Posts Tagged ‘ Irish football ’

LOI: Big Dublin Derby Kicks Off New Season

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A new season is upon us as the eagerly awaited return of the League Of Ireland takes over the Irish sporting calendar for the weekend ahead. Each team starts the season off with a clean slate, fresh aspirations and hope of successful days ahead. While many are tipping Pat Fenlon’s Shamrock Rovers to lift this season’s title, recent years have shown us that the league title will be hotly contested, with a number of teams in contention for Airtricity League glory.

Dundalk –v- Longford Town    7:45

Champions Dundalk, take on newly promoted Longford Town at Oriel Park.

After their most successful season in 20 years resulted in them being crowned champions Dundalk will be most determined to start off their defence of the title by taking all three points. The Louth side will be hoping a good start equals a good season, but will be weary that their opponents will not let them have it all their own way. Continue reading

Airtricity League Officially Launched

Players, managers and officials from all 20 teams were at the Aviva Stadium today for the launch of the 2015 SSE Airtricity League season.

The SSE Airtricity League Premier and First Divisions will commence on Friday, March 6, and a total of 330 league and play-off games will be played in addition to matches in the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup, EA SPORTS Cup, President’s Cup, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.

Among the highlights of the new season will be the return to the Premier Division of Longford Town and  Galway United and the arrival of a new club, Cabinteely, who will compete in the First Division.

Launching the 2015 season, the FAI’S Director of Competitions, Fran Gavin said: “There has been a huge amount of energy and passion going in to pre-season preparations all over the country and I want to compliment the clubs for the hard work being done. Clubs are nothing without their communities, and the energy to really engage the local community is vital all year round from each of our clubs if we are to continue to advance as a League.”

Stephen Wheeler, Managing Director SSE Airtricity, said:  “For the 2015 season we want to focus in on the fans of the league, and use them as the driving force for our new creative #FanPoweredFootball. For us, it is the dedication of the fans, the players and all the clubs, which make the SSE Airtricity League what it is. Each season is filled with excitement and dramatic endings and I am sure this year will be no different.”

Fran Gavin also announced that the FAI is to undertake a consultation process for the SSE Airtricity League which will involve all stakeholders in the domestic game, the clubs, the media, the supporters, the general public and many other groups. The process will be headed Declan Conroy who led the successful Europa League and Euro 2020 bids. It will start next week and, as part of the process, every club will be met individually and the public will also be invited to express their views. The process will take a couple of months to complete and the details will be communicated to clubs on Monday. The pubic consultation will start from Tuesday, March 3.

“There are two objectives: to get views on how the clubs and the league currently operates and also to get opinions on how the clubs and the league can move forward. I am sure there will be lots of different opinions but we want to hear them. This League has a big heritage and we need to work hard and work together if we are to make it strong for the future,” said Mr Gavin.

SSE Airtricity are set to roll out a national advertising campaign which focuses on the availability of live football in Ireland using the slogan “Fan Powered Football” and will use the hashtag #FanPoweredFootball on their social media platforms when referencing the league.  A special promotional video was shown for the first time at today’s launch and can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxJBgvU4iok&feature=youtu.be.

RTE and Setanta Sports will also continue their live coverage of matches during the season and RTE has also committed to covering the SSE Airtricity League each week during the season through their popular football programme Soccer Republic which will commence on Monday, March 9, at 11:05 on RTÉ2.

The 12 clubs participating in the 2015 Premier Division will be: Bohemians, Bray Wanderers, Cork City, Derry City, Drogheda United, Dundalk, Galway United, Longford Town, Limerick, St Patrick’s Athletic, Shamrock Rovers and Sligo Rovers. The eight clubs participating in the 2015 First Division will be: Athlone Town, Cabinteely, Cobh Ramblers, Finn Harps, Shelbourne, Waterford United, Wexford Youths and UCD.

LOI Supporter Workshop Aims To Make A Difference

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League of Ireland clubs survive and thrive because of the ongoing support, effort and dedication of their supporters and volunteers, and the ‘LOI Supporters: Making a Vital Difference‘ workshop will highlight much of the crucial work carried out by fans in the name of the crest of their football shirt.

The LOI Supporters: Making a Vital Difference workshop is organised by the Irish Supporters Network, and is open to everyone interested in building a brighter future for our game.

The event will be held at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, November 1st to coincide with one of the most important dates in the Irish football calendar: the FAI Cup final which pits Derry City against St Patrick’s Athletic.. Continue reading

LOI: Seagulls Must Win Crucial Relegation Six Pointer

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Athlone Town –v- Cork City    7:45

Relegation battling Athlone Town play title chasing Cork City at the Athlone Town Stadium.

The 1-1 draw with UCD last time out was a huge blow to Athlone’s survival chances. Instead of closing the gap to two points, it has now become five. Athlone’s best chance for survival seems to have gone. They face a tough challenge here against a team with as much to win as Athlone have to lose. If they are to have any chance at survival, defeat must be avoided at all costs.

Like their opponents Cork had a disappointing week. The 1-1 draw with Bray Wanderers has left the rebel army four points adrift of league leaders Dundalk. Cork will be determined to get back on track and quickly. A win here against the league’s bottom side would be the perfect place to start. Continue reading

2014-15 Women’s National League Fixtures Revealed

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THE fixture list for the 2014-2015 Women’s National League has been confirmed and released to the clubs and media today.

This new campaign will be eagerly awaited as a result of the success of the Republic of Ireland Women’s U19 side in UEFA competition this summer and the continued progress of Sue Ronan’s senior international side. The league’s new sponsor will announced at the league launch on Wednesday, August 20 – the same day Ireland host Slovenia in World Cup qualifier at Tallaght Stadium. Continue reading

LOI: Clubs Seek To Avoid European Hangover

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Bohemians –v- Cork City    7:45

Bohemians host title chasing Cork City at Dalymount Park.

Having not played since the 1-1 with St Patrick’s Athletic on July 13, Bohemians will be looking to get one over on their in-form opponents. Currently in seventh position, the Dublin side will be relatively pleased with their current form but will look to move up the table to as high as sixth by the weekend’s close.

Goals from Billy Dennehy and Mark O’Sullivan gave Cork City a 2-1 win against UCD last week. That win wasn’t enough to put them top as they sit second in the league on goal difference. The leesiders will be out for another three points in order to put pressure on league leaders Dundalk, anything but a win and significant momentum could be lost.

Prediction: Away win Continue reading

LOI: Cork Look To Bounce Back Against Reigning Champions

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Bohemians –v- UCD    7:45

Two relegation threatened teams face off here as Bohemians welcome UCD to Dalymount Park.

A 1-1 draw with Derry City last week has left Bohemians sitting in ninth position, but still threatened by relegation. Manager Owen Heary and his side are well aware that there is a long way to go in this league and that the best way to avoid the drop is to beat the teams around them. They face such a team here and will be looking for nothing but a win.

Goals from Robbie Benson and Cillian Morrison gave UCD a much needed three points in a 2-1 win over Drogheda United last week. Despite that win, UCD are still stuck in the relegation zone and manager Aaron Callaghan and his players will be determined to get a run of positive results that will lift them to safety, and for that they need all three points here. Continue reading

Special Olympics Ireland Honours Relationship With FAI

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Football Association of Ireland CEO, John Delaney, was today presented with an award in recognition of the organisation’s long-standing partnership with Special Olympics Ireland.

Delaney accepted the Special Olympics “appreciation award” on behalf of FAI staff at an official reception at the organisation’s headquarters in Abbotstown, Dublin. The award recognises the FAI’s policy of inclusion as well as the long-running partnership with Special Olympics Ireland. Continue reading

LOI: Hoops Seek Revenge On Table Topping Dundalk

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Bray Wanderers –v- Derry City    5:00 (Friday)

Seventh versus eight here as Bray Wanderers play host to Derry City at the Carlisle Grounds.

Goals from David Scully and Shane O’Neill gave Bray Wanderers an impressive 2-0 away win over Drogheda United last week. Bray will be pleased with their progress so far this season, avoiding many of the problems that plagued them last year. They will look to take advantage of their opponents slow start and overtake them in the league standings.

Goals from Enda Curran, Rory Patterson and Michael Duffy gave Derry City their second win of the season in a 3-2 victory over Athlone Town last time out. That win sees them sit seventh and manager Roddy Collins and his players will look for a win that could see them rise to fifth place and back into contention for the league.

Prediction: Draw

Cork City –v- Drogheda United    7:45

Title chasing Cork City take on title rivals Drogheda United at Turner’s Cross.

Having missed out on a chance to go top last week thanks to their 1-1 draw with Sligo Rovers, Cork City will be looking for a win here. Two points behind in second and with a game in hand, manager John Caulfield will be extremely pleased with his sides start. They face tough opposition here against a Drogheda side also looking to get back on track.

Like their opponents, Drogheda United will be bitterly disappointed with their showing in the 2-0 home defeat against Bray Wanderers last week. Despite that Drogheda have been in excellent form and have proved to be troubling opposition for every side they have met. They face an uphill task here against another side in impressive form and will have to be at their best to get a result.

Prediction: Home win

Dundalk –v- Shamrock Rovers    7:45

Two title challengers clash here as league leaders Dundalk take on Shamrock Rovers at Oriel Park.

Goals from Stephen O’Donnell, a Mark Langtry o.g. and a brace from Patrick Hoban saw Dundalk register an impressive 4-1 away win against UCD last week. That win saw them go top of the league, a position that manager Stephen Kenny and his side have no intention of leaving. They face a tough challenge from their title rivals but Dundalk will be confident their home form will give them the edge.

Shamrock Rovers will be disappointed with their 1-0 away defeat to champions St Patrick’s Athletic. Trevor Croly and his side know they need to bounce back quickly and regain the momentum they lost slightly last week. They face a difficult task going against the leagues in form side, who knocked them out of the Setanta Cup earlier this week. These games are where leagues are won and lost.

Prediction: Home win

Limerick –v- Athlone Town    7:45

Limerick take on bottom side Athlone Town at Thomond Park.

A solitary Rory Gaffney goal was enough to give Limerick all three points in a 1-0 win over Bohemians last week. They will be looking for another three points here as they play a poor Athone side. Stuart Taylor will be determined that his side move away from the relegation zone as fast as possible so as to avoid a relegation battle they could do without.

Even this early into the season it would seem the writing is on the wall for Athlone Town. Seven games, seven defeats, they are scoring goals but conceding far too many. Mick Cooke and his players are in desperate need of at least a point, but it just doesn’t look to be coming. Lose here and Mick Cooke may be out of a job so a win will be desperately needed by all.

Prediction: Home win

St Patrick’s Athletic –v- Bohemian FC    7:45

Champions St Patrick’s Athletic look to get their title ambitions back on track, as they take on Bohemians at Richmond Park.

A Killian Brennan penalty gave St Patrick’s Athletic a crucial three points against title rivals Shamrock Rovers last week. That win sees them sit fifth, four points behind the league leaders and well in contention. Liam Buckley will be looking for another three points in a Dublin Derby as he tries steady the ship that has been far to inconsistent so far this season. The Supersaints must forget Monday’s woeful Setanta Cup semi final drubbing at the hands of Sligo Rovers (5-1) and give their fans something to cheer about.

Unlike their opponents Bohemians will be disappointed with their showing last week. The 1-0 home defeat against Limerick was not what would have been expected. They face a tough ask here but it is a derby and form usually goes out the window so a win would not be out of the realm of possibility.

Prediction: Home win

Sligo Rovers –v- UCD    7:45

Sligo Rovers will look to lift themselves out of the relegation zone as they take on UCD at the Showgrounds.

The 1-1 draw with Cork City last week was an excellent result for struggling Sligo as was Monday’s Setanta Cup demolition of St Patrick’s Athletic in Inchicore (5-1). They will be looking for all three points here to move themselves out of the relegation zone into ninth place. Sligo have been very poor in the league this season and Ian Baraclough will hope a win here will change his sides fortunes.

Another heavy defeat last week for UCD, as they lost 4-1 at home against Dundalk. The students will hope to counter that result with a win here that will hopefully put some breathing room between themselves and the relegation battle. Aaron Callaghan will be hoping his sides leaky defence shut up shop here allowing his attacking players to score the goals that will give him all three points.

Prediction: Draw

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons 

 

 

 

 

LOI: Champions At Risk Of Falling Further Behind

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Athlone Town –v- Bohemian FC    7:45

Rock bottom Athlone Town host Bohemians at Athlone Town Stadium.

Five games, five defeats, it has been a miserable start to the season for newly promoted side Athlone Town. The euphoria of promotion and the excitement of competing at the top level have worn away quickly. Now even this early it’s all about survival. Mick Cooke and his side need points and fast or their misery will just go on and on.

The 1-1 draw with Bray Wanderers on Friday was a good result for Bohemians. Currently sitting in sixth position, Bohs need to find a way to turn their draws into wins. If manager Owen Heary and his players can find a way, then Bohemians could find themselves challenging for the league or at the very least a European place.

Prediction: Away win  Continue reading