Sport » Eire Og Fujairah is the emirate’s newest sports club

Eire Og Fujairah is the emirate’s newest sports club

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The name means young Ireland in Gaelic as this club plays native Irish sports, mainly Gaelic football which can be loosely described as similar to Australian Rules Football, with some major differences in scoring and the shape of the ball. Other sports native to Ireland are also played, such as Hurling, which is a distinctly Irish field invasion game played with a stick, called a hurley, and a ball called a sliotar and is considered the fastest field sport in the world.

 

Eire Og was established just 2 months ago by a group of young, Irish teachers based in Fujairah, and has already competed in the first regional GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) games of the 2017-2018 season. The GAA is a sporting and cultural organization that originates in Ireland but now has a presence in many countries across the globe. There are over a dozen clubs across the geographic region of the Middle East promoting Gaelic Games at all levels- Senior, Intermediate, Junior, Juveniles, Mens and Ladies, with 5 regional tournaments every year attracting over a thousand players.

 

I spoke recently with founder Padraig Kennedy who is originally from the hurling stronghold of  North Tipperary. He spoke about how originally the club was founded as just a pastime for some of the Irish in the emirate to keep them in touch with their culture, however has proven to be a very popular sport for many others, and they now have 20 players from 5 different nationalities. 

 

Since they are a newly found team they are playing in the bottom division but hope to climb up the grades as quickly as possible. Padraig also wanted to thank Fujairah Men’s  Higher College of Technology for providing the facilities for training, and to thank the Novotel Fujairah for sponsoring a set of jerseys, which are due to arrive from Ireland in the next few weeks.

 

In the Dubai GAA tournament they played 3 group games, winning them all, before losing the final by 2 points to an experienced M.E.K.S team who won the tournament for the fourth year in a row. It was a very positive experience for a team who were playing together for the first time, many players also playing in their first competitive Gaelic football games. For Fujairah, Mark Creegan, Conor Flavin and Cian Farrell were excellent throughout, while there were many other players who impressed throughout the 4 games. The next tournament is held in Bahrain in mid November. The intensity in training has been increased as they hope to go one better and come back to Fujairah as champions.

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