Gaelic football , commonly referred to as football or Gaelic,is an Irish team sport. It is a form of football derived from traditional Irish ball games. It is played between two teams of 15 players on a rectangular grass pitch. The objective of the sport is to score points by passing the ball through the other teamâ€™s goals (3 points) or a set of two upright posts separated by a crossbar 2.5 metres (8.2Â ft) above the ground (1 point).
Players advance the football, a spherical leather ball, up the field with a combination of carrying, bouncing, kicking, hand-passing, and soloing (dropping the ball and then toe-kicking the ball upward into the hands). In the game, two types of scores are possible: points and goals. A point is awarded for kicking or hand-passing the ball over the crossbar, signalled by the umpire raising a white flag. A goal is awarded for kicking the ball under the crossbar into the net, signalled by the umpire raising a green flag. Positions in Gaelic football are similar to that in other football codes, and comprise one goalkeeper, six backs, two midfielders, and six forwards, with a variable number of substitutes.
Gaelic football is one of four sports (collectively referred to as the â€œGaelic gamesâ€) controlled by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), the largest sporting organisation in Ireland. Along with hurling and camogie, Gaelic football is one of the few remaining strictly amateur sports in the world, with players, coaches, and managers prohibited from receiving any form of payment. Gaelic football is mainly played on the island of Ireland, although units of the Association exist in other areas such as Great Britain and North America.
Gaelic football is the most popular sport in Ireland in terms of attendance, with the 2011 All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, held at Croke Park, Dublin, drawing an attendance of 82,300 people. Outside of Ireland, football is mainly played amongst members of theÂ Irish diaspora. Gaelic ParkÂ in New York City is the largest purpose-built Gaelic sports venue outside of Ireland. Three major football competitions operate throughout the year: the National Football League and the All-Ireland Senior Championship are operated on a county basis, while the All-Ireland Club Championship is contested by individual clubs. The All-Ireland Senior Championship is run as a knock-out competition, with the top two counties meeting in the All-Ireland Football Final, considered the most prestigious event in Gaelic football.
Under the auspices of the GAA, Gaelic football is a male-only sport; however, the related sport of ladiesâ€™ Gaelic football is governed by the Ladiesâ€™ Gaelic Football Association. Similarities between Gaelic football and Australian rules football have allowed the development of international rules football, a hybrid sport, and a series of Test matches has been held regularly since 1998.
Please check out our Gaelic menâ€™s & Ladies pages for further details
Founded in 2009 by Claire McWilliams, Sharjah Wanderers Ladies Gaelic Football team have gone from strength to strength over the last five years and are a dominant force in the MEL. Boasting three consecutive MEL titles in the first three years since its inauguration(2010-2012), the club is this year also proudly introducing a C ladies team into the competition for the first time in its history.
Known throughout the UAE and even further afield for the quality of their players, which include Sharjah mainstays such as Claire herself, Betty Nash, Sarah Coakley and Ally Smith, to name but a few, Sharjah Ladies were also delighted to unveil their brand new kit this season, kindly sponsored by McGettiganâ€™s, which is a distinctive green, red and black strip and is currently the envy of most of the other clubs in the competition!
Based out of Sharjah Wanderers Sports Club, the ladies also hold a hugely successful annual tournament in their home ground,which this season, will be held on Friday, February 21st 2014. This tournament I salways a key stage of the Ladies MEL as things at the top of the table begin to heat up as end of season comes to a close. Indeed, the Sharjah tournament has often proved to be a decisive turning point for teamsâ€™ fortunes in the League over the last few years, namely for the home club itself.
Already building on past success, Sharjah looks set to be a dominant force in both the A and B competitions once more this year, and with a host of new talent after arriving at the club from across Ireland, the UK, America and South Africa, the C competition will certainly begetting a shake-up as it welcomes Sharjah Ladies C for the first time.
With the determination of club coach, Claire McWilliams and assistant coach, Mary McGuire behind them, alongside the passion of A captain, Tricia Murphy (who is determined to bring the skill and talent of Cork ladies to the side), the dedication of Meath woman and B captain, Grace Bell and the sheer will of C captain Creina Hayes, the club looks destined for even more great things this season.
Sharjah Wanderers Ladies train every Monday evening at 6.30pm and every Wednesday evening at 5pm in Sharjah Wanderers Sports Club. New players are always welcome.