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Arabian Celts in Dubai for Middle East League round.

BAHRAIN's Arabian Celts Gaelic football teams set off for Dubai this morning for the opening round of the Middle East League.

Following a fantastic pre-season programme during which the club attracted over 30 players to training every week throughout the summer, the Celts go into the first tournament of the new season in fine fettle.

In a confident move, the club will launch a three-pronged assault on this year's league, in the shape of the Arabian Celts, the Arabian Legends and the Arabian Celts Ladies.

Today will the first visit by the Celts to the new home of Dubai Gaelic football, the Jebel Ali International Shooting Club and Centre of Excellence. There they will come up against familiar rivals in the likes of Dubai Celts, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Qatar.

The Arabian Celts, playing in the Men's A competition, have been grouped with Qatar A, Dubai B, Oman and Abu Dhabi B.

The Arabian Legends meanwhile, are in the other half of the draw, alongside Dubai A, Abu Dhabi A and Qatar B.

The Arabian Celts Ladies are taking part in the Ladies B competition and will face off against Dubai B and Abu Dhabi B over the course of the day.

Challenge

Helped by the influx of a host of new players over the summer months, the Arabian Celts' teams are in a strong position to challenge for some much sought-after silverware on the opening weekend.

For the Celts, the evergreen James Kennedy will keep goal behind a no-nonsense backline made up of skipper Shane O'Neill and the dependable Joel Webber and Stevie Leask.

A strong midfield combination of John Gibbons and new-signing Joe Melia will look to supply a steady flow of ball into the forward line of John Kelly, Mike O'Donnell and debutant Kevin Mannion.

The Legends team is one packed with experience, starting with player-manager David Lloyd in goals. Derek Daly, Adrian Gannon and prodigal son Karl Mullins make up the defensive line, go-to-man Brendan Stafford and the returning Breffni Allen marshalling the midfield.

Up front, star man Marc Dorrian will lead an attack supplemented by Dan Pilmore and Efce van Heerden, who makes his competitive debut for the club.

Arabian Celts: James Kennedy, Joel Webber, Shane O 'Neill (capt), Stevie Leask, John Gibbons, Joe Melia, John Kelly, Mike O'Donnell, Kevin Mannion, Mattie Bulger, Sam Orr, Ronan O'Donoghue.

Arabian Legends: David Lloyd, Derek Daly, Adrian Gannon, Karl Mullins, Brendan Stafford (capt), Breffni Allen, Dan Pilmore, Efce van Heerden, Marc Dorrian, Mehdi Jouhri, Rob Jennings, Paul Keown.

Arabian Celts Ladies: Naomi Drought, Alicia de Haldevang, Danelle Kneyse (capt), Maria Gilsenan, Karen Ellis, Shelley Mohi, Hillary Smith, Colleen McSorley, Sally Thompson, Lynda Hanratty, Sinead Moriarty, Elaine Bannon, Niamh Kelly.

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Sep 30, 2011
Words:467
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