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Vienna Gaels in the news once again – ahead of the curve

Vienna Gaels’ reputation in Ireland is once again strengthened by our feature in this week’s Northern Standard newspaper. The Northern Standard is available as an ePaper @ northernstandard.ie.

Co-chairperson Noel Fitzgerald was interviewed by the paper to highlight Vienna Gaels and our post-lockdown measures. As Austria was one of the countries to go into an early lockdown, it means we are also coming out of lockdown before other countries. Our position means that we can share our successes as well as our challenges with others.

Another article in the same paper focuses on the journey of the Vienna Gaels GAA club, with an interview of one of the club founders, Des Reilly. Des is one of the club’s active members, from helping newer players, becoming one of the most prominent referees within Gaelic Games Europe, as well as representing his native Monaghan.

This follows on from Vienna Gael’s recent feature in the Irish Examiner – again the current Covid-19 situation was the contextual backdrop for the interview.

Vienna Gaels puc about as featured in the Irish Examiner

We are always happy to chat to media, please get in touch with Vienna Gaels if you would like to do a feature or interview.

Thanks to the Northern Standard and the writer of the original articles; Colm Shalvey.
Thanks to the Irish Examiner and the interviewer Colm O’ Connor.
Thanks to Ray Abery for the photographs.

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Vienna Gaels triumphant return to training – numbers exceed all expectations

Vienna Gaels have returned to training, with Monday night’s numbers (38) exceeding those prior to the pandemic. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, after all. On Monday we decided to use our regular Gaelic football training pitch for a combined hurling/camogie training, aimed at all experience levels. The result was a massive turnout from complete beginners to advanced players. The men’s hurling team have successfully grown over the last few years, and on Monday we saw a huge level of interest in camogie, based on the crowd of women that turned up.

Creating an active and varied training session while still adhering to the current social distancing restrictions has been a challenge that individuals within the club have risen to. Credit is due to the coaches and other people who have helped out, including Fiona Fleming, Kilian Smith, Anne Murray, Noel Fitzgerald, Stephen Walsh, and Darren Gilbert.

Following the regulations is also a whole club effort, and Vienna Gaels members have really come together as a community. The measures in place on Monday were sent out to club members in advance, and included the following: arrive in sports clothes, disinfect hands before playing, do not share equipment, respect 2 metres distance between players, train within your smaller group, respect general hygiene rules, and avoid travelling to or from training in large groups. These measures were put together with the aim of having clear guidance for club members, and will be updated as the situation changes.

Socially-distanced beginners group warm-up

Every Sunday there is a casual puc about in Prater open to everyone, hope to see everyone there and at the next hurling/camogie training.

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All eyes on Maastricht as footballers aim to continue European success

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.

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Hurlers head to Dresden hunting first official victories

13 Vienna Gaels make the trip to Dresden, a German city known for being a hotbed for hipsters – demonstrated by the fact it has a hurling-only GAA club, for the final round of the Cultec European Hurling & Camogie championship on Saturday 30 September.

A group of 12 men and one woman (Katie Riley) represent the Gaels this weekend, just three weeks after their first tournament of the season was called off in Den Haag.

The wet weather put off three of the nine teams that day, but the six teams which braved the weather played an unofficial tournament and Vienna reached the final of it.

Buoyed by that positive performance, expectations are higher for this weekend than they were ahead of the previous round, when glorious hurling leader Darren Gilbert said he hoped “to win at least one match and come home with as few broken hurls and bones as possible.”

The 12-team men’s tournament sees Vienna placed in a group alongside Stuttgart and top seeds Luxembourg.

First place in each group goes to the cup semi-finals, while second enters the shield. Although confidence is high, beating a Luxembourg team with experience of playing at the highest level will be a huge task for a Gaels squad still in search of a first competitive victory in just their second-ever event.

Katie will compete in the camogie championship for the second year running, as part of the Setanta Berlin/Holland amalgamation, as Vienna continues to build a camogie team of its own.

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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