Saturday afternoon Premier League action...20/12/2014
Aston Villa restored some confidence when they held a Manchester United side which has quietly edged their way into the top three, to a one all draw this afternoon. Another forensic examination for Ciaran Clark, who emerged unscathed. Also finding themselves in trouble are Hull City, for whom David Meyler started, while Robbie Brady and Stephen Quinn were unused substitutes as they went down to another one nil home defeat by Swansea City. There was also bitter disappointment for Everton, for whom Seamus Coleman started, while Aiden McGeady was an unused substitutes as they went down to a three nil defeat at stuttering Southampton, for whom Shane Long was in fine fettle.
More Saturday Championship action for Irish...20/12/2014
Following the disappointment of both cup and league defeats in the last seven days, Derby County were hoping to bounce back when they hosted Norwich City in the early Championship kick-off today. Their Irish trio of Cyrus Christie, Richard Keogh and Jeff Hendrick all started, while Wes Hoolihan who returned to action last Saturday as a substitute, following his lengthy injury absence, again came from the bench on seventy minutes as his 'Canaries' scored a very late equaliser to secure a two all draw. In a role reversal of last week, Ipswich Town supersede their visitors Middlesbrought in second place following their two nil victory this afternoon. Daryl Murphy was again on the scoresheet together with former U21 international Jay Tabb, while David McGoldrick again caught the eye. The meeting of Reading and Watford brought together two clubs who have suffered recent managerial upheaval. New manager Steve Clarke restored Alex Pearce and Simon Cox to the host's starting eleven, but to little avail as the visitors scored the only goal.
David Forde in Friday night disappointment...19/12/2014
Following their one nil victory at Brighton last week, Millwall were again in Friday night action when they played host to Neil Lennon and Bolton Wanderers. While goalkeeper David Forde again had the consistent Shaun Williams in front of him, their side went down to the only goal scored midway through the second half. The victorious visitors introduced teenage striker Conor Wilkinson, who left the 'Lions' in somewhat controversial fashion last year, from the bench for the final ten minutes.
Under 18s go down to Portugal in second contest...18/12/2014
Head Coach Paul Doolin offered opportunity to the remainder of his twenty one man squad when his Republic of Ireland Under 18 side, again faced Portugal this afternoon in Bonitos. Ireland went down to a one nil defeat, in another performance which offered hope for the future.
Disappointment for Ireland hopeful in Capital One Cup...17/12/2014
Wednesday evening's Capital One Cup quarter-final between current Championship leaders AFC Bournemouth and Premier Division strugglers Liverpool did not really offer much opportunity to host midfielder Harry Arter, who has been a consistent presence in the South Coast side's progress to date, as he was rested and only introduced from the bench, ten minutes into the second half of a contest his side lost by three golas to one. Capped at underage level, the twenty five year old Arter has been catching the eye this season and may well be on the Martin O'Neill radar.
Midweek Capital One Cup disappointment for Irish...16/12/2014
The Derby County duo of Cyrus Christie and Richard Keogh who started and late substitutes Jeff Hendrick and Leon Best suffered disappointment as their Derby County went down to a three one defeat in this evening's Capital One Cup encounter with visitors Chelsea. There was disappointment also for Shane Long, given an opportunity in his favoured central striking position for his club Southampton, who went down to a one nil defeat at League One side Sheffield United.
Under 18s lose to Portugal in double header opener...16/12/2014
Head Coach Paul Doolin expressed satisfaction with the overall performance of his Republic of Ireland Under 18 side, despite a two nil defeat to Portugal in Abrantes this afternoon. The two sides will meet again at 3pm on Thursday afternoon in Bonitos.
Irish player interest in Europa League and Youth draws...15/12/2014
The Irish quartet at Everton saw their club drawn to face Young Boys Berne of Switzerland in the Europa League Round of Thirty Two on the 19th and 26th February 2015. Anthony Stokes and Glasgow Celtic have been drawn against Inter Milan in the same competition. The draw for the knock-out Round of Sixteen in the UEFA Youth Leage sees Liverpool (Dan Cleary, Alex O'Hanlon, Corey Whelan) drawn to meet Benfica, while Manchester City (Jack Byrne) will take on FC Schalke with the ties set for the 17/18th and 24/25th February 2015.
Premier League victory for Everton this evening...15/12/2014
There was significant Irish involvement in the Premier League this Monday evening as Everton defeated QPR by three goals to one at Goodison Park. Both Seamus Coleman and Aiden McGeady were in the starting eleven for the hosts but recent injury absentees, James McCarthy and Darron Gibson remained sidelined. Centre back Richard Dunne, now retired from international football, has been in commanding form for QPR and the Tallaght native faced the club he commenced his professional career with, following his arrival from Home Farm in 1995.
More Saturday afternoon Premier League action...13/12/2014
Struggling Hull City travelled to league leaders Chelsea, where they went down to a two nil defeat on Saturday afternoon with David Meyler starting and Robbie Brady coming off the bench on sixty four minutes. Stephen Quinn was an unused substitute. Crystal Palace and Stoke City played out a one all draw at Selhurst Park with Damian Delaney an unused substitute, while Jon Walters and Marc Wilson started for the visitors, with Glenn Whelan an unused substitute. Sunderland and West Ham United also played out a one all draw, with John O'Shea again consistency personified at centre back for the hosts. Aston Villa made the short journey to Midlands neighbours West Bromwich Albion where they went down to a one nil defeat. Ciaran Clark retained his starting berth, while Shay Given and Jack Grealish were unused substitutes.
Irish teenagers in UEFA Youth League action...10/12/2014
The final series of group matches in the UEFA Youth League, for clubs whose senior side participate in the Champions League, took place this week. Irish youngsters Daniel Cleary, who scored, and Corey Whelan started while Alex O'Hanlon was an unused substitute for Liverpool who defeated FC Basle by three goals to nil on Tuesday afternoon, thus superseding their opponents on head to head goal difference and claiming the second Group B qualifying position behind Real Madrid. This afternoon, Manchester City, already qualified with a one hundred per cent record, travelled to face AS Roma, and maintained their record with a four nil victory. Midfielder Jack Byrne, scorer of four goals in the previous five contests, was again on the score sheet with the second this afternoon.
Stephanie Roche goal in top three for Puskas Award...01/12/2014
Ireland Women's International Stephanie Roche has been short-listed for FIFA's Puskas Award following a worldwide poll of the top ten goals from the 2013/14 season. Roche is the first woman to ever make the top three in the FIFA Goal of the Year and she will contest the final award with James Rodriguez of Colombia and Robin van Persie of Holland, both of whose goals were scored at the World Cup in Brazil earlier this year. The winner will be announced at the FIFA Ballon d'Or awards ceremony in Zurich on Monday the 12th January 2015. You can vote for Stephanie's goal by logging in to www.fifa.com/ballon-dor/pus