Friday night jaunt, maybe joust, with the Journalists
Subject to editorial deadlines and any late football related dramas, we hope to have a panel of Journalists in attendance at our meeting this coming Friday evening, to discuss and debate the issues surrounding our international team. In what will be something of a role reversal, members will have the opportunity to 'grill' our guests. Looking ahead to Wembley 2013 and a glance back to Lansdowne 1995, together with current managerial structures and personnel should be topical subjects. Amongst those who have agreed in principle to attend are:- Sunday Independent columnist Dion Fanning, Irish Times soccer writer Emmet Malone, Sunday Times (London) columnist Paul Rowan ( author of 'the Team that Jack Built') and our own Irish Post columnist Rob Brennan.
Irish Summer Transfers slowly amble into action
The current UK transfer window will conclude on Saturday 31st August 2013. The Irish players detailed below have all been involved in some form of transfer or release during the summer period. Currently top of the impact list is the release of Richard Dunne by Aston Villa, while the switch of goalkeeper Darren Randolph from Motherwell to Birmingham City currently tops the transfer list.
Live Friday night Airtricity League action on RTE 2...23/05/2013
The Airtricity League Premier Division contest between Limerick and current leaders Sligo Rovers at Thomond Park, will be shown live on RTE 2 from 7.00pm this Friday evening.
Friday night in the Airtricity League Premier Division...23/05/2013
The Friday night Airtricity League Premier Division programme continues with Bohemian hosting joint leaders St Patrick's Athletic in Dalymount Park at 7.45pm, while Bray Wanderers welcome Drogheda United to the Carlisle Grounds. Derry City are set for the visit of Cork City to the Brandywell and Dundalk entertain UCD in Oriel Park. Managerless Shelbourne make the short journey to Tallaght where Shamrock Rovers will be the 8.00pm hosts.
Robbie Keane withdrawal rescinded for friendlies...22/05/2013
Yesterday's announcement that Club side LA Galaxy had exercised their right and declined to release Ireland captain Robbie Keane for the opening pair of international friendly fixtures against England and Georgia has been rescinded, and the skipper will now be available. Available of course means he will start at Wembley and while one can understand the purely personal reason he would wish to do so, one wonders if his absence might not have benefitted the team in the longer term. Whatever one's personal misgivings concerning the merits of playing England next week, the fact remains that the contest is likely to be a committed one. The fee is, no doubt, attractive and needed in these troubled fiscal times. The provisional return fixture at the Aviva in November 2014 will also provide a lucrative financial return. However, from a playing perspective, the opportunity to experiment with, say Wes Hoolihan in the Keane role at Wembley, for the duration of the match is in all likelihood lost.
Remaining EA Sports Cup contest this evening...21/05/2013
The one remaining Round Two contest in the EA Sports Cup took place in Tallaght Stadium this evening where hosts Shamrock Rovers prevailed with the only goal against Dundalk.
Casualty review as we countdown to Wembley...20/05/2013
The first formal withdrawal from the Ireland squad for the upcoming quartet of matches, commencing with England at Wembley on Wednesday 29 May 2013, has occurred. The uncapped Anthony Pilkington has cited ongoing injury as the basis for his withdrawal and we must also keep a close watch on the injury concerns surrounding Stoke City duo Glenn Whelan and Marc Wilson.
EA Sports Cup activity for Airtricity League Clubs...20/05/2013
There were seven contests settled this evening in the EA Sports Cup. The contest between North West rivals Finn Harps and Derry City went to a penalty shoot-out with the visitors prevailing. Visitors Cork City crushed Wexford Youths by four goals to nil. Premier Division clubs, Drogheda United (6-0 at home to Longford Town), Limerick (4-2 penalty shoot-out victors at home to Waterford United and Sligo Rovers (four nil at home to Mervue United) all advanced, as did St Patrick's Athletic, who were taken to extra-time by Salthill Devon before emerging as three two victors. The all Premier Division meeting of Bohemian and Bray Wanderers also went to extra-time in Dalymount Park before the hosts prevailed by four goals to two.
Triumphs and tribulations for Premiership Irish...19/05/2013
Norwich City midfielder Anthony Pilkington has celebrated his Ireland call-up with a goal at Manchester City this afternoon. The news appears to be less bright for Stoke City full back Marc Wilson, who has been forced off after just twenty minutes which, coupled with his recent injury problems, must cast doubt on his availability for the upcoming international programme. An opportunity perhaps to call up Joey O'Brien of West Ham United who, like Wilson, has been performing with consistency in the left back position.
No real pressure on Irish in Premiership finale...19/05/2013
The English Premiership finale this afternoon matters in reality, only to Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur as they battle for the fourth and final Champions League position in the league. Those Ireland squad members in action will be hoping for an injury free end to their club season as they anticipate the upcoming quartet of international contests, commencing with England at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday 29th May 2013.
Contrasting thoughts for Irish Under 21 brigade...19/05/2013
In contrast to their senior counterparts, those members of Noel King's Under 21 squad attached to English Premiership clubs would welcome involvement in the league season climax this afternoon, but most have been disappointed. U21 captain Shane Duffy is again on the Everton substitute bench and would fancy a run out against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Twenty year old full back Michael Harriman, a late call-up to the U21 squad announced during the week, is a surprise starter for QPR at Liverpool. Aberdeen defender Joe Shaughnessy, was in his regular position at home to Heart of Midlothian yesterday afternoon.
Wembley delight for Kevin Dawson and Paddy Madden...19/05/2013
Young Dubliners, Kevin Dawson and Paddy Madden will be in buoyant mood following this afternoon's League One play-off victory for their Yeovil Town over Brentford, which sees the club promoted to the Championship for the first time in their history. Madden kick started the two one victory with the opening goal after six minutes.
Saturday night postponement at the Showgrounds...18/05/2013
Tonight's scheduled Airtricity League Premier Division contest between current leaders Sligo Rovers and Dundalk at the Showgrounds, has been postponed because of a waterlogged pitch. Meanwhile First division leaders Longford Town welcome Cobh Ramblers to Flancare Park at 7.30pm.
Donegal's Carl McHugh back at Wembley again...18/05/2013
Twenty year old Bradford City defender Carl McHugh from Donegal was an unused substitute at Wembley Stadium, when his club defeated Northampton Town by three goals to nil in the League Two play-off final on Saturday afternoon. McHugh, named in Ireland's U21 squad earlier this week, was in defence for his club when they were defeated in the Carling Cup Final by Premiership side Swansea City in March and will be delighted with the much more favourable outcome on this occasion.
First Under 21 call-up for Barry McNamee...15/05/2013
Ireland Under 21 Head Coach Noel King has included the uncapped Derry City wideman Barry McNamee in his sixteen man squad for the friendly encounter with Denmark in Fredericia on Friday 31 May 2013. The squad is set to assemble in Dublin on Sunday 26 May 2013 before travelling to Denmark on Wednesday 29th May 2013. The Dublin training sessions will be bolstered by the addition of Ciaran Gallagher, Daryl Horgan, Roberto Lopes, Danny Morrissey and David O'Leary from the Airtricity League ranks, together with Hansa Rostock striker Selcuk Tidim.
Damian Delaney set for Championship play-off Final...13/05/2013
Damian Delaney, something of a surprise selection in the Ireland squad announced earlier today by Giovanni Trapattoni, is expected to be the first withdrawal, at least for the opening England encounter, following tonight's Championship semi-final play-off victory for his Crystal Palace over favourites Brighton & Hove Albion. The 'Eagles' will meet Watford in the play-off final for a place in next season's Premiership on Monday the 27th May 2013, two days before our encounter with England at the same venue.
FA Youth Cup Final delight for Kyle McFadden...13/05/2013
Norwich City, with eighteen year old Kyle McFadden from Donegal in central defence, defeated Chelsea by three goals to two in the second leg of the FA Youth Cup Final in front of almost 18,000 spectators at Stamford Bridge tonight. The 'Canaries', one nil victors in the home leg, secured the Trophy on a 4-2 aggregate which, coupled with yesterday's Premiership survival victory, made for an excellent 48 hours in the life of Chris Hughton.
Happy Birthday wishes to Irish May celebrants...01/05/2013
Best wishes go to Under 19 international Sean Maguire of West Ham United who is nineteen today, while fellow U19 player Adam Evans of Burnley reaches the milesone on the 3rd. Good wishes also go out to the senior trio of Darren Randolph (12th), Andrew Keogh (16th), Wesley Hoolihan (20th) and David Meyler (29th) together with U21 goalkeeper Sean McDermott (30th).