The VAFA tour of Ireland and the UK concluded recently, with the Claret and Stout midfielders Denis Symeopoulos and Louis Denton playing prominent roles in the Big V performance.
The Ireland leg saw the Vics win one of three games, with the Irish clubs adding guest County players to their squads. They finished the tour with a massive win over AFL Europe when the Sherrin replaced the Gaelic round ball.
Xavs premiership veteran Tim Dynon joined in the frivolity, appearing in the final game played at Reading, an hour west of London.
The boys played in Cork, Galway and Dublin and enjoyed sights in those places and in between, and sampled some of the famous Irish hospitality. The Guinness Storehouse, Triinity College, Kilmainham Gaol, Blarney Castle, the Cliffs of Moher and Croke Park, home of the Gaelic Athletic Association, are always a highlight of the Irish leg. They also managed a visit to the Australian Embassy in Dublin for a cocktail party.
In England, the boys went to Wembley for a Premier League contest, and the Sizzling Souvlaki even had a visit to the hospital to critique the National Health Service.
This was the fourth VAFA tour of Ireland, with the series beginning back in 2011. Xavs players to have made the trip with the Big V team are Ryan Colbert and Nick Wynne (2011), Brendan Goss and Marcus Allan (2013), Matt Handley (2015). Michaels Sholly, Blood and Fitzgerald (as team officials) and Wayne Handley have all experienced the highs and highers that is the jaunt to the Emerald Isle.
Looking for something to do in October 2019? Start planning now! Whether as a player or supporter, it's a ripper fortnight.