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Republic of Ireland

Dublin in Running to Finally Land Euros

euro cup The Football Association of Ireland will only have to see off six rivals in its bid to host games at the multi-nation Euro 2020 with 13 cities to be chosen from just 19 formal applications. With Scotland, Wales, and England also in the running, there’s plenty of regional competition for Dublin but the Irish are confident of success this time around despite various hurdles, including football’s usual seedy politics, scuppering us in the past. Continue reading →

The League of Nations

james mcclean UEFA members have unanimously backed a move for a new Nations League tournament to replace international friendlies starting in 2018. Ireland are likely to face the likes of Croatia and Sweden but with the incentive of promotion to face the continent’s top sides. Continue reading →

Why the Republic Still Needs Robbie

robbie keane While Ireland still basks in the light of the Brian O’Driscoll love-in, his counterpart on the national football team doesn’t always enjoy 100% support. But when the history of the Irish game is written, Robbie Keane will rightly be spoken of in the same breath as our retired rugby icon. Keane still has a vital role to play in the Republic’s future fortunes. Only when he’s gone will we realise what we’ve missed. Continue reading →

That New Jack Magic

jack grealish While the Irish U21s crashed out of Euro qualification with this month’s defeat to Montenegro, one player lit up the Tallaght Stadium with his performance. Jack Grealish could be the Republic’s successor to Damien Duff, writes Dave O’Grady, host of the YBIG Football show. Continue reading →

Whelan in the Years, Keane Backs Glenn

glenn whelan Roy Keane described Glenn Whelan’s performance in Stoke’s win over Arsenal last weekend as ‘outstanding,’ and he would know. The player who came in for a lot of criticism during Giovanni Trapattoni’s reign could be set for a new lease of life under the guidance of Ireland’s former midfield general Continue reading →

Teenage Kicks Could Make O’Neill’s Night

kenny mcevoy After his unveiling as Irish boss, Martin O’Neill spoke of unearthing a hidden 17-year-old gem that would take the Irish team by storm. When naming his squad to face Serbia, the Derryman lamented that he had yet to find one, but when Noel King’s U21s take on Montenegro in a vital Euro qualifier, it could be teenage kicks that get the Republic through the night. Continue reading →

Keano Named Player of the Year

keane legend Robbie Keane was named Senior International Player of the Year for 2013 at the FAI awards while James McCarthy picked up the young player gong. Ireland’s captain scored 8 goals including a hattrick against the Faroe Islands in a game when he broke the all-time appearances record. Continue reading →

Celtic Warriors Face Battle to Reach France

Mark Lawrenson Scotland The draw for Euro 2016 has paired Ireland and Scotland together for the first time since 1986, and while the Irish are placed in Group D as second seeds, with Germany already installed as favourites for the tournament, and Poland and the Scots involved, new boss Martin O’Neill would have wished for a far easier road to France. Continue reading →

Pot Luck Awaits Ireland

1967268_w2 With the Euro 2016 draw taking place in Nice on Sunday, and Ireland among the second seeds, qualification for France should be easier, in theory. But a look at some of the lower ranked teams suggests Martin O’Neill has plenty of work on his hands. Continue reading →

O’Neill Announces Squad for Serbia Clash

o'neill presser Martin O’Neill has announced his first squad as Ireland manager for the friendly with Serbia at the Aviva Stadium next month. There’s been no recall for Shay Given, whose loan spell at Middlesbrough expires at the end of February. Ipswich’s Daryl Murphy makes a return to the squad but there’s no room for Stephen Ireland. Although O’Neill oversaw the games with Latvia and Poland, he inherited those selections from interim coach Noel King. Continue reading →

Liam Whelan, Remembering Ireland’s Busby Babe

liam whelan In September 1957, Liam Whelan scored twice in a European Cup tie for Manchester United against Shamrock Rovers at Dalymount Park, just up the road from where he grew up in Dublin. Less than five months later, the Irishman would perish along with seven team-mates in the Munich Air Disaster. This week marks the 56th anniversary of the tragedy. Continue reading →

Taxi for McGeady: Everton’s Irish Story

peter farrell everton crop “He’s English on the outside, but, pure Irish on the inside.” The elderly woman in the ‘Western’ pub in Liverpool was referring to her grandson, Wayne Rooney. Most are Toffees in this part of Merseyside and Aiden McGeady’s arrival at Goodison Park to bolster the green contingent is a reminder that traditionally Everton were the Irish club in the city. The common football phrase “Taxi for” even owes its origins to a former Irish manager. Continue reading →

7 Irish Players with Big Year Ahead

jack grealish notts county 1 It’s a big year ahead for Irish players looking to impress a new management team. Martin O’Neill has spoken of unearthing a hidden gem while some more established names will be hoping to make a bigger impact than they did with Giovanni Trapattoni. We could also see some new faces in the Irish set-up with a big second half to the season coming up ahead of the beginning of Euro 2016 qualifying in September. Continue reading →

Ireland on Film: Glory Days Revisited

bill o'herlihy champagne The match action itself has been re-run many times. Now for your viewing pleasure, we’ve unearthed some lesser known footage of the television coverage surrounding Ireland’s remarkable early successes under Jack Charlton. Beginning with the official film of Euro 88, followed by ITV’s coverage of the game with England when Liam Brady reveled in putting Brian Clough straight. From there, we move onto the heady days of Italia 90 qualification through to the finals themselves when RTE’s pioneering coverage rewrote the manual on football punditry. Continue reading →

Could Coleman Be the New Bale?

Coleman-green-750x481 While Sky Sports are busy drooling over Ross Barkley, his Everton teammate Seamus Coleman has been making headlines of his own. A cracking goal against Swansea last week, followed by another screamer against Southampton took the Irishman’s tally to five. Could Donegal’s finest be the next Gareth Bale? Continue reading →

Reliving Giants Stadium

paul mcgrath giants stadium The 1994 World Cup in America was the first for Luke Constable of the brilliantly named RGSOAS (Ruud Gullit Sitting on a Shed). His native England hadn’t qualified but thanks to his Irish grandfather, Luke was rooting for the Republic. Having missed the full game with Italy, the myth around the match had grown. Houghton’s goal and McGrath’s performance became legendary as the years went on. Luke has never seen the game in its entirety…until now. Continue reading →

A New Era…10 Talking Points

oneill keane Two games into the reign of O’Neill/Keane and the shot in the arm to Irish soccer has been like an adrenaline rush following the tedium of Trap’s last days. A positive display against Latvia followed by more of the same in Poland before an element of tiredness set in has given everyone reason for optimism. If only we’d had this six months ago. Here’s ten talking points. Continue reading →

Guest Post: Misery Merchants Back Aboard the Bandwagon

aviva stadium They’re calling them ‘Box-Office. The unveiling of Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane as Ireland’s new management has sparked a frenzy of interest in the home friendly with Latvia. Yet, if the duo weren’t in place next week, if there was no appointment, Irish ‘supporters’ would stay away in their droves. Billy Keane of Back-Post.com wonders if the Irish team would be better off without the event-junkies. Continue reading →

Roy Keane Owes Us One

keane He’s back. After a decade of railing against a host of Irish football’s inadequacies; the blazers, the players, even the fans; Roy Keane has jumped the fence, baby! Diarmuid O hAinle, author of It Started with a Handshake, reacts to the Corkman’s return and says Keane owes us one. Continue reading →

Irish Fans Keane to Move On

roy keane eyes It was one of the ugliest scenes witnessed at Lansdowne Road. Not the rampaging of English fans hurling rubble onto Irish supporters. Rather Irish supporters hurling vitriol at a former hero who had captained the country in our first ever World Cup, who had cried in the dressing room when we failed to beat Italy in the quarter-final, who later managed his country to another tournament, and who endured, along with his adversarial skipper, a trauma that would scar any man in ordinary life, let alone his footballing one. Continue reading →