Irishman's call to form Gaelic football club in Sheffield

Niall Murphy is forming a gaelic football club in Sheffield
Niall Murphy is forming a gaelic football club in Sheffield
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An Irishman is looking to start a Gaelic football club in Sheffield, and he wants you to get involved.

Niall Murphy, a former high-level Gaelic footballer himself, is trying to get some players together for regular training sessions and matches.

Irishman Niall Murphy, left, a former high-level gaelic footballer

Irishman Niall Murphy, left, a former high-level gaelic footballer

Niall represented County Wexford, and has played the sport since he was six years old.

He previously played for a team in Nottingham, but grew weary of driving there and back.

"The commute was too much," the Fulwood Road, Fulwood resident said.

The 32-year-old finance worker decided to set about setting up his own team.

While he plans for them to play matches against other cities like Leeds and Nottingham, Niall said the Sheffield team would exist primarily for the camaraderie and friendship.

He looked forward to enjoying a Guinness after matches and training.

"Setting up a club, in my opinion, isn't about entering a league to win it," he said.

"We're not going to set up a 'win at all costs and kill each other' club.

"Even if you just want to come and train, you can. It's good for fitness.

"You don't have to be a hardcore, six gym sessions per week athlete," he said.

If you can run, catch and kick a ball, you have the skills required to play.

"It's a transferable skill set," Niall said.

A committee has scoured Sheffield's universities, putting up flyers and stalls.

"We're making steady progress every week," Niall said.

He said he couldn't believe there wasn't a football team in the city.

"Sheffield's a big city," he said.

"There are three Irish pubs, but no team."

It's an inclusive sport, with a wide range of ages capable of playing.

"I've seen people as young as 16 or 17, and as old as 42 or 43 playing," Niall said.

It's not just Irish people who are interested in playing.

"There's an Irish aspect, the Irish in Sheffield getting together, but lots of English people are interested," Niall said.

"There were lots of girls at the last meeting to try and get a girls team started.

The game is played by two teams of 15 a side, on a rectangular pitch.

It dates back to at least the 1800s. The Gaelic Athletic Association formed in 1884.

The association also regulates hurling in Ireland. Niall said he also hoped to form a hurling team, but would be guided by the masses.

"It will be driven by the interest," he said.

"Whether it's a girls team, boys team or a kids team - that's what we'll set up first."

Anyone interested in joining up with the club is encouraged to send a friend request to Sheffield Gaelic Athletic Association on Facebook, and follow the organisation on Twitter and Instagram.

The next meeting of the association is on Tuesday, September 19 at the Grapes Pub on Trippet Lane.

Niall came to Sheffield five years ago. His wife, Hanna, is a Yorkshire woman.

The pair met while travelling in Brisbane, Australia, in 2009.