Liffré Youth Tournament – Presentation of the teams
Ten clubs will be participating at Gaelic Défi #2 on the 13th of June. Below you can discover a bit of background of our visitors notable from Fingallians Swords, St. Mary’s Rasharkin and Jersey Irish.
Clubs from outside of France
Fingallians Swords (Ireland – Dublin County)
The “Finns” return for their second year at Liffré with the goal of keeping hold of their under-15 title won last year. The Fingallians are Dublin County’s largest club. Based in the town of Swords to the north of Dublin, this club counts more that 1400 members of which 900 are in their youth program. As was the case last year, the club travels with Ger O’Connor bringing with him three teams in the Senior (U15) category.
St Mary’s Rasharkin (Northern Ireland – Antrim County)
Rasharkin is located in the province of Ulster at 70lm north-west of Belfast. The club of St. Mary’s, established in 1943, is made up of 300 members (from a village of 1100 inhabitants) who play three of the Gaelic Games: Gaelic football, hurling and camogie. The club is situated in hurling country the club has also enjoyed a rich past with their Gaelic football team winning many local championships.
The Saffron and Blue will travel to Brittany with two teams for the tournament.
Jersey Irish GAA (Island of Jersey)
The club of Jersey established in 1994 are now well-known to the Liffré club following an initial invitation to bring their youth players to Liffré in 2013 at the highly successful Youth tournament at Saint-Aubain-du-Cormier (created by the club of Liffré) in conjunction with a local Irish festival held over the same weekend. The club also made the trip last year to participate in the first version of the Gaelic Défi in 2014. The Jersey Irish always bring along their famous fighting spirit and will have the pleasure to host a youth tournament on home ground on the 4th of July of this year.
Clubs from France
This team, very impressive at the tournament in Guernsey earlier in May of this year was able to win both tournament categories at that tournament. The team from Brest come to Liffré in large numbers with at least four teams as they will compete in each of the three level of the tournament: Senior (U15), Intermediate (U15/U12) et Junior (U11).
Liffré GAA (Liffré/St-Aubin/Fougères)
Similar to the structure of the club of Liffré (in French known as the “Entente Gaélique de Haute Bretagne) is composed of players from the different schools in the area: Pierre-de-Dreux (St-Aubin-du-Cormier) and Gandhi (Fougères), as well as the youth section trained by the club of Liffré.
The players from the youth schoool section have shown great progress this year with good results: 1st place at the tournament in Lorient for the under-12 team from Fougères and 2nd place for St-Aubain at the tournament in Guernsey. The players of coaches Olivier Kowarski et Phil Cornilleau look forward to this tournament to gauge their improved level of play against the teams from Ireland and Jersey.
The club’s youth team looks forward to improving from their second place finish in the Under-12 category, losing only in the final to the team from Madrid.
The team from St-Aubin will send two teams in the Senior tournament while the team from Fougères have submitted a team in each of the Senior and Intermediate tournaments. The club team from Liffré will participate in the Junior category. Playing with different colours the youth players of Liffré will be represented by five teams.
Guérande is the most recent club in Brittany to initiate a youth team. Established in the spring of 2014, the team is composed of quite young players most of whom are under 10 years of age. Despite their size, they showed a good deal of grit at the Lorient tournament in April of this year and they will be expected to give a few teams a run for their money this weekend.
The team will participate in the Junior category.
The club of Lorient started their youth section by their participation at the first edition of this tournament (Gaelic Défi #1). Since then the youth team has taken off as they have been able to put in place weekly training sessions and organized their first youth tournament in April of this year.
The team will participate in the Intermediate category, and look forward to meeting the Irish teams and putting in a good performance.
The green and yellow will enter the Intermediate category.