It’s a new week in Vienna – businesses are opening, training is returning, and most importantly – another player profile is here for you to read! Let’s get to know Ray Abery.
Name: Ray Abery
Where have you lived?
I grew up in Portugal, studied in Glasgow, lived for a few months in the Netherlands and Belgium, and now I’m here in Austria.
What’s your occupation?
Naval Architect, one of not so many in Austria.
How did you end up in Vienna?
I finished my degree ad followed my love for boats here.
Do you speak any other languages? Teach us a phrase.
Aye, I speak German and Portuguese fluently. There is this Portuguese saying; “Nasceste com o rabo virado para a lua” and you’d say it to someone lazy but fortuitous, similar to always landing on one’s feet. It translates to “Born with your bum facing the moon.”
What restaurant do you recommend in Vienna?
Is this for Tripadvisor? In my opinion, the Martinigansl at “Carmen und Ich” before Christmas trumps all.
Who brought you to Vienna Gaels?
That would have to be Barry Guihen- We met at the pub quiz he used to moderate at the Highlander on Garnisongasse. “You should try hurling, you’ll pick it up in no time,” he said. A few years later and I’m still at the level of a hockey player holding a hurley.
What sports do you play?
I’ve enjoyed playing hurling as a defender. And I play and coach field hockey at SV Arminen.
How have you found the lockdown? Did you pick up any new hobbies?
It was a necessary evil I guess, but the morning commute was a dream with so little traffic. My girlfriend and I have been discovering the surrounding nature by bike and on foot, which has been so fun. Lobau, Bisamberg, and the Wienerwald are all scenic and readily accessible.
What are you looking forward to most this summer?
Seeing as we’re most likely not going to be able to travel far, I’m looking forward to hiking in the Austrian mountains.
What’s your secret skill?
I learned to identify all national flags for every country in the world to win a 10p bet. Does that count?
Best thing about being a Vienna Gael?
The good atmosphere among my teammates. An 8 hour bus ride to Dresden turns from gruelling journey to 8 hours of card playing fun.
Worst thing about being a Vienna Gael?
Trying to explain why hurling is fun with three or four plum-shade bruises after a tournament.
Who is the most underrated Vienna Gael?
As a defender I’d say Tom our hurling keeper. As a player he’s a phenomenal shot stopper, and off the pitch he’s an all-round funny guy.
What do you miss from home?
I miss swimming in the sea. You can’t quite scratch that itch with lakes and rivers.
Those Billa jaffa cakes with a cup of tea.
What have you learned about yourself during the last few months of lockdown?
I learned that I am quite easily entertained, and that Age of Empires II is bags of fun.
If you started a podcast, what it be?
I do love a good podcast, mine would be about nautical trivia and be titled Mythboaters.
What advice would you give to someone moving to Vienna?
Apart from joining the Gaels – don’t let the grumpiness of the Viennese fool you, they’ve warmth and humour hidden beneath that outer layer.
Vienna Gaels football training returns to Monday evenings at Rugby Union Donau. The following guidelines are to be followed:
Changing rooms are not yet available, come dressed to play
Disinfect your hands before training
Avoid sharing equipment (such as gloves) with others
Respect 2 metres distance from other players
Train in groups of max 10 persons
Respect general hygiene rules (hand washing, and cough or sneeze into elbow or tissue)
Avoid arriving or leaving training in big groups
If you’re sick, stay home!