• MariborKev

    by Published on 30/04/2013 10:07 PM

    I attended the Soccerex European Forum in Manchester in April and hope to bring you a series of pieces on some of the takeways for the Irish game from the week.

    Gianni Infantino, UEFA General Secretary, revealed at the conference that UEFA had agreed a deal with the European Broadcasting Union (“EBU”) for the televised rights for the Euro 2016 and World Cup 2018 qualifiers. Interesting, but what is the relevance for Irish football fans?

    RTÉ is one of over thirty national broadcasters which form part of the EBU and therefore this means that games will remain on free to air television in Ireland for the foreseeable future. The broadcaster was keen to publicise the fact, with an article appearing on their website that evening. The main quote, in the article and repeated elsewhere in the media coverage which followed came from Ryle Nugent, Head of Sport.
    ...
    by Published on 14/08/2011 2:36 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. League of Ireland

    Piece I wrote for Cityweb, the Derry programme

    We wish James McClean all the very best in his move to Sunderland and he follows a rich line of left wingers to have left the club for greater things in recent years. However the transfer has nearly been overshadowed by James’ decision to withdraw from the Northern Ireland squad and declare that he sees his international future with the Republic.

    Trappatoni has clearly stated that he doesn’t rate the League of Ireland and James obviously feels that with a move to Sunderland, his chances of selection to the Republic of Ireland side have increased. As the player himself said this week “However, it’s always been my dream to play for the Republic and hopefully that will become a reality now that I’m going to be a Sunderland player.”
    ...
    by Published on 22/02/2011 8:53 AM

    In what hopefully will be the first in a recurring series, I’ll be taking a look at the best of what’s out there in the blogsphere for the football fan.

    In Bed with Maradona

    In Bed With Maradona, or IBWM as it is also known as, has become a firm favourite of mine. The Guardian ...
    by Published on 05/01/2011 10:00 PM

    Gods and Mortal, Paul Keane, 2010

    This book reminded me of the classic League of Ireland European trips. Tall tales, great stories, heroic losses and the feeling that in the end it was over all too soon and you are really looking forward to the next one.

    The book is presented in a one game, one chapter linear format which suits the very nature of the games as occasions in the history of the club. There has been plenty of debate on internet forums about other games that may have justified inclusion and it may provide material for a topic that surely deserves a second volume.

    For keen League of Ireland watchers it may appear as if this book seeks to combine and rehash stories which many are very familiar with but the plethora of anecdotes and quotes from those involved, backed up with little details you may have long forgotten serve to ensure that the pages keep on turning on this one. The fact that the games stretch over six decades mean that there are games to interest fans of varying vintages and this helps to broaden the appeal. ...
    by Published on 07/12/2010 12:27 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. League of Ireland

    I haven't found time to articulate my feelings on the lunancy of a return of winter football but as I look out on what used to be a garden, covered in snow for the guts of ten days now it seems an apt time to get something down on it.

    As with most serious items in the League of Ireland, the news of a possible return came first from whispers, then rumours and finally a few carefully leaked press articles where if you can accurately read between the lines you can nearly work out which club official the journalist was talking to. The Daily Mail was the first paper to explicitly state that a return to winter football was on the table as an options(along with the normal deck chair rearranging of changing the number of sides in the top flight).
    ...
    by Published on 04/11/2010 6:31 PM

    Tomorrow night sees the culmination of the 2010 Airtricity First Division and all being well it will end with a Derry player picking up the trophy. It appears a far cry from last Friday night in the Social Club, never mind the first game of the season.

    There was a very sombre mood last week, as many fans believed that City had blown their cushion and would head to Monaghan with at best, a one point margin. The feeling was “here we go again” as the spectre of Athlone and Cork loomed large in the memory. In a certain way the players were somewhat sheltered from that, as many of them are too young to remember the emotion trauma of those occasions. If you are a fan however, you’ll never forget those games.
    ...
    by Published on 26/10/2010 9:36 PM
    Article Preview

    It may be Halloween next week but you can forget "Nightmare on Elm Street" if you are looking for a fright next week. Saturday night in Monahan promises to be 90 minutes of unadulterated terror for City fans. Next week runs the risk of turning into a nightmare on Clones Road, as City travel to Monaghan needing to match the result of the home side. We've been here before, and it hasn't ended well.
    ...
    by Published on 10/08/2010 11:16 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Ireland,
    3. Friendlies

    There’s no feeling like going home. Tomorrow night sees the return of international football to Lansdowne 2.0 as Ireland take on Argentina, sadly no longer led by Maradona. It may only be a friendly but I can’t wait to get back. Last week’s game was nothing more than a fundraising charade and whilst we will only see real intensity come the qualifiers, it will be a nice warm up game.

    Croker was grand, but watching football on a gaelic pitch doesn’t work. It is like seeing a mini game for kids on a full sized pitch. Seats on the hill and gaps on the hill doesn’t really create an intimidating atmosphere. Sure we have had some decent nights there, but most would admit that the atmosphere only really got going for the last ten against Italy and at the start of the French match. It crackled and fizzed at other times but nearly truly caught alight.
    ...
    by Published on 18/07/2010 3:39 PM

    The slogan for the winning City of Culture bid had been "Just Say Yes!". Derry had been announced as the winning city on Thursday night and there was general euphoria home and abroad.

    Friday dawned and it was the first trip of the season and a visit to a familiar haunting ground, Tolka Park. Working in Dublin now, this is particular a home game for me now! I spent the early morning in the dentist's chair, but unfortunately not in a Paul Gascoigne side, being filled full of lidocaine instead of alcohol. After that it was back to bed to make up for some of the sleep I'd missed out for the last week.

    However I would had to have been in some state to miss out on Friday night's game. It really brought home the geographical spread of the first division that we are now into July and this was City's first visit to Dublin this season. The game had been designated as the "Beachwear Away Trip" and the travelling contingent descended on the Upper Drumcondra Road in a swathe of Hawaiian shirts, grass skirts and flip flops. As I headed for Fagans to meet a few mates, there was a surreal scene of Derry lads heading into Tesco with full inflated paddling pools and lilos.
    ...
    by Published on 07/07/2010 7:49 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. FIFA

    Admitting you’re a football fan that likes statistics used to be akin to an admission that you were quite partial to a bit of weekend train spotting. To many people, statistics will always be an irrelevance and something which can be disregarded by studio analysis. Whilst those pundits throw out the argument that they have “played the game at the highest level”, to disregard statistical analysis appears to be nothing more than laziness.
    ...
    by Published on 12/06/2010 11:50 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. League of Ireland

    If you're a Derry fan over a certain age, then the very mention of Athlone Town is enough to recall the deep psychological trauma of the 95 season. A few of us were chatting about the game that lost us the League a few weeks back and as one said "I felt sick for about a week". However with the trip to Lissywollen the last game before the break and me keen to escape the looming deadline of a set of accountancy exams, we hit the road on Tuesday afternoon.
    ...
    by Published on 31/05/2010 10:57 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. League of Ireland

    The sun came out as the second half drew to a close on Saturday evening, seeing City head seven points clear at the top of the First Division. The sun was shining, the home side was in rampant form and all was good in the world.

    It didn’t seem like that two months ago in the RSC where we emerged bedraggled and well beaten on what was a windy and wet night. That night the general consensus amongst the travelling support was that it would be a season of consolidation, midtable at best.
    ...
    by Published on 20/05/2010 2:21 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. FAI,
    3. League of Ireland

    One of the features of the recent coverage of the LOI Select v Manchester United and Limerick v Barcelona fiasco has been that the print media have been vocal in articulating the questions which League of Ireland fans across the country have been asking.

    It seems that once again the FAI doesn’t like their authority being questioned. Please find the link to a story from today’s Independent here.
    ...
    by Published on 17/05/2010 10:15 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. League of Ireland

    Friday saw the longest trip of the season, the journey from the top of the island right to the bottom for the game against the other new entity of the 2010 season, Cork City FORAS Co-op. Just over 600 miles there and back.

    I rendezvoused with Matt, “the Statman”, in one of our favourite Cork haunts, the Boqueria. The majority of the rest of the travelling support where enjoying the cheap pints in An Brog, but we eschewed that. We discussed our miserable form on Leeside in the last decade, as well as the various near misses in the period.
    ...
    by Published on 13/05/2010 8:41 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Ireland,
    3. League of Ireland

    The long rumoured game between a LOI select and Manchester United was confirmed as the opening football game for the new Lansdowne Road today.

    I’ll not be within a 100 miles of that game and personally I think it is a ludricous decision. The rugby lads are celebrating their first game by having a combined province game, which was the first game in Lansdowne Road when it opened. That shows a bit of class, a bit of thought. It also shows a bit of pride in the domestic product. They aren’t inviting the All Black,Stade Francais or any marquee opposition over. They are putting their faith in their own players.
    ...
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