Gaels start 2016 campaign with Italian adventure

gaels 2016Following the resounding success of last season, expectations are high in the Vienna Gaels camp ahead of the opening competitive event of 2016.

Rubano, Italy is the venue for the first round of the South/East Europe regional Gaelic football championship this Saturday and 28 players will make the trip south by bus on Friday evening to take on regional friends and rivals for the first time this year.

Seven men’s teams will participate in the opening round, while six compete in the ladies competition.

The men will defend their title against hosts Padova and German duo Berlin and Augsburg in the group phase, with the top two sides progressing to the semi-finals.

As for the ladies, who look to build upon last season’s 3rd place finish, they face Berlin/Prague and Venetian Lionesses ‘B’ in their group and hope to reach the semi-finals with a top two finish.

Both squads look strong heading into the tournament. One notable absence is Simon “The Jägermeister” Deignan, who will turn his attention to striking fear into all opponents from the sideline as coach of both sides on Saturday.

Nevertheless, the men’s backline should be well protected with the likes of Jimmy “The Knife” Cunningham, Diarmuid “The Dragon” O’Riain and Justin “The Terminator” Walker; the names alone will send shivers down the spine of the region’s finest footballers.

Men’s team Ladies team
John Baxter Rebecca Adeline
Jimmy Cunningham Lucy McMahon
Simon Gabriel Aisling Pircher
Darren Gleeson Anna Psintrou
Andreas Magerle Isabelle Wolfsgruber
Bernhard Motal Anita Deignan
Chris O’Reilly Jennifer Nolan
John O’Sullivan Clara Meiners
Cian Scollard Michelle O’Hurley
Philipp Reingruber Ciara Pircher
Barry Guihen Katie Riley
Barry Keeney
Eraldo Peti
Diarmuid O’Riain
Justin Walker

 

Men’s competition Ladies competition
Group A Group B Group A Group B
Vienna Gaels Munich Munich Vienna Gaels
Berlin Bratislava/Prague Bratislava Berlin/Prague
Padova Rovigo/Lazio Venetian Lionesses A Venetian Lionesses B
Augsburg

Sunday is GAA handball day

10 of the Gaels’ secretive society, the “Handball Heroes”, must resist temptation and avoid celebrating with too much vigour on Saturday night, as another challenge awaits.

Sunday morning(!) sees a challenge match against Rovigo, sparked by the epic encounters between the clubs at the GAA handball European club championship last year.

The teams shared the spoils in Nizza Monferrato in November with a 2:1 victory each, but a new-look Gaels selection plan to win bragging rights against their hosts once and for all.

Here’s the team that will take to the court on Sunday:
Chris O’Reilly
Barry Keeney
Jimmy Cunningham
Simon Deignan
Bernhard Motal
Barry Guihan
Katie Riley
Jennifer Nolan
Lucy McMahon
Rebecca Adeline

gaa handball