The Vienna Gaels have never been short on characters, and the class of 2018 are no different. Here, we profile 2017 men’s and ladies footballers of the year, Alan McKenna and Katie Riley!
Name: Alan McKenna
From: Drogheda, Co. Louth
Occupation: Land Surveyor
Most memorable trip with the Vienna Gaels? The trip to Maastricht, Holland for the Pan Euros last year. Good football, great night out, even the odd midnight sauna trip! Great craic from start to finish.
Favourite part of living in Austria? High standard of living, it’s only a couple of hours to Ireland and you can easily visit all the surrounding countries for weekend getaways.
Who is the best and worst dresser in your squad? Simon Deignan usually looks pretty sharp on nights out. Barry Guihen and his strange t-shirt collection has some work to do.
What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten? I once tried a bit of dog in Hanoi, Vietnam. Also ate scorpion and snake in Bangkok.
First sporting hero? Roy Keane.
Name three things that are always in your fridge? Sparkling water, Chocolate and the makings of a meat feast sandwich!
One team-mate you’d have in your corner in tag-team MMA? I think Barry the Brawler is definitely the man for this job!
Who is the prankster in the squad? Maybe not a prankster but Simon Deignan is definitely the joker of the club!
What’s the best show on TV? At the moment Derry Girls. Really funny.
Who would you like to be stranded on a desert island with? My wonderful girlfriend Victoria!
Who’s the most famous person you’ve met? I got a photo with Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh in Croke Park a few years ago. He was honoured!
Who is the most under-rated Vienna Gael? Barry Guihen, a gentleman on and off the field.
Your last meal before training and first food afterwards? Fruit before and again after, maybe washed down with a sneaky pint.
Best advice you’ve ever received? College is third level education, travelling is fourth level education, so try to travel as much as possible.
Best thing about being a Vienna Gael? The club is full of great people, both for playing sports and social events.
Worst thing about being a Vienna Gael? At the moment, Bernie the Body’s preseason training!
Name: Katie Riley
From: Amsterdam, NY
Occupation: Science Teacher
Funniest (PG) story from your time with the Vienna Gaels? I’d have to say all my innocent sayings that always turn out to be something not so innocent. Especially if you do something stupid like ask the WhatsApp group of more than eighty people if anyone is up for the ‘night ride’ on your first week in the group.
Most memorable trip with the Vienna Gaels? There was a REALLY long bus ride to and from Padova/Rovigo. We entertained ourselves with the game HeadsUp and I’ve needed seen a better ski jumping impression than Jimmy’s impression on that trip.
First sporting hero? Mia Hamm, I used to play soccer when I was a kid before I got to high school and took up volleyball.
Name three things that are always in your fridge? Butter, Milk, Cheese. I really like my dairy.
One team-mate you’d have in your corner in tag-team MMA? Simon Deignan, I’ve been told he has a blackbelt and that would come in handy here.
Who is the best and worst dresser in your squad? Ivanka I would have to say is the best dressed, she always has the latest high fashions (which she pulls off for bargain prices) and I would have to say I could be the worst dressed, I really like to be comfortable and can’t say no to a nice woolly sweater or a warm flannel shirt or a puffy vest. None of that would fly at NY Fashion Week.
Who is the prankster in the squad? Jen ‘Prank Sinatra’ Nolan has been know to pull a few fast ones on us. It’s always a surprise when she does.
Any football superstitions? I always like to wear the #3 jersey. I’ve had the number since I was playing volleyball in high school. Apparently it used to be Rebecca’s number until I showed up and stole it from her.
Last time you cried? The other night watching Grey’s Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes knows how to write a tear jerker.
Your last meal before training and first food afterwards? Before training, a peanut butter and cheddar cheese sandwich. After training, another peanut butter and cheddar cheese sandwich.
Who would you like to be stranded on a desert island with? I’ve watched enough Gilligan’s Island to know that someone like the Professor comes in handy so I would have to say my boyfriend Tim, since he is an engineer. I think we would be able to survive and make it out of there.
Who is the most under-rated Vienna Gael? Isabelle Wolfsgruber. She has power, great legs and a defense like a brick wall.
Best advice you ever got? My Uncle Pudge has always reminded me that rule number one, don’t sweat the small stuff. Rule number two, it’s all small stuff.
Footballer who was your childhood hero? I didn’t know Gaelic football existed when I was child.
Best thing about being a Vienna Gael? The camaraderie.
Describe yourself in three words? Bubbly, Loyal, Nerd!