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Vienna Gaels take the field for 2018 Austro-Slovak Winter League

The Vienna Gaels men’s and ladies football teams return to action this February in the 2018 installment of the Austro-Slovak winter league. In 2017 the Vienna yellow men’s team and the Lienka ladies of the Slovak Shamrocks took home the honours, but who will claim them this year?

What is indoor gaelic football?

Played on a basketball-size indoor court with six players per team, the regular rules of gaelic football preside with a few exceptions. Scoring must be from within the opponent’s half but not within the opposition goalkeeper’s area, and rolling substitutes are allowed. A great way to spend your Saturday, why not give it a go?!

When and where?

The Vienna round is up first, taking place from 9 am at SportUnion Heitzing, Altgasse 6, 1130 Wien. Following the football, there will be an introductory handball session and some inter-club handball games between the Vienna Gaels and Slovak Shamrocks. Afterwards, all taking part will move into the city centre where they will watch Ireland’s opening round of the Six Nations tournament. Round two of the league takes place on the 24th of February in Bratislava.

Can I take part? Can I bring a friend?

Yes and yes! All who would like to take part and try Gaelic football for the first time, or who would like to reignite their GAA careers in the Austrian capital, are more than welcome to take part. Contact us via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or by e-mail at secretary.vienna.europe@gaa.ie.

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Vienna Gaels plan for 2018 and beyond at AGM

The membership of the Vienna Gaels gathered for the 2018 Annual General Meeting on Thursday last, the 18th of January at Flanagan’s. Chaired by outgoing Chairperson Simon Deignan, lots of interesting discussions were had by the membership and a new committee was elected for 2018.

Fresh faces for 2018

After several years of service to the club, Simon Deignan, Bernie Motal, Darren Gleeson and Chris O’ Reilly stepped down from their posts of Chairperson,Health/Wellbeing Officer, Secretary and PRO, respectively. The club owes a huge debt of gratitude to all for their fantastic work for the club. In their place, Jimmy ‘The Knife’ Cunningham was promoted to the post of Chairperson, with Anna Psintrou filling the vacated position of Vice Treasurer. Katie Riley was promoted to the vacant Secretary position, with Cian Scollard taking the role of Vice Secretary. Anita Deignan is staying on as Treasurer, Noel Fitzgerald replaced Chris O’ Reilly as PRO, while finally Clara Meiners replaced ‘The Body’ Motal as Health and Wellbeing Officer.

Vienna Gaels Committee 2018

  • Jimmy Cunningham – Chairperson
  • Anita Deignan – Treasurer
  • Anna Psintrou – Vice Treasurer
  • Katie Riley – Secretary
  • Cian Scollard – Vice Secretary
  • Noel Fitzgerald – Public Relations Officer
  • Clara Meiners – Health and Wellbeing Officer

Youth Committee established

With the Irish community in Vienna expanding more and more every year, that has lead to a number of junior Gaels keen to follow in their parents footsteps. On the heels of discussions on this topic, a youth committee has been established with the aim of organising summer sessions of Gaelic football and hurling for the young Irish population of Vienna. It will be headed up by Barry Lunn and Diarmuid O’ Riain. Stay tuned over the coming months for more details.

Progressive Dinner 2018

The ever-successful Vienna Gaels Progressive Dinner returns for the fourth installment on March 3rd. Pair up with a friend for an evening of socialising and food. Kicking off at 18:00, you will attend three houses where you will share a three course dinner at three different addresses. There are 6 people at each meal, three groups of two. You stay with your partner for the evening and will meet two different couples at each course. One of the courses will be served by you and your partner at your home, plus your 4 guests. All participants then meet up for a drink afterwards.

Cost is €30 per person (discount available, please contact the club). You will get a full three-course meal and accompanying drinks for this money, plus every penny goes to the club!

Sign up here to take part:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7B8CWT9

Show your pride in the club – Vienna Gaels gear for sale!

Club hoodies (42 euro) and tracksuit tops (40 euro) are currently for sale. The perfect gift! Children’s sizes also available, please contact the club at secretary.vienna.europe@gaa.ie to order.
 

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Nizzo Monferrato win first GAA Handball tournament in Vienna

Written by Noel FitzGerald

Six men’s teams and four ladies teams from three clubs descended on the new, purpose-built Vienna handball walls at USZ Hietzing for the 2017 Gaelic Games Europe Handball Championships. Representing Vienna, the Vienna Gaels, Vienna Franky’s, Austro-Irish Underdogs and Hietzing Hammers contested the men’s championship with visiting teams from the Slovak Shamrocks and Nizzo Monferrato, while in the ladies championship, Vienna was represented by the Vienna Valkyries, Vienniese Waltzers and Reliable Shamrocks, taking on Nizzo Monferrato.

In the men’s group A, the Austro-Irish Underdogs  overcame the Hietzing Hammers, with both sides falling to Nizzo Monferrato, while in group B the Vienna Gaels came out on top, pipping group runners-up Vienna Franky’s, with the Slovak Shamrock’s pulling up the rear. That set up a cup semi-final of Nizzo Monferrato against Vienna Franky’s, while on the other side of the draw there an all-Vienna affair with the Austro-Irish Underdogs meeting the Vienna Gaels.

In the ladies competition, after the group stage, the Viennese Waltzers took on the Reliable Shamrocks in the 3rd/4th place playoff, while the Vienna Valkyries looked to upset the odds against top seeds Nizzo Monferrato.

The Waltzers went on to top the Shamrocks to claim the bronze position, while in the final, the ladies from the Italian club were worthy winners with another comprehensive win.

In the men’s Shield competition, the Hietzing Hammers took on the Slovak Shamrocks, with the former claiming the silverware and fifth place overall in the tournament.

In the semi-finals, the Vienna Gaels took a convincing win to face Nizzo Monferrato in the final, who also dispatched of the Vienna Franky’s in convincing fashion. On this occasion it was tournament favourites Nizzo Monferrato who took the win, their third consecutive title.

The competitions were preceded and followed by workshops from GAA handball development officer Darragh Ruane, who kindly gave his weekend to aid in the progression of GAA handball in Europe, before everyone went to club sponsors Charlie P’s for the trophy presentation and tournament dinner.

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Vienna ready to host first GAA handball tournament

USZ Hietzing will host the third edition of the GAA handball European team championship on Saturday 18 November, the first time the event takes place in Vienna.

In fact, it’s the first time any GAA handball tournament takes place in Vienna, after the Gaels build two walls specifically for the sport earlier this year, thanks to funding from the Global Games Development Fund.

27 players, representing 10 teams from Austria, Slovakia and Italy will take part in the tournament, the largest field in the event’s short history.

Hosts of the previous two editions and defending champions Nizza Monferrato will be considered favourites to claim both men’s and women’s titles, but the emergence of new talent and formal training over the past few months mean Vienna are excited to challenge the Italians.

Six men’s teams and four women’s teams will take part in the competition, which is scheduled to take place at 10:00-15:30 hrs. Each match will consist of two singles and a doubles game, each of which is up to 15 points, and the points from all three games are aggregated to make up the final score, which is sure to make every game and point count.

As an added bonus for all participants, GAA handball tutor Darragh Ruane will be travelling from Ireland to host two workshops on the day, one at 09-10:00 hrs on the rules and basic handball play for anyone interested in taking up the sport and another after the final matches (15:30-17:00 hrs) on training and coaching, before everyone heads to club sponsors Charlie P’s for the presentation and after-party.

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Gaels reach first senior final in Maastricht

There was no season-ending trophy for Vienna’s Gaelic footballers, but the men’s team showed they belong with the big boys in Europe by reaching the ‘Senior B’ final at the ‘Croke Park Hotel’ Pan-European Championship in Maastricht, Netherlands.

It was a slow start for the men against Rennes and although Vienna stayed in touch throughout, some unnecessary goals proved to be the difference as Rennes ran out 3-6 to 2-2 winners.

With a place in the ‘A’ semi-finals now out of reach, the Gaels were left to fight for a spot in the ‘B’ grade against A Coruna. Vienna were in control throughout, but had to wait until the second half to pull clear with a goal from Stephen Walsh alongside a barrage of points from Niall Colleran and John Baxter. A 1-8 to 2-1 win set up a semi-final date with last year’s finalists Jersey.

Tough day for new-look ladies

The ladies team underwent a bit of a generational change for this event, with a number of young and brand new players playing their first competitive tournament for Vienna.

An agonisingly close defeat to Frankfurt, 0-6 to 1-2, was the closest the Gaels came to a victory, losing their other group game to eventual shield winners Lazio/Prague/Moscow and play-off matches against Belgium and Luxembourg.

It was not the day the ladies would have hoped for, but there were plenty of positives for the new-look team to take as they look forward to the 2018 season.

Injuries take their toll

An injury to Simon Deignan in the warm up was not ideal preparation for the men’s semi-final against Jersey, but they put it to one side and swept past the islanders in perhaps their finest performance of the season, winning 1-12 to 2-4.

The final minutes of the semi-final saw Niall Colleran, one of the most influential players of the day, go down with an ankle injury and he was ruled out for the final against Madrid.

Despite a battling performance, Vienna couldn’t deal with the superior Spanish side in the final and Madrid deservedly won the ‘Senior B’ title 1-13 to 0-5.

Vienna the new home of GAA handball in Europe

For the third year in a row, the club’s European adventure will extend to November, for the GAA handball team championship. However, after two years of travelling to Italy, Vienna will play host to the competition this year.

Thanks to the support provided by the GAA and the Department of Foreign Affairs, the GAA handball section of the club built two one-wall handball courts at USZ Hietzing during the summer and has been used on a regular basis for training ever since.

The event will take place on 18 November and all European clubs are invited to take part in, regardless of experience.

Information on the sport and taking part can be found here: Vienna Gaels – European One-Wall Handball Championships_Info.