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Posts Tagged ‘ Ipswich Town ’

O’Neill Names Ireland Squad For Upcoming Games

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Martin O’Neill has named a provisional 36 man squad for Ireland’s upcoming games against Scotland and USA.

Starting away, Scotland host Ireland in a EURO 2016 qualifier on Friday, November 14 at 7.45pm, before Ireland take on the USA in Aviva Stadium in a Three International Friendly on November 18.

The squad will be shortened ahead of meeting up on November 10. Continue reading

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New Dawn Beckons For Ireland As FAI Bid Ciao To Trap

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The Football Association of Ireland have confirmed that Giovanni Trapattoni has left his role as national team manager following last night’s 1-0 defeat to Austria which ended any hopes Ireland had of reaching next year’s World Cup .

The 74-year-old and assistant manager Marco Tardelli have both departed by “mutual consent” after meeting with the FAI this morning.

Trapattoni was appointed manager in 2008 and came close to guiding the team to the 2010 World Cup finals, losing out to France in a tense qualifying play-off with many begrudging Thierry Henry’s infamous Hand Of Gaul. Continue reading

Former Hibs Favourite Gerry Baker Dies Aged 75

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Hibernian FC have announced the sad news that former striker Gerry Baker has passed away aged 75 following a short illness.The news comes just over a month after the death of club legend Lawrie Reilly and Gerry took the time to travel to Edinburgh for the funeral although the two fans’ favourites never played in the same team. Continue reading

The Irish Goalkeeping Dilemma

westwoodWe’ve always been known as a nation that produces top goalkeepers, from Packie Bonner to Shay Given and to the more than capable deputies who filled their void upon their absence, not that the performance of one Paddy Kenny in Larnaca falls into this bracket. Continue reading

Fenlon Holds Off On LOI Raid For Now

Pat Fenlon has put potential moves for League of Ireland duo Ronan Finn (24) and Chris Forrester (19) on the backburner as he seeks to tie down three loanees this January.

The Hibernian supremo has revealed he is more concerned with securing the permanent signatures of Leigh Griffiths, Jorge Claros and Ryan McGivern before making a move for the duo, who still remain contracted to their current clubs.

Finn and Forrester both played key roles for Shamrock Rovers and St Patrick’s Athletic this season and have been the subject of much interest abroad. Fenlon is a known admirer of both, having worked with the latter at Bohemians.

However such is the state of the game in Scotland that Hibs transfer budget will only allow them to tie down the three loanees, with freescoring Griffiths the main priority. Fenlon may bide his time and move for the duo when their contracts run out next November although it may be too late by then as other clubs are circling the widely coveted duo.

PFAI player of the year nominee Finn is known to have spurned interest from Championship leaders Crystal Palace while Forrester is currently being headhunted by Sunderland, with Mick McCarthy also keen on taking the Dubliner to Ipswich Town.

But just how good are the duo and can they cut it abroad?

Here, ex League of Ireland star Alan Cawley reveals his thoughts on Ireland’s most wanted.

“I think both of them are very good, potential wise I think Forrester has a lot more to come considering he is much younger.

Finn needs to take control of games now that he’s maturing. He is at the age where I think he needs to move now.

If he is to make an impact across the water he can’t leave it any longer. How far do I think he can go?? Championship level is probably his best fit.

Forrester on the other hand can afford another year in the League of Ireland to get more experience and develop physically.

The most important thing for him next season is nailing down his preferred position. I don’t think he’s a winger.

His best position for me would be the point of attack in a midfield three. He is excellent technically and needs to be involved in the heart of the game, when out wide he drifts in and out of games. I think he could play in the Championship and maybe higher if with the right club.”

Fenlon Plans LOI Raid

Pat Fenlon is plotting a double raid on the League of Ireland this January as he seeks to bolster his Hibernian side.

The former Bohemians supremo is expected to launch a bid to take Chris Forrester from St Patricks Athletic and Ronan Finn from Shamrock Rovers. Both players remain under contract to their current club and will command a fee.

Hibs have enjoyed a great start to the Scottish Premier League this season and currently sit top, putting last year’s relegation dog fight and cup final heartbreak firmly behind them in the process. A source close to Hibernian revealed that the move for the duo is firmly in the pipeline.

“Pat obviously has great connections in Ireland and it is something the club have been working off. We have been examining numerous videos of players throughout the season and both Forrester and Finn excelled”.

Hibs will face a battle from Sunderland to net Forrester’s signature, with Martin O’Neill having watched the fledgling youngster in the Supersaints recent FAI cup final defeat to Derry City. It is also believed that new Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy may be considering a bid for the former Bohs ace, who he previously had on trial at Wolves.

However it is believed the Dubliner would favour a switch to Easter Road, where he would be re-united with Fenlon with the source adding “Pat’s knowledge and past experience of working with Chris will be crucial in his final destination”.

Irish Eyes Are Smiling

With Ireland fresh off the back of four straight victories it will be a long wait until our next competitive match in September. Such momentum would have been pivotal to carry into our next two crucial qualifiers that will determine our faith yet as the players take a break Irish News Review looks back at the highlights of a memorable season.

A is for Andorra. Ireland were pitted against the European minnows yet again en route to Euro 2012. 

B is for Bratislava. Ireland earned a point away to Slovakia but could have emerged with a win had Robbie Keane not missed a penalty on the stroke of half time. 

C is for Cox. West Brom star broke into Ireland team at the end of the season featuring in the final four games and scoring against both Northern Ireland and Italy. 

D is for David. Millwall goalkeeper Forde makes his debut against Italy at the age of 31, becoming the country’s oldest debutant in the post war era. 

E is for England. Possible friendly with the old enemy has been muted but as of yet no date has been arranged. 

F is for Fifty. The number of goals Robbie Keane eclipsed this season, breaking Bobby Charlton’s record in the north west corner of Europe. 

G is for Glasgow. The birthplace of James McCarthy whose international allegiance was questioned prior to him lining out in a competitive match for Ireland. 

H is for Hunger. Something Shay Given has never lost while sitting on the Man City bench all season. The Donegal native has shown no sign of decline in his performances despite Roberto Mancini`s constant refusal to pick him. 

I is for Ignorance. The FAI`s inability to reduce ticket prices has often led to a large number of empty seats at the 50,000 capacity Aviva.

 J is for John. FAI chief executive tried to appease fans by laying on trains and drink in Slovakia. 

K is for Kevin Doyle.Ireland will be hoping the Wexford native will be fit for September`s crucial qualifiers against joint Group B leaders Slovakia and Russia.

L is for Liege. Goals from Keith Andrews and Simon Cox ensured a famous 2-0 friendly victory over Italy in Belgium. 

M is for Macedonia. Back to back victories over the Macedonians leaves Ireland in a three horse tie at the top of the Euro 2012 qualifying group. 

N is for Nations Cup. Ireland swept aside Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland to win the inaugural Carling Nations Cup.

 O is for O`Dea. Ipswich star slotted in comfortably in the absence of both Richard Dunne and Sean St Ledger. 

P is for Pride. While some players have been questioned over their commitment to the cause, a new wave of talent is emerging that is hungrier than ever to wear the green shirt. 

Q is for Quality. While Ireland’s players are far from world beaters, the guidance of Trapattoni has gotten the best out of them. 

R is for Russia. The men from the Soviet Union taught the boys in green a lesson at the Aviva, a return date in September will define the group standings. 

S is for Seamus. Break out year for Everton star Seamus Coleman who has become a squad regular under Trapattoni. 

T is for Trickovski. The Macedonian star saw his penalty strike the crossbar in Skopje as Ireland earned a crucial 2-0 win. 

U is for Unbeaten. Great end of season form sees Ireland win four games in a row without conceding a goal. 

V is for Victory. To date Giovanni Trapattoni has a 46% win rate since taking over as Ireland manager in 2008.

W is for Walters. Stoke City striker pulls on the green jersey yet season ends in turmoil as he failed to show for end of season friendlies.

X is for X-Rated. Fiery Trap`s pitchside antics may not be too pleasing to parents ears. 

Y is for Yerevan. The Armenian capital where Ireland opened their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign. A Keith Fahey goal was enough to see Ireland take the three points 

Z is for Ze Hand. Thierry Henry`s cheeky handball that cost Ireland dearly hasn’t been forgotten, providing Trap with motivation to continue on until the 2014 World Cup as he has “unfinished business”.

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