Contributed by: Aaron Richard
Galway, on the west coast of Ireland, is a city with a proud sporting tradition in Gaelic football and hurling. It is also a great place to visit, and after some months spent listening to suggestions from his Dublin Demons teammates that they tour to Galway (particularly from Aussies on the team keen for a night out), Diarmiud O'Riain decided it was time to look into seriously founding a club in the City of Tribes. "The ARFLI only has six teams at the moment, and with huge competition from the Gaelic sports, it's hard to maintain numbers and motivation to travel to away games. With more teams, more exposure and profile can be created, hopefully meaning more interest and more players".
Despite living in Dublin, more than 300km from Galway, O'Riain has amassed a fair collection of contacts through family and friends. "I've only been playing the game for a little over a year myself, and being three and a half hours drive from Galway makes it hard, but I've had plenty of help from my teammates and once a few more locals can come onboard it'll move along nicely. We've got reasonable numbers interested and we think recruiting won't be too difficult once the ball gets rolling".
Expansion in Ireland has had a mixed history in the past few years, with the Limerick Saints and Kilkenny Bulldogs never quite managing to reach the starting line and the Clare Crows having a tough first season. The Belfast Redbacks collapsed mid-2004, but will hopefully be back in 2005 relocated to mid-Ulster. Meanwhile, the Cork and Dublin sides have gone from strength to strength, making it difficult for new clubs to become competitive.
There are some positive signs though, with the Drogheda Dockers hoping to field a competitive side in the 2005 premiership, along with a third Dublin side, tentatively named the West Dublin Saints - and, of course, Galway. O'Riain suggests a possible name would be the Galway Tribesmen, Galway being known as the City of Tribes.
"More teams creates more competition, and is better for the long-term survival of the game. Besides, we've got the International Cup to retain".
World Footy News