Posts Tagged ‘ Kevin Doyle ’

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

Quartet Return To First Post Trapattoni Ireland Squad

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Noel King today announced a provisional 26 man squad for Ireland’s upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against Germany on October 11 in Cologne, and Kazakhstan on October 15 in Aviva Stadium.

The squad will be shortened ahead of the fixtures in order to facilitate injuries with both Robbie Brady and Jon Walters struggling with injury. Continue reading

Doyle Dropped By Text Message

kdIreland striker Kevin Doyle has expressed his disappointment at the manner in which he was dropped from the Ireland squad after Giovanni Trapattoni and the FAI acknowledged his omission by text message.

Doyle, an ever present in the Ireland squad for the last seven years, was placed on standby for the crunch World Cup qualifier double header with Sweden and Austria.

The Wolves striker, who scored in Saturday’s crucial 2-1 win over Bristol City revealed that he found out he had been dropped via text message and he feels let down that the powers that be hadn’t the decency to phone him. Continue reading

Four Uncapped Players In Irish Squad For Poland Clash

jhNorwich City’s Anthony Pilkington has been named in the Republic of Ireland squad to face Poland next month.

Pilkington, a standout performer in the Premier League this season had been capped at Under-21 level back in 2008. The decision to call up the 24 year old will go down well with fans who feel it should have happened a lot sooner. Continue reading

League of Ireland football – For The Love, Not The Money

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League of Ireland football,Why not get involved?

Sligo Rovers are the latest winners of the League of Ireland. They play at the Showgrounds. The normal capacity? Just over 2,000. Which begs the question; why not follow your local team? Why not get interested in the League of Ireland? In this article I’ll be writing about the good and bad things about the League of Ireland. Hopefully, by the end of reading this article you will be interested in following your local team.

Cast your mind back to the summer of 2011. Can you remember reading in the news that Irish club Shamrock Rovers  became the first League of Ireland side to qualify for the Europa League group stages? I’m sure you do. They made history, despite being only and I quote “a small team playing in the Irish league.” Or who can forget the recent European exploits of St Patrick’s Athletic who wrapped up a number of scalps including Elfsborg, Shaktar Karagandy and Olimps Riga to name but a few.

Most League of Ireland fans follow foreign teams, with English, Spanish and Italian teams proving very popular. I’m not giving out about that, as they follow their local football team aswel. No, I’m hammering the one’s that pay no attention to the League of Ireland despite it being right on their doorstep. I mean, what else do you be doing on a Friday night for two hours that you can’t get to your local footballing ground? No excuses. Surely you would get a greater thrill from attending a match than shouting at a television screen?

Even LOI fans nowadays will tell you that getting involved in their local football team was the best thing they have ever done. The atmosphere in the League has been outstanding. Sligo Rovers ‘ultra’ group, Forza Rovers, are by far the best fans in the league. They constantly put on massive fans displays with other fan groups such as The Shed End Invincibles of St Patrick’s Athletic not far behind.

If some fans saw their displays in England, Spain or elsewhere they would never stop chatting about such displays. Another thing you get is how close the players are within the clubs’ fan base; nearly every fan of a club knows the players on a personal level. You just don’t get that feeling in the English Premier League or elsewhere, it’s implausible to think of.

When I first got writing about League of Ireland football I sensed the ‘buzz’ around stadiums on match-days between the home & away fans. Yes, there are problems within fan groups, Bohemians Vs.  Shamrock Rovers being the main example, but you get a small minority of people that are not there to support their team rather they are there to cause violence but you can’t blame the league on this. Hooliganism and fan related violence is predominant all across Europe and the wider footballing world.

The quality of the League of Ireland is apparent for all to see, just take a look at the Irish national team. Kevin Doyle, Shane Long, Stephen Ward, Seamus Coleman, James McClean, Keith Fahey, David Meyler and David Forde all passed through the League of Ireland enroute to wearing the green jersey. Indeed, Coleman and McClean made a great transition from the humble surroundings of League of Ireland to the lofty heights of the English Premiership, both are now feared by many. So what are you waiting for? The league possesses a number of talents capable of following in their footsteps, why not come check them out.

I hope this article not only encourages you but encourages some of your pals to come along to a match when the season returns in March. Cheer on your local football team and follow all the coverage right here on Irish News Review.

Alex Murray

Five League of Ireland Stars Who Could Make It Abroad

The League of Ireland has become a haven for talent in recent years with stars such as James McClean, Seamus Coleman, Keith Fahey, Shane Long and Kevin Doyle becoming mainstays of the Irish national team.

Other potential talents such as Daniel Kearns, Ben McLaughlin and Eoin Doyle have also been plucked from the League, with the former duo earmarked as Irish stars of the future.

There has been something of a rapid transformation in recent years as the talent emerging from the League is greater than ever before.

Here Irish News Review details five potential stars that soon could be making waves abroad.  

Chris Forrester

Pats star Forrester is widely considered the most talented player in the League of Ireland and it’s not hard to see why. The Dublin native has been linked to numerous clubs in England and Scotland, with Sunderland, Hibernian and others believed to be among potential suitors. Forrester is something of a football genius and at such a young age he is yet to reach his full potential. His dribbling skills, command of the ball and overall eye for goal are something to be witnessed. Few can say they have faced the tricky Forrester and won the battle. Forrester may well be off to pastures new this off season and he will be more than ready for anything foreign soil has to offer. There is no doubt the ex Bohemians star is a future Ireland international.

 Ronan Finn

Shamrock Rovers PFAI player of the year nominee is one of the most gifted and well rounded individuals in the League of Ireland and has been for some time. The ex UCD star was linked to Hibs this week, along with Forrester but Pat Fenlon has revealed his January priorities lie in tying down three current players he has on loan. Some reports have suggested Finn recently turned down a move to Crystal Palace, the reasons remain unknown but it is a very questionable decision given the current form of Ian Holloway’s Eagles. A January move to England looks extremely likely for Finn but his destination remains a mystery. Many would argue Finn is on a different level to Paul Corry, another ex UCD star who recently moved to Sheffield Wednesday and has impressed thus far. Expect Finn to light up the Championship in the next year at least.

 Stephen McLaughlin

Few could have dreamed that Derry City would have an automatic replacement for the immaculate James McClean when the star departed the Brandywell for Sunderland. But Stephen McLaughlin stepped up to the plate following McClean’s departure and the Derry star is one of the most gifted wingers the League of Ireland has ever seen. Declan Devine will do extremely well to hang onto him and it’s widely expected he will be the subject of much interest come the transfer window. McLaughlin certainly possesses a bright future and the cup final winner is another star with the potential to represent a national side, be it Ireland or Northern Ireland, in the not too distant future.

Ryan Brennan

Drogheda United have defied expectations this season and managed to finish in a staggering second place position, thanks in large part to the Brennan brothers, of which Ryan has the most potential. 2012 was a defining season for Ryan who shone as the Drogs mounted a surprisingly serious title tilt, emerging from the shadows of his brother Killian, who endured a less than spectacular season at Shamrock Rovers. Ryan possesses everything a manager looks for in a winger. His rise from Monaghan United and the First Division to the lofty heights of the Premier Division under the guidance of Mick Cooke has been something special. But his rise to stardom is far from over. Ryan Brennan is definitely another player who will no doubt be at the forefront of some manager’s thoughts and his rise to prominence will develop further with a move abroad.

Kevin Feely

Bohemians starlet Kevin Feely has been the subject of much speculation in recent weeks with Everton been known admirers of the Kildare natives talents. Charlton Athletic have also shown an interest, inviting the former Kildare GAA minor player over for a second trial in the coming weeks. The 19 year old enjoyed a solid season in the League of Ireland and has earned high praise from Bohs manager Aaron Callaghan.

Emergence Of Clark May Force Dunne Into Retirement

Ireland battle Germany this Friday in a crucial World Cup qualifier, one that has been overshadowed by the withdrawal of star names such as Kevin Doyle and James McClean. While preparations have been far from perfect, one man may well step out of the limelight and stake his claim for a regular starting spot.

That man is Ciaran Clark, the Aston Villa defender who has been called into the squad to replace the injured Sean St Ledger. Clark comes from a famous stable of Irish Villa defenders which includes Paul McGrath and Richard Dunne, with Clark looking to oust the latter as he seeks to make himself a regular for both club and country.

Clark has thrived in the Premier League this season, forming a partnership with new Villa signing Ron Vlaar while Dunne has been forced to watch on from the sidelines. Paul Lambert doesn’t expect Dunne to return to action before Christmas and if he had his way Dunne would be plying his trade at Stoke City now but a deadline day fell through due to the Tallaght native’s injury.

Clark should be fast tracked into the Ireland first team for the Germany game but Giovanni Trapattoni may choose to play Paul McShane alongside Darren O’Dea. Trap’s refusal to omit Clark to date has been somewhat surprising but he may be brave and hand the Villa star a chance, it may well be Clark’s own Moscow moment if he can deny Mario Gomez and co.

Should Clark get his opportunity it may well spell the beginning of the end for Dunne’s Ireland career as the veteran may feel forced into an early retirement thanks to the emergence of his team mate. But if the Trap era has thought us anything it is to not expect what should be the expected. Nonetheless Clark should be worthy of a run out against Faroe Islands next week.

Injured Dunne On Standby As Trap Reveals Squad

Dunne: Race Against Time

Giovanni Trapattoni has revealed his squad for Ireland’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Germany and Faroe Islands.

The biggest talking point emanating from Trap’s decision is the fact that Richard Dunne has been named on standby as the influential Aston Villa defender is still struggling to overcome a groin injury.

The Italian is sweating on Dunne’s fitness ahead of the crunch visit of Germany to the Aviva but it looks unlikely that he will play any part in the October 12 showdown.

Many will be surprised by the omission of Robbie Brady, who tore Oman to shreds on his international debut. The Manchester United star has also been placed on standby, a decision which will shock many who felt he was a dead cert to make the final 23.

Elsewhere there’s a welcome return to the Ireland set up for Keith Andrews, who hasn’t featured since his dismissal at Euro 2012. Andrews was Ireland’s best player at Euro 2012 but whether he can regain his place from James McCarthy remains to be seen. Trap may even plump for Andrews alongside McCarthy with Glen Whelan missing out.

Whether or not James McClean will feature following his Twitter antics remains a hot topic of debate.

Keith Fahey returns to the squad after his Euro 2012 heartbreak while Seamus Coleman, Marc Wilson and Andy Keogh retain their positions.

Darren Gibson’s self imposed exile continues. Despite a slight knock the Everton midfielder has yet to contact Trap since making his decision prior to the Kazakhstan game.

Fans will be again discerned at the Italian’s stubbornness towards selecting Ciaran Clark, Wes Hoolahan and Anthony Pilkington.

Ireland will be needing a much improved performance from that faithful night in Astana if they are to have any hope of getting a positive result against a tough German side, who also have a point to prove having stumbled to a win over Austria.

The Italian has confessed he was too critical of his players after Kevin Doyle saved his bacon in our opening qualifier. How can one be over critical of a team that didn’t deserve anything and almost lost to a team ranked 142nd in the world?

Prior to the Kazakh game hope sprang eternal. The World Cup qualifying campaign was to be a new experience, something where both hope and expectations would be minimal given our disastrous Euro 2012 performance. Such an atmosphere was to enable the Boys In Green to go into battle and lift Irish spirits.

Sadly it did nothing but lower Irish spirits to a dark and dreary place, a place not seen since the erroneous reign of Steve Staunton.

After scraping past the Kazakhs it appears the only way is up but if Irish football has ever thought you anything it is to expect the unexpected. We may well soon be talking about a historic Irish victory or on the other hand we could be talking about a cataclysmic hammering at the hands of Schweinstieger and co.

Ireland squad v Germany and the Faroe Islands: Westwood, Forde, Randolph, Wilson, O’Shea, St Ledger, O’Dea, Ward, Kelly, McShane, Whelan, McCarthy, Andrews, Fahey, Coleman, McGeady, Keogh, McClean, Keane, Doyle, Long, Cox, Walters.

On standby: Dunne, Brady.

 

Blurred Future For New Irish Star

He was the darling of Irish under 21 football and a bright light at Hull City but since then Robbie Brady has been transformed into Ireland’s greatest prospect.

While few were bothered tuning into the recent friendly with Oman after the cataclysmic events of Astana, those that did will have been enthralled with the performance of the Manchester United star who marked his debut with a goal.

A much changed Ireland squad earned a 4-1 win that night. While the result was expected it was the performance of the team that lifted the spirit of the fans. Names such as Seamus Coleman and James McCarthy, two players Irish fans have longed to seen given an opportunity, stood out while Alex Pearce also bagged a debut goal. But it was the energetic performance of Brady that has everyone purring.

While Brady’s situation should be quite clear it is in fact very blurred thanks to Giovanni Trapattoni’s tactics. There is no doubt that the Dublin native will be in the squad for the upcoming Germany game but whether or not he gets a chance is a different question altogether. Ever since the Euro’s Trap has favoured playing a striker on the wing, for a reason only known to himself. Such tactics have seen Simon Cox, Shane Long and Kevin Doyle feature on the wing despite being proven strikers. Furthermore their inclusion has come at the expense of one of our prized assets, James McClean, whose exclusion and antics following Trap’s decision have been well documented since that very fortunate night in Astana.

But will Brady’s arrival on the senior stage change Trap’s mindset or are we to assume that Nottingham Forest striker Cox remains ahead of him despite not being a winger? While we’re on the subject of Cox, he is a team player and will play wherever he is asked, don’t blame him for his performances when played out of position.

It looks like Brady will be on the bench for the German game, although given McClean’s recent discrepancies he may well be fast tracked into the first team. Don’t hold out too much hope though.

Brady is definitely one for the future but may well need to leave Old Trafford in order to fulfil his promise and ignite his international career. A glittering loan spell at Hull City earned much praise from Sir Alex Ferguson, who saw the Irish star as a key member of his pre season panel. Fergie talked at length about Brady’s talents, confessing his desire to turn the Dubliner into a left back in order to provide cover for the ageing Patrice Evra. However Fergie appears to have gone back on his decision, given the recent signing of Alexander Buttner from Vitesse Arnhem. United boast an embarrassment of riches in Brady’s position and it is very hard to see where he will fit in.

He must remain content at Old Trafford until at least January where a loan spell may become a possibility. Having shone at Championship level it wouldn’t be out of question for him to make the step up to the Premier League. A lot of clubs in the top flight could do with a player of Brady’s quality and a move to the likes of Aston Villa or West Brom may well kickstart his top flight career.

For now Brady is the gem of Trap’s crown but come October 12th will he be the man who put the ball in the German net or merely another winger dispelled at the theory of a striker playing in his position?

Boys In Green Look To Set Premier League Alight

The Premier League kicks off next weekend and Irish fans will have a keen eye on proceedings as the World Cup qualifiers loom. Following a poor Euro 2012 campaign, Irish fans will be eager to see the Boys In Green performing well for their clubs before Kazakhstan and Germany come calling.

Something that has become a recent trend is the number of Irish stars who are dropping down a level and this trend has certainly been prevalent this summer. Both Keith Andrews and Simon Cox have swapped West Brom for The Championship while Darren O’Dea scored a surprising move to Major League Soccer side Toronto FC. Of course with Wolves been relegated that further reduces the number of Irish players plying their trade in the top flight. Kevin Doyle, Stephen Ward, Stephen Hunt and Kevin Foley all look set to remain at Molineux and help the club bounce back to the Premier League at the first attempt. Sean St Ledger, Keith Fahey, David Forde and Paddy Kenny will also be prominent features in the Championship this term while the likes of Robbie Keane and Aiden McGeady are still plying their trade outside the British Isles.

But what about those Irish players remaining in the Premier League?

Everton will be hoping to qualify for Europe this term and will be buoyed by the fact that they have retained the services of long serving manager David Moyes, who spurned the advances of Spurs after Harry Redknapp was dismissed from White Hart Lane. Moyes has added smartly to his squad given his limited resources with both Stephen Pienaar and Steven Naismith joining The Toffees. Much is expected of the free scoring Nikica Jelavic but this hardworking Everton outfit will be largely reliant on the skill and tenacity of Seamus Coleman combined with the graft and experience of Darren Gibson, who seems rejuvenated having left Manchester United last January. Shane Duffy will be hoping to establish himself in The Toffees defence following some superb displays last term.

Robbie Brady will be hoping to break into the senior international set up quite soon. The Manchester United player has enjoyed a solid pre season and Alex Ferguson sees him as an adequate competitor for Patrice Evra’s full back position. With Evra ageing, Brady’s time looks set to be on the horizon although few would have expected the winger to convert to a full back following his tremendous displays on loan at Hull City last season

James McClean will be hoping to maintain his sensational start to life in the Premier League with Sunderland. Martin O’Neill will have his first full season at the Stadium of Light and despite the lack of transfer activity on Wearside you can expect Sunderland to push for a top ten finish while enjoying a solid cup run. John O’Shea will continue to hold up the rearguard while Keiren Westwood looks resigned to a number two role yet again. David Meyler will be hoping to have an injury free season and catch the eye of Giovanni Trapattoni in the process.

Hope springs eternal at Villa Park as the new season ushers in the era of Paul Lambert as Aston Villa boss. The club have overhauled their managerial structure and have rid of some players who simply weren’t up to scratch. There is still a strong Irish contingent at Villa Park though and it remains to be seen whether Shay Given and Richard Dunne will pack in international football in order to further their club careers. Ciaran Clark will be hoping for another solid season while under 21 star Samir Carruthers may well break into the first team following his substitute appearances last term. Stephen Ireland will be looking to re-establish himself among the Premiership elite and could be a key player for Lambert who will be aiming for a top eight finish and perhaps a league cup win. Keep an eye out for Enda Stevens, Graham Burke and Derrick Williams, three upcoming Irish stars who may well burst onto the scene this year.

Fulham are another side hoping to crack the top eight this term following a ninth place finish last season under the guidance of Martin Jol. The Dutchman has done well to retain the services of Clint Dempsey and Moussa Dembele thus far as both players have courted interest from many clubs. Damien Duff and Stephen Kelly will be hoping to pick themselves up following Euro 2012. Duff will be looking to recover his form of old while Kelly, who recently signed a new contract, will be hoping to fend off new signing Sascha Riether to make the right back spot his own.

West Brom will do well to build on their tenth place finish from last term. Steve Clarke has taken over at the helm and opted to show Andrews and Cox the door. Steven Reid and Shane Long both remain at The Hawthorns and the latter will face increased competition for a starting berth this term following the arrivals of Markus Rosenberg and Romelu Lukaku.

Jon Walters will be hoping to set the Premier League alight this term following his appearances at Euro 2012. The striker will be hoping he can find the golden touch to fire The Potters to a better finish than last year. Glenn Whelan, Marc Wilson and Rory Delap all remain at the Britannia and will be key players as Tony Pulis’ side seek to build on a 14th place finish.

Wigan Athletic will be looking to avoid the drop again this season and will be delighted that manager Roberto Martinez has stayed with them. Martinez masterminded their terrific end of season form last year which saw solid wins over the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United. With limited resources he will do well to repeat that feat. There will be a heavy reliance on James McCarthy, who was a key player last term and was forced to miss Euro 2012 due to his father’s illness. Conor Sammon is the only other Irish player at the DW Stadium but for all his apparent strength goals have been hard to come by for the ex League of Ireland star and he will need a big change if he plans on cracking Trap’s plans.

QPR have enjoyed a great summer with their new found wealth enabling them to buy talented stars such as Park Ji Sung and David Hoilett. It’s been all change at Loftus Road, particularly in the goalkeeper ranks where Paddy Kenny has departed for Leeds United. Brian Murphy remains with QPR as a capable deputy to new number one Robert Green. Mark Hughes side shouldn’t have to worry about having another relegation battle this season.

Norwich City will be hoping second season syndrome doesn’t strike this term. It’s been all change at Carrow Road with ex Ireland international Chris Hughton replacing Lambert in the dugout. Hughton will do well to keep the Canaries up and will be looking to Wes Hoolahan and Anthony Pilkington as key players in doing so. Both players excelled last term with Hoolahan the most impressive. The former Shelbourne star has been unlucky this past week as he was forced to withdraw from Ireland’s friendly with Serbia due to injury. Nonetheless, he will be buoyed by the fact that he has finally caught the eye of Trapattoni. Marc Tierney may well earn an Ireland call up in the near future and the full back is one worth watching.

Premier League newcomers Reading will be aiming for top flight survival this term but under the guidance of Irishman Brian McDermott many expect that to be a formality. Promoted last season as champions, this Reading side features a host of Irish players. Following an impressive season last year Ian Harte was widely tipped for a shock return to the Ireland set up for Euro 2012. While that never happened it won’t discourage the ex Leeds United star who will be hoping to show he still possesses the quality to compete in the top flight. Noel Hunt will be hoping to blaze a goal trail which will earn him a return to the Ireland side while Jay Tabb is another Irish star involved with the first team. Pierce Sweeney, recently signed from League of Ireland side Bray Wanderers, may feature this term while ex Shamrock Rovers ace Karl Sheppard has been loaned to Accrington Stanley.

Playoff winners West Ham United have returned to the Premier League and will have solid ambitions which won’t feature a relegation battle. Sam Allardyce has added some fine talent to his squad and has made Irish keeper Stephen Henderson permanent, following a loan spell from Portsmouth last season. Joey O’Brien is the only other Irish player at Upton Park and he will be hoping for a standout season having been called up to the Ireland squad for the upcoming Serbia game. The three times capped star hasn’t pulled on the green jersey in over four years and will be hoping he can re-establish himself within the Irish setup. The 26 year old certainly has time on his side and time will tell if he can live up to the hype that was associated with him during his days with Bolton Wanderers.

With the World Cup qualifiers fast approaching and Trapattoni open to shuffling his pack, the time is ripe for a new star to emerge and stake his claim for a starting place.