Gaelic football training intensifies in Shenzhen as the Asian Gaelic games approach
Under the watchful eye of coach Conor “Poptastic” Teehan , or Poppy as he called by his friends, the Shenzhen Celts Gaelic football team put in a hard Monday night’s training session. Coach Poppy, just back from injury, and let out for the night from the furniture factory in Dongguan where his master Greg usually keeps him chained up, managed to dislocate his shoulder again in the very first minute of the warm-up! While he writhed in the ground in agony, he would have been proud as his team kept on running by him in order to complete the rest of the training laps. That’s dedication! Only after this was done did anyone go over to see if he needed any help.
While Mick “Sean Kelly” Coleman took over to finish off the first few runs and stretches, the team was treated to the sweet music of the Coach’s screams as Johnny “I know what I’m doing. Bend over “ Harper kindly popped his shoulder back in for him. Fortunately he was OK and with his arm still a bit tender he bravely directed the rest of the training. Fair play coach. This man is a beast!!! It should be noted that Johnny Harper has also been known to have this affliction. So much so that people are beginning to ask the big question: Does Johnny prefer touch rugby to full contact???
The team soon got down to serious training under the strict instructions of our Coach. “MARK YOUR F%$^ING MAN (or woman, as on the Celts the boys and the ladies train together). All are treated alike however by coach….. (maybe that’s why he has no girlfriend??!) . He would shout out these encouraging words again and again as the team was taught how Gaelic is supposed to be played, like they do in his native county of Tipperary, who last won the All Ireland Football quite recently… let’s have a quick check on google…ah yes, in 1920….
The team is training for the Asian Gaelic games in September, held in Hong Kong this year. Things are going to be tough for the team in this year’s games if they cannot get more bodies out training! With a few key players injured and others not turning up due to “study commitments” (both on the men’s and ladies teams), unless there is a rapid influx of new talent or a return of the old, the team is going to suffer! The level can get pretty high in the final rounds of the Asian games. Nevertheless, it was encouraging to see such a hard working training session in Futian Stadium last night. For the last hour the team played a full pitch game and it was great running.
We have several recent converts who are beginning to play pretty well, such as wee Dougie from Scotland who has done so many dirty things already here in Shenzhen since arriving 2 months ago that it must be a record; but fair play he’s a good football player. Even Johnny Harper put in a good effort in what is his only his third time playing since the epic defeat that Johnny and the rest of the Shenzhen Dragons rugby team suffered at the hands of the Shenzhen B team in the Bowl semi-finals of the All China Games. Since that harrowing loss Johnny was quite disorientated and desolate but he has manned-up and came out to Gaelic training to defeat the demons that were still lurking inside. I am sure there are more Dragons out there who feel the same way and should follow Johnny’s example and learn how to play the game for real every Monday night!!
After training the team left to the stern warnings of our resident health guru “take your supplements and drink your protein powders, before and after training”. To the horror of our friends and benefactors, the owners of some of Shenzhen’s premier drinking establishments, this team is getting serious and only talks about doing 100km cycles, half marathons, midnight runs and triathlons, and other strange and weird alternative activities. It took Club President Al to set things straight and regain our priorities. “ Team, we need to go on a weekend bender in an exotic location so we can all bond together and be ready for the Asian Gaelic games”.
All the team murmured their agreement so a game and night out in that tropical paradise city that we always dreamed about going to called Guangzhou has been arranged for 3 weeks time. A game will be organized against those rank amateurs which hopefully will provide some sport for us. All team members new or old are required to attend. No complaints, except against Al, if it wasn’t for him, we’d all be going away on a proper weekend away and reliving the 1998 games in Manila !!! Editors note: I thought I told you never to talk to anyone about that trip to Manila ever again!!