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League of Ireland

Press Pain in Derry-air for Trap

The acclaim which greeted the on-field arrival of Derry’s James McClean during last Wednesday’s game with the Czech Republic was like the return of the messiah. For many, his inclusion on the plane to Poland in the summer seems a foregone conclusion. And this gives Trapattoni a major media headache. Continue reading →

Moscow Men Out on a Lim

The Airtricity League kicks back into action tonight with a renewed anticipation in seeing those players who might make their mark following James McClean’s internatioanl cameo on Wednesday. All eyes will be on Tallaght Stadium where Shamrock Rovers, the defending champions and Europa League history makers, have been busying attracting many of the big name transfers. But few are likely to raise as many eyebrows as Limerick’s recent recruits. Continue reading →

Derry Die Hard Yippee KO’d

It’s exactly like measuring four gallons of water in a five gallon jug. How do you decide who to pick and who to leave out in your midfield for a first European Championships since 1988? James McClean has been crashed out of Giovanni Trapattoni’s Euro plans like an aeroplane landing at a snow-covered LAX airport. The brightest spark at the Stadium of Light, who received international clearance from FIFA yesterday, has NOT been named in Trap’s squad for the friendly this month against the Czech’s. Continue reading →

Bit O’Red Face Bourne Ultimatum

In 2004, Shelbourne were 90 minutes away from the Champions League groups stages. Within three years, the Tolka Park outfit were kicked out of the Premier Division because of crippling debt while Sligo Rovers were cementing their place in the top flight. Now, Sligo are in their third consecutive FAI Cup final and are the defending champions. Shels, who almost went to the wall, have secured promotion back to the Premier Division as runners-up to Cork City. This weekend the sides will be reunited in the Aviva Stadium. Continue reading →

Keep them Rovers Rollin, Rohan

The gaze of the footballing press continues to focus on Shamrock Rovers as the countdown to their White Hart Lane meeting with Spurs continues. In particular, former Tottenham player Rohan Ricketts has figured prominently as he prepares to return to his old stomping ground in the hooped shirt of Ireland’s history makers. Continue reading →

Giant Leap – The First for the Irish Rovers

Irish football’s finest hour? Regardless of what ensues; whether Shamrock Rovers are beaten out the gate in each of their Europa League games, they have put the League of Ireland on the map. Paradoxically, the attention and goodwill flowing towards Rovers from the wider football world may be the route by which the Republic’s domestic game gains respect at home. Continue reading →

Video: Pat’s ideal Euro draw…naatt!!!

St. Patrick’s Athletic came back from a one goal deficit to beat Iceland’s IBV 2-1 at Richmond Park and join Shamrock Rovers in the Europa League second round. Pete Mahon’s side must now face a daunting 10,000km round trip to Kazakhstan next week to take on Shakhter Karagandy. The Inchicore supremo is relishing the task, however. “We wanted to stay in the competition and I’m very proud of my players tonight. We don’t care, we’d have gone to Timbuktu if we’d had to.” Continue reading →

Having a Domestic: Reap What Eu Sow

DESPITE the virtual collapse of full-time football here, Irish clubs may never have a better opportunity than now to make the European breakthrough. The draws for next season’s cup competitions have put the group stages of the Champions League and Europa League within sight of Ireland’s participants. Continue reading →

Aviva La Revolution, Cup Can Save Irish Soccer

COULD the FAI Cup prove to be the saviour of Irish soccer? With the largest crowd in four decades, over 36,000, flocking to the Aviva Stadium last weekend, there followed a spectacle to enthrall the masses. And now a seed has been sown that the domestic game could achieve what is has always threatened, to capture the hearts and minds of the public. Continue reading →