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Thread: Foot.ie Q&A Eoin Hand - Answers

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    Post Foot.ie Q&A Eoin Hand - Answers

    The questions posed for this Q&A Session can be found here.

    1. What do the rest of you on RTE on a Friday night make of it when Con Murphy has one of his trademark giggling fits? How do you resist the temptation to join in?

    I suppose when you are concentrating on your own stuff you don’t have time to notice. I always ask him afterwards about what was going on but generally I am focused on what I am trying to say.

    2. With all the financial turmoil going on in the league at present do you think that there will be a drop in playing standards? If so, will this effect our performances in Europe?

    I would hope not. if the players can maintain their fitness levels and if we can avoid having to go back to part time football then this will help. This would be crucial.

    3. Do you believe that a LOI team will ever make the group stages of the champions league?

    I would be optimistic and say yes but that said I don’t think it will happen on a regular basis. There will be a break through but it’s hard to see it happen on a regular basis given the difficulties are there now.

    4. Apart from yourself, which panelist on MNS do you think is most knowledgeable on the league of Ireland?

    I don’t think you can quantify that. Damien Richardson knows his stuff (especially when he is writing his programme articles) and Dave Barry talks a lot of common sense.

    5. Do you get tired of Roddys ramblings?

    Yes !! :-)

    6. What team do you like to watch most and why?

    I always like to watch the team that plays the most attractive football. Any team that is trying to play good football deserves support.

    7. Which current player and current manager are your favourite?

    As regards the manager, Stephen Kenny always gets the best out of what he has got and plays attractive football. I don’t have favourite players. I try at all times to be unbiased.

    8. Did you think Limerick could’ve beaten Real Madrid?

    Yes, if it were played in Limerick then definitely.

    9. The whole football structure in this country seems to be very hap-hazard when compared with other countries with some tiers that seem to work independently of the rest of the organisation. How can the divide between Junior Football and League of Ireland Football be resolved?

    Greater cooperation is needed and parochial attitudes have to be abolished. I also think that domestic compensation can have a huge positive impact in this regard.

    10. Would you ever consider going back into management in the League Of Ireland if the opportunity arose?

    No, I like what I am doing now. In football you go through lots of different stages and I think I have gone past the stage of managing clubs.

    11. Does the Irish sports media give fair coverage to the domestic game?

    By in large it could be improved upon. Perhaps there is too much time given to the UK game.

    12. Do you think we would see regularly good viewer ratings of LOI matches if they aired one match live every week ?

    Yes we would. Most people get into a habit and if there is a game on at a regular timeslot then yes.

    13. Do you think the FAI has had a positive or negative effect on the league in light of the financial turmoil the clubs find themselves in?

    The FAI is leading by example. The introduction of the club licensing has been a huge leap forward. Some clubs it seems are still working in the old way but everyone has to abide by the licensing now. Some clubs have been abusing the very regulation that they themselves were in favour of initially. It is vitally important that everyone is singing off the same hymn sheet.

    14. Do you think that a ten team league is a good idea?

    It is not relevant to my thinking on it. What is more important is there is a good distribution of teams playing at the top standard throughout the country. The number is not the important point, it doesn’t matter if its 10, 12 or 14, its whether they can survive in the top league or not.

    15. Can you think of any good ideas about how this league can be improved?

    Proper Marketing is very important. Cooperation between all strands of football in the county is vital also, and providing good options to young players so they can stay in this league instead of having to go to the UK.

    16. Would you favour a return to winter football?

    Not yet, I would give summer football every opportunity to establish itself first.

    17. Do you think that the underage structure in Ireland is up to standard?

    The SFAI is a very comprehensive organisation. The Kennedy cup is only one example of what is being achieved in this country, but never the less; there is always room for improvement. The club licensing programme and domestic compensation will be beneficial to all.

    18. Do you think regional academies should be set up correctly to produce better quality players?

    This is on going. It is known as the ‘Emerging Talent Programme’ and it has been rolled out all over the country and it is proving to be very very effective. Things are continuously improving in this area.

    19. Are you for or against an All Ireland league?

    I would be in favour if the structures were correct.

    20. Of all the eircom clubs you have managed which have you enjoyed the most?

    Limerick without a doubt. I had a wonderful and successful time there and made many friends while I was there. It was because of things that happened at Limerick that I was appointed the national team manager afterwards.
    Last edited by A face; 16/06/2010 at 3:57 PM.
    The SFAI are the governing body for grassroots football in Ireland, not the FAI. Its success or the lack of is all down to them.

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    21. Can you spare €150,000? [Finn Harps fan]

    Change that Euro sign to Yen, then ok.

    22. What do you think needs to be done in order to make this league the priority compared to England/Scotland for the media and also football fans in this country?

    Again this is huge question. To improve the marketing is the best way forward. The product is good, there is no doubt about that, so continually looking at improving facilities and infrastructure is also important. We should always encourage more spectator participation.

    23. The League of Ireland has eventually made a concerted effort to contribute to the community via the Club Promotion Officers scheme which is a vital means of changing attitude, opinion and perception of our league and where clubs are positioned within the local community. What else do you think clubs need to do as regards this issue?

    See answer for question 22. But more community involvement for players is also important. Comprehensive community involvement is vital.

    24. As a former LOI Ireland player with Drumcondra and Limerick. What are your outstanding memories of playing LOI and who was the best player you played against in the LOI?

    I have really great memories. In particular there was a cup semi-final when I was with Drums against Waterford in 1968 where we were beaten two one in Dalymount. With Limerick, I remember we played against Cork Hibs in the league and we won 4:1 I had scored all four goals against the late great Alex Ludzic. I remember I was speaking to Alex after the game in the bar and he had said “I don’t think you were involved much in the game were you? You really only touched the ball four times”. So I said to him “isn’t it just as well I didn’t touch the ball twelve times so isn’t it”.

    Frank O’Neill of Shamrock Rovers was the most skilful player that I played against.

    25. Having seen all sides, from the lads who went to England at 15 and played for the National team to those who had come home labelled failures and sometimes lost to the game, what advice would you give to a teenager hoping to make a career in the game?

    I would have to say to them they must have dedication above all else. It’s just not enough to have the ability. They have to be prepared to always listen to those who can give good advice as well.

    26. What age do you think is best to go over to England/Scotland?

    I think it is best if they go at 18. I would agree with Michel Platini in that regard. 18 is the best age for any player to move abroad.

    27. Can Ireland support a professional league, in your opinion, and offer a realistic alternative to players heading over to England?

    Yes, If there is good regulation and everything is above board and transparent. Everyone needs to work together for it to happen. Everyone has to abide by the regulations that are put in place to enable this to happen.

    28. Would you prefer see our best young players play with LOI schoolboy teams or in the ‘nursery clubs’ (St Kevins etc)?

    Both, there is nothing wrong with nursery clubs looking after players early on and then League Of Ireland clubs later on. It depends on the level and who will offer the best coaching standard after they have reached the age of 14.

    29. Should LOI teams work harder to develop their own talent or should they leave it to the schoolboy teams who have been doing it for years?

    Yes they should, and they should have better coaching structures available to players. It depends on who has the best facilities and coaching staff.

    30. Do you think Eamon Dunphy & John Giles were a malevolent influence on the Irish international side?

    They can influence public opinion; I do not think that John Giles would be anything other than educational and informative.

    31. Do you think they are a malevolent influence on the current eircom leagues?

    They don’t deal with the current eircom Leagues.

    32. Why didn’t we qualify in 1984 with that decent team?

    For some of crucial games we were missing vital players through injury. We had a very limited depth in the squad at the time.

    33. In all other European countries, ex-internationals who go on to work in the football industry all invariably spend some time in their home country developing the game. With that in mind why is that most of the Irish ex-internationals seem to shun the football system they originally came from? Where is that coming from and how should it be addressed? Or do they not know that value that it would have if they were to contribute something back into the domestic game?

    It is being addressed. The FAI are involving ex-internationals at every available opportunity now. After that it is a hard thing to say to anyone when they live in a different country for so long. The way it was before is most of our players had to leave to play abroad and then they are settled in another country.

    34. In an autobiography published in the mid-eighties you mentioned the travel tip of packing golf balls to use in bath plug-holes of variable sizes. Do you still pack golf balls on away trips? Do you have any other travel tips for travelling fans?

    No, because all of the baths have plugs now. I would also suggest to fans to have a good iPod with your full choice of music available and some good reading material.

    35. What do you think of Trappatoni?

    He is one of the most respected coaches in the world. Time will tell if his methods are ultimately successful for Ireland. I believe he will get the best out of what we have got right now.

    36. Do you think we can ever revolutionise domestic football in this country?

    That is a big question. Why do we need to revolutionise? We have to work with what we have got and improve it. That is the way forward.

    37. Do you think we should stick with the current structure or do we need a serious change?

    Like question 36, we have to fine tune what we got and concentrate more on the development of youth in the game.

    38. Do you think the FAI are doing their jobs right?

    The FAI is a vastly changed organisation these days. There are huge developments all over the county and there is a lot of hard work going on. Particularly in areas where it may have seemed difficult. The number of staff in the organisation has increased ten fold nationally in recent times and there now is accountability and transparency. Everybody has responsibilities now.

    39. Which LOI team do you support?

    The team that is trying to play the best football.

    40. What did you think of your dealings with Ollie Byrne when you were Shels manager?

    Ollie was a very passionate man, and it was a pleasure to have worked with him. I enjoyed my time working with Ollie.

    41. Now that you work a lot in the media, what do you think of the attitude within the media (all forms) towards the League? Do you think there is any pioneering opinion held with editors, producers, etc. that they should herald and hold up our domestic game for all to see, to stoke some interest and pride in it, or is it just a ‘well just do what we can get away with doing’ attitude everywhere you turn?

    I think with the recession there will be a different outlook towards promotion as cutbacks will have a big effect. There will have to be some enterprising ideas regarding any outlays within the media. It is important that football is continually trying to get its share of publicity
    The SFAI are the governing body for grassroots football in Ireland, not the FAI. Its success or the lack of is all down to them.

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