2017 season begins with the AGM and Winter League

A new year means a new GAA season and Vienna Gaels mark it with its AGM on Friday 13 January.

All members are invited to come to Flanagans (downstairs) at 19:30 hrs for a review of 2016 from the committee and give some input on how the club is run.

Reports from various areas of the club will be given, elections for the committe held and new initiatives discussed as the Vienna Gaels prepares for a big 2017.

Winter League

The Austro-Slovak Winter League is back for a third year. Preparation for the new season will begin in February with an entertaining indoor version of Gaelic football in Vienna, followed by a second round in Bratislava a month later.

Round 1: Saturday 4th February-hosted by Vienna Gaels in Sport Union (indoor hall) Altgasse 6, Hietzing, 10am-4pm followed by a dinner/drinks and a darts competition.

Round 2: Saturday 4th March-hosted by Slovak Shamrocks in ŠH Mladosť Trnavská cesta 39, 831 04 Bratislava, Slovakia, 10am-4pm, followed by dinner/drinks in bar in town.

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A year of firsts

2016 was a memorable year for the Vienna Gaels and while it may not have brought a repeat of the previous year’s success, there were many achievements to be proud of.

The past season saw the club travel to an incredible number of tournaments, across all GAA sports, creating history in the process.

Early season fun

After blowing off the cobwebs with the now-traditional indoor Winter League, played in Vienna and Bratislava, April saw the Gaels head south to Rubano in Italy for the opening round of the regional Gaelic football championship.

Both men’s and women’s teams produced fine performances throughout the day en route to the final, before coming up short against German opposition. However, the following day provided one of the many firsts of the year.

Nine players took on Rovigo in a GAA handball challenge match, just the second competitive outing for the club in the sport. Rovigo took the victory after a morning filled with some tense and entertaining matches, which sparked new interest in the sport.

gaels in berlin 1

Retaining regional gold

After an underwhelming visit to Warsaw in Round 2, the final regional tournament in Berlin would decide the overall men’s champion and it came down to the semi-final clash between Vienna and the hosts.

Despite not hitting top gear, Vienna found a way through sheer will and a goal by John Sullivan in the dying seconds to force the match into extra-time. The equalising goal signalled a clear shift in momentum and another goal early in the 2×5 minute extra-time by Diarmuid O’Riain meant that Vienna retained the title for the first time and won it for the third time in four years.

Some bizarre organisational issues left the ladies battling for 5th place on this occasion, but they did it with style and ended their campaign with victories over Venetian Lionesses and Berlin.

Gaels on the world stage

The summer months featured the usual 7-a-side tournaments in Bratislava, won against the hosts and Kuwait Harps, and Wetzelsdorf, which featured the very first hurling match since the code was introduced to the club during the summer, but the big news came from Dublin at the GAA World Games.

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Vienna was represented by three players at the massive event, John Baxter (playing for Europe’s Irish men), Katie Riley (European Ladies native team) and Andreas Magerle (Germany native team).

Baxter’s team just missed out on taking home the Shield with a loss to Australasia in the final, Andreas and the German team finished 8th overall, while Katie’s side took the plate after a win over Middle East.

Hurlers and handballers make history

The Gaelic football Pan-European championship tournaments in Munich and Maastricht saw the ladies earn a silver medal in the Shield competition, losing to France in an entertaining final. There was little success for the men, but it provided a valuable reminder of what is needed to compete at that level and will surely set the tone for 2017.

Hurling and GAA handball grabbed the spotlight in October and November, another first for the club and the GAA in Europe.

The traditionally Gaelic football-focused club broadened its horizons in 2015 with entry into the European Gaelic Handball Championship in Italy and the Gaels went one step further in 2016 with entry into all three European GAA final tournaments.

12 men made the trip to Dresden in Germany to take part in the hurling tournament, joined by Katie Riley, who played camogie for Switzerland.

All credit goes to Rob McMahon and Darren Gilbert, who were instrumental in introducing the sport and developing the team.

Our “handball heroes” rounded off the European season in Italy with Jimmy Cunningham, Katie Riley and captain Michael Organ competing in the men’s and mixed tournaments.

An injury to Michael in the opening match brought an end to hopes of winning gold this year, but the club is set for big things over the next 12 months.

Deignan returns

2016 concluded with a bang thanks to the first Charlie P’s Champions League, which saw over 40 players take part in a four-team mixed (non-contact) friendly competition over the final two training sessions of the year, won by the Golden Eagles.

This marked the return of Simon Deignan to the field, after a lengthy layoff following a shoulder operation. Big thanks to him for leading the club at training, on the sideline and behind the scenes this year.

We look set for a fabulous year on and off the field in 2017 and it all kicks off with the Winter League in February!

Awards

Footballer of the year (male) – John Sullivan
Footballer of the year (female) – Katie Riley
Hurlers of the year – Darren Gilbert and Rob McMahon
Handballer of the year – Michael Organ

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GAA handball heroes set to make history

Vienna Gaels will make history at this weekend’s European GAA Handball Championship.

The Austrian club will be the first to compete in all three European GAA final events this year – Gaelic football, hurling/camogie and GAA handball.

The tournament will take place in Nizza Monferrato, Italy on 26/27 November. Nizza are the current champions and host the competition for the second year in a row.

The team consists of Katie Riley, Jimmy Cunningham and captain Michael Organ, who tells us what the team have to look forward to in Italy:

“The three of us will take part in a mixed competition against a team from Nizza. This competition could be Vienna’s best chance to win their first European gold in handball! Massive shout-out to Jimmy and Katie for representing the club in football, hurling/camogie and handball this year.

“Jimmy and I will play in the men’s B category against Nizza B, UL B and Rovigo. The two best teams from this category will play in the B final and advance to the A category on Sunday.

“Here we could potentially face UL A or Nizza A for a place in the grand final. UL A will be captained by Paudi Quish; he’s ranked 9 in Europe, and the current All-Ireland Intermediate Champion. Nizza A, the current European Champions, will by lead by Simone Corsi, ranked 23 in Europe.

“We have a fighting chance in the B category so we’ll have to wait and see what happens Saturday night. Big thanks to everyone that’s trained during the year and all the support from around the club. 2016 has been a great year for handball in Vienna and hopefully we’ll have something to show for it at the end of the weekend.”

Best of luck to our ‘handball heroes’ who are aiming to finish Vienna Gaels’ 2016 season with a flourish.

Gaels gear up for the Charlie P’s GAA Champions League

The Vienna Gaels’ 2016 season will conclude with a bang with the Charlie P’s GAA Champions League on 24 and 31 October.

Over 40 players will take part in a four-team mixed (non-contact) friendly competition, which will see each team face each other twice in 10-minute matches.

The teams have been evenly matched, thanks to the efforts of Simon Deignan, and we can look forward to two evenings of fantastic competition – under the watchful eye of referee Cian Scollard.

Are you an eagle, panther, shark or bull? Check out the teams below:

 
Golden Eagles  
Niall  
Rob  
Barry  
Luc  
Trent  
Pablo  
Darren Gleeson  
  Ciara – only 1st
  Rita – only 1st
Jany  
 
Black Panthers  
Simon  
Rhys  
Ryan  
Jimmy  
Andreas  
Stephen  
  Darren Gil only 1st
  Laura – only 1st
Isabelle  
Kathrin  
Great White Sharks  
Chris  
Dylan  
Tony  
Justin  
Brendan  
Mike  
  Bernie – only 1st
  Mathew – only 1st
  Clara – only 1st
Rebecca – only 2nd  
Katie  
Red Bulls  
Baxter  
Eraldo  
Diarmuid  
Ray  
Filip  
Kagan  
  Harald – only 1st
  Noelanie – only 1st
Anna  
Anita – only 2nd  
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Vienna make hurling & camogie bow in Dresden

This weekend’s European Hurling & Camogie Championship Finals will be played by Vienna Gaels for the very first time.

The traditionally Gaelic football-focused club broadened its horizons last year with entry into the European Gaelic Handball Championship in Italy and this year sees the Gaels go one step further with entry into all three European GAA final tournaments. Continue reading