Seoul Gaels seek new players as 2024 Gaelic football season approaches

A Seoul Gaels practice session is in full swing at Eonnam High School in southern Seoul's Seocho District. Courtesy of Donie Keane

Seoul Gaels, one of a handful of Gaelic football teams in Korea, is getting ready for the 2024 season, and as part of its preparations, the team is looking for more players to join in the fun. The team will hold a Family and Friends Day on March 23, followed the next week by its first official practice session on March 30. Both events will take place starting at at 3 p.m. at Eonnam High School in southern Seoul’s Seocho District. Fintan Cannon, the public relations officer for Seoul Gaels, has been leading the charge, drumming up interest and recruiting new players along the way. For those unfamiliar with this ancient Irish game, it consists of two teams of 15 players each that compete to score by kicking or hand-passing a round ball through the opposing team’s goalposts. With a playing field larger than a soccer pitch, the action is nonstop as players engage in a thrilling display of athleticism, teamwork and split-second decision-making. Cannon told The Korea Times that all are welcome to get involved with Seoul Gaels GAA, the official name of the Gaelic football club that has been around for over two decades now.“Yeah, it’s a very open and welcoming organization. There are both men’s and women’s teams and we have people from all around the world playing for us right here,” he said.“We have a lot of Koreans playing the sport, as might be expected, and a lot of Irish people too.”

The season kicks off in March and goes right through to November. There are practice sessions every week, and there are several tournaments held throughout the year, both here in Korea and overseas. Cannon was keen to point out that if people were interested but couldn’t make it to the first practice session on March 30, they are still welcome to come to any subsequent session.“ Also, a great way to get to learn about the sport is by coming along to a training session, even if you miss the one at the start of the season. ”Cannon encouraged more people to join the team. “Well, it’s a very social kind of thing. There are plenty of regular social events, so it is a great way to make new friends and have some fun,” he said. “As a sport, Gaelic football is very fun. It’s fast-paced, which will keep you fit, and we accept all skill levels. All are welcome to come and try it out. It is a sport where you use both your hands and feet, so definitely a good way to challenge yourself. ”He added, “All you need are some sneakers really. We play on artificial turf over here in Korea.” Seoul Gaels has been around since 2002 and the team is quite international with members from all over the world playing for the club. Cannon himself has been with the Seoul-based club for a long time and has played the sport for even longer. I’ve played on and off with the Gaels for the past eight years and played the game since I was around 7 years old. Mom dragged me down, against my will, kicking and screaming to the local pitch, and I never looked back.” Explaining why he likes the sport, he said, “It combines skill required from so many other sports into one. It really is like if someone put rugby, soccer 온라인카지노 and basketball into a bowl and mixed them all together.”

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