Posts Tagged ‘ Jim Goodwin ’

Good weekend for Irish players in SPL

A total of 14 Irishmen started for their clubs in the SPL this weekend. A further three were injured and one not selected.

Nine were on the winning side and two drew.

Game of the day on Saturday featured six plus a substitute as Hibs beat St Mirren 2-1 in Paisley. Alan Maybury, Tim Clancy, Gary Deegan and Eoin Doyle starred for Pat Fenlon’s men, with Doyle instrumental in setting up Leigh Griffiths second goal.

Graham Carey and Jim Goodwin started for St Mirren, but both were taken off at half time. This was captain Goodwin’s first game of the new season, having been banned for the opening two fixtures. David van Zanten who was surprisingly dropped to the bench made a late appearance as substitute.

Johnny Hayes scored his first goal of the season for Aberdeen in their 2-1 win over St Johnstone in Perth, after a mix up in the Saints’ defence.

No Irishmen featured in the amazing 1-1 draw between Ross County and Celtic where the Parkhead men equalised with the last kick of the game.  Anthony Stokes and Daryl Murphy both sustained injuries during the friendly against Real Madrid in Philadelphia. Kurtis Byrne has still not made the bench for County.

Motherwell’s Darren Randolph conceded against Kilmarnock, but the Steelmen went on to record a 2-1 victory to go second in the table. Randolph will be hoping to catch the eye of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni now that Shay Given has retired. Killie’s Paul Heffernan remains on the injured list.

Aaron Doran and Richie Foran both started for Inverness against Hearts at Tynecastle, but Foran was send off in the first half. Despite this, Terry Butcher’s team fought back to secure a 2-2 draw.

Dundee United’s quartet of Irishmen Sean Dillon, Richie Ryan, Willo Flood and Jon Daly all featured in the 3-0 victory over neighbours Dundee in the first competitive derby for seven years. That win was enough to move The Arabs to the top of the SPL.


Griffiths’ double secures victory over St Mirren

A Leigh Griffiths double and a penalty save by Ben Williams was enough to secure a well-deserved three points for Hibs at New St Mirren Park today.  Steven Thomson pulled one back for the Buddies, but the Easter Road men held on to grab the victory.

Hibs boss Pat Fenlon made one enforced change to the team that drew with Hearts last Sunday with Lewis Stevenson who broke his toe in that game replaced by Jorge Claros. New signing Shefki Kuqi had to settle for a place on the bench.

St Mirren captain Jim Goodwin who was a transfer target for Hibs last season returned to the first team after his two game suspension.

Just under one thousand Hibs fans travelled through to Paisley in a confident mood after last week’s performance despite the fact that St Mirren were top of the league.

Hibs kicked off in windy conditions wearing green shorts and socks to add to their traditional green and white top.

Fenlon returned to the dug-out alongside assistant manager Liam O’Brien after his two game ban for gestures to Hearts fans during the cup final. The home dug-out contained a couple of ‘weel kent’ faces for the Hibs supporters with former players Danny Lennon and Tommy Craig.

After five minutes, Paisley born Paul Cairney had a long range shot which went narrowly past the post, as the visitors started to dominate possession. Tim Clancy in particular was causing problems for the Saints defence down the right wing.

Fenlon’s men took a well-deserved lead after 15 minutes, when Leigh Griffiths latched onto a superb through ball from David Wotherspoon. The on-loan star beat Darren McGregor on the outside and hammered the ball into the corner of the net past Craig Samson to the delight of the travelling support.

Three minutes later, Clancy went close with a free kick and Griffiths hit the side netting with a well struck shot from inside the box.

The Hibs players were hunting in packs and refusing to allow the Saints’ players any time on the ball, and Clancy again went close with a flicked header from a Wotherspoon corner.

Two minutes later however,  St Mirren were awarded a penalty against the run of play when the ball struck James McPake’s arm, but’ Big Ben’ Williams spared his captain’s blushes with an excellent diving save to deny Paul McGowan.

Samson kept his side in the game with a stunning save from a Gary Deegan header as Hibs pressed at every opportunity. Just before halftime, good interplay between Wotherspoon and Deegan resulted in Maybury sending over a cross which just eluded Eoin Doyle with the goal gaping.

St Mirren replaced Irishmen Graham Carey and Jim Goodwin with Gary Teale and Jon Robertson at half time as Fenlon understandably kept with the players who had done so well in the first half.

Lennon’s men came out with a more determined attitude and McGowan was unlucky with a long range shot which flew just past Williams’ post, but Hibs responded with a Doyle snapshot which went narrowly over the bar after a Cairney tackle rebounded to the former Sligo player who was unmarked in the box.

The Buddies responded and were given an undeserved free kick when Clancy was wrongly adjudged to have fouled Dougie Imrie. From the free kick, Williams clashed with McGregor which resulted in the Saints’ being stretchered off and replaced by David Barron.

Hibs doubled their lead on the hour mark after great skill by Eoin Doyle who beat his marker and found Griffiths in the box. The on form striker made no mistake, spinning round 180 degrees before striking the pall low last Samson into the right hand corner of the net for his third goal of the season.

Both Doyle and Griffiths were booked for jumping over the advertising boards to celebrate with the ecstatic Hibs fans, but their joy was short lived however as St Mirren relied immediately when a Dougie Imrie pass found Steven Thomson at the back post and the former Scotland striker hammered the ball low into the centre of the goal catching the Hibs defence sleeping.

Referee Stevie McLean managed to keep his cards in his pocket as both teams were guilty of some robust challenges. St Mirren desperately tried to get back into the game as Hibs were having problems getting out of their own half.

Cairney was brought down by Imrie and Griffiths smashed the resultant free kick against the crossbar. This was Cairney last part in the game as he was replaced with Ivan Sproule with fifteen minutes remaining.

Williams then made a great save to deny Thomson, and Imrie’s corner went harmlessly out of play for a goal kick to relieve the pressure.

Hibs hit on the counter and Sproule was brought down by Kenny McLean who received a yellow card for the incident.

With eight minutes remaining, Doyle was replaced by new signing Shefki Kuqi who was in the action immediately, closing down the St Mirren defenders.

With St Mirren pressing for an equaliser, Kuqi did well to hold the ball up before finding Sproule. The flying winger found Griffiths through on goal, but he was unable to get his hat-trick, and just missed the target.

Ross Caldwell replaced the tired Griffiths who received a standing ovation from the travelling support.

The fourth official indicated six minutes of injury time which was greeted by a load cheer from the Paisley fans, as Hibs desperately tried to hold on for the three points.

St Mirren had three corners in this period, but the defence held firm, with McPake and Deegan both making last ditch blocks to prevent the Buddies getting a point.

After the game, a delighted Pat Fenlon told BBC Scotland Sportsound: “We passed the ball really well in the first half and could have went in at half time a little bit more ahead.

“We dug in and we hadn’t had that before. We’ve showed a lot of character in the last couple of weeks.”

When asked about Leigh Griffiths’ performance, Fenlon said:

“Leigh’s a player all right. I haven’t seen a better finisher than him. He was a live wire today.  If he keeps playing like that it will be hard to keep him. He’s got potential, there’s no doubt about that, we all know that. He’s working hard on the other stuff off the pitch and once he’s gets rid of that, he’s got more ability than a lot of players I’ve seen.

“His work rate is fantastic and that’s the annoying thing. He’s a great kid, but he gets himself into a little bit bother off the pitch, but on it and in training he’s fantastic.

“We got a bit of luck today that we haven’t had before. We could have won the game last week against Hearts. We’ve seen today they type of team we have. We can pass it and we can play and we can defend and be difficult to beat. The leagues very competitive as we seen today but we still need a couple more. Today we didn’t have a midfielder on the bench so we are a little bit short.

“The supporters have been fabulous  since I’ve been here and I’ve said it before that it’s up to us to get the ones that have lapsed and gone away to get them back in. I’ve been talking to supporters since last week and they have seen a bit of fight and desire and drive and they feel that’s been lacking over the last few years.”

St Mirren: Samson,  McGregor,  Mair, McAusland, Goodwin, McGowan, Carey,  Mclean,  Imrie, Thompson, Parkin. Subs Smith, van Zanten,  Barron, Robertson, Teale, Smith, McGinn

Hibs: Williams, Clancy, McPake, Hanlon, Maybury, Cairney, Claros, Deegan, Wotherspoon, Doyle, Griffiths. Subs: Antell, Caldwell, O’Hanlon, Stanton, Sproule, Kuqi, Handling.

Attendance 5039

Photograph by

Mixed fortunes for Irish players in this week’s SPL

Last week we reported on Pat Fenlon signing Gary Deegan from Coventry City for an undisclosed fee, and the former Bohs boss and added another countryman to his squad by signing up Alan Maybury on a one year contract.

This brings the total number of Irish players in the SPL to seventeen, although only eight started this weekend.

As expected Deegan made his debut in the Edinburgh derby and won many plaudits for his tough tackling performance even though he received a first half booking for bringing down Hearts danger man David Templeton. Tim Clancy also played well at right back where his long throws caused Hearts problems throughout the game. Maybury also had a good debut although the former Leeds fullback was at fault for Hearts goal when he misjudged a header back to keeper Ben Williams. Despite this, he kept his composure and played well for the rest of the game which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Midfielder Johnny Hayes played well in Aberdeen’s 0-0 draw with SPL new boys Ross County. Once again, Kurtis Byrne failed to make the squad although he did play for the under 20s side against his former club Hibs in midweek.

David Van Zanten was booked in St Mirren’s away victory over Dundee which sees the Buddies go top of the league, despite still being without captain Jim Goodwin who is suspended. Graham Carey made his first start of the campaign and acquitted himself well.

Aaron Doran featured in Inverness Caledonian’s 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock which fellow Irishman Richie Foran missed due to an injury, as did Killie’s striker Paul Hefferman who is likely to be out until November with a dislocated shoulder.

Darren Randolph kept a clean sheet as Motherwell drew 0-0 against St Johnstone at Fir Park. The Steelmen had lost 3-0 to Greek side Panathginaikos in the midweek Champion’s League Qualifier.

Dundee United’s quartet of Irishmen Sean Dillon, Richie Ryan, Willo Flood and Jon Daly  did not play this weekend as their fixture against Champions Celtic was postponed to allow the Parkhead side to play a glamour fixture against Real Madrid in Philadelphia. United did however play in the Europa League on Thursday and lost 5-0 to Dynamo Moscow in Russia.

Anthony Stokes did not feature in the friendly which Celtic lost 2-0 having picked up an injury before the match; Daryl Murphy only lasted 33 minutes before being taken off with a hamstring injury.

Photograph of Alan Maybury by

Twelve Irish players start SPL season

Another Irishman joined the SPL ranks this week when Hibs boss Pat Fenlon signed Gary Deegan from Coventry City for an undisclosed fee. 24 year old Deegan who was born in Dublin spent the early part of his career with Shelbourne, before being loaned to Kilkenny City. He then played for Longford Town and Galway United before joining Fenlon at Bohemians.

The tough tackling midfielder has been on Fenlon’s radar from the moment he walked into Easter Road and is likely to start against Hearts in this weekend’s derby. His registration papers were not through in time for him to play against Dundee United on Sunday.

Of the sixteen Irish players in the SPL, only twelve started, and seven of those played in Dundee United’s 3-0 over Hibs. Sean Dillon picked up an early injury and was substituted at half time. Willo Flood and Richie Ryan both played well, but player of the day has to be Jon Daly who caused the Hibs defence problems throughout the 90 minutes. Daly capped off a fine performance with a headed goal in the second half to secure the points. Gavin Gunning was also solid at the back for the Arabs.

Tim Clancy started at right back for Hibs and was caught out of position for United’s first goal, although the former Motherwell defender could claim to have been blocked by John Rankin. Eoin Doyle played in Hibs midfield and held the ball up well creating a couple of chances.

Fenlon still wants to sign Alan Maybury but he is still waiting to see if the board can come to an agreement with the player.

Jonny Hayes started in Aberdeen’s narrow defeat against Celtic at Parkhead and had an anonymous game in midfield. Anthony Stokes recovered from his badly sprained ankle sustained against Inter Milan last week to start the match although he was taken off after 77 minutes and replaced by fellow countryman Daryl Murphy.

Aaron Doran started for Inverness Caledonian Thistle in their 2-2 draw with St Mirren, but striker Richie Foran missed the game through injury. David Van Zanten started for the ‘Buddies’ and had his usual reliable performance at right back. Club captain Jim Goodwin missed the game due to suspension and Graham Carey did not make the squad.

Kilmarnock striker Paul Heffernan is currently injured and missed the opening fixture against Dundee at Rugby Park, which ended in a 0-0 draw.

Darren Randolph kept a clean sheet for Motherwell against Ross County in Dingwall as both clubs shared the points in a goalless draw. Kurtis Byrne did not feature in County’s squad.

There were no Irish players at Tynecastle where Hearts beat St Johnstone 2-0.

Irish players in the SPL Set For Big Kick Off

The SPL kicks off this weekend and fifteen Irishmen are likely to take part in the opening fixtures. John Hislop looks at how the Irish contingent have performed during the close season and examines who is likely to make an impression in the next nine months.

Irish football fans will be interested in the Dundee United versus Hibs game as potentially seven Irishmen could take part. Before that, the Arabs take on Dinamo Moskva (UEFA Europa League 3rd Round Qualifier 1st leg) at Tannadice with some help from Michael Gardyne’s pal Aiden McGeady who has passed on his knowledge of the Russian team.

Four Irishmen took part in the club’s recent derby win over Dundee at Dens Park, with captain Jon Daly scoring a memorable hat trick. Sean Dillon ,Willo Flood and Richie Ryan also started the game and are likely to be first choices for Peter Houston’s team when available.

Tim Clancy is another likely starter alongside Eoin Doyle in the Hibs side. Clancy kicked off his Easter Road career at East Fife where he scored a stunning free kick to endear himself to the Easter Road fans. Doyle has featured in most of the pre-season games, but has yet to open his account for the campaign. Pat Fenlon’s new 4-2-3-1 system leaves Doyle as an attacking left sided midfield player with new on-loan signing Leigh Griffiths as the lone striker.

Pat Fenlon also hopes to have experienced versatile defender Alan Maybury on the books and talks are on-going between the player and the board to thrash out a deal. Maybury has also featured in most of the pre-season games and came on as a second half substitute against Huddersfield on Saturday.

Jonny Hayes has already made an impression during pre-season, with his lightning pace in Aberdeen’s 1-0 friendly defeat against Werder Bremen. He has been used sparingly and started Saturday’s game on the bench, coming on as a substitute in the second half as the Dons prepare for their opening fixture away at Champions Celtic.

It looks as though he won’t be facing Anthony Stokes who was carried off on a stretcher in the first half of the friendly against Inter Milan at Parkhead on Saturday, after blocking a clearance from Esteban Cambiasso. The injury which appears to be a badly sprained ankle makes Stokes a serious doubt for the Champion’s League qualifying round against HJK Helsinki on Wednesday.

Stokes’ team-mate Daryl Murphy appears to be out of Neil Lennon’s plans and was offered to Ipswich last month for a cut price deal however the deal fell through.

Inverness Caledonian’s Richie Foran scored a penalty in the club’s friendly win over Coventry City whilst fellow countryman Aaron Doran also took part.

Kilmarnock striker Paul Heffernan is currently injured and is a major doubt for the opening fixture against Dundee at Rugby Park.

Darren Randolph continues to be first choice in the Motherwell goal and is looking forward to the club’s Champion’s League qualifying round fixture against Greek giants Panathinaikos tomorrow at Fir Park. A large crowd is expected for the Steelmen’s first ever game in this competition.

Kurtis Byrne is currently with Ross County in the Netherlands for their pre-season tour ahead of their first top flight campaign, and hopes to get his career back on track after being released by Hibs.

David Van Zanten continues to be a first choice for Danny Lennon’s St Mirren, but captain Jim Goodwin had to be content to sit on the bench for Saturday’s defeat to Carlisle as he will be suspended for the opening game of the season against Inverness at New Love Street. Former Celtic player Graham Carey has not featured in the pre-season games and is unlikely to start on Saturday.

Irish News Review will continue to monitor how the Irish players are performing throughout the season.

Irish players in the SPL

Now that Dundee have finally been named as the team who will replace Rangers in the SPL, Irish News Review takes a look at the Irish players who will be plying their trade in Scotland’s top division this season. At the moment, there are 17 Irishmen in the various first team squads, and one waiting to hear whether he will be given a contract.

Dundee United lead the way with six, whilst St Mirren  have three. Hibs, Celtic and Inverness all have two Irish born stars on their books.

Regular updates will appear on Irish News Review on how each player is performing throughout the season.

Jonny Hayes (Born 9 July 1987 in Dublin)

Hayes is a creative midfield player who came to Aberdeen’s attention after several outstanding displays for Inverness Caledonian Thistle. He joined the Dons in the summer on a two year contract. He previously played for Reading, MK Dons, Leicester City, Northampton Town and Cheltenham Town before moving to Scotland in 2009.

Anthony Stokes (Born 25 July 1988 in Dublin)

Stokes is a natural goal scorer who has one year left on his contract with Celtic. He began his senior career with Arsenal, but established himself with a successful loan spell with Falkirk before signing for Roy Keane’s Sunderland in a £2 million deal. He struggled to hold down a place in the Sunderland first team, and moved to Hibs for an undisclosed fee, scoring 20 goals in his only full season. In 2010, he signed for Celtic and has scored 26 goals in 63 games to date. He has been capped four times for the Republic of Ireland.

Daryl Murphy (Born 15 March 1983 in Waterford)

Murphy is a winger / striker who will also start his last year of a three year contract with Celtic whom he joined from Sunderland for an undisclosed fee. He made an impressive start to his career in the hoops, but subsequently spent a year with Roy Keane’s Ipswich Town on loan. To date he has played 18 times for Celtic scoring 3 goals. He has nine international caps.

Sean Dillon (Born 30 July 1983 in Dublin)

Dillon is a right back currently playing for Dundee United. He was a youth player with Aston Villa but failed to make the grade there, returning to his homeland where he played for Longford Town and Shelbourne. He joined the Arabs in 2007 and has played 156 times, scoring 3 goals, and has one under 21 cap and one ‘B’ international cap.

Willo Flood (Born 10 April 1985 in Dublin)

Flood is a right winger with Dundee United having returned to the club after spells with Celtic and Middlesbrough. He started his senior career with Manchester City and joined Cardiff City for a reported £200,000 in 2006. During his time with the Bluebirds, he spent two loan periods at Tannadice.  To date he has played 86 times for United, scoring two goals. He has 11 under 21 caps.

Richie Ryan (Born 6 January 1985 in Tipperary)

Ryan is a midfield player with Dundee United. He joined the club in November 2011 from Sligo Rovers for whom he played 112 times, and to date has played 13 times for the Tannadice outfit. He started his senior career with Sunderland, making two appearances, and has played for Scunthorpe United, Boston United and Royal Antwerp. In 2010 he played in a League of Ireland XI.

Jon Daly (Born 8 January 1983 in Dublin)

Daly is a striker with Dundee United. He joined the Arabs in 2007 from Hartlepool United. He started his senior career with Stockport County, for whom he made 91 appearances over a seven year period. He has also played for Bury and Grimsby Town. Daly is highly regarded at Tannadice and is currently club captain. To date he has played 131 times for United, scoring 48 goals. He has 16 under 21 caps, scoring 7 times.

Tim Clancy (Born 8 June 1984 in Meath)

Clancy became Pat Fenlon’s first signing of the season and marked his debut against East Fife with a stunning free kick. He can play right back or centre half, and joined Hibs from Motherwell whom he helped to a Champion’s League place last season. Before that he played for Kilmarnock. He started his career playing for home town team Trim Celtic before moving to Belvedere in Dublin. His senior career started with Milwall but he failed to make a first team appearance, before moving to Scotland he played on loan with Walton & Hersham, Weymouth and Fisher Athletic. He has been capped at under 19 level.

Eoin Doyle (Born 12 March 1988 in Dublin)

Doyle is a striker with Hibs whom he joined from Sligo Rovers in January 2012. He was manager Pat Fenlon’s first signing for the club, and helped Hibs to last year’s Scottish Cup Final where he made an appearance from the substitute’s bench. Doyle also played for Shamrock Rovers and Shelbourne in the League of Ireland. To date he has played 14 times for Hibs and scored three goals.

Alan Maybury (Born 8 August 1978 in Dublin)

Maybury is a right back, currently doing pre-season training with Hibs, for whom he came on as a substitute in the friendly against East Fife.  His senior career started with Leeds United in 1995, and he spent 6 years at Elland Road, making 14 appearances. During that time he had loan spells with Reading and Crewe Alexandra before signing for Hearts. He made 112 appearances for the Tynecastle side before following manager Craig Levein to Leicester City. After three years he returned to Scotland, joining Aberdeen on loan before accepting a deal with Colchester United. In 2010 he joined St Johnstone and played 47 games over the following two seasons. He is currently out of contract, and Pat Fenlon is hopeful that funds can be found to secure his move to Easter Road. He has won ten international caps.

Aaron Doran (Born 13 May 1991 in Cork)

Doran is a right winger with Inverness Caledonian Thistle. He started his senior career with Blackburn Roves under Paul Ince and was described as a tremendous prospect, playing in pre-season games, but failed to make the grade and spent time on loan with MK Dons and Leyton Orient. He signed for Inverness Caledonian Thistle in January 2011 and to date had played 21 times scoring three goals. He has three under 21 caps.

Richie Foran (Born 16 June 1980 in Dublin)

Foran is a winger / striker with Inverness Caledonian Thistle having joined from Southend United in 2009. He previously spent three years with Motherwell and also played for Carlisle United as well as Darlington and Oxford United on loan. In Ireland, he played with St Patricks Athletic, Shelbourne and Home Farm on loan. To date he has played 115 times for ICT scoring 26 goals. He is an under 21 internationalist and has played nearly 350 games in the UK during an 11 year career.

Paul Heffernan (Born 29 December 1981 in Wicklow)

Heffernan is a striker who currently plays for Kilmarnock for whom he signed after being released by Sheffield Wednesday. He started his senior career with Notts County, scoring 35 goals in 100 games. He has also played for both Bristol clubs; Doncaster Rovers and Oldham Athletic in a thirteen year career which has seen him play over 300 times, scoring 94 goals. Last season with Kilmarnock, he scored 11 times in 29 games and has become a fans favourite at Rugby Park.

Darren Randolph (Born 12 May 1987 in Wicklow)

Randolph is a goalkeeper with Motherwell. He started his senior career with Charlton Athletic, making 14 appearances in six years. He also played for a number of clubs on loan including Welling United, Accrington Stanley, Gillingham, Bury and Hereford United before signing for the Steelmen in 2010. Since then, he has established himself as the clubs first choice keeper, making 75 appearances. He has ten under 21 caps and played as a ‘B’ internationalist. He has recently featured in Giovanni Trapattoni’s full squad.

Kurtis Byrne (Born 9 April 1990 in Dublin)

Byrne is a striker with Ross County.  He started his senior career with Norwich City before joining Hibs in 2007. He played in the double winning Hibs under 19 team and had spells on loan with Stirling Albion, East Fife and Alloa Athletic, before being released. His time at Easter Road coincided with Hibs having an abundance of forwards including Anthony Stokes, Derek Riordan, Colin Nish and Benji, limiting his chances. In 2011 he was snapped up by Ross County and has scored two goals in thirteen starts.

David Van Zanten (Born 8 May 1982 in Dublin)

Van Zanten is a right back currently on his second spell with St Mirren for whom he has played a total of 229 games, scoring seven goals. He joined the Paisley club in 2010 after short spells with Morton and Hamilton. Prior to that, he played 30 games for Hibs. He started his senior career with Celtic but failed to make the grade at Parkhead after signing form Tolka Rovers.

Jim Goodwin (Born 20 November 1981 in Waterford)

Goodwin is a midfield player with St Mirren. He started his senior career with Celtic for whom he made one appearance before being released in 2002. He then eight spent years in England, starting with Stockport County, then Scunthorpe, Huddersfield Town and Oldham, before crossing the border to sign for Hamilton. After a season at New Douglas Park, he signed for St Mirren and was appointed club captain. Earlier this year he was linked with Hibs, but chose to sign a new contract with The Buddies. He has played 48 times for St Mirren, scoring one goal. Goodwin has represented the Republic of Ireland at international level being capped at Under-16, Under 21, B level and at full international level.

Graham Carey (Born 20 August 1989 in Dublin)

Carey is a left sided attacking midfielder with St Mirren. He signed for Celtic from Shelbourne in 2005 and spent six years at Parkhead, playing one game. During his time there, he was loaned out to Bohemians, St Mirren and Huddersfield before being freed last year. Last season he scored two goals in 29 games for St Mirren. He has six under 21 caps.

Gavin Gunning (Born 26 January 1991 in Dublin)

A lot has been expected of the former Crumlin United star who joined Blackburn Rovers in 2008. After a number of loan spells including a stint at Motherwell the 7 times capped under 21 international was snapped up by Peter Houston’s side. He has gone on to solidify his standing with the Tannadice faithful making 28 appearances and scoring 2 goals to date.

Paddy Barrett (Born 22 July 1993 in Waterford)

Barrett is the sixth and final member of the Irish contingent at Tannadice. The 18 year old hasn’t made an appearance for the Arabs yet but he is expected to make the breakthrough this term.

Good Work Undone

After getting a great result last week at Dunfermline, typical Hibs go and shoot themselves in the foot by losing to St Johnstone at home in the following match.

The feel good factor has gone already and now it’s back to “Help ma boab! We might get relegated”. Scary times at the Leith San Siro. A crowd of just under 9000 turned up to witness one of the most inept displays of defending I have ever seen in many a long year. And (sadly) I have seen a lot of it when it comes to Hibs.It wasn’t that the St Johnstone forwards were that good (which they were) it really is down to basic, frankly absurd mistakes in our back four that handed the ‘Tractor Boys’ the three points. This cannot go on. Pat Fenlon needs to, no, has to, find us a couple of centre halfs in this window or we are going down. Rumours today that we are getting James McPake on loan from Coventry City. Seems a decent enough player to get in, he knows the Scottish game as he’s played here before. I’m just hoping he’s a bit (to use an Edinburgh term) radge! A fighting, battling, take no prisoners, type of defender.

The club as a whole has been rudderless for years. Starting from the boardroom down. I am not a fan of our so called chiefs who are businessmen rather than football men. Sure, they built us a shiny new stadium and training centre but they took their eye off the ball when it came down to being a football club. And the shiny new stadium will be a massive white elephant if ,god forbid,we end up playing in the First Division.

There are no leaders in the team. Not one player who will impose himself on our own lads, never mind the opposition players. I want shouters and battlers screaming at our team to get their fingers out and realise the situation we are in. Another rumour is we are after midfielder Jim Goodwin from St Mirren. He is exactly the type of player we are needing right now. A 30 year old Irishman who keeps it simple and goes in hard. Getting him may be fruitless as he is quoted as saying he is happy at the Buddies. He is their club captain after all.

Some good news though, Leigh Griffiths scored again and is looking a quality signing for us. But he IS a radge! A homegrown, dyed in the wool, Hibee radge, who shows desire and skill but can get caught up in the hurly-burly of it all. Another hand gesture to the crowd (his third in recent weeks) which will see him sitting in the stands rather than doing what he does best. Scoring the goals to keep us up.

Rangers at Ibrox up next. Let’s hope we do what we did last season and go there and tank them 3-0. That was the craziest result for us last year, as we were woeful leading up to that game too, yet we pulled off our greatest result of another infuriating season.

As Greavsie always said to the Saint “It’s a funny old game” By gum, he was right!.