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Vienna tournament begins with intraclub clash

The teams are confirmed and the schedule is set for the first Gaelic football tournament of the season!

With more than 30 men’s players making themselves available for Vienna Gaels on 8 April, the squad had to be split in two – the Gaels and the Vipers.

And the schedule has thrown out a cracking start to Saturday morning’s play at Rudolf-Tonn Stadion in the form of an all-Vienna clash.

After months of training side by side, the two sides must face-off at 09:00 hrs, before taking on Group A’s remaining contenders: Munich, Prague and Lazio.

Group B consists of four teams with the highlight encounter between Berlin and Warsaw at 11:00 hrs, while Slovak Shamrocks and the combined Augsburg/Zurich/Basel team will try to upset the odds.

The top two sides from each group will contest the semi-finals and the final is scheduled to take place around 15:30 hrs.

Warsaw the team to beat

There’s always a degree of intrigue and uncertainty when Cumann Warszawa’s ladies team come to town. Having won their one and only tournament last year on home soil, they arrive in Vienna with two teams this weekend and both are certain to make an impact.

Vienna’s ladies find themselves in Group B alongside Berlin, Prague and Warsaw B, a perfect test to measure how far they have come since the end of last season.

Defending champions Munich Colmcilles are in Group A alongside Slovak Shamrocks, Warsaw’s A team and a combined team featuring six Vienna players and Zurich.

The top two sides from each group will contest the semi-finals and the final is scheduled to take place around 17:00 hrs.

The full schedule for both men’s and ladies’ competitions can be found below.

Schedule Vienna 8 April 2017

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Anticipation grows for season opener in Vienna

We’re just one week away from the beginning of the Central/Eastern European Gaelic football season and the opening tournament in Vienna on 8 April is shaping up nicely.

Over 200 players representing 10 clubs from Italy, Slovakia, Switzerland, Germany, Poland and Czech Republic as well as the hosts from Austria will compete for the first bragging rights of the season and vital points for the overall championship – which consists of four events between April and July.

52 Vienna Gaels players are expected to play in the tournament and that high number has helped training reach another level over the past weeks as competition to get on to the ‘A’ teams next week has intensified.

Vienna’s men’s team, two-time defending regional champions, are certain to be pushed to their limits by last year’s runners-up Berlin, Warsaw’s big and youthful squad, while Slovak Shamrock’s showed us their team is on the up after a promising second round of the winter league.

Bad news, however, for Augsburg as 2016’s surprise package and arguably the most impressive side in the region appear severely depleted this year and travel with a meagre squad.

The Gaels’ ladies team has a fresh look this season with at least six new players set to play in the tournament.

A home tournament is the perfect introduction to the competition for the team and they will have an opportunity to test themselves against European powerhouses Munich and Warsaw as well as their Slovak neighbours.

The draw for the tournament will be revealed early next week.

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Gaels share the spoils with Slovaks in Winter League

The third edition of the Austro-Slovak Indoor Winter League proved to be another enjoyable and useful start to the season for the Vienna Gaels and neighbours Slovak Shamrocks.

After February’s opening round in Vienna was a one-sided day in favour of the Gaels, the second half of the competition saw the Slovaks fight back on home court.

All three Vienna teams were level on points after the opening round of matches in the men’s competition, but didn’t have it all their own way in Bratislava.

The Slovak sides enjoyed some success after unleashing some new talent, but couldn’t break into the top three on the overall table.

The Yellow Tits – led by the ferocious defence of Justin “Terminator” Walker and unrelenting pace of Bernie “The Body” Motal – were the most consistent side throughout the league and deservedly picked up first place ahead of the Robin Redbreasts, who were thwarted with a draw against Slovakian side Dalilicious.

Men                                 Wins   Draws Losses Points Difference      League Points

Yellow Tits                           6            0              2                       +23                              12

Robin Red Breasts             5             1              2                       +32                              11

Blue-Footed Boobies         4            0              4                        +6                                8

Dailicious                             3            1              4                         -11                               7

Michalksa Brana                1             0              7                        -27                               2

The women’s competition could not have been any closer at the conclusion as both Slovak sides ended the second round level on points, one ahead of Vienna’s Black Mambas.

Only points difference could separate Lienka and Ladybirds at the end of the day and it was Lienka who were more prolific in front of goal and took top spot.

The tight competition is ideal preparation for both clubs as they ready their new squads for the tough women’s regional championship.

Ladies                         Wins   Draws Losses Points Difference      League Points

Lienka                                3            1              3                        7                                   7

Ladybirds                          3            1              3                        0                                   7

Black Mambas                 3            0              4                       -9                                  6

Yellow Cobras                  2            0              1                        2                                   4

Onwards and upwards to the outdoor season

With pre-season behind us, it’s time to look ahead to the big events. Vienna will host the first Central/East regional Gaelic football tournament of the year on 8 April.

Schwechat’s Rudolf-Tonn Stadion will see teams from Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Poland and Slovakia play and a fascinating day of competition is guaranteed.

Expectations are high in the Gaels camp, with great numbers at training and competition for places in the final squads growing fiercer by the week.

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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.