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First-ever Vienna Gaels Cúl Camp a resounding success

Wanted to thank you again for a wonderful camp over the weekend. My girls are already asking when the next puck around will be!

Our kids had a great time today! Thank you to all the volunteers who helped! You’ve put on a great camp.

We did it. What a treat!

Just some of the wonderful praise showered on our sixteen-strong group of volunteers who gave their weekends and much more towards ensuring an enjoyable first-ever Vienna Gaels Cúl Camp could be run smoothly on the 2nd and 3rd of June, kindly sponsored by the Embassy of Ireland, Austria and with equipment kindly provided by CLG Na Fianna, Co. Dublin.

Kids enjoy learning GAA skills

Participants hailed from Vienna, Bratislava and some even flew in for the weekend from Ireland. They were introduced to the fundamentals of the GAA sports of Gaelic Football, Hurling and Rounders through some fun introductory drills by teams of Vienna Gaels volunteers. Each participant received their lunch on both days and some Cúl Camp gear for their troubles, along with some lovely certificates, documenting their participation in the camp. The weekend wrapped up with the beginning of a “Participants v Parents” Gaelic Football match tradition, which the children won thanks to their newly developed skills!

Gaels look to the future as demand for childrens GAA increases

Given the enjoyment clear on the (exhausted!) faces of both camp participants and volunteers, it’s fair to say that the camp was a resounding success. The next big goal for the Vienna Gaels youth committee will be the implementation of a regular childrens GAA sessions. For now, the next big family event for the Gaels will be the annual summer party, due to take place in mid-August. All participants and parents who took part in the Cúl Camp are encouraged to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, while club gear can be ordered for parents and children alike, please enquire at committee@gaavienna.at!

World Cup Sweepstakes Fundraiser

The Vienna Gaels would also like to highlight our World Cup Sweepstakes fundraiser, with all profits made going directly towards the running of the club. Participants will be given two teams at random, one from the top 16 teams and one from the bottom. The winning team will win their owner €50, runner up will win €20, third place will win €10, as will last place. To take part costs €10, with all proceeds after the winnings going towards the club. Please contact committee members (Jimmy, Anita, Clara, Katie, Cian, Anna or Noel) to enter or e-mail us at committee@gaavienna.at , closing date for entry is kickoff for the Russia-Saudi Arabia game on Thursday the 14th of June.

 

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Excitement rises as Vienna Gaels host first Cúl Camp

Twenty nine children and a legion of adult volunteers descend on Vienna Gaels headquarters at Stadion this weekend for the first ever Vienna Gaels Cúl Camp, kindly supported by the Embassy of Ireland, Austria.

Excitement rising

Check in for participants starts at 09:30 on Saturday the 2nd of June at the Vienna Gaels training field at Meireiestrasse 33, 1020 Wien, with activities kicking off at 10:00 and lasting until 15:00 on both Saturday the 2nd and Sunday the 3rd of June. Activities will include the fundamentals of GAA sports Gaelic Football, Hurling and Rounders. For the vast majority of participants, who are hailing from a combination of Ireland, Austria and Slovakia and ranging in ages from four to twelve, this will be their first exposure to Gaelic Games. The weekend will wrap up on Sunday afternoon with the much-anticipated Parents vs Children Gaelic Football match!

Gaels assemble army of GAA volunteers

The hosting of such an event of course cannot happen without the tireless energy of volunteers. As such, the Gaels have mustered sixteen volunteers, who will run the various exercises for the participants, prepare lunches, organise the weekend activities and do whatever else is needed to ensure the weekend runs smoothly and that everyone has a fantastic, in some cases first, experience of Gaelic Games. For anyone else who’d like to get involved, please feel free to come along and observe the madness unfold at any stage of the two days! To stay updated on proceedings, please keep an eye on our Vienna Gaels WhatsApp group, FacebookInstagram and Twitter!

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Vienna Gaels footballers head to Bratislava aiming for Slovak superiority

Following the success of our hurling team two weeks ago, it’s an early start this Saturday for the Vienna Gaels as they rise to make the short trip to Bratislava in time for round two of the Central/Eastern European Gaelic Football Championship, hosted by the Slovak Shamrocks at TJ Malinovo Prípravka, Športová 1, 900 45 Malinovo, Slovakia. Following a successful opening round where the ladies side placed sixth and the men’s team finished as runners up, the Gaels are aiming to better those achievements in the Slovakian capital.

Vienna Gaels ladies bolster their numbers as they look to improve placing

The Vienna Gaelettes endured a bit of a tough time at round one of the championship in Rome, as low numbers and questionable refereeing saw them on the losing side of two key games, which could have placed them much higher in the table. They find themselves in group one along with Berlin GAA and the Slovak Shamrocks this time around, with the top two sides qualifying for the semi-finals, while third place fights it out for fifth place. This is undoubtedly a tough group, as the Berlin ladies are top seeds for this round of the tournament due to their third place finish in Rome, while the Slovak Ladybirds will not only be out for revenge for their loss to the Vienna ladies in Rome, but will also be sure to have their strongest side out for their home tournament. For their part, Bainisteoir Noel Fitzgerald and Maor Foirne Tony Murphy are bringing ten ladies to Bratislava for this tournament, a squad which has had an injection of new blood, they will be sure to have some tricks up their sleeves for achieving success.

Vienna Gaels men’s team aim for gold after tasting silver in Rome

The Vienna Gaels men recovered well in Rome after a slow start where they scraped past Lazio and lost to Cumann Warszawa in the group stage, before winning three games on the trot to make the final, only to run out of gas against the young Warsaw side. This time round they’ll be looking to do one better as they again bring an almost-full complement of players to the Slovakian capital. They also find themselves in group one, as they face the Prague Hibernians and a combination side of Lazio, Padova and Zurich. The Gaels have faced all of these sides in round one of the championship bar Padova, and they came out the right way of each encounter, they’ll be confident of repeating those feats. As with the ladies, first and second place finishes will guarantee semi-final slots for the tournament, where perennial rivals Munich and Berlin may be lurking after their third and fourth place finishes in Rome.

Follow the results as they happen

With a massive 30 Gaels club members partaking in the tournament along with another dozen or so friends and family members, coverage of this round will not be in short supply. Follow our travails through the day via our Vienna Gaels WhatsApp group, our Facebook (facebook.com/viennagaelsgaa), Twitter (twitter.com/viennagaelsgaa) and Instagram (instagram.com/viennagaelsgaa).

 

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Hurlers claim Dresden Shield title in dramatic fashion

The Vienna Gaels hurling team recorded their best day out to date with a rousing day’s performance in Dresden at round one of the Cultec European Hurling and Camogie Championship 2018. Leading into the day as one of the lowest seeds in the ten team tournament, the odds were stacked against them for claiming silverware, however prevail they did. Here’s our report from chief benchwarmer for the day, Noel Fitzgerald.

Group stage: Fast start against Darmstadt before a Dresden and Setanta slump

The Gaels began the day as one of the lowest seeds, which meant that in order to make the semi-finals for the much coveted shield trophy, they needed to win at least two games, with winning three earning them a lower seeded opponent in the semi-finals. They started well, disposing of Darmstadt with a 5-7 to 0-8 rout, before Dresden posed them bigger problems in the second game of the day. A poor first half saw them trailing by 0-3 to 0-0, before a fightback in the second half led by Peter Mongey brought them back in touch. With the Gaels trailing by three late into the second half, a Noel Fitzgerald goal tied the sides only to be cancelled out by a Dresden goal, which in turn was cancelled out by a Peter Mongey three-pointer. The Gaels were then controversially disallowed a Diarmuid O’Riain goal, and with the final whistle blown the controversy continued as Dresden were given a one-point victory, much to the dismay of the Vienna Gaels, who had believed the scoreline was a draw. A hangover from the controversy seemed to continue into the final group game against Setanta Berlin, as two early goals left the Gaels with a six point mountain to climb to make their way into the shield semi-finals. Fight back they did however, and they came out the other side by the skins of their teeth with a one point victory, 2-7 to 3-3, a trend which would continue for the day.

Shield semi-finals: Gaels upset old footballing rivals Berlin

Their two wins gave them a second place finish in group C, and plotted them against top seeded Berlin GAA, who were dropping down from group A to compete for the shield. Rank underdogs, the Gaels went out and played aggressively, the combination of their tigerish play and Peter Mongey’s long-range point scoring giving them a 0-3 to 0-0 lead at half time. As Berlin began chipping away at the Gaels lead, they were dealt a hammer blow as a free was unsuspectingly hammered at a poorly guarded goal and the Gaels got their key three pointer. A quick change in tactics then aided the Gaels in holding out with the lead, as Berlin struggled with long balls down on their square, big men such as Darren Gleeson and Ray Abery preventing fast ball out from their defence and slowing down their play. In the end goalkeeper Tom Birch was the hero as his full-stretch diving stop turned a Berlin goal effort around the posts and the Gaels claimed their first upset of the day, with a 1-7 to 1-6 win.

Shield final: Gaels claim silverware as Earls of Leuven and Hamburg are toppled

The Gaels took their tigerish, aggressive play into the final against the combination side of the Earls of Leuven and Hamburg GAA, again taking the lead early, however the Earls were more able to cope with the Vienna vanguard, with two star players in particular causing the Gaels headaches. Vienna took the slimmest of one point leads into half-time and, revved up by the words of manager Kilian Smith coming in to the second half, won a free on the edge of the square. The men in yellow and red expected Peter Mongey to go for goal and manned the goal line, however it didn’t matter as a piledriver of a shot was deflected off the goalkeeper’s hurl and into the net. The Earls would respond by tearing up the field and claiming a goal of their own, to leave a cliffhanger of a game finale. Vienna resorted to the same tactics that closed out their second half against Berlin, sending in forwards Rob McMahon and Noel Fitzgerald to cause trouble on the opposition square, but with the Gaels leading by one, a free was awarded to the Earls on the edge of the square. Sensing a terrible case of déjà vu, the Gaels lined as many men as they could on their goal line and the Earls popped the free over the bar, leveling the sides for what would be the last time. The hero for the Gaels would then arise as a Peter Mongey sideline cut skidded past intended target Diarmuid O’Riain and found its way to the well-refreshed Rob McMahon, who dinked left, dinked right and scraped the winner over the bar, to much delirium on the sideline. The Gaels held out for a 1-6 to 1-5 win and claimed a famous victory.

First ever medals for the hurlers as Peter Mongey wins ‘Shield player of the tournament’ gong

At that night’s awards ceremony held in Dresden city centre, the Gaels would collect their first medals of 2018 and the hurlers first medals in history, as Peter Mongey would win their first hurling ‘Player of the tournament’ award. Traditionally a football club, these are tremendous achievements for the hurling side of the club who have been regularly training through the winter, spring and now into the summer.

Hurling eyes turn towards Berlin as footballers head to Bratislava

The hurling squad now turn their eyes toward round two of the Cultec European Hurling and Camogie Championships in Berlin on June 16th, aiming for a full squad to attend once again, however next up for the club is round two of the Central/Eastern European Gaelic Football Championships in Bratislava on May 26th. Watch this space for a preview for that tournament next week as the Gaels go for gold once again!

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Hurlers head for Dresden as 2018 story begins

All signs point for Dresden this weekend as the Vienna Gaels hurling team take part in round one of the Cultec European Camogie & Hurling Championship 2018. Last year was the year where hurling really kicked off in the Austrian capital, with the Gaels achievements including taking part in the first ever hurling game to take place on Slovakian soil, claiming their first wins as they reached the final of the Den Haag round of the championship, and finally winning their first trophy, with the plate title claimed in Dresden.

Momentum has continued well into 2018, as winter training at our football base at Stadion kept the hurling itch scratched, and the recruitment of Peter Mongey as coach for the squad has brought intense training sessions, with a focus on player development and enjoyment of the game, leading to an increase in recruitment. With round one of the championship on the horizon this Saturday, team manager Kilian Smith brings a twelve-strong squad to Dresden, including debutantes Matthew Dane, Alan McKenna and Peter Mongey. Noel Fitzgerald brought his dictaphone out to the last Wednesday night training session before the big trip for some team news and updates on the ground.

Kilian Smith – Manager

“Obviously with the plate from last year’s successful ‘quest for tupperware’ now nestled nicely in the kitchen cupboard, this year we’re targeting the coveted Cultec European Camogie & Hurling Championship shield. I have a sword in the living room that’ll go very well with it.”

Jimmy “The Knife” Cunningham

“My enthusiasm for this tournament is absolutely through the roof Noel. I’m delighted you gave me the chance to give this interview. Let this be a warning to anyone in my way on Saturday, I ain’t no butter knife!”

Tom “Big Bás” Birch

Goalkeepers are a mad bunch by nature, and Tom Birch has been angry for the last three weeks, which was the last time someone asked for a whiskey when he offered them a beer. No better man to have between the sticks!

Peter “Coach” Mongey

“The lads have really come on in spades with the effort and training they’ve been putting in this year. They even know how to hold a hurley the right way around now.”

‘Radler’ Ray Abery

Radler Ray has taken the hurling season very seriously this year, so much so that he has now given up drinking beer and only drinks the lemony goodness of radler. “Better than milk, lads!”

Alan “Chili” McKenna

“My girlfriend is busy the entire weekend so she said to leave her alone. What better way to pass the time than conjuring up some lovely hurling?”

It’s all shaping up to be one hell of a weekend of hurling. Stay updated on how the team does in Dresden by following our Twitter account (twitter.com/viennagaelsgaa), Facebook page (facebook.com/viennagaelsgaa), Instagram (instagram.com/viennagaelsgaa) and our Vienna Gaels Whatsapp group!