In 2016, Azur Gaels from the south of France twinned with Irish club Listowel Emmets GAA from Kerry. Micheal Pierse a former Listowel Emmets player himself was the French club’s first coach and this paved the way for the twinning of the two clubs a few years ago now. Fast forward to 2018 and the Azur Gaels players packed their bags in preparation for their first trip to Ireland as a club with a packed weekend of activities planned. Nine Azur Gaels players flew into Dublin on Thursday night and after a good night’s rest, a morning tour of Croke Park was in order. The lads got to experience a full stadium tour of the home of Gaelic Games and got to dream of perhaps one day playing on the hallowed turf of Croke Park themselves one day.
Once the stadium tour was finished, the gang had a cross-country journey ahead of them to get to Kerry. On Friday night the Gaels took on a Listowel Emmets side composed of club legends and rising stars in a fun challenge match which the men from the south of France narrowly won! A great match was followed up with some well-earned refreshments in the clubhouse.
The Gaels were up bright and early once again on Saturday morning as they headed to the Kerry Centre of Excellence where they had a tour of the facility followed by a training session with 5-time All-Ireland winner and Kerry GAA legend Jimmy Deeihan.
A packed day of activities continued as the Gaels took part in a Community Day at the Listowel Emmets club where lots of different fun activities took place including a couple of matches where the players of both clubs mixed together to play one another. The Community Day was brought to a close with the club’s flags being exchange as part of a twinning ceremony. The Gaels got to experience the famous Kerry hospitality on Saturday night before returning home to the south of France via Dublin Sunday morning, with sore heads but plenty of memories and experience that will help the club push on going forward. The French lads are hoping to welcome their twin club to the French Riviera next year as part of their annual Azur Gaelic Festival.