An eventful year – to say the least
A Long Awaited Return
After a long hiatus, and a particularly cold winter, the Gaels returned to training on the first of March, eager to get back out there! Even with the early start, plenty showed up to training, and you can be sure many points were scored
Accompanied with the sunshine and good weather, we hosted our first Saturday afternoon training session that featured quick fire round robin games, followed by crates of Dors beers!
Come May, the Gaels were in back in full swing!
The sunshine, and blue skies ensured that the Gaels regularly trained through the summer.
One of the most exciting sessions we had was the first hurling training ever of the Maastricht Gaels in June. Confused faces turned into smiles, as sliotars were whacked around the pitch!
Towards the end of May, the club proudly announced the sale of its new kits, a redesign that not only payed homage to the kits of yesteryear, but incorporated new elements such as the Maastricht skyline.
Following a short club trip to Belgium (a team-bonding outing if you will), we hosted our first end of the year awards at John Mullins, a night full of surprises!
We then began preparation for our first Gaelic football and hurling tournaments in July, undeterred by numerous injuries to our players.
Following a successful set of tournaments, the club would be on break for the rest of the summer, until the new academic year would begin in September, bringing with it a few significant developments…
As the new academic year began, the club had an important announcement to make:
It would officially become a student sports association, and join the UM SPORTS and MUSST network! This was accompanied by the election of our first student board.
Record training numbers became a regular thing, and quickly the club would start training for a slew of tournaments that would follow.
Tournament season was kicked off with a promising visit to Den Haag followed by an excited weekend of Hurling at our very own training grounds here in Maastricht!
Both teams were able to record their first wins, and this boosted confidence for the regional Gaelic Football tournament that followed the next weekend. We had teams from Eindhoven, Amsterdam and Den Haag show up to play some thrilling games!
Soon after, all the attention would be on the upcoming Gaelic Football European Championships, that would be hosted in Maastricht! The championships would feature teams from all around Europe, facing each other in 15-a-side knockout matches, one weekend after the other!
Maastricht was matched up with the reigning champions Amsterdam for their quarter finals, and while the lads put up a tough fight, they would unfortunately lose to the eventual winners of the championship.
The tournament season would be rounded off with a club trip to Zagreb, where we would play friendlies against the newly formed Croatian Celts, and the Eindhoven Shamrocks who also made the journey. The trip would prove to be loads of fun, as the Gaels played some memorable matches in a muddy field.
Winding Things down
While the club had planned two tournaments to conclude the year, the new measures would effectively cancel them. The Gaels would end their year with a few friendlies against the newly formed team from Nijmegen.
Training sessions would adapt to the weather, and the Gaels would engage in short, rapid games using smaller nets to train our shots.
As the clocks were reset, and the temperature would drop, the board felt that it made sense to break for winter, and resume training in February when the weather would be more kind.
However, plans are being made to incorporate indoor handball into our training sessions, and the club hopes to be able to start come the beginning of January!
Until then, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!