2003 Euro League Round 3 - Paris, France
Saturday 12th April 2003
Back Row (L-R) Pat Stakelum, Paddy Mallon, Pat Collins, Warwick Oudeman, Eric McInerney, Charlie Jameson, Dave McVerry, Noel McKenna, Kevin McGleenon. Front Row (L-R) Alex Stojcevic, Adrian Patton, Dónal Ň Donabhain, Liam McGuigan, Daire Kivlehan, Dan Galavan.
Click on photo for larger version
T he club travelled with 13 players and 2 management for the 11-aside event. They arrived at the pitch approximatly 30 minutes before the tournament was due to begin, and after discussing with the Paris offiicials the Colmcilles went to their allocated dressing rooms to prepare for the day ahead. They were drawn in the same group as Den Haag, along with Brest and Barcelona. The first match was againest the mostly Breton team of Brest. This was a hard fought game, and the heart of the Brest players gave the 'cilles a taste of their first competitve football of the year.
Munich came out victorious and used the 40 minute gap before their next match to keep themselves warmed up and sharp by means of ball work and drills. The next match was againest Barcelona, an opponent they had not faced since Munichs' debut at the 2001 Luxembourg tournament. The Colmcilles settled in well, notching up a few early scores, and held the lead at half time. However, as the final whistle went, Barca' had sneaked a couple of crucial scores, which left the 'cilles with their work cut out for them - if they wanted to qualify for the semi-finals, they needed a win in the next game.
That was versus Den Haag, and proved to be the most competitive game of the day for Munich. Every ball was contested, and every blade of grass fought for. There was man marking ang tough tackles, and at times, tempers rose. However, the final whistle saw den Haag come out victorious, but only just, and the 'Cilles lads reckoned that despite the result, they had given a good account of themselves.
There was one more game to play however, againest Amsterdam, and that was to determine who took fifth place and who took sixth in the rankings of the day. At this point the management had an important decision to make - go hell for leather for fifth spot and get that extra leg up on the Euro league table - or use the opportunity to develop some of the less experienced players. The verdict was player development, and it followed that the Munich panel was reorganized accordingly. Although the result was in favour of Amsterdam, it did give some of the players that valuable match play time they needed, something that can't be simulated in training, and left the Colmcilles ready to fight another day.
A big thank you to all who travelled. Next stop is the Luxembourg tournament at the end of May, where the Colmcilles intend to build on their experiences of the Paris tournament and hope to come back to Munich with more Euro league points under their belts.