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A learning experience

March 18, 2010

GAA ball and sky

Eire Og Seville played their first ever competitive matches last weekend down in Marbella, putting in a decent performance, with some ups and downs, but emerging with pride from their debut appearance in the 2010 Iberian Gaelic Football Championships.

The day did not start well for Seville, as some transport-related problems lead to an understrength team taking the field for the opening game against Sant Vincent Valencia. Although putting in a spirited display, a disorganised team went down by 4-4 to 0-2. Seville bounced back in the second game though, regaining some pride by roaring into an early lead against Madrid Gaels and being unlucky to only draw 1-5 apiece against last year’s Iberian champions.

There then followed an anxious wait in the hope that Valencia would hammer Madrid badly enough for Seville to squeak through on points difference, but it wasn’t to be, and Seville were out and finished fifth out of sixth in the final rankings. Both teams from Seville’s group won their semis, and Valencia were clear winners in the final.

All in all it was a satisfactory first ever outing for Eire Og Seville, with plenty of lessons learned. The general standard of play was pretty good, but not intimidating for Seville at all. The Seville team really came together in the second game particularly, where we more than matched a Madrid team which has been together for years. It was interesting to see the different tactical approaches of the other teams and the experience will no doubt stand to us in the next round of the championships, up in Madrid in early May.

An exciting day’s action featured 14 games played in all, down at the picture-postcard setting of Ojen village. The ladies’ competition was pretty exciting, with Madrid taking the title after a late goal in the final against Valencia. It was great to see the strong contribution through the day from players of all nationalities, with Spanish lads and girls playing key roles in both winning teams. There was also plenty of fun back in Marbella afterwards, once the majority of the players had eventually found the restaurant.

The tournament was one of five legs in this year’s Iberian Gaelic Football championships, the winners of which will go on to compete in the European Championships this summer. All games are played under the auspices of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), and an official referee flew in to oversee the day’s action.

Any Andalucian-based players (male or female, Irish, Spanish or any other nationality) interested in getting involved are welcome to email secretary.seville.europe@gaa.ie.

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