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GAA in Britain

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I played for Michael Cusacks in San Francisco a few years back, got to the final of the intermediate championship, drew the match then where kicked out of the competition before the replay because we played an illegal player - great craic playing there though!

I played in new york with a junior side that had 30 -35 out training about 2 years ago, great fun and loved it.Got to play with a few classy players, lads that would never give up no matter what happened.Ny is bleeding players badly now and may never see the days of so many clubs in the city again.The best thing about ny football was the weather, it was stifling hot and you would gain fitness and drop weight very rapidly but if you had any drink on board from the night before you would suffer.Pitches were deplorable due to the weather, damn all grass and stones galore.
Best times i had was in portmarnock gaa with mick kissane on the saturday afternoons and monday evenings, county lads and oul fellas all mixed together in a game aptly called social football.Mick kissane played in the 63 allireland i believe.

Gonna start playing with Roger Casements in Coventry in the next week or so.

u bent op uw:
Had a long conversation with people involved with the GAA in Britain on the way to a match in Nottingham yesterday. The consensus was that the clubs based in the heavily populated areas are still able to attract Irish players. The GAA website lists all transfers and it is obvious who are the winners in the race for players.

Clubs outside the main cities and towns are struggling to maintain a team. We traditionally had a big pool of players both 1st and 2nd generation. We now rely on local English fellas who's first games are soccer and rugby.

I referee when requested by the county, each club is supposed to nominate 2 referees. This is obviously a sticky area when games can become tetchy if some poor sod from one of the participating teams has to don the whistle.

Warwickshire has a scheme in the local schools and uses a development officer, specific funds are available for schools (training kits etc)

People involved in the game in Ireland can be a little bit dismissive of the quality. It is fairly obvious that you will not get the standard of play and player that you find in an Irish parish/club. In saying that, those clubs and Gaels (exiled or adopted) who manage to keep the infrastucture intact and the association going, deserve great credit.

I won a county medal in 2000, it didn't matter that the final was in Birmingham and not Healy Park or Parnell Park, the sense of pride and achievement was still the same.

The GAA in the UK doesn't really help itself. We took an U16 Yorkshire side down to Birmingham on saturday to play london in the All Britain semi final. Throw in was at 2.30pm and both teams where on the picth for 2.15 only to find out that the ref had decided not to turn up. The ref was supposed to be a Warwickshire offical so had considerablty less travelling than either of the two teams. Eventually a replacement was found and the game started over an hour late. Understandably both sets of players weren't too amused at having to wait on the pitch for over an hour, then face the long journey back again! Can't imagine those young lad's opinion of the GAA was improved by this experience.


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