Vienna Gaels will be sending full men’s and women’s teams to the Netherlands this weekend (21 October) for the Pan-European Gaelic football championship.
The business end of the 2017 season began on a bright note with the club’s hurlers winning their first competitive match and eventually their first trophy at the Cultech European hurling and camogie championship in Dresden last month, bouncing back from two group phase defeats to win the plate competition.
Since then, full focus has been on the big ball and putting together two strong sides for a tough task in Maastricht.
Improving on 2016
Senior football awaits the men after dominating the Central/East regional championship this summer. The Gaels have been drawn alongside Rennes (France) and A Coruna (Spain) in Group C of the 12-team competition.
After winning the intermediate title in 2013 and 2016, last year’s outing was hugely disappointing for the ambitious team, but a large increase in training recently means that a lack of fitness is no excuse this time around.
Nine teams will compete in the women’s shield competition this year, which will feature 2016 runners-up Vienna.
A number of the squad’s established players are unable to travel this weekend, but there are some exciting additions to the team which will face Frankfurt and a Rome/Prague/Moscow amalgamation in Group C.
Vienna the new home of GAA handball in Europe
For the third year in a row, the club’s European adventure will extend to November, for the GAA handball team championship. However, after two years of travelling to Italy, Vienna will play host to the competition this year.
Thanks to the support provided by the GAA and the Department of Foreign Affairs, the GAA handball section of the club built two one-wall handball courts at USZ Hietzing during the summer and has been used on a regular basis for training ever since.
The event will take place on 18 November and all European clubs are invited to take part in, regardless of experience.
Information on the sport and taking part can be found here: Vienna Gaels – European One-Wall Handball Championships_Info.