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Irish soccer

The YBIG Football Show

ybig crop On the YBIG Football Show this week, Dave O’Grady speaks to Dundalk defender Andy Boyle. He also catches up with YBIG’s Liam Murray about the Irish fans who took on the Northern Ireland fans in East Belfast and three Irish soccer journalists debate the Irish team ahead of Sunday’s friendly with Turkey. 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 →

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 →

Happy Birthday Liam Brady

brady Today’s marks the 58th birthday of Liam Brady. From signing as a teenager with Arsenal, to his wavy-haired international début at Dalymount, to his time as a star of the title-winning Juventus, Brady is considered among the greatest players ever to emerge from this island. As a pundit, he is a key member of RTE’s legendary panel. Chippy, we salute you. 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 →

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 →

Dalymount, 1963, Ireland 3-2 Austria

ireland-1963-crop The last time Ireland defeated Austria was in Dublin in 1963 in front of almost 40,000 at Dalymount Park in a European qualifier. Having drawn 0-0 in Vienna three weeks earlier, Ireland progressed to the last eight of the European Nations Cup thanks to a 3-2 win with two goals coming from Manchester United’s Noel Cantwell. Continue reading →

Squad Rotation: A Year of Change

ireland italy euro 2012 Statistics released this week show Ireland with the fourth highest representation of footballers in the Premier League and, with the new season just starting, international boss Giovanni Trapattoni was able to name ten top flight players in his team to face Wales. This time a year ago, however, his squad was reeling from a disastrous European Championship. The manager has stuck to his word and overhauled the playing staff but for the team that lined out against Italy last summer, much has changed in just 12 months. Continue reading →

Villa’s Jack the Lad Boosts Ireland

crop He’s the highly-rated winger who’s lined out for Ireland since U-15 level but such have been the performances of Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish that England came calling. Believed to have considered a switch in allegiances, in a massive boost to the Republic, the 17-year-old has accepted a call up to Noel King’s U21’s for this week’s Euro qualifier. After an exciting pre-season where he’s appeared for the club’s senior side, Shelley Osborne of Villa supporters’ site My Old Man Said takes a closer look at the rising Irish star. Continue reading →

In Demand Mac’s the Centre of Attention

crop If there’s one universal truth in professional football, it may be that talented young players keep moving on and moving up. Sadly for Wigan supporters, it’s increasingly apparent that 22-year old midfielder James McCarthy is not exempt from this truth. Despite the 5-year contract McCarthy signed with the Latics in 2011, the last few months have seen rumours of a transfer escalate into a bidding war between top English clubs with Everton and Spurs upping the ante last week. Continue reading →

Up the Duff – The Comeback Kid

shane duffy everton It’s a big season for Everton’s Shane Duffy. Captain of the Irish U21 side, the Derryman is eyeing a gap in the Toffees’ back-line and a return to Giovanni Trapattoni’s Republic plans. Having suffered a life-threatening injury on international duty, Duffy knows all about comebacks. Continue reading →

Gloves Off in Battle for Irish Number One

Untitled With Liverpool’s signing of Simon Mignolet, we thought the door had opened for Keiren Westwood to reclaim the goalkeeper’s jersey for both club and country. However, Sunderland’s recruitment of Vito Mannone puts the pressure back on the Irish international who has watched from the sidelines as David Forde has grown into his role as Ireland’s ‘keeper of the faith. Continue reading →

Ice Ice Beattie

steven beattie Dubliner Steven Beattie is one of the growing list of Irish players who’ve come through the US Colleges’ system. Currently starring for Icelandic side Tindastóll, famous for recently spoofing Chelsea paint-drenched kit launch, Steven tells Póg Mo Goal of his experiences Stateside and the opportunities open to aspiring footballers from these shores. Continue reading →

Boys of Summer: 10 Talking Points

Republic of Ireland v Spain - International Friendly It’s been a massive end of season for the Boys in Green. Three World Cup qualifying points, positive displays against England and Spain, the emergence of Wes Hoolahan, and the growing statures of Coleman and McCarthy have whet the appetite for a real crack at toppling Austria and Sweden for a play-off berth. However, for some, criticism of the team and manager remains entrenched. Here’s 10 talking points. Continue reading →

World Cup Protests Spread To Dublin

dublin protests wide Ireland’s sizable Brazilian population was out in force on Dublin’s O’Connell Street in solidarity with their countrymen. The Confederations Cup, now underway, has become a beacon for protest in Brazil among a people who see billlions spent on white elephant stadia while hospitals are overcrowded, water is cut off in schools and public transport is in chaos. Continue reading →

Ireland v Spain: View from the Other Side

ireland vs spain 2012 While Irish fans try to wipe the mauling by Spain from their memories, Tuesday’s opponents in New York still talk about the support of the Green Army in Gdansk. La Liga football writer and editor of Madrid Atléticos, Garreth Nunn gives us the view from the other side ahead of the Republic’s final match of the season against the world and European champions. Continue reading →

Skipper Shane Has Georgia on his Mind

shane-long-v-england From scoring against England at Wembley to taking hold of the captain’s armband, it’s been quite a week for Shane Long. Giovanni Trapattoni has named the Irish team to face Georgia with Wes Hoolahan earning his first start in an intriguing midfield pairing with James McCarthy. Richard Dunne will also feature at some stage. Continue reading →

Razor Lends Support to Junior Finalists

481669_10151487761743382_1033343581_n The FAI Junior Cup final takes place for the first time this year at the Aviva Stadium and will kick off at 1.30pm on Sunday ahead of Ireland’s friendly against Georgia. Irish football legend Ray Houghton was in Dublin to give two supporters a special surprise ahead of the weekend. The former Liverpool player, who scored that memorable goal against England at Euro ’88, made the unexpected visit to supporters of finalists Sheriff YC and Kilbarrack United. Continue reading →

Passage of Play: Kevin Sheedy

00064ba8-642 “Growing up and watching the World Cups, watching Brazil and the likes of that, getting to a World Cup is something you actually strive for. So to actually play in one, play in all the games and to score against England was a fantastic memory for me” Continue reading →