Kildress woman ‘over the moon’ at representing Middle East in first GAA World Games

Angela Monaghan, left, will represent the Middle East's GAA team alongside Fermanagh's Claire Maguire
Angela Monaghan, left, will represent the Middle East's GAA team alongside Fermanagh's Claire Maguire

A Kildress woman who lives in Qatar, has said she “is over the moon” after being chosen to play for the Middle East, in the first ever GAA World Games.

Former St Mary’s Grammar student Angela Monaghan said she first picked up a Gaelic football for Kildress at the tender age of 10.

Since then, the 31-year-old, has represented Kildress Wolfe Tones and played at county level before fielding for John Moores University.

The star player also represented Northwest Universities in the provincial competition and was selected on two occasions for the British Universities All Star teams.

But Angela, who has worked as a teacher in Doha since 2013, said she still can’t believe her luck after being chosen to play in the first ever GAA World Games in Abu Dhabi from March 6-7.

She told the Mail: “I’m stunned to have been selected due to the high standard and numbers at the trials, but I obviously did something right and cannot wait now for the competition.

“I will play for the Middle East team and we will meet teams like Asia, Australasia and North America in our group games.

“I am over the moon to have been picked and feel proud to say that I will play in the first ever world games.

“I think it’s great, as not only am I representing the Middle East but feel like am flying the flag also for Qatar,Kildress and Tyrone and am very proud of my GAA roots.”

Currently training in blinding desert sandstorms and intense heat to ensure she in peak fitness ahead of the games this weekend, the talented footballer added: “It’s a far cry from training in Gortaclady.”

“It’s a bit like training in fog at home if you can imagine poor visibility and a lot of dust getting in your eyes, and really dries out your throat. This along with the heat makes it extremely difficult to train in.”

Chosen alongside Qatar Ladies teammate, Claire Maguire from Fermanagh, the Tyrone woman said she expects to face people she has played with or against before.

Mens and ladies teams are to travel from Argentina, Asia, Australasia, Canada, New York, North America, Europe, South Africa and from around the Middle East to compete in the inaugural competition.

Speaking about the selections, chair of Qatar GAA Peter Crowe said: “Angela and Claire are true leaders in every sense of the word and we couldn’t be prouder in Qatar GAA to have them represent us at the GAA World Games.

“It is no surprise to me that their efforts have been rewarded with places on the Middle East panel.”