A large contingent of Viet Celts travelled down to KL for the Asian Gaelic Games (AGG) 2013 played from 12-13 October. The VC Men had enough for a team and a half and the extra VC players played in an amalgamation team called VC Manila with a crew from the Philippines. Although it was tough initially to find a solution to the quandary of having a team and a half, it was great to see the numbers back up and this situation arguers well for the future of the club. Manager, Colm Ross deserves credit for getting through the weekend with only one fairly loud swear word thrown in his direction and another one said under breath.
VC Men were unlucky to lose their opening game to Singapore by one point, had a fine win against Dehli in game 2 and then destroyed Japan by 30pts in game 3. On the Sunday in the final game of the group stages, they had a comfortable win against Malaysia with strong contributions in all the games from the Tuam, Saigon and Xuan Dieu mafiosi. In the quarter finals of the Asian Plate, they had a tough encounter against a very strong and skillful Qatar team, who in hindsight should not have been in this division having had a squad of all-Irish twenty-somethings.
VC Manila had a tough day of it on the Saturday but finished on a high with a great win on the Sunday in their 5th group game. Mike ‘Raging Bull’ Clifford of Gloucester was in flying form for VC Manila and once again proved himself to be a great player and a great clubman.
VC Ladies (Duracelts) made the journey down with the full twelve. After losing a few key players during the year, the process of rebuilding continues. Siobhan Kiernan of Wicklow and Georgia Davis of Australia combined for some fabulous scores over the games with some good positional defensive play at the other end from everyone’s favourite fairy godmother, Mairead Condon of Westmeath. The spirit is strong within the group and they had a fine win on the Saturday. They went out in the quarter-finals the next day.
Some thoughts on the weekend below from various players:
“Just wanted to say a belated thank you to everyone who was involved in KL, it was an unforgettable weekend and I can’t wait until the South Asian Games! I’ve been made to feel so welcome within the Viet Celts and the spirit of the team seems to be at a real high. It would be nice to do a post-KL get-together at some point and hopefully keep some trainings going and prepare to win the next tournament!”
Jamie McGough- Ex British Boxing Champion
“Folks, I just wanted to say a huge thanks to everyone from Hanoi for making myself and Josh feel so welcome.
A few things that really impressed me:
The feel good factor after grinding out tough wins on the Saturday and Sunday was amazing.
The group really came together and performed for each other, both the ladies and mens teams.
The Viet Celts and Duracelts have a very strong core to them and have the potential to cause some major upsets down the line. If both teams can keep their core players and continue to add to them/educate others about the sport, then the club will continue to grow.
As a member of the Saigon Gaels it was very refreshing to play with a new group of players and also to rekindle moments of magic with a few individuals. As always it’s a pleasure to link up with Jim when he comes on for his compulsory point and there is a real bromance forming in the backline with Dan, Little Head (Josh) and myself.
Huge thanks to all who helped organise and run the show. Bones – the kits came out really well. Shane – great job on getting to all the matches in a timely and prompt manner. Luke – for getting us prepared for matches. Jim – for being Jim. To those who helped with the costumes for Sunday night (Dan and Luke). Colm – for doing the tough job of taking control of the sidelines. it’s not an easy job and it’s annoying having to sit out games but we all really appreciate it.
Outside of the football, a huge round of applause for those who continued to socialise moderately into the early (and possibly late) hours of Monday. You truly excelled and showed exactly what these trips are about (aside from football).
I am now in a state of GFW (Gaelic Football Withdrawal) and cannot wait for the South Asian Games in Hanoi. Hopefully Saigon will be able to enter a team and take it home with us but that is yet to be seen.
I’m sure I’ve missed some out but I have a class impatiently waiting on me!
Anyway I look forward to catching up with you guys again in the near future.”
John ‘JR’ Redmond – Saigon Gaels and Tyrone
“Couldn’t agree more with JR’s verbose comments. What a fantastic group you’ve got & I was absolutely thrilled to be welcomed to the club in the way I was. Next time, I’ll be sure to dig in for the long hall and contribute to re-hydration session – although I may need some work to keep up with a few of you by the sounds of it.
Thanks to Orange Eire (Malaysia GAA club) who did an excellent job on organising the tournament and made us all feel at home. In fact we felt so at home that one of our number stuffed a Malaysian O’Neills into the VC kit bag. The perpetrator was later a recipient of a stern motherly lecture, especially seeing as we had a difficult job ourselves holding on to the five O’Neills which were sent out to us from St Lomans, Westmeath. The Malaysian O’Neills in question will be returned at the earlist opportunity.
Video below from the weekend. You may see two likely lads that you know at about 1.20 ruminating over something like a pair of worried lactating goats.
Full reports to follow for the various teams
VC Men John O’Dowd (Capt.)
VC Manila Ewan Anderson (Team Psychologist)
VC Ladies Julianne Goyena (Capt.)
The Viet Celts