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22nd Nov 2017

The magic of the GAA was felt in Asia at the weekend

With Bernard Brogan stuck in the middle of it

Darragh Culhane


The GAA is only getting bigger and bigger.

The game is most definitely spreading.

It’s being broadcast on Sky. Ventures such as the Fenway Hurling Classic are taking place. The cream of our football crop are taking on the best of Australia in the International Rules on a yearly basis.

Any corner of the globe has a GAA team. Irish people love to travel and with us we always bring the country’s favourite sport.

With all the goings on over the weekend just gone, one event may have been overlooked.

Over 800 Irish and non-Irish GAA players flocked to Bangkok, Thailand for the 22nd Annual Asian Gaelic Games.

One team that took part was the recently formed Manila GAA club; they only formed on All-Ireland day this year but took part in the event with the help of Bernard Brogan.

Brogan was on hand to act as their Banisteoir for the day and even ended up having to hop in goal for the team.

Speaking at the event, Brogan said:

“I took on a tough role today, I got involved with the Manila squad I think the club was only formed on All-Ireland day out in the Philippines.

“There is a good group of them there, some local Filipinos and some Irish that are working over there so it’s great to see so many GAA clubs and the Irish Abroad. GAA is so important for the Irish abroad, it’s their little bit of home and it gives them that little bit of energy and warmth.

“The numbers are phenomenal and everyone is flying in at their own expense so it just shows the love for the game and the love for a bit of craic as well.”

No doubt a great weekend for Brogan and his Manila team but it wasn’t all smiles as the 2010 footballer of the year had a bit of a mare when he hopped in goals:

“I stood in goals, I think Clucko is safe enough for the time being!” Brogan exclaimed.

“It was a hot day and they had a few injuries so they needed someone to step in. I didn’t fill myself with glory but we tried our best and put in a decent performance and the guys can go home proud after putting in a good innings tonight. The club is three months old and they’re still flying.”

Posting on his Instagram account, Brogan added:

“Enjoying the Asian GAA games in Bangkok, 800 guys and girls from all over Asia come together once a year. Hearing how important the GAA is to people when they are so far away from home! I had the pleasure of working with the new club Manila GAA.”

In the end, the Seoul Gaels won the Men’s Senior Cup while Hong Kong beat Singapore to win in the Ladies Football.

You can watch the full highlight videos of the weekend’s events below with Brogan’s goalkeeping efforts taking place at 1:50 in the first video.

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Asia GAA