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Republic of Ireland

Down but Not Out…10 Talking Points

Republic of Ireland v Scotland. UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifying Group D Bullish words from the Irish squad that we’re not out of the Euro 2016 race did little to comfort Irish supporters dealt a crushing blow by the failure to beat Scotland. There are still twists and turns to come but the Green Army are losing hope in the O’Neill/Keane miracle and asking bigger questions. Two weeks on, here’s ten talking points Continue reading →

Teenage Dream’s So Hard to Beat

Grealish (1) October, 1974, Dublin. Wavy haired 18-year-old Liam Brady is thrust into the spotlight by player-manager John Giles at a pulsating Dalymount Park and plays his part is one of our finest-ever victories. Brady, Keane, Duff – Martin O’Neill says Jack Grealish is not ready but he wouldn’t be our first teenage star. Continue reading →

On Top of the Poles…10 Talking Points

brady It was almost all over. Instead Shane Long’s stoppage-time equaliser capped off a second-half Irish display full of fight and spirit that hasn’t been seen in years, especially at the Aviva Stadium. The Euro dream is still alive, just. Here’s ten talking points from a dramatic week in Euro 2016 qualifying. Continue reading →

On Our Way to Paradise?

Mark Lawrenson Scotland Unless you’re counting the 90 minutes in Paris which took the infamous play-off to extra-time, Ireland haven’t beaten a direct qualification rival away from home since a trip to Glasgow in 1987. With the Republic and Scotland reunited in Celtic Park on Friday, can history repeat itself? Continue reading →

Audio: The Alan McLoughlin Interview

AlanMcLoughlin-01 An Irish football hero since November 1993, Alan McLoughlin chats to Póg Mo Goal’s Dave O’Grady about the release of ‘A Different Shade of Green – The Alan McLoughlin Story’, nominated for Irish Sports Book of the Year. He talks about his personal battle with cancer, that famous night in Windsor Park, Roy Keane’s Rolex watch and much more. Continue reading →

A Different Shade of Green – The Alan McLoughlin Story

alan mcloughlin pic Gary Mackay’s goal for Scotland sent Ireland to Euro ’88. A facile win in Malta secured passage to our first ever World Cup in 1990. Play-offs, where the job was virtually done in the first leg, earned us the right to compete on a global stage in 2002 and 2012. The World Cup in America was different though. Irish footballing lore is peppered with iconic goals that stay at the forefront of every Republic fan’s memory. Whelan against USSR, McAteer against the Netherlands, Keane versus the Germans, even O’Shea in Gelsenkirchen. And another of those standout strikes came in Belfast in 1993. For the hero of that hour, his toughest fight was yet to come. His newly released autobiography has already been nominated for the Irish Sports Book of the Year. Continue reading →

Reviving the Legacy of “Don Patricio” O’Connell

DonPatricio His name should be among the most revered in Irish football history. A former captain of both Ireland and Manchester United, he went on to manage Real Betis and FC Barcelona where he is credited with saving the Catalan giants from extinction. Instead the remains of Patrick O’Connell are buried in an unmarked grave in Kilburn, North London, an area synonymous with Irish emigrants and their broken dreams. Now a new group has come together with the aim of restoring both his final resting place and O’Connell’s reputation in the annals of the game he loved. Continue reading →

On the Mid-Night Plane to Georgia

georgia stadium Irish supporters never made it to Tbilisi when the Republic faced Georgia under Giovanni Trapatonni. Political instability moved the World Cup qualifier to Mainz, Germany. Last weekend, as the green jerseys touched down beneath the Caucuses Mountains, Tbilisi-based Mory Cunningham wondered if it was just another away match location or if the fans felt further East in this still emerging nation of stark contrasts? Continue reading →

June 11, 2002: Rep. of Ireland 3 S. Arabia 0

duff saudi arabia Robbie Keane’s early strike sent Ireland on their way to the second round but nerves weren’t settled until a goal from the unlikeliest of sources, centre-back Gary Breen. Damien Duff, one of the stars of the tournament finally got on the score-sheet to seal the win and give us one of the most iconic celebrations in Irish sport. Continue reading →

Ronaldo and Portugal Rout Ireland

ronaldo mcclean World-Cup bound Portugal dished out a 5-1 drubbing to a weakened Irish team in New York as Martin O’Neill suffered his heaviest defeat. Cristiano Ronaldo’s side were too much for a defence in disarray, missing first choice regulars with James McClean pulling one back to sign off Ireland’s end-of-season tour. Portugal, ranked fourth in the world, move on to Brazil. Continue reading →

Highlights: Ireland Beaten by Turkey

ireland v turkey Martin O’Neill’s Ireland slumped to a second consecutive defeat at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Turkey went 2-0 up with Jon Walters replying for the home side. The new manager has a further three post-season games but the Derryman is beginning to realise how much work is needed ahead of the 2016 qualifiers. Continue reading →

New Umbro Ireland Home Kit

jon_walters,_paula_brady,_david_meyler,_shane_long[1] The new Umbro Irish home kit is now available to buy. First worn worn in the friendly with Turkey and themed ‘Green to the Core,’ the new home jersey and team kit is almost entirely green with the exception of a white collar and white turnover on the classic green socks. Continue reading →

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 →

Searching for Toto

Schillaci They’re not in Kansas anymore. Four football fans from Portsmouth are hoping to produce their own documentary travelling throughout Italy in search of Toto Schillaci, the man who finished top scorer at the 1990 World Cup and broke Irish hearts in the process. Continue reading →

Coleman and Reid Prove We Can Play Ball

Pic:  Billy Galligan/amanwithhiscamera.com With the season almost over, all eyes will turn to the World Cup in Brazil. Of course, Ireland won’t be there and the selection of Seamus Coleman and Andy Reid in their respective teams of the year is yet another indictment of Giovanni Trapattoni’s philosophy as Irish manager. They also make a mockery of the argument that we don’t have ball-players. 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 →