Gaelic Gear European Football Championship Finals

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Gaelic Gear European Football Championship
On Saturday (November 4th) Barcelona Gaels will host
the finals day of this years European Football championship. Over
300 players, men and women, representing clubs from all over ´County
Europe´ (its official status!!) will descend on the Catalan
Capital to fight it out for the honours in three separate competitions,
– Mens and Ladies championships and a Mens Shield competition.

Due to the growth in clubs the old unitary league was reorganised
this year creating four distinct regions North, East, Central and
Iberia who have all completed their own regional competitions before
playing in a four round European championship in Munich, Paris,
The Hague and Barcelona.

It has been a highly successful year of transition and it was greeted
by increased support from the Ladies Football Association and GAA
HQ who will have a full delegation in attendance headed up by Overseas
Committee Chairman, Sheamus Howlin and the Leinster Council’s, John
Byrne. The Irish Embassy will be represented by Ambassador Peter
Gunning and they will be joined by local dignatories and celebrities
including FC Barcelona Handball legend Xavi O´Callaghan who
will be getting things going by throwing in the first ball.

The weekend begins with an official dinner on Friday evening hosted
by the President of the GAA, Nickey Brennan, who unfortunately has
to return to Ireland on Saturday for the International Rules test
with Australia.

Gaelic football is a multi skilled game of speed, strength and most
of all passion. If the tournaments leading to November 4th are anything
to judge by we are in for a feast of high level, fast paced competitive
football as the best in their divisions will have to dig very deep
to come out on top. A unique opportunity for Barcelona sports lovers
who have never witnessed the game to see it up close and personal.

A presentation meal is planned for 10pm on the Saturday night.

These are exciting times in Gaelic Games on continental Europe.
There has been astonishing growth over the last number of years
with new clubs sprouting up all across the continent. From Copenhagen
in the north, Rennes in the West, Budapest in the East and Marbella
in the south, even the islands of Jersey and Guernsey are all part
of this ever increasingly competitive sporting region.

The underlying reason for this expansion is the attractiveness and
the growing awareness of the excitement of playing and been part
of these great sports. Across Europe there are non-Irish players
in every club and hosts Barcelona Gaels are a great example of this
with a playing staff and committee that is 50% Catalan and the rest

In a world of Abromovichs and Galacticos, Gaelic games shine like
a beacon for the principles of amateur sport. This has come under
pressure in recent times but it is still the case that these games
are built on players giving everything for the love of the sport
and will put their bodies on the line to compete for honours alone.

Referees for the weekend are Shane Farrell (Dublin); Noel Kneel
(Louth) arranged by Comhairle Laighean, Jerome Henry (a Mayo native
currently refereeing in Galway, who is a member of the Zurich club)
and Peter Daly (Westmeath) who will officiate in the Ladies Championship
courtesy of the Ladies Football Association. Teams competing in the finals are:

Games commence in three separate venues across the city of Barcelona
at 09:00 with the finals (played under floodlights) scheduled for
17:00 (Shield) 18:00 (Ladies) & 19:00 (Mens Chp).

Men’s Championship Ladies Championship Men’s Shield
The Hague Holland Maastricht
Paris Paris Amsterdam
Luxembourg Maastricht Jersey
Madrid Barcelona Barcelona
Costa Gaels (Marbella) Madrid

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