Casualty review as we countdown to Wembley...20/05/2013
The first formal withdrawal from the Ireland squad for the upcoming quartet of matches, commencing with England at Wembley on Wednesday 29 May 2013, has occurred. The uncapped Anthony Pilkington has cited ongoing injury as the basis for his withdrawal and we must also keep a close watch on the injury concerns surrounding Stoke City duo Glenn Whelan and Marc Wilson.
EA Sports Cup activity for Airtricity League Clubs...20/05/2013
There are seven contests scheduled for 7.45pm this Monday evening in the EA Sports Cup. The 'Derby' contest between North West rivals Finn Harps and Derry City catches the eye, while the visit of stuttering Cork City to Wexford Youths should also generate some nervous tension. Premier Division clubs, Drogheda United (home to Longford Town), Limerick (home to Waterford United and Sligo Rovers (home to Mervue United) will be expected to advance as will St Patrick's Athletic, who travel to Salthill Devon. The all Premier Division meeting of Bohemian and Bray Wanderers should provide lively entertainment in Dalymount Park.
Triumphs and tribulations for Premiership Irish...19/05/2013
Norwich City midfielder Anthony Pilkington has celebrated his Ireland call-up with a goal at Manchester City this afternoon. The news appears to be less bright for Stoke City full back Marc Wilson, who has been forced off after just twenty minutes which, coupled with his recent injury problems, must cast doubt on his availability for the upcoming international programme. An opportunity perhaps to call up Joey O'Brien of West Ham United who, like Wilson, has been performing with consistency in the left back position.
No real pressure on Irish in Premiership finale...19/05/2013
The English Premiership finale this afternoon matters in reality, only to Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur as they battle for the fourth and final Champions League position in the league. Those Ireland squad members in action will be hoping for an injury free end to their club season as they anticipate the upcoming quartet of international contests, commencing with England at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday 29th May 2013.
Contrasting thoughts for Irish Under 21 brigade...19/05/2013
In contrast to their senior counterparts, those members of Noel King's Under 21 squad attached to English Premiership clubs would welcome involvement in the league season climax this afternoon, but most have been disappointed. U21 captain Shane Duffy is again on the Everton substitute bench and would fancy a run out against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Twenty year old full back Michael Harriman, who did not make the U21 squad announced during the week, is a surprise starter for QPR at Liverpool. Aberdeen defender Joe Shaughnessy, was in his regular position at home to Heart of Midlothian yesterday afternoon.
Wembley delight for Kevin Dawson and Paddy Madden...19/05/2013
Young Dubliners, Kevin Dawson and Paddy Madden will be in buoyant mood following this afternoon's League One play-off victory for their Yeovil Town over Brentford, which sees the club promoted to the Championship for the first time in their history. Madden kick started the two one victory with the opening goal after six minutes.
Saturday night postponement at the Showgrounds...18/05/2013
Tonight's scheduled Airtricity League Premier Division contest between current leaders Sligo Rovers and Dundalk at the Showgrounds, has been postponed because of a waterlogged pitch. Meanwhile First division leaders Longford Town welcome Cobh Ramblers to Flancare Park at 7.30pm.
Donegal's Carl McHugh back at Wembley again...18/05/2013
Twenty year old Bradford City defender Carl McHugh from Donegal was an unused substitute at Wembley Stadium, when his club defeated Northampton Town by three goals to nil in the League Two play-off final on Saturday afternoon. McHugh, named in Ireland's U21 squad earlier this week, was in defence for his club when they were defeated in the Carling Cup Final by Premiership side Swansea City in March and will be delighted with the much more favourable outcome on this occasion.
Friday evening in the Airtricity Premier Division...17/05/2013
Match series fourteen in the Airtricity League Premier Division kicked-off this evening with live RTE 2 coverage of the 'Dublin Derby' meeting of long standing rivals Shamrock Rovers and Bohemian which ended in a one all draw at Tallaght Stadium. Another enticing contest took place in Hunky Dorys Park where Drogheda United went down by the odd goal in five to Derry City. There was disappointment for the Cork City faithful as visitors Bray Wanderers prevailed by three goals to one in Turner's Cross. UCD held Limerick to a one all draw at The Bowl, while in Tolka Park a three nil victory over struggling Shelbourne moved second place St Patrick's Athletic level on points with current leaders Sligo Rovers.
First Under 21 call-up for Barry McNamee...15/05/2013
Ireland Under 21 Head Coach Noel King has included the uncapped Derry City wideman Barry McNamee in his sixteen man squad for the friendly encounter with Denmark in Fredericia on Friday 31 May 2013. The squad is set to assemble in Dublin on Sunday 26 May 2013 before travelling to Denmark on Wednesday 29th May 2013. The Dublin training sessions will be bolstered by the addition of Ciaran Gallagher, Daryl Horgan, Roberto Lopes, Danny Morrissey and David O'Leary from the Airtricity League ranks, together with Hansa Rostock striker Selcuk Tidim.
Delight to desolation for James McCarthy...14/05/2013
Just three days after the euphoria of their FA Cup success, James McCarthy and Wigan Athletic suffered relegation from the Premiership. The 'Latics' returned to London and suffered a four one defeat by an Arsenal side, themselves desperate for victory in their quest for a top four finish and Champions League football next season.
Tuesday evening in the Airtricity Premier Division...14/05/2013
There were two contests played in the Airtricity League Premier Division this evening. St Patrick's Athletic were unable to avenge their series one defeat, by Setanta Cup winners Shamrock Rovers when they were held to a scoreless draw in Richmond Park. Vanquished Setanta Cup finalists Drogheda United restored some pride and confidence with a battling performance in a one nil victory over Limerick in Thomond Park.
Damian Delaney set for Championship play-off Final...13/05/2013
Damian Delaney, something of a surprise selection in the Ireland squad announced earlier today by Giovanni Trapattoni, is expected to be the first withdrawal, at least for the opening England encounter, following tonight's Championship semi-final play-off victory for his Crystal Palace over favourites Brighton & Hove Albion. The 'Eagles' will meet Watford in the play-off final for a place in next season's Premiership on Monday the 27th May 2013, two days before our encounter with England at the same venue.
FA Youth Cup Final delight for Kyle McFadden...13/05/2013
Norwich City, with eighteen year old Kyle McFadden from Donegal in central defence, defeated Chelsea by three goals to two in the second leg of the FA Youth Cup Final in front of almost 18,000 spectators at Stamford Bridge tonight. The 'Canaries', one nil victors in the home leg, secured the Trophy on a 4-2 aggregate which, coupled with yesterday's Premiership survival victory, made for an excellent 48 hours in the life of Chris Hughton.
Twenty eight man squad announced this morning...13/05/2013
Manager Giovanni Trapattoni has this morning announced his twenty eight man Ireland squad for the upcoming quartet of matches against England, Georgia, Faroe Islands and Spain. The only newcomer is Norwich City midfielder Anthony Pilkington, while injury rules out Ciaran Clark and Kevin Doyle. Also overlooked are Joey O'Brien, Stephen Ward and Alex Pearce but defenders Damian Delaney and Richard Keogh return to the squad.
Cup victory for Wigan Athletic and James McCarthy...11/05/2013
A goal two minutes from time secured the FA Cup for Wigan Athletic and Ireland midfielder James McCarthy at Wembley Stadium this afternoon. A rain soaked Wembley witnessed a compelling performance from underdogs Wigan who were worthy winners. The club now face two crucial league contests which could yet see them relegated from the Premiership, but today will live with them forever.
Shamrock Rovers lift Setanta Cup this afternoon...11/05/2013
Shamrock Rovers crushed Drogheda United by seven goals to one in this afternoon's Setanta Sports Cup Final played at Tallaght Stadium. While the 'Hoops' entered the contest as favourites, the scale of the victory was wholly unexpected and must have been a severe shock for Mick Cooke and his side. Conversely, new Shamrock Rovers manager Trevor Croly has gotten his reign off to a superb start.
Happy Birthday wishes to Irish May celebrants...01/05/2013
Best wishes go to Under 19 international Sean Maguire of West Ham United who is nineteen today, while fellow U19 player Adam Evans of Burnley reaches the milesone on the 3rd. Good wishes also go out to the senior trio of Darren Randolph (12th), Andrew Keogh (16th), Wesley Hoolihan (20th) and David Meyler (29th) together with U21 goalkeeper Sean McDermott (30th).