February 2013 News Archive

Club ticketing arrangements for Ireland visit to Wembley
The Club is currently finalising ticketing arrangements for the friendly international against England at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday 29th May 2013. You are reminded that the closing date for receipt of applications is Friday 15th March 2013. Applications should be transmitted to Club Secretary Martin Prendergast at rissclondon@hotmail.co.uk

Strike option dilemma for Giovanni Trapattoni?...05/03/2013
When Giovanni Trapattoni announces the Ireland squad, for the upcoming Sweden and Austria contests, on Friday afternoon, interest in the striking department selections should attract less attention than other sections, but one has this nagging feeling that some more concern may impact upon the Irish faithful. Following the Poland rehearsal, there would appear to be seven contenders for what should at most be five positions. But whom from, Simon Cox,
Kevin Doyle, Robbie Keane, Andrew Keogh, Shane Long, Conor Sammon and Jonathan Walters will find favour?.

Midfield selection dilemma for crucial double header...04/03/2013
One has no idea how Giovanni Trapattoni arrives at his usual squad selection, but if it is numbers from a hat, then that may just be his best option for the upcoming WC 2014 qualifiers against Sweden and Austria when it comes to his midfield quota. With a likely set of eight, perhaps nine, the anticipated availability following injury of Keith Andrews, Aiden McGeady, David Meyler and the uncapped Anthony Pilkington, coupled with the possible return of Darron Gibson, although the frequent references by his club manager to an ongoing injury, casts some doubt, certainly presents a challenge. With James McCarthy and Glenn Whelan considered banker selections, the performances against Greece, by Wes Hoolihan, youngsters Robbie Brady and debutant Jeff Hendrick together with a competent contribution from Trapatonni favourite Paul Green, not to mention the enigma that is James MClean, should initiate greater than usual interest in the upcoming squad announcement.

What of the defensive quartet for Stockholm sortie?...28/02/2013
With the crucial WC 2014 qualifiers against Sweden and Austria just three weeks away, the return to fitness and competitive action of full backs Seamus Coleman and Marc Wilson is a welcome fillip to Irish hopes. Richard Dunne will not be available in central defence, while his erstwhile colleague Sean St Ledger must be a serious doubt, considering the stop start nature of his recovery from a lengthy injury absence. The performance of the incumbent duo, John O'Shea and Ciaran Clark, against Poland, while not perfect, was encouraging and probably merits their retention in Stockholm.

Growing concerns surrounding goalkeeper dilemma...28/02/2013
With question marks continuing to surround current goalkeeping incumbent David Forde, there appears to be a great adrenalin surge when one or other of the possible contenders delivers a passable performance. This week, it is the turn of Newcastle United's Premier League debutant Robert Elliot, while just a short while ago, Mark Bunn of Norwich City was flavour of the month. Keiren Westwood would arguably be considered the number one choice were he in regular club action, however Giovanni Trapattoni's unnecessary comments concerning his club position have compounded an already delicate position. At this juncture, the two younger squad members, Stephen Henderson and Darren Randolph are in better and more consistent form than any of the other candidates. However, with half an international appearance between them, they are unlikely to be considered for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Response and invitation to those making recent enquiries to Club
The upcoming friendly international against England at Wembley Stadium, has prompted a surge of enquiry to Club Officers and also to several individual members. While the Club can not and will not offer any ticket guarantee, Club membership does lend itself to improved options. The Club offers regular social gatherings and frequent opportunity to meet and chat with our featured guests. Our next meeting in the Crown Moran Hotel, Cricklewood on Friday 8th March 2013, will see two stalwarts of Irish football, Dave Langan and Paul (Skee) McGee in attendance. We are also working on an interesting panel of guests for our May meeting, which is scheduled for Friday 24th May 2013, five days before the visit to Wembley. You are invited to complete our linked membership application form or simply pop along and join on any Club meeting night.

East Anglian soiree - a reconciliatary success?...25/02/2013
Unconfirmed reports suggest that Giovanni Trapattoni and the self exiled Darron Gibson managed to exchange brief pleasantaries at Carrow Road on Saturday afternoon, which may lead to the Derryman's return to the Ireland squad for the crucial March qualifiers against Sweden and Austria. While Gibson, and indeed Wes Hoolihan, did not have games to live long in the memory, the performances of recovering injury victims Seamus Coleman and during his brief cameo appearance, the uncapped Anthony Pilkington, were of
much greater quality. Goalkeeper Mark Bunn also looked quite assured and the resolution of the technicalities surrounding his eligibility may merit escalation.

Joey O'Brien may be musing on selection criteria...25/02/2013
West Ham United full back Joey O'Brien may well be musing upon the unknown criteria required to break into a twenty five man, or so, Ireland international squad. The defender has had a very accomplished Premier League season with his club, frequently playing out of position at left back but, save for the innocuous friendly against Oman last September, he has been completely overlooked. O'Brien was in competitive action for his club, who went down to a three two home defeat by Tottenham Hotspur this evening.

Defensive shoots of recovery growing substance?...20/02/2013
With the WC2014 qualifier against Sweden in Stockholm just over four weeks away, the news that both Sean St Ledger and Marc Wilson have recovered from injury, and following reserve team outings, are on the brink of first team returns is most welcome. We have fingers crossed that Seamus Coleman may soon also lend to a positive report. On the debit side, we must now accept that Richard Dunne will not be fit to return, while injury doubts also surround Paul McShane. In the midst of these injury concerns and indeed in any circumstance, the saga of negativity and public outpourings surrounding Stephen Kelly is one we could and should not be witnessing.

Capital One Cup Final - 'The Romance of the Cup'...24/02/2013
The final of the 2013 Capital One Cup may have resurrected the old, but now seldom used expression 'The Romance of the Cup', as the very unexpected pairing of League Two outfit Bradford City and fledgling Premier League side Swansea City met at Wembley Stadium this afternoon. There was little romance on the pitch however, as the Premier side cruised to an emphatic five nil victory. Irish involvement was served by twenty year old Carl McHugh from Lettermacaward in Donegal who had made a significant contribution to the shock advance of 'the Bantams'. Carl, released by Reading last summer, had responded to that disappointment with some fine performances for his new club and he also made his Ireland Under 21 debut in the victory over Holland earlier this month.

Worrying times for faithful Wolves followers...24/02/2013
The fortunes of the historic old club Wolverhampton Wanderers, relegated from the Premier League last season, continue to cause concern for their faithful followers, not least a significant Irish community. From the flamboyant emergance of Robbie Keane during the late nineteen nineties to the present day, when Kevin Doyle, Stephen Ward, Stephen Hunt and Under 21 international Anthony Forde currently ply their trade, there has been a strong Irish connection with the club. Wolves went down to a two one home defeat by current Championship leaders Cardiff City this afternoon, which sees them firmly entrenched in the bottom three and facing the threat of further relegation.

Waterford teenager in Next Gen contest success...20/02/2013
Eighteen year old Waterford born midfielder Kenneth McEvoy, who has been in sparkling form with Ireland's Under 19's, was in the Tottenham Hotspur side which travelled and overcame Paris St Germain in the second round knock-out stage of the Next Gen Series this afternoon.
The sides finished level at one apiece after extra-time, with the visitors prevailing 4-3 in the penalty shoot-out.

Young Irish help Villa to Next Gen Series victory...19/02/2013
The second round knock-out stage of the Next Gen Series saw Aston Villa, with several Irish youngsters in their squad, travel to Amsterdam where they came from behind to defeat Ajax this evening. Ireland Under 21 stars Samir Carruthers and Derrick Williams were joined in the starting eleven by striker Graham Burke, surprisingly absent from Noel King's squad against Holland earlier this month, together with Under 19 luminaries Michael Drennan, whose equaliser tonight was his sixth in the competition, and Jack Grealish, while seventeen year old centre back Kevin Toner was a substitute.
In addition, Stourbridge born defender Bradley Lewis, scorer of the winning goal, has represented Ireland at U17 level, but it is unclear what his future plans are, as indeed those of another qualified fellow defender this evening, Watford born Lewis Kinsella.

Charity Quiz evening proves another resounding success
Our eight annual Charity Quiz event took place at the Crown Moran Hotel in Cricklewood on Friday evening and proved to be another resounding success. Following a tension packed night of inquisition style interrogation by the mercurial Michael Mulvaney, the trophies and a multitude of plaudits went to the winning trio of Kevin O'Keeffe, Mark O'Neill and Paul O'Connor. The proceeds from the evening, together with voluntary donations and raffles, total more than £1,500 and will be presented to this year's nominated charity,
Children's Liver Disease Ireland.

Happy Birthday wishes to young February quartet...18/02/2013
Today is the 20th birthday of Watford midfielder/striker Connor Smith, who came to prominence following his exploits on the 2010 Sky programme 'Football's Next Star' and we extend our best wishes to him and also to fellow twenty year old Carl McHugh who reached the 'score' earlier this month. Carl's delayed present must surely be this weekend's trip to Wembley Stadium as a member of the Bradford City squad which faces Premiership side Swansea City in the Capital One Cup Final. Two aspiring members of our Under 19 UEFA Championship squad, Michael Drennan(Aston Villa) and Kealan Dillon(Hull City), both celebrate their nineteenth birthday this month.

U19s draw with Czech Republic in Flancare Park tonight...07/02/2013
The second meeting of Paul Doolin's Ireland U19 side and the Czech Republic which was switched from it's original scheduled venue of Athlone Town Stadium to Flancare Park this evening, produced another exciting contest. Head Coach Doolin introduced ten new starters, with only Leicester City centre back Steven Smith remaining from Tuesday night's opening eleven. The two sides provided another entertaining contest which saw the visitors go ahead midway through the first half through a penalty kick. Ireland maintained their composure and deservedly equalised early in the second half when Sam Byrne headed home a cross from strike partner Adam Evans. Both sides continued to provide quality football and created scoring opportunities but neither managed to outdo two fine goalkeepers in Jan Kotnour and our own Danny Rogers who plays for Aberdeen.

Victory for Ireland over Poland in friendly outing...06/02/2013
Ireland secured a two nil victory over Poland in a chilly Aviva Stadium on Wednesday evening. The contest, unique in that the visiting supporters outnumbered the locals by some three to one in a crowd reported as 43,112. Like virtually all opponents, the visitors displayed much greater technical awareness and ability, with Ireland apparently instructed to observe the 'Trapattoni Status Quo' and launch the ball in the direction of debutant Conor Sammon. The results, as well nigh always, were conclusive. The strategy, once again proving redundantly useless. Ireland did however manage to take the lead following a corner kick, with Ciaran Clark, having won the first header, remaining alert and reacting quickest to a half cleared ball to shoot low to the corner of the net. The goal did help to settle Ireland somewhat and in particular Clark himself, who thereafter, in tandem with centre back partner John O'Shea, stayed resolute for the remainder of the contest. The second half introduction of Paul Green was not well received by the Irish 'theatre goers', however, the Leeds United man did little wrong, indeed much right, in a more stable Irish second half. Around the hour mark, Wes Hoolihan was introduced for Shane Long and thereafter, both the mood of the Irish faithful and the fare on the field improved immeasurably. Joined shortly afterwards by Jon Walters and another debutant Jeff Hendrick, Ireland sought to play some passing football. Five minutes after his entry, Hendrick showed fine chest control before delivering an excellent chipped pass to Hoolihan and the Norwich City man finished exquisitively. The contest was done and their were late cameo appearances for Simon Cox and the third debutant, Richard Keogh.

U21s defeat Holland in entertaining Tallaght contest ...06/02/2013
With preparation for the upcoming European U21 Championship qualifying campaign very much in mind, Head Coach Noel King saw his new U21 side offer indications of a bright future in a three nil friendly international victory over Holland in Tallaght Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. Ireland opened brightly and took a ninth minute lead through Aiden O'Brien, who converted following impressive build up play by Anthony Forde and Matt Doherty. Save for one Dutch effort which hit the post midway through the half, Ireland dominated and Millwall striker O'Brien scored his second on thirty five minutes following a pass from skipper Shane Duffy. Ireland made a host of changes for the second half and increased their lead when Limerick man Forde was upended in the box but picked himself up to tuck away the penalty kick.