post

Vienna Gaels Player Profile – Dunja Sustic

As the club starts to plan a slow return back to the pitch, the focus is now on trying to recognise everyone after 3 months of untamed hair growth, lack of sunlight, and varying levels of ‘corona-fitness’. However at least with the Vienna Gaels Player Profiles you are guaranteed to learn more about a few members of the club in great detail. Let’s get to know Dunja.

Name: Dunja Sustic
Age: 31
From: Zagreb, Croatia.

How did you end up in Vienna?
I came to Vienna as an Erasmus student, loved it, and moved here.

Favourite place to eat in Vienna?
Charlie P’s of course – otherwise I would say Spanish tapas; Puerta del Sol.

How did you get involved with Vienna Gaels?
One of the regulars in Charlie P’s introduced me to Irish football.

Dunja at the Pan Euros in 2019

What sport do you play, and what other sport would you try?
I play Gaelic football, mostly defence. I would try handball.

What teammate would you pick to be with in quarantine?
Lucy and Nives, they can handle the craic 🙂

Did you pick up any lockdown hobbies?
Yes I did. Started baking, and now I can make a badass carrot cake.

What is your favourite snack?
Radishes and spring onions

What are you looking forward to this summer?
Going home finally and enjoying holidays on the coast.

What is your secret skill?
I trained professionally at table tennis for 7 years.

Dunja has already made a big impact with the ladies football team since she started playing. We look forward to seeing her in action at the next football competition, and before then, maybe at the next Vienna Gaels table tennis competition…

Vienna Gaels interview with Irish Examiner Sport

Our own Noel Fitzgerald spoke to Colm O’ Connor as part of the Irish Examiner Sport podcast. Although the Austrian government has not explicitly referenced when Gaelic sports are allowed to return, measures related to playing sports and having meetups have been gradually relaxed since the beginning of May. Noel gives an overview of how the situation in Austria is currently progressing, with the unique perspective of being elected as a co-chairperson for the club shortly before a global pandemic. Another big topic to cover – how Vienna Gaels will get back to sport is revealed – the social Sunday puc about* is the first careful step. For for information about getting involved with Vienna Gaels, get in touch!

*puc about, puc around:
To meet up with friends for a casual hit around with a hurley and a sliotar. If you do this in a public park in Vienna, expect a few interested looks!

post

Nizzo Monferrato win first GAA Handball tournament in Vienna

Written by Noel FitzGerald

Six men’s teams and four ladies teams from three clubs descended on the new, purpose-built Vienna handball walls at USZ Hietzing for the 2017 Gaelic Games Europe Handball Championships. Representing Vienna, the Vienna Gaels, Vienna Franky’s, Austro-Irish Underdogs and Hietzing Hammers contested the men’s championship with visiting teams from the Slovak Shamrocks and Nizzo Monferrato, while in the ladies championship, Vienna was represented by the Vienna Valkyries, Vienniese Waltzers and Reliable Shamrocks, taking on Nizzo Monferrato.

In the men’s group A, the Austro-Irish Underdogs  overcame the Hietzing Hammers, with both sides falling to Nizzo Monferrato, while in group B the Vienna Gaels came out on top, pipping group runners-up Vienna Franky’s, with the Slovak Shamrock’s pulling up the rear. That set up a cup semi-final of Nizzo Monferrato against Vienna Franky’s, while on the other side of the draw there an all-Vienna affair with the Austro-Irish Underdogs meeting the Vienna Gaels.

In the ladies competition, after the group stage, the Viennese Waltzers took on the Reliable Shamrocks in the 3rd/4th place playoff, while the Vienna Valkyries looked to upset the odds against top seeds Nizzo Monferrato.

The Waltzers went on to top the Shamrocks to claim the bronze position, while in the final, the ladies from the Italian club were worthy winners with another comprehensive win.

In the men’s Shield competition, the Hietzing Hammers took on the Slovak Shamrocks, with the former claiming the silverware and fifth place overall in the tournament.

In the semi-finals, the Vienna Gaels took a convincing win to face Nizzo Monferrato in the final, who also dispatched of the Vienna Franky’s in convincing fashion. On this occasion it was tournament favourites Nizzo Monferrato who took the win, their third consecutive title.

The competitions were preceded and followed by workshops from GAA handball development officer Darragh Ruane, who kindly gave his weekend to aid in the progression of GAA handball in Europe, before everyone went to club sponsors Charlie P’s for the trophy presentation and tournament dinner.

post

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.

post

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.