The birth and growing pains of The Viet Celts
The Viet Celts made history without even kicking a ball in 2007. Simply gathering in a field and posing for a photograph with an iconic O’Neill’s Gaelic football was proof enough that the first ever Vietnam-based Gaelic football club had been born. It was too hot to play anyway – so we all went to the nearest pub for light refreshments.
But subsequently the Viet Celts diligently began training in preparation for the Asian Gaelic Games, held in Singapore, June 2007, under the patient guidance of head coach of Colm Ross, who has been described as more of a legend than a man on more than one occasion. Thanks to Colm a seed had been sown and ever since the game’s popularity in Vietnam has grown steadily.
The country’s first ever Gaelic football tournament, the Southeast Asia Gaelic Games was held at UNIS in Ciputra International City, Hanoi on June 28, 2008 with teams from Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam competing for the honours (duly accepted by Singapore) and a one-off exhibition game between two female teams from Vietnam and Singapore.
In 2008 the Viet Celts squad also had the pleasure of meeting An Taoiseach Brian Cowen who was in Hanoi for the occasion of St. Patrick’s Day, back in those heady, carefree days when he was simply known as An Tánaiste and the world was his oyster.