November 2013 News Archive

Mick Joyce - RIP
It is with sadness that we announce the death of long standing club member Mick Joyce, who passed away last week. Mick, a club member for more than twenty years, was 57. His funeral mass will take place in the St Joan of Arc Church, Islington, London N5 2XH at 1.00pm on Tuesday 3 December 2013, with burial at East Finchley Cemetery. Ar Dheis De go raibh a anam.
Draws for UEFA Under 17 Championship...28/11/2013
The draw for the Elite Phase of the 2014 UEFA U17 Championship was made this morning and Ireland will face Germany, Georgia and hosts Serbia with the matches scheduled for 26th, 28th and 31st March 2014. The qualifying draw for the 2015 Championship was also made and Ireland will host the group containing Faroe Islands, Gibraltar and Scotland on the 22nd, 24th and 27th September 2014.
UEFA Under 19 Championship draws made today...28/11/2013
The draw for the Elite Phase of the 2014 UEFA U19 Championship was made this morning and Ireland will host Iceland, Serbia and Turkey with the matches scheduled for 28th and 3oth May 2014 and 2 June 2014. The qualifying draw for the 2015 Championship was also made and Ireland will host the group containing Gibraltar, Malta and Switzerland on the 13th, 15th and 18th Novenber 2014.

Women's U19 and U17 draws made in Nyon today...20/11/2013
The draw for the Elite Stage of the 2013/14 Women's U19 UEFA Championship was made in Nyon today and Ireland will contest Group Five with Austria, Holland and Turkey, with the hosts for the mini-tournament yet to be decided. The draw for the 2014/15 Qualifying Round was also made, with Ireland located in Group Six with Moldova, Montenegro and Sweden. The draw for the Qualifying Round of the 2014/15 Women's U17 Championship was also on the agenda and sees Ireland contesting Group Four with Lithuania, Romania and Serbia.
Ireland secure hard earned scoreless draw in Poland...19/11/2013
Ireland played their second friendly international under the stewardship of Martin O'Neill in Poznan tonight and secured a battling draw with hosts Poland in a scoreless encounter. An away contest against competent opposition with a plethora of players missing was always going to be tough and so it proved. The hosts dominated possession, particularly in the second half, but Ireland remained defensively resolute with goalkeeper David Forde not called upon to any real extent. The hosts, with their new second game manager in charge had their own challenges to face and provided a testing and quite physical encounter. Our new management team are likely to be quietly satisfied with their introduction to the international arena and now have more than three months in which to analyse and prepare for the meeting with Serbia in Dublin on Wednesday 5 March 2014.
Jonathan Walters captains Ireland in Poznan tonight...19/11/2013
Ireland manager Martin O'Neill has named Jonathan Walters as captain for the first time in this evening's friendly international against Poland in Poznan at 7.45pm:- D Forde; S Kelly, S St Ledger, M Wilson, S Ward; J Walters, J McCarthy, P Green, A McGeady; S Long, A Stokes.

Under 21 contest ends scoreless in Podgorica...19/11/2013
The Ireland Under 21 side played out a scoreless draw with hosts Montenegro in Podgorica this afternoon. The hosts, who were within minutes of defeating Germany on Friday last, proved formidable foes and while Ireland created several good opportunities, a draw was possibly a fair outcome. Sadly, with only four of the ten group runners-up, set to progress to the play-off stage, the odds are very much against Noel King and his charges being part of that process.

Squad set for training session in Poznan this evening...18/11/2013
With an achilles injury ruling Robbie Keane out , the surviving twenty members of the Republic of Ireland squad have just completed a light training session at the INEA Stadium, Poznan this evening. While the circumstances of the match itself against Poland tomorrow night will dictate events, it is believed that manager Martin O'Neill hopes to give some match time to the five squad members who have yet to feature. Goalkeeper David Forde is set to start and it remains to be seen whether Rob Elliot will be given his debut at some stage. The three unused defenders, Stephen Kelly, Alex Pearce and Sean St Ledger are each expected to be given an opportunity to catch the eye.

Sunday morning session completed in Malahide...17/11/2013
Another early start in Gannon Park this morning for the Ireland squad who fly to Poland later this afternoon for Tuesday evening's friendly international. Joey O'Brien is reported to be en route to London as he has not recovered from his hamstring problem, but we understand that Sean St Ledger is set to travel.
Palpable vibrancy in Malahide Saturday morning air...16/11/2013
10.00am on a Saturday morning may be a very unusual time for a training session, but the Irish squad gathered in Gannon Park seemed to relish the opportunity with unbridled enthusiasm. Whilst only a light workout, there was an air of vibrancy not seen for some considerable time. Two of the players who missed out on the Aviva Stadium action last night, Joey O'Brien and Sean St Ledger have injury problems and whilst considered slight they could yet prevent their active participation in Poznan on Tuesday evening. Andy Reid, so impressive in his cameo appearance last night, has been forced to withdraw because of a hamstring strain.

Thoughts now set to focus on Poland in Poznan...16/11/2013
Opening night completed without mishap and now we face the much sterner challenge of the trip to Poznan to face Poland, a favourite and frequent opponent of ours. Manager Martin O'Neill has already stated his wish to afford opportunity to as many, if not all, of the squad which assembed this week. With Stephen Quinn (hamstring) returning to his club in the morning, the squad is now reduced to twenty three and seventeen of those saw action in the Aviva Stadium last night. The unused sextet comprise goalkeepers David Forde and Robert Elliot, with the former expected to start on Tuesday, together with a potential back four of Stephen Kelly, Alex Pearce, Sean St Ledger and Joey O'Brien.

Ireland cruise to comfortable victory for new regime...15/11/2013
Ireland opened their tenure under the management of Martin O'Neill, with a comfortable three nil victory over a poor Latvia in the Aviva Stadium this evening. The evergreen Robbie Keane set Ireland on their way after twenty two minutes with his sixty second international goal. Ireland dominated throughout and all of the players, including six substitutes, made positive contributions. Aiden McGeady scored his third international goal after sixty eight minutes, while substitute Shane Long scored his tenth for Ireland on eighty minutes. The sponsors 'man of the match' award went to James McClean, who did have a fine match, but many felt that the technical skills of Wes Hoolihan garnered more merit. A satisfactory opening for the new management team but tougher tasks lie ahead, with Poland on Tuesday evening likely to offer a much sterner challenge.

Roy Keane inaugural press conference as Ireland coach...13/11/2013
A very relaxed Roy Keane gave his inaugural press conference as the new Ireland Assistant Manager in Malahide this afternoon. The presentation was silk smooth with no negativity, much humour and an underlying determination to do everything necessary to ensure future international success. Keane referenced his emotional attraction to Ireland and the job he now undertakes and emphasised his respect for Martin O'Neill. He referred to the first two training days as worthwhile and made mention of the hidden qualities of a number of his new charges. A jocular reference to hotel and training facilities together with an assertion that in this new environment, he was in reality, Mother Theresa in comparison to manager O'Neill, served to further lighten an already quite relaxed environment.
Keane oversees first training session this morning...12/11/2013
Assistant Manager Roy Keane was an early arrival at Gannon Park this morning to ensure the requisite preparations were complete before he took charge of the first training session with the squad. The goalkeeping trio initially worked under the supervision of Seamus McDonagh. Manager Martin O'Neill, in his afternoon press briefing, confirmed that training had gone well. He also indicated that Robbie Keane, another early arrival for training, would continue as captain for the two immediate friendly fixtures and the position would be reviewed thereafter.

Dynamic Duo tread the Aviva Stadium turf ...11/11/2013
Ireland's new management team of Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane were treading the turf for the first time when they dropped in to the Aviva Stadium earlier today. Accompanied by tour guide John Delaney, the dynamic duo offered a range of beaming smiles to the clicking camera corps. The pair will meet with the majority of the players during the course of this evening as they assemble in Malahide. The first training session, to be taken by O'Neill himself, is set for 11.00am tomorrow morning.
Martin O'Neill introductory Press Conference...09/11/2013
New Ireland manager Martin O'Neill gave his introductory press conference in the Gibson Hotel, Dublin early this afternoon. Not unexpectedly, there were no ground breaking observations, rather the standard emphasis on total commitment to the job, incorporating the statement that there was 'no get out clause' should a Premiership suitor come calling. O'Neill emphasised that, despite his recent absence from the frontline, he had never lost his energy or enthusiasm for the game. He emphasised his belief that his assistant Roy Keane, who will meet the press on Wednesday next, will be brilliant for Ireland. The Derryman was also emphatic in his response to a question concerning the domestic Airtricity League, stating that he would absolutely be viewing it and was indeed quite looking forward to it. The new manager avoided a direct answer to the question surrounding the continued captaincy of Robbie Keane, simply stating that he was looking forward to meeting up with him on Monday.
Noel King confirms twenty seven man senior squad...06/11/2013
Ireland Under 21 Head Coach Noel King completed his temporary senior duties today when he confirmed a twenty seven man squad for the upcoming friendly internationals against Latvia and Poland. The incoming management team led by Martin O'Neill will meet with the squad on Monday, when preparations for the matches will commence. Richard Dunne is excluded from the squad by agreement as he requires rest following his injury problems. Interesting inclusions include Reading centre back Alex Pearce and the return of Stephen Ward (Brighton & HA).
Countdown to Latvia friendly gathers momentum...06/11/2013
With the formal unveiling of Martin O'Neill as Ireland manager confirmed for Saturday, thoughts now focus on his likely first squad for the upcoming friendly contests against Latvia and Poland. We are led to believe that U21 Head Coach Noel King completed the formality of nominating an elongated provisional squad of some forty players in order to comply with FIFA regulations. While such a number provides the scope to cover most angles, one wonders if the presence of new Assistant Manager Roy Keane at the DW Stadium for the meeting of Wigan Athletic and QPR last week, may herald opportunity for Chris McCann who, having waited patiently for the opportunity at his new club, appears to have grabbed it with relish.

Excitement levels continue to be cranked up
Today's series of media broadcasts undertaken by FAI Chief Excutive John Delaney in relation to the appointment of Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane at the helm of our senior international team have served to crank up the level of anticipation. O'Neill is set to attend his first Press Conference on Saturday and the duo made just short references to their impending appointments prior to their Champions League analysis this evening.

Animated anticipation as we await formal announcement
As the Irish public awaits the Press Conference scheduled for Saturday next to formally confirm the appointment of Martin O'Neill as our new senior international manager, our various media and internet outlets have gone into overdrive, the great majority of which centres on the suitability or otherwise of his selected assistant Roy Keane. Much of the cost relating to the leading lights is to be met by benefactor Denis O'Brien, which is also expected to include the likely members of the supporting cast, such as Steve Walford (Coach), Seamus McDonagh (G/K Coach), Steve Guppy (Set Piece Expert) and Mike McGurn (Fitness Coach).

Sligo Rovers lift third FAI Ford Cup in four years...03/11/2013
Sligo Rovers current love affair with the FAI Ford Cup continued on Sunday afternoon when they maintained their unbeaten Aviva Stadium record with their third success in four years. In front of an audience of 17,573, the Bit o' Red' prevailed in an exciting climax to the contest against a Drogheda United side who were more than a match for their opponents for much of the afternoon. The County Louth side took a deserved lead on thirteen minutes through Paul O'Connor and were the better side throughout the first half. Arguably they should have increased their lead, but lady luck did not smile on them. Sligo Rovers improved in the second period and their sustained pressure began to take it's toll on Drogheda midway through the half with frantic tackles seeing yellow cards issued to Gavin Brennan, Derek O'Brien and Alan Byrne in quick succession. The introduction of Danny North on seventy minutes proved a turning point as the Grimsby man equalised after seventy eight minutes and then put his side in front with a second on eighty five minutes. In the aftermath of the goal, Drogheda lost their captain Derek Prendergast to a red card following his caution just two minutes earlier. Within a minute the numbers were evened as Gavin Peers was stretchered off for Sligo Roveers who had already used their three substitutes. Two minutes into an elongated added time, Ryan Brennan equalised for Drogheda and all looked set for extra-time but no, leading scorer Anthony Elding fired home the winner following a knock down from North who was named 'man of the match' for his contribution over twenty odd minutes.

Raheny United win Umbro Women's Senior Cup ...03/11/2013
Raheny United were deserved winners of the FAI Umbro Women's Senior Cup in the Aviva Stadium on Sunday afternoon. They were however made to go all the way by a spirited Castlebar Celtic for whom midfielder Emma Hansberry was arguably the best player on the pitch. The Dublin club dominated early proceedings and created a number of chances before eventually taking the lead on thirty seven minutes through Ciara Grant. The second half was much more even with Castlebar equalising on sixty seven minutes through substitute Emma Mullen who converted a delicious cross from Hansberry. With six minutes of normal time remaining, Caroline Thorpe converted a penalty for Raheny, but the Westerners would not lie down and another substitute Deirdre Doherty struck a brilliant left foot shot to the net with just seconds left. Extra time proved just a bridge too far for Castlebar with the unfortunate Kim Flood putting the ball in her own net five minutes into extra-time for the eventual winner.