AYC launched during the visit of President Higgins to Vietnam

Launch of the AYC Championship with President Higgins, Fergus Broderick, Jim Kiernan, Rosa Clifford and Le Ngoc Anh

Launch of the AYC Championship with President Higgins, Fergus Broderick, Jim Kiernan, Rosa Clifford and Le Ngoc Anh

The Asian Youth Championship 2016 (AYC) was officially launched in Hanoi on the 8 November in the presence of the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins.

On behalf of the Viet Celts and the Asian County Board, Jim Kiernan thanked the AYC supporters in Ireland; Minister Charles Flanagan, the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the GAA, the Global Games Development Fund and O’Neills.

RTE Interview with Thanh Nguyen, Colm Ross and David Cunningham

RTE Interview with Thanh Nguyen, Colm Ross and David Cunningham

Viet Celts club members, David Cunningham, Colm Ross and Thanh Nguyen talked to the Irish media about the tournament, Gaelic Football in Asia and the history of the Viet Celts.

Thanks to the Irish Embassy in Vietnam who organised a wonderful night on the occasion of the presidential visit.

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Press Release : GAA Asian Youth Championship 2016

Some high quality offerings from the smoldering one man hub of creativity that is David Cunningham. In a short space of time, he was able to put together an official AYC Press Release, an official AYC Publicity Banner and an official AYC Poster. Great to have Davey back from Cambodia for the run in for the Asian Youth Championship.

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Thanks to Mullingar, Seamus Mac Flionn and Connemara for their linguistic input on the AYC Poster.

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The inaugural Asian Youth Championship (AYC) will take place on Saturday 19th November 2016 in Hanoi, Vietnam.

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In the week following the visit of President Michael D. Higgins to Vietnam, the Asian County Board and the Viet Celts will host the first ever Asian Youth Championship (AYC) in Gaelic Football . Around 150 youth players are expected to be present on the day, spread across 14 teams and representing 5 Vietnamese schools/clubs and 4 international clubs/schools  from – Shanghai (China), Seoul Gaels, Korean International School  and Gimhae (All  Korea). Nationwide AFL club, the Vietnam Swans are a late entry with a team in the U12 competition.

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This championship represents a huge milestone for those involved and for the game itself. It will be the culmination of 8 years of hard work, training and commitment to the ideal that team sports can be extremely beneficial for an individual’s physical and social development. The staging of this tournament also bears testament to the collaborative attitude among Irish migrants living in Asia and their willingness to engage in non-profit, community development activities.

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Founded in 1996, the Asian County Board has been instrumental in spreading Gaelic games around Asia. The Viet Celts was formed in 2007 and has hosted three South Asian Gaelic Games. The club has long been at the forefront of developing youth Gaelic Football in Asia. The All-Vietnam Schools Cup has been a permanent fixture in the calendar since 2010, when VAS Hanoi beat Hanoi Academy in the final. The Hanoi Youth Cup is another annual competition. Past winners of both competitions include Hanoi Academy, VAS Hanoi, Hanoi International School (HIS), SIS Ciputra, Blue Dragon GFC and SIS Gamuda.

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Although some of the children playing at the AYC are actually Irish, what makes this event especially unique is the variety of nationalities which will be playing what is often considered a uniquely Irish sport. Some teams have a Vietnamese or Irish core while others are built around a mix of international and local children. Nationalities represented will include a variety of European, Asian and Anglophone nations, as well as many children from mixed marriages.

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This multicultural inclusivity epitomises the spirit of Gaelic games at an international level. This competition and the participating clubs provide the perfect pathways both to spread Irish culture and to help Irish migrants integrate into local communities.
One particular point of pride for local organisers is that Vietnam will be strongly represented by the players of Blue Dragon’s Children Foundation – the only club with players in every age category. Blue Dragon GFC was set up at the start of 2015 with support from the Gaelic Athletic Association and the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’ Global Games Development Fund. O’Neills have also come in with support in the form of the Gaelic Footballs for the tournament.ayc-publicity-bannergaa_globalgames_-primarylogo

 

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AFL Asian Champs 2016, HCMC, Vietnam

Welcome signage

Welcome signage

How good were the AFL Asian Champs in Saigon on 15 October? One of the finest sporting events ever organized on Vietnamese soil. Well done all round to the Vietnam Swans for putting together a smashing competition.

The banners flying at fort Macau

The banners flying at Fort Macau

How good is the how goodin’ propensity of our Vietnam Swans brethren to how good their way through life without a care in the world? This factor created a great vib in Saigon. Coupled with top quality logistics, both led to a memorable two days

Jim Kiernan admires the terrible beauty of the ruck in a Macau game

Jim Kiernan on the edge of the ruck in a Macau game

A fairish number of VC went to Saigon to support the Swans as they hosted the AFL Asian Champs for the first time. We also travelled down to reciprocate the Swans entering an U12 team in our GAA Asian Youth  Championships in Hanoi on 19 November.

John Shoulders gets involved

John Shoulders gets involved

John Shoulders and Jim Kiernan located some grandmothers from Macau in their family trees to qualify under the granny rule to play for Macau Lightning. The elegant Lonan O’Briain lined out for Vietnam Swans B. The VC Ladies had five players taking part in an historic first AFL Asian Champs women’s game .

VC Ladies amongst the two teams in the historic AFL Women's game

VC Ladies amongst the two teams in the historic AFL Women’s game

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VAS Hanoi win the Gamuda City Cup 2016

This is a shadow report. Full report to follow.

 

VAS Hanoi U15 with coaches Jim Kiernan + Neil Hiney

VAS Hanoi U15 with coaches Jim Kiernan + Neil Hiney

VAS Hanoi 5.6 (21pts)
SIS Gamuda 3.7 (16pts)

VAS Hanoi attack

VAS Hanoi attack

SIS Gamuda officially opened their fantastic new 3G pitch in Gamuda on 4 October and invited VAS Hanoi Gaelic Football Club out to help them celebrate. It was a great honour for VAS Hanoi GFC to be chosen from a list of several schools and more established sports.

High Fielding

High Fielding

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The game itself was played in a very sporting manner with some great individual performances and some fine passages of play. Some areas for improvement for both teams were also identified for the forthcoming Hanoi Youth Cup and Asian Youth Championships.

Team talk by coach Jim Kiernan

Team talk by coach Jim Kiernan

SIS Gamuda nearly staged a comeback in the final minutes but VAS Hanoi held on for victory in what was for the most part , an entertaining game. Overall, VAS Hanoi coaches, Jim Kiernan and Neil Hiney were pleased with the performance.

Vu Minh Hieu breaks free

Vu Minh Hieu breaks free

The VAS Hanoi MVP was Nguyen Huy Long with some fine high fielding. Best for SIS Gamuda was Kim Ji Woo with some great soloing and point taking. A massive crowd from Gamuda came out to watch the game which added to the occasion.

Great point

Great point

Special mentions to Lana Le and the staff at VAS Hanoi for their help with logistics and to John Shoulders and SIS Gamuda for their invitation to open their new pitch.

Referee Neil Hiney controls proceedings

Referee Neil Hiney controls proceedings

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Thanks to the Irish Embassy, the Asian County Board, the DFAT, the GAA and O’Neills for their vital support of the Viet Celts Schools Gaelic Football program.

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VAS Hanoi GFC

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VC Ladies win the South Asian Plate

This is a shadow report. Full report to follow.

VC Ladies: South Asian Plate Winners

VC Ladies: South Asian Plate Winners

 

Congratulations to the VC Ladies who won the South Asian Plate on 14 May 2016 in Bangkok. They played Hong Kong in the final. A very proud moment for the club.

Dan Coloe soloing out

Dan Coloe soloing out

The VC Men’s team narrowly went down to a very strong Singapore A side in their South Asian Plate final. Obviously disappointing to lose at the death in such a tight game.

Neil Hiney takes his point

Neil Hiney takes his point

However both Viet Celts teams pulled off some very fine team and individual performance throughout the tournament in what could be classified as the most successful tournament weekend in the clubs’ history, the first time we’ve reached two finals at the same continental tournament. Thanks to James Lally who coached both teams.

James Lally on the ball supported by Neil Hiney and Luke Kenny

James Lally on the ball supported by Neil Hiney and Luke Kenny

 

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VC Ladies push forward

VC Ladies push forward

 

The elegant Sean O'Connell

The dashing Sean O’Connell

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The Viet Celts

The Viet Celts

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All Vietnam Schools Cup 2016

This is a shadow report. Full report to follow.

SIS Gamuda captain and the Irish Ambassador, Cait Moran

SIS Gamuda captain and the Irish Ambassador, Cait Moran

The Irish Ambassador, Cait Moran visited VAS Hanoi on 2 April for the All Vietnam Schools Cup U13 + U15. The Ambassador presented medals for the U13 competition.

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SIS Gamuda won the U13 final and Blue Dragon won the U15 competition. Congratulations to both teams. VAS Hanoi did a fine job of hosting the event and also organised it in conjunction with the Viet Celts and the other teams.

VAS Hanoi U15 with coach Jim Kiernan

VAS Hanoi U15 with coach Jim Kiernan

Special mentions to Lana Le who organised the medals and trophies and to the staff at VAS Hanoi. Siobhan Kiernan, James Lally and Jim Kiernan did a solid job of refereeing. They were joined by John Shoulders and Nguyen Thai Thanh as coaches and the famous five also put an enormous amount of work into the logistics.

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Thanks to Education in Ireland, the Irish Embassy, the Asian County Board, the DFAT and the GAA for their vital support of the Viet Celts Schools Gaelic Football program.

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Viet Celts do the double in Danang

 

This is a shadow report. Full report to follow.

VC Ladies + Coach James Lally

VC Ladies + Coach James Lally

The Viet Celts Mens and Ladies teams took part in the 2nd All Vietnam Senior Championships held in Danang on 5 March 2016 as part of the Central Vietnam Games. The games were once again marvelously organized by Grant Keys and the Vietnam Swans.

 

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Viet Celts team talk

Viet Celts team talk

Viet Celts 8.3 (27pts)
Saigon Gaels 0.9 ( 9pts)

The Viet Celts had a blistering start in the first quarter and although Saigon Gaels came back well in the remaining three quarters, they were at all times chasing the game.

Rebecca O'Keefe scores

Rebecca O’Keefe always scores

VC Ladies 0.9 (9pts)
Saigon Ladies 0.9 (9pts)

This was the most entertaining game at the tournament, level at full time, level at the end of extra time with end to end Gaelic Football and some wonderful skills on display. VC Ladies kept the trophy by virtue of having won the November series .

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Champions of Vietnam

Champions of Vietnam (cups are fine, table off-kilter)

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