|The Irish Embassy kindly organized a presentation before the main St Patrick’s Day reception in the Melia Hotel in Hanoi on 17 March to honour the Viet Celts, the Duracelts and the young Vietnamese Gaelic Footballers from Vietnam Australia School(VAS). Medals and trophies were handed out by visiting Irish Minister of State, Conor Lenihan and the Irish Ambassador Maeve Collins to the students for the inaugural VAS Cup together with end of year awards for 2009 to the Viet Celts and the Duracelts. VAS Reds were first on stage to receive their finalists medals followed shortly afterwards by the winners VAS Greens. Hoàng Nam, who scored the winning goal in the last minute of the game, graciously accepted the cup on behalf of VAS Greens.Nguyen Đuc Thang was named Man of the Match for his part in giving VAS Reds a commanding lead in the first half and for fighting qualities throughout the game.Pham Tâm Long received the Best Newcomer award for leading the charge for VAS Greens in the second half with two wonderfully crafted goals proving himself to be a natural Gaelic Footballer.
Pham Tuan Phong who left a few days later to study in Singapore received a VAS Gaelic Legend award for his exceptional organisational abilities and his help in running the VAS Gaelic Football Club.
Matt Lee known as Madly in Viet Celt circles was the overwhelming winner of the Viet Celts Player of the Year 2009 decided by votes cast in the weeks prior to the presentation for his outstanding performances in three of the four Viet Celts tournaments from 2009 and his ability to lose his head whilst all around him were keeping theirs. This innovative tactic caused immense confusion in the ranks of the opposition.
Connla Stokes won the Viet Celts Goal of the Year 2009 for his third goal against Hong Kong B in the AGG Plate quarter final. There were six goals in strong contention for this award but after much debate, the secret committee went for the qualities of grace and reaction time over power. Whilst a certain Clint Lambert is disputing the ownership of this goal due to the fact that that it was his powerful shot saved by the Hong Kong goalkeeper which led to the chance, there is no disputing the fact that Connla’s half turn or pirouette and catch on the rebounding ball with a slicing kick into the back of the net was a thing of balletic beauty.
The final award was for Duracelts Clubwoman of the Year. A lot of the girls have worked very hard to put the Duracelts on a solid footing over the last six months but in the end there could only be one winner, a woman for whom all the Gaelic Football superlatives have been exhausted, Marion Labatut. Marion also displayed the recent MVP award that she had picked up as the tournament’s best at the recent KL Challenge.
The festivities continued at the main St Patrick’s Day reception. Many thanks to Bob Patterson, Deputy Head of Mission, who worked hard to put the whole presentation together and Irish Minister, Conor Lenihan and Irish Ambassador, Maeve Collins who gave of their time to present medals and trophies.