kevin

Conor

Adrian

Eoghan

Declan

Pierce

Aidan

Densor

Jarret

We came quickly into this game, with a strategy of using the ball well, taking our points & trying to avoid running with the ball as much as possible, due to the lack of numbers & the heat.

We played excellent hurling in the 1st half with the score Bel: 2-6 Zur: 1-0

Scorers for Belgie were Eoghan, Jarret, Pierce & Densor.

2nd half: Zurich let the head drop after a quick 2 points & 1 goal from the Belgians. Zurich still kept playing well, however, with a point from play.

However, a retaliation of 2-2 from the Belgians finished the game off.

Final score: Belgium: 5-10, Zurich: 1-1

Standout performances for Belgium were Pierce “The Moonwalker” O Caoimhe (watch him run with the sliotar; graceful), Eoghan Kelly & particularly Willie & Adrian being bothe excellent in the defence.

1 game down; 2 to go

Or so it was meant to be; Lux & us decided to play the final straight after the ladies game.

So sitting in the shade, we devised our strategy for taking on Lux.

Waiting (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers)

For Lux, their danger man was Sully. A great catcher of the ball, he’d run at the defence & straight on goal. For this, we had Conor Alyward man-mark him, with Keary just behind to quickly clear any breaking ball.

Lux also had a dnger woman in #4; a fantastic hurler from Galway.

Willie was given the responsibility of marking her; we counted on his years of experience & also, as he’s getting married, we thought he’d like a chance to get physical with a 20-something college girl before the Big Day!

Final change; we swapped Densor with Aidan, with the aim to bombard the Lux full back line so that Jarret & Aidan could recover the breaking ball. Densor was also to drag his man out into the wings, opening up the half-forward line to allow our midfield more room to assist in attack.

Explaining what was needed from each of us, we focused on the game at hand.

The Final Countdown (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers)

Team was as follows:

Martin

Willie

Kevin

Conor

Adrian

Eoghan

Declan

Pierce

Densor

Aidan

Jarret

Just like against Zurich, we literally exploded (!) into this game, getting scoring 1-1.

Our strategy for Densor was working brilliantly as it caused Pierce’s man to being dragged out also, in the hope of covering both men.

However, it wasn’t all plain sailing. Lux let a long ball in which Martin blocked down as it was heading over the crossbar. Then, from nowhere, #4 rushed in to put the ball in the back of the net. 1-1 to 1-0.

This was a moment of truth for Belgium; keep the head up or face defeat.

You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet (Bachman Turner Overdrive)

The next 2 puck-outs were sent sailing over the bar by the Belgian’s: the perfect reply to Lux’s goal.

Lux replied with1 point but Belgium, surely displaying the largest display of artillery in Europe since the 1940’s, finished the 1st half with a goal after barraging the Lux back line.

Belgium: 2-3, Lux: 1-1

2nd half; Belgium opened quickly with 1 point but then we entered a War of Attrition.

Lux kept to the strategy of the land ball into Sully. At 1 stage, he caught the pucked outed ball & was clear on goal. Keary had to react, pulling him down.

Penalty!…except the ref had stopped play after Jarret had been in an incident just before the puck-out.

The ref reset the game from that puck-out. Belgium had just snatched a lifeline: had that penalty counted, we would have a hard fight on our hands.

Those last few minutes were tough; we had women swearing at us, hurls flying & breaking & at one stage Adrian verbally assaulting a young lady for holding on to his hurl…was tense stuff.

But inspired by the Trojan men which each of the Belgians are, we never dropped the head. We put over 2 more points, before Lux’s #4 got a great point from play to bring the game to a close.

Belgium: 2-6, Lux: 1-2

We Are the Champions! (Queen)

It was a great victory for Belgium, considering we had minimal numbers & had trekked 650km to play. Also, with exception of Pierce, Kevin & Eoghan, our team were all over 30. I find that the most inspiring thing about these lads-I hope to still have even a tiny bit of what drives these men when I get to that stage; something like that says a lot about these lads.

During the day, there were amazing performances all round. No heads dropped; concentration was always kept, even when it was tense in the final.

I will mention 2 men for their performances on the day;

I think everyone can agree that Eoghan Kelly’s performance was epic. I remember at 1 stage he was in the defence, driving a ball out of there, only to catch the returning ball & driving it over for a point. It was a great display from the man.

Before we came down, there was a chance we wouldn’t have the men for the game. To step up to play a game 650 km away; many would have said no way

Densor stepped forward to help us out, even though he hasn’t played hurling in years. He ended up scoring 1-1 in the tournament; a great display from the man.

So next for the Belgians is The Hague in a few weeks.

We are currently European Hurling Champions for this year but with the epic men we have playing, maybe a Grand Slam is on the cards for Belgium Hurling?

Slán

Belgium hopes for new heights as the European Football Championships begin

The long-awaited European Gaelic Football Championships begin in Munich this weekend, and over 50 Belgium GAA players will fly to the Bavarian capital tomorrow to go to battle in the first of the four pan-European tournaments.

26 lads and around the same amount of lassies will travel. These impressive travelling numbers are a great indication of the rapid growth of our club, and a credit to all concerned for their dedication and team spirit. Belgium will be the only mens team to enter a team in both the Shield and the Championship sections whilst only Holland can match our Ladies in entering two teams in the Ladies competition.

The very best of luck to our warriors for the first pan-Euro showdown of 2009. An Chraobh Rua abú! Match reports to follow next week…

(for more analysis of the Munich tournament, see the latest inimitable blog from Mens team coach Dave Barrett)

Come out and support the Dubs in Leinster final

 

Boys & Girls,

This Sunday is the Leinster SHC final, Anto Daly’s young Dubs v The Kats.

Cody’s all-conquering Kats are on the trail of immortality as they attempt this year to capture the Liam McCarthy for the fourth year in succession. If they achieve their goal they will emulate the heroics of a Christy Ring-inspired Cork, who won titles in 1941, ’42, ’43 and ’44 – the rationale behind Barrett being a Dub for the day.

The Revolution will be televised from 16h30 in The Old Oak, Schuman – throw-in at 17h00.

Sporting blue & navy guarantees you Premium Seating, Table Service, etc…

Black & amber guarantees you zilch. No I lie, a surefire guarantee of the following:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f86styquT4w&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Ffodh.ie%2F&feature=player_embedded

Suas na Dubs!

An Chraobh Rua Dublin Supporters Club.

* A special thanks to at Kevin Flynn at www.flynnsolutions.ie for allowing us to use the Che Daly graphic

www.fodh.ie

Belgium Ladies go from strength to strength

The following are tournament reports from the last 2 pan-European competitions contested, and won, by the unstoppable Ladies football team of Belgium GAA. Enjoy!

Belgium Ladies GAA 2009 – The Journey – Part 1 Den Haag

An army of red and black, marching to domination… or a bedraggled mob of coffee cup clutching, bleary eyed scruffs? Yes, Belgium Ladies Football team had arrived.Continue reading “Belgium Ladies go from strength to strength”

Euro Hurling and Camogie tournament Saturday June 13 2009

Belgium GAA is proud to host the next round of the European Hurling and Camogie tournament in Leuven, this Saturday 13 June 2009.

Europe’s finest gaelic sportsmen and women will be taking to the field from 10.30 and will be playing all day.Continue reading “Euro Hurling and Camogie tournament Saturday June 13 2009”

First Winner of Belgium GAA Lotto

Just a few short months after the introduction of the Belgium GAA lotto, we are proud to announce that the jackpot has been won for the very first time.

Amounting to €1,300 in the month of May, it was won by fiery Canadian club member Adrian Hiel (pictured wearing his trademark ‘game face’). Said Hiel at hurling training on Tuesday night, “This is a very exciting moment for me. I hope I can be an inspiration to everyone else who plays the GAA lotto.” An unidentified player was heard to mutter somewhat bitterly, “That Adrian is living the dream right now. The least he could do would be to offer a round of drinks to the fundraising committee”.

The lotto draw took place amidst a delicious barbecue in the Michael Collins on Sunday evening (31/05/09), and the club would like to thank everyone who came along for their support and participation, from the man with the lucky hands, Mikie Keane, who drew the winning numbers from the hat, to the swan-like captain of the Belgium Ladies football team, Mide Ni Shuilleabhain, who presented her team with their medals, won at the Luxembourg tournament on Saturday. A special mention must be made of Stephanie Dunn, who was presented with her well-deserved Player of the Tournament trophy. The hard-working staff of the Michael Collins must also be acknowledged for keeping everyone fed and watered, in spite of their enthusiasm for herding the masses in from the terrace before our beloved Chairman, Olof Gill, had the opportunity to serenade his people. His rendition of Roy Orbison’s hit song, I Drove All Night, is a current favourite, and when his dulcet Clare Island voice unites with the husky Midleton tones of Ms. Clare Brennan, the united heart of Belgium GAA skips a beat.

Needless to say, while a lotto winner every month is not guaranteed, the success of Sunday’s barbecue can and will be repeated at the end of June. More details on this are forthcoming, as the fundraising committee liaises with the social secretary of the club, Clare Appleby. But there is plenty to be done in the meantime. We urge you to sign up to the lotto online, if you haven’t already done so. The beauty of having a link on the Belgium GAA website is that family and friends in Ireland, Belgium and further afield can become directly involved in the club. So please click HERE, pass it on, and keep your fingers crossed.

For further information on the Belgium GAA club, visit our website or Facebook page.