Around the World in 80 Clubs – Albany Rebels, Albany, New York (#52)
After reading this, you, like us, will want to find out who exactly 'Roy' and 'Paddy' are as soon as possible.
The real ‘Roy’ and ‘Paddy’ have been granted anonymity for the purposes of this article and with good reason too.
After all, you’d want your name protected if you tried to steal a dog on a night out, got locked out of your apartment and had the cops called on you because you were presumed dead while asleep in the back of a pickup truck.
But more on that later.
The club that the two stars of that story (which is relayed in more detail below) represent, Albany Rebels, have been on the go for the last five years, competing in the Midwest Division of the North American County Board (NACB).
They play a league schedule during the summer against teams from Upstate New York and also test their mettle in non-league games and tournaments across Northeast United States and in Canada.
With a nice mixture of indigenous and Irish players, the Rebels have approximately 30 members and remain active the whole year round, sponsoring a free monthly indoor practice from November to March to keep fit during the off-season.
Chairperson Cillian Flavin filled us in on life at the Rebels when we caught up with him recently and shed some more light on the exploits of ‘Roy’ and ‘Paddy’ in a tale that will likely never be forgotten by anyone associated with the club.
Focus on Albany Rebels GFC
Club: James Connolly Albany Rebels.
Year established: 2012
Number of members: 30
Biggest rivals: Syracuse (New York) and Hartford (Connecticut).
Biggest representation from a club/county in Ireland: One each from Cork, Tipperary, Mayo and Dublin.
Most famous ever member: Super Joe Bradley - basically the mayor of Albany.
Most memorable moment in the club’s history: Winning the Montreal tournament this year.
Most eye-catching scoreline in the club’s history: 6-8 to 4-13 v Fairfield. It took an extra-time goal fired into the top corner by Mark Adam (below) for Albany to win this game by one point. The game was won with the last kick of the ball in the match.
Player who makes the longest commute to training: Bradleigh Wilson from Saratoga, New York, makes a 45-minute commute.
Most dedicated club person: Cillian Flavin. A former coach, he is the current Chairman and a director of the club and he used to be treasurer. He’s also one of the original team members.
Player who could have made it big if love/career/drink didn’t get in the way: Ian Maher. He never orders a single drink; he made our pub crawl this year a blast!
Biggest character: Again, Ian Maher. When he orders a pint of milk at the bar, no-one can understand him, but every time he repeats himself he gets louder and more annoyed that no-one can understand him.
Loudest in the dressing room: Dylan Conklin. He heckles his own team during games and is just generally mad in the head.
Number of romances that started in the GAA club (feel free to name names): Cillian Flavin and Ryan Moloney have an unhappy marriage; it’s a real love/hate relationship.
Duck to water award – Best new player who had never played GAA before: Mark Adam. Mark and Ian are the engine of this team. Mark is a dynamic player with a real eye for goal. He is tenacious and from day one, he lifted the entire team to a new level.
Most annoying person in the club WhatsApp group: Timmy Gerrish. We don’t even have a team WhatsApp group but if we did, he would definitely be the most annoying person in it.
Best story involving a club member that’s fit for print: Two of our lads, let’s call them Roy and Paddy, ‘rescue’ a dog on a night out.
Roy and Paddy like to drink, and they have had a few notable stories while on the drink. The ‘dog stealing’ episode in Saratoga is by far the best of them.
The two lads are out drunk, it is late at night and they call the cops. What is interesting about this is that they are calling the cops on the owner of a dog, who they are convinced is not the owner of the dog because said dog likes them better. In reality, they called the cops on themselves as they have taken possession of a pet and won't return it to the owner! Eventually, an officer arrives and makes them give the dog back to the owner and tells them to go home.
Cillian Flavin and Timmy Gerrish, not 'Roy' and 'Paddy'... maybe
After this, they get back to Paddy’s apartment where they can’t get in. Paddy sleeps in the hallway, Roy goes outside and sleeps in the back of his pick-up truck. 911 gets called again because there is a guy reported dead in the back of a pickup truck. The fire brigade responds and wakes up Roy. They tell him to go inside because you can’t sleep in your car!
But that is not the end of it… the next day they run into the dog owner from the night before walking his dog. Not only that, it turns out the keys were actually in Paddy’s pocket all night long, which could have prevented a lot of hassle had he been sober enough to actually check his own pocket in the first place.
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