The Education in Ireland Hanoi Youth Gaelic Cup was organised by the Viet Celts on 8th December at the VAS Sportsground in My Dinh, Hanoi.
Having lost all three finals at the All Vietnam Schools Cup in May, VAS Hanoi were back with a vengeance making a clean sweep of the three competitions in the Hanoi Youth Gaelic Cup. The standard of Vietnamese Youth Gaelic Football continues to increase with every tournament and the spectators were treated to some extremely entertaining games, played with panache and verve, mixed with honest endeavour and dogged determination. The three schools participating were Hanoi Academy (HA), Vietnam Australia School (VAS) and Hanoi International School (HIS). The first two schools have all Vietnamese students whilst the latter is an international school. The tournament was 9-a-side played under Asian Gulf Board rules.
Game 1 Junior Boys:
VAS Juniors 4.8 (20pts)
Hanoi Academy 1.1 ( 4pts)
VAS had many standout players in a game they dominated although Hanoi Academy rallied in the second half. VAS players like Nguyen The Hung and Nguyen Quang Anh with goalkeeper Bach Xuan Bao Nhan were to the fore. However, the best player on the pitch in this game was the magical little no. 17 for Hanoi Academy, Do Vu Thanh Nam who jinxed and weaved his way around the field, an exceptional talent.
Final Senior Boys:
VAS Seniors 4.1 (13 pts)
HIS Seniors 2.6 (12pts)
VAS had a difficult start against a rampant HIS but showed a lot of character to fight their way back into the game with some incredible scores narrowly winning by one point.
This game was played at a frenetic pace with some wonderful aerial skills on display. For VAS, Tran Anh Duy was deadly in attack scoring three goals. Nguyen Tung Anh and Do Gia Bach were immense in midfield with Nguyen Duc Manh and Hoang Bang Viet very solid in defense.
Best for HIS was the skilled Masaru Sato from Japan, who won the HIS Senior Player of the Tournament with Nguyen Tung Anh winning the VAS Seniors award.
Game 2 Junior Boys:
HIS Juniors 2.7 (13pts)
Hanoi Academy 0.1 (1pt)
HIS won this game with something to spare. The German brothers, Alex and Daniel Papendiek were in fine form, driving their team on to a well deserved victory. Hanoi Academy kept fighting until the very last minute but they were outgunned by a stronger team.
VAS Girls 0.10 (10pts)
HIS Girls 0.2 (2pts)
A stupendous second half of point-taking from VAS by Vi Ha My and Pham Thu Hien was the difference between the two sides after a close run first half. Le Nguyen Hong Nhung was tenacious in defense for VAS.
Best for HIS was Monica Tranova who won the HIS Girls award with Vi Ha My winning the VAS Girls award. This was the first competition won by VAS Girls and is a credit to their commitment to training and their attitude to the game.
Final Junior Boys:
VAS 3.7 (16pts)
HIS 1.7 (10pts)
The final went right down to the wire and HIS could have equalised in the last minute. Some amongst the crowd thought the ball had crossed the line. However the vast majority in attendance were in agreement with the referee’s decision.
With excitement and controversy in double measure, swirling around the ground, VAS then broke down field to seal victory with a smashing goal from Nguyen Van Manh. The MVP for HIS Juniors was their spider-like goalkeeper, Tue Gyhrs while the superb Do Le Anh Quoc won the VAS Juniors award.
Senior Boys: VAS Hanoi
Girls : VAS Hanoi
Junior Boys: VAS Hanoi
Thanks to Education in Ireland, the Irish Embassy, the Asian Gulf Board, Leinster Council, the GAA and Dublin City University for their continued support of Vietnamese Youth Gaelic Football. Thanks also to the three schools for their help with logistics. A lot of Vietnamese parents came out to cheer on their children and took a good many quality photographs
Well done to the various coaches involved, Mike Clifford (Gloucester and HIS), Colm Ross (Louth and HIS), Leo Dyar (Mayo and HIS), Jim Kiernan (Westmeath and VAS), Vu Xuan Thuan (Ninh Binh and VAS) and Seamus Doran (Dublin and HA).
Claire Coughlan, from the Irish Embassy, presented the silverware and helped out with coaching. Lana Le from Hanoi organised the medals and trophies. Thanks to the referees, Colm, Seamus and Claire.
There have been three youth/schools tournaments in Hanoi this calendar year, the Hanoi Schools Cup in March, the All Vietnam Schools Cup in May and the Hanoi Youth Cup in December. Overall there have been seven inter-schools competitions within these three tournaments. There has been a nice spread of winners between the three lead schools over the seven competitions. VAS were winners of four, HIS won two and Hanoi Academy captured one. This spread of champions augurs well for the future of Vietnamese Youth Gaelic Football.
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The Viet Celts