The New York college Gaelic football side will again head across the pond to participate in a higher education tournament as part of the Sigerson Cup weekend in February. 

Going back for close to 20 years, this was an annual pilgrimage that took them to Birmingham and Manchester in England, as well as a number of Irish venues. They have been competitive in all those locations, with players such as Shane Carty, CJ Molloy, and Shane Hogan starring for the traveling sides over the years. 

This year, the side will be playing at Carlow IT, with a semifinal berth scheduled for the 18th and a final or shield final on the plate for the following day. 

The New York college side is managed by Rangers’ Paddy Curtis this year. Rangers won the 2021 New York under-20 title and by process, put forward the college manager. He is joined on the party by selectors Sean Price of Shannon Gaels and Mick Healy of Rockland. 

Graham Geraghty, the former Meath All-Ireland winning captain, was in New York for 10 days in January and trains the side. He is joining the panel when they arrive in Ireland on February 15 where they will be staying in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford. 

While in Wexford, the side will play a challenge against that county’s under-20 side, while also having a session with the Wexford senior football team trainer on Thursday the 17th. 

All of this will set them up nicely for their first competitive game on Friday at Carlow IT. The Corn Na Mac Leinn tournament is already underway with third-level schools in Ireland battling for quarterfinal places, throughout January and early February. 

On completion of those games, the New York side joins the tournament in the semifinal stage, as does the British university participant. While you do not know who your opponent could possibly be at this juncture, there will be no fear of what New York needs to prepare for, or what standard they will need to bring, to bring back silverware. 

A number of their panel was on the last New York team to participate in 2020, including Dylan Curran, Gearoid Kennedy, and Caolain Mathers. The event was called off last year due to Covid protocol. 

From the Superbowl to the Sigerson! See a brilliant finish from a ridiculous angle by New York's Conor Mathers from @ShannonGaelsNYC in a win over Cavan Institute.. @ElectricIreland @NewYorkGAA @GAA_USA

— GAA Higher Education (@HigherEdGAA) February 7, 2020

Collette McElligott is the traveling party tour manager, with Geraldine Doheny the Covid officer and logistics manager. 

With a party of over 30 people, they will have their hands full, while also hopefully having to allow for large silverware shipping on the trip back home. 

The college side will play a New York junior selection in the second leg of a home and home series on Saturday night in Gaelic Park at 5 pm. 

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