Our Club

This is our past, present and future.

Saigon Gaels GAA is a young and fast-developing club that is attracting all nationalities and all playing levels.

We have a combination of competitive and social teams that compete in the 2 main GAA tournaments in Asia and smaller events scattered around the continent.

Watch the video from our inter-club Railway Cup 2020

 

Club History

Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City, the home of the Saigon Gaels!

The foundations of Saigon Gaels were laid in 2011 when our neighbours and rivals the VietCelts were asked to host the SAGGs (South Asian Gaelic Games) and could not find a suitable venue in the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi, to host the event. At this time, a GAA ball hadn’t grazed the ground of Saigon but the opportunity to host the major tournament started a trend within the vibrant and densely populated city. 

 

For years after, the concept of a permanent GAA club in South Vietnam did not materialise as each tournament saw a last-minute dash to recruit men to wear the jersey. However, in 2014 the club saw its renaissance as an influx of expats—Irish and other nationalities-- decided to make Vietnam their new home. The club initially ran as a ladies’ GAA club, recovered by Siobhan Synott in 2014. Her efforts saw the Gaels having almost 30 expats from every corner of the earth training with a few soccer balls but pride in their hearts for the game. While the ladies’ continued with strong numbers the men’s team struggled to recruit members and so began the club's affiliation with the Vietnam Swans, the Australian Rules team. The strong relationship between the two sports has been noticeable as many in the Swans and Gaels have crossed over between codes effortlessly which assisted in keeping our membership healthy for a few years. This relationship replicated what other GAA clubs in Asia were doing.

 
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During these years, influential men and women such as our longest-serving member James Teague along with Cormac Hamill, Maz Scanlon, and Jonny McLoughlin took the ladies team from strength to strength and grew the club to new heights. The rise of the club’s popularity and power became apparent within the Asian Gaelic community, this led to the Asian County Board among Saigon Gaels to host the SAGs once again in 2017. 

 

The tournament included 25 teams from the region visiting with Saigon entering 5 teams, a huge turnout for the club and our ladies’ won the plate final that day! The tournament was well-received by all who took part and was highly complimented by many from across Asia who had been to numerous SAGs.

 

Saigon is rapidly becoming a hub for aspiring Irish expats and with that many players with years of playing experience have surfaced in recent months and years. The growing community and the freedom to travel to unimaginable lands has attracted the masses towards Saigon. 

 

Ever since that decision in 2011 to host the South Asian Gaelic Games, the Saigon Gaels have grown and developed into something Ho Chi Minh’s Irish population can be proud of. The club is inclusive to all and this has helped out to expand and become increasingly competitive in both football and hurling. Our intentions and goals for the future have come a long way from the erratic search to find bodies to fill a team in 2011. Coming into our ninth year within the Asian County Board our mission today is to amplify membership further within the Vietnamese community, support our players on and off the pitch all while increasing our silverware in both the men and women’s competition. 

 

It doesn’t take skills of Colm ‘The Gooch’ Cooper, the speed of Usain Bolt or the strength of Jonah Lomu to become a Gael….All it takes is a bit of heart, laughter and dedication.

 

Gael's 2021 Committee

Saigon Gaels 2011-2021

Celebrating 10 years of GAA in Ho Chi Minh City

Our team is successful because we work together. Together Everyone Achieves More.

 
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Jonny McLoughin

Chairperson

Head Ladies' Coach

Alison Griffin

Vice Chairperson

Health and Safety Officer
 

John Copley

Treasurer

Conor McGuckin

Vice Treasurer
 

Marianna Daniels

Secretary 

Gearoid Clarke

Vice Secretary 

Charlie O'Neill

Tournament Officer

Public Relations Officer

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Susan Li


Events Officer

Aoife Kelly

Charity Officer
 

Emer Taheny

Social Crew

Kathryn Waldron 

Social Crew

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Richard Blain

Men's Player Representative 

Clare Gilligan

Ladies Player Representative

James Bourke

Hurling Officer

Mary Coughlan

Camogie Officer

 
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Naomi Reidy

General Committee Member

Laura Gallagher 

General Committee Member

Eamonn Gilligan

General Committee Member

Affiliates

 

GAA

Gaelic Athletic Association

LGFA

Ladies Gaelic Football Association

ACB

Asian County Board

Vietnam Swans

AFL

Embassy of Ireland

Vietnam

IBAV

Irish Business Association Vietnam

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Our Sponsors

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