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
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!