Posts Tagged ‘ Longford Town ’

The State Of Our Game

A fans survey on the League of Ireland and Irish football as a whole, run by Dr. Adam Brown of Substance, a Manchester based social research co-op has offered a great insight into the level of involvement fans have with their clubs and how it can be improved.

The Irish study formed a part of a wider European study, where fans in each country would have to answer specific questions relating to the running of their club and football in their country. The surveys, which were conducted online, took place between September and October. 1,262 Irish football fans completed the survey, the vast majority (34.2%) of which were Cork City fans, followed by Shamrock Rovers (15.4%) in second place.

Some interesting findings arose from the statistics relating to which fans completed the quiz. 1.7% or 26 respondents were fans of the now defunct Galway United while fans of Manchester United (1.6%) and Liverpool (1.1%) finished ahead of Longford Town (1%) who had the fewest respondents. Bray Wanderers and  UCD were the only two Premier Division clubs whose fans offered no views while fans of first division sides Athlone Town, Mervue United, Salthill Devon (SD Galway) and Wexford Youths did likewise.

The average age of supporters surveyed was 32 while the average length of time that fans have supported their clubs was 18 years. Unsurprisingly 95% of respondents where male.

Interestingly a large proportion of fans (59.5%) admitted that they are not a member of a supporter’s organisation at their club. Of those who revealed they are a member of such an organisation, 44.4% said the organisation is one which exists as a members group that owns shares in their club. This correlates to the fact that most of the fans who took this survey are Cork City fans and as a result this statistic is unsurprising given the recent ownership history of the famed Rebel Army. Other answers showed that there is little difference between official club sanctioned fan organisations (23.7%) and independent fan organisations (20.9%).

Fans revealed the main purposes of such groups were to get or maintain a share of ownership (30.5%), to raise money for the club (20.6%) and to improve the matchday atmosphere (16.3%). Fans are certainly more involved at club level than national level, perhaps due to the current state of the Irish national team. Only 4.9% of respondents belong to a national supporter’s organisation.

League of Ireland fans are among the most committed in the world, willing to follow their team the length and breadth of the country. It’s therefore surprising that most (41.9%) feel they have little involvement in their club, only on rare occasions. Is it a case that clubs have enough volunteers and support or that fans aren’t too interested in helping out? Clubs should certainly endear themselves more to these fans in an attempt to increase their involvement, something which will be beneficial to all and comes at a time when the League of Ireland is in great need of everyone pulling in the same direction. 22.2% professed they have no involvement whatsoever, claiming they are almost completely ignored. How can any club, be it in Ireland or elsewhere, survive by ignoring such a percentage of fans? 82.7% of fans revealed they have no involvement at national level which is of no surprise as recent trends have shown that the FAI possess little or no desire for fan involvement.

42.4% expressed an interest in joining a supporter’s organisation that had the aim of getting/maintaining an ownership stake at their club with 9.8% saying they wouldn’t be interested, with a further 16.7% believing it wouldn’t achieve anything. Fans highlighted the main benefits of such a move which includes the club board listens to fans more (69.2%), maintaining an ownership stake (55.7%) and getting representation on the board (53.7%). 39.8% of fans revealed they wouldn’t join a national supporters organisation as the association/league will never listen (37.1%) and because they are not interested (34.5%). 33.8% admitted they would join such an organisation.

One of the most striking findings emerging from this study is that 60.4% of respondents are very unsatisfied with the way football is run in Ireland. Bear in mind that the fans answering the questions in this study are by enlarge devout League of Ireland followers, fans that have watched clubs such as Monaghan United, Dublin City, Kilkenny City, Sporting Fingal and Galway United go bust in recent years. Fans that have seen endless scandals from points deductions due to financial irregularities and player registration issues. It’s no surprise they are fed up with the way the footballing authorities allow the game to become a laughing stock, something which won’t help bring armchair Premier League fans to Irish stadiums. Is it not the mission of the FAI and the league to entice such fans to League of Ireland matches? If anything their actions are forcing fans away rather than bringing them in.

51.1% of fans are however satisfied with the way their club is run, with only 8.3% saying they are unsatisfied.

Respondents were asked to list two single words which best described the running of football of Ireland. Among the top answers were shambolic, poor, amateur, shambles ,corrupt, disgraceful, terrible and unprofessional. Positive answers were sadly few and far between, with fans instead tending to focus on the unhealthy state of the game, something that has existed for such a long time yet we are yet to see any significant changes.

Irish institutions are certainly out of touch with the people, be it government or sporting organisation. They fail to see what matters at ground level, they refuse to listen to those who in reality have a far greater sense of perspective and who can build a better future. Football in Ireland is the exact same, 38.9% of fans believe greater supporter ownership or involvement would improve the running of their club a lot with only 3.1% stating it wouldn’t improve it at all. On a national level, 52.4% believe that such would improve the running of football in Ireland. Sadly these figures are unlikely to strike any chord with the powerbrokers at Abbotstown.

24.4% of fans believe that UEFA’s financial fair play rules won’t improve the running of football in Ireland at all.

An overwhelming 97.4% of fans would like to see an organisation established that would allow League of Ireland supporters to have meaningful input into issues affecting the Airtricity League. Fans were also asked what are the biggest factors facing supporter groups in securing a shareholding within their club, with answers including finance (48.9%), little support from the wider football community (33.1%) and current club owners unwilling to cede any control (21.3%).

League of Ireland supporters ranked their main priorities as ensuring the long term stability of their club (78%), being able to watch their team every week (57%) and having an active underage structure producing players (35.3%). 68.9% of supporters believe their clubs main priority is the same.

This study is one that was long overdue. It contains fundamental elements for progress at both national and club level. The opportunities arising from such a study are endless. The way football is run in this country needs a serious revamp but sadly it may take a long time for Brown’s findings to come to fruition such is the ill mannered and outdated policies of both the FAI and the League of Ireland.

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.

Young Gun McLaughlin Returns As Dundalk Travel To Tallaght

Dundalk FC manager Seán McCaffrey will recall Ben McLaughlin to the squad for the clash with Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght Stadium on Friday night (kick-off 8pm).

Having impressed in four straight senior starts since making his debut on 19 March, the defender, who turns 17 on Sunday, was rested for the EA SPORTS Cup win over Longford Town at Flancare Park on Tuesday.

Dundalk secured their place in the quarter-finals thanks to a double from Gary Shanahan, who was starting for the first time in six games, as they recovered from Seán Skelly’s third-minute goal to win 2-1.

Shanahan was one of five changes made to the team that drew 0-0 with Shelbourne at Oriel Park last weekend.

For the trip to the capital, Dundalk will be without Nathan Murphy (toe) and Mark Griffin (groin).

Eoghan Osborne was on the bench on Tuesday as he nears a return after over a year off following a fractured tibia. However, the game came too soon for the 20-year-old to play a part, and he is unlikely to be in the matchday squad on Friday.

Rovers go into the game on the back of a 5-1 defeat by Saint Patrick’s Athletic at Richmond Park, although they bounced back on Monday with a 2-0 win at Salthill Devon in the EA SPORTS Cup.

But Dundalk defender Liam Burns insists he is not concerned about a backlash from the Hoops.

“It’s never an easy place to go,” the 33-year-old said. “They have won the league twice on the bounce for a reason, and it’s going to be a very hard game.

“We have got to go there and concentrate on ourselves and what we do. I think we have got players up front who can maybe hurt them.

“They’re expected to win every game no matter who they’re playing. Even though they got beaten 5-1, I expect a very difficult game.

“Obviously, they will want to come out and make amends. But we have got to do what we do and have confidence in our ability that we’re going to go there and get a result.”

Dundalk will be chasing a first win at Tallaght Stadium since March 2010, when goals from Neale Fenn and Stephen Maher gave them a 2-0 victory. That was a season that saw Ian Foster’s side beat Rovers three times in four attempts.

However, last term, the Lilywhites were unsuccessful in five attempts against Rovers, drawing twice and losing thrice, including a defeat in the Setanta Sports Cup final in May.

On their last visit to Tallaght, in June, Dundalk lost a 2-0 lead in the final 11 minutes, as Chris Turner and Billy Dennehy netted late to cancel out Griffin’s brace as the game ended 2-2.

In the last encounter, at Oriel Park, in September, second-half goals from Dennehy and Stephen O’Donnell, from the spot, secured a 2-1 win for the Hoops, the hosts’ reply coming through an injury-time header from Mark Quigley.

When Football Meets Tragedy

Football has long been associated with tragedy and unwanted headlines. From the 1985 atrocity at Heysel to the 1989 disaster at Hillsborough the football world became engulfed in shock and horror at such incidents that will never be forgotten.

But since the turn of the noughties a different kind of footballing tragedy as quickly emerged and the game has really brought a lot into perspective this past weekend. On Saturday Tottenham hosted Bolton Wanderers in an FA Cup quarter final. A lively and pulsating affair had to be abandoned shortly before half time after Bolton star Fabrice Muamba collapsed in the centre of the pitch. White Hart Lane fell silent as the severity of what had happened became apparent. Players and fans alike were distressed as the former England under 21 star lay still on the ground.

Shortly after Muamba was rushed to a London hospital details began to emerge as to what had actually happened the Zaire born star. Muamba had suffered a cardiac arrest and remains critically ill. The world of football has united in rallying around the fallen Trotters midfielder and some remain fearful that he may never be able to play again. Of course though football plays second fiddle to life itself and if Muamba can come out of this unaffected then he will have won footballs greatest battle.

Fast forward to Sunday and the footballing world was still in shock yet few could have imagined such harrowing events to bear a reoccurrence just a day later. Kilmarnock had beaten Celtic 1-0 in the Scottish League Cup final to win their first ever League Cup and in doing so denying the Hoops the chance to win the treble. As the players celebrated at the final whistle, Liam Kelly`s joy turned to grief as he was informed that his father had suffered a heart attack in the stands. Kelly rushed down the tunnel to be at his father’s bedside but Jack Kelly passed away at approximately 5pm yesterday afternoon. Kilmarnock players and fans have dedicated the win to Jack but football has really been put into perspective this weekend.

But the combination of football and tragedy is not a new thing yet on field tragedies have become all too regular in the past decade.

Perhaps the earliest and most notable case came in the death of Cameroon international Marc Vivien Foe who perished during a Confederations Cup tie in 2003. His death was viewed as a rare occurrence yet other notable footballers such as Benfica starlet Miklos Feher and  Espanyol captain Dani Jarque suffered a similar fate. Spain and Sevilla star Antonio Puerta also died as a result of cardiac arrest he suffered during a game with Getafe.

Some players have been lucky to survive such instances. Reuben De La Red`s glittering career at Real Madrid was cut short due to a heart problem and Longford Town star Sean Prunty saw his career abruptly ended after a medical showed up a heart defect.  

Then of course there is the case of former Ireland international Clive Clarke. The two times capped star was playing for Leicester City when at half time during a match against Nottingham Forest he went into cardiac arrest. Thankfully he survived but his fledgling career was over at the age of 27.

Who can forget the faith suffered by Portsmouth star Kanu. In 1996 the then Inter Milan star was diagnosed with a serious heart defect following the Olympics. The Nigerian underwent surgery to replace an aortic valve. After successful surgery Kanu resumed his football career and 16 years later he is still playing.  

We live in an era where professionals of any sport are so fit they are almost like machines. But how fit is too fit? As of yet there is no firm reasoning as to why the players mentioned in this article suffered the faith that they did. FIFA and all other sporting bodies need to act and ensure players hearts are checked regularly.

The greatest battle in football lies not on the pitch but instead in the hands of the powerbrokers who must ensure all players are checked regularly so we don’t witness another tragedy that is essentially a life or death situation.

2011 League of Ireland In Numbers

 With the final whistle blown at the end of a frantic season, Irish News Review takes a look back at the highs and lows through the endless statistics we have grown to love.  

1 The number of home games lost all season by both Derry City and St Patricks Athletic. Also the number of defeats Cork City suffered all season.

2 Highest number of own goals scored this term. Eric Browne of Mervue United put the ball in his own net twice.

4 Number of points separating top four teams in the First Division. Cork City (69), Shelbourne (68), Monaghan (67), Limerick (66). Also the highest number of penalties converted this season by one player, Dean Marshall (UCD), Graham Cummins (Cork City), Phillip Hughes (Shelbourne), Mark Salmon (Longford Town), Daniel Furlong (Wexford Youths).

5 Monaghan Utd beat Galway United 5-1 over the course of a two legged playoff to ensure promotion to the top flight and resign Galway to life In the First Division.

6 The number of points Galway United finished with this season having won 1 match, drawn 3 and losing 32. The worst record of any team in League of Ireland history.

7 Derry City enjoyed the biggest home win of the season when they put 7 goals past UCD at the Brandywell.

8 The biggest win of the season came when Sligo Rovers knocked eight goals past Galway United to earn an 8-0 win.

9 Highest number of goals scored in a single game occurred when UCD saw off Drogheda United 5-4 at the Belfield Bowl.

11 Most yellow cards awarded to any Premier Division player, Pat Sullivan of Shamrock Rovers. Also the amount of players in both divisions who received the most red cards (2).

12 Highest number of yellow cards awarded to any player this season was the 12 shown to Paul Malone of Wexford Youths.

13 Number of goals scored by Irish teams competing in Europe this season (Shamrock Rovers, St Patricks Athletic, Bohemians, Sligo Rovers).

14 Derry City recorded the highest number of draws this season.

16 The number of times Chris Mulhall (Shelbourne) was used by a sub was the highest in the First Division this season.

17 Shamrock Rovers title win was their 17th league crown of all time and second in a row.

22 Number of goals scored by Derry City striker Eamon Zayed to take home the golden boot for the Premier Division. Also the highest amount of times any player was used as a substitute : David McDaid (Derry City).

24 The number of goals scored by Cork City hero Graham Cummins who finished as top scorer in the First Division. 

26 The number of goals conceded by Irish teams in Europe this season.

27 The number of times Shelbourne goalkeeper Paul Skinner sat on the bench for a full 90 minutes. 

30 Five first division players played in every match this season. Kevin Burns (Waterford United), Graham Cummins (Cork City), David Cassidy (Shelbourne),Martin Kehoe (Wexford Youths) and Gabriel Sava (Monaghan United) didn’t miss a single game.

33 The number of times St Patricks Athletic goalkeeper Chris Bennion was an unused sub, the highest in any division.

36 Three Premier Division players lined out in every league match this season. These were Ger Doherty (Derry City), Paul Corry (UCD) and Simon Madden (Dundalk).

45 Number of teams that entered the FAI Cup this season.

52 St Patricks Athletic will have to wait another year to end their FAI Cup drought after Dublin rivals Shelbourne shocked them in the semi finals. The Saints last won the cup in 1959

59 The number of games Shamrock Rovers will have played this season by the time they have wrapped up their Europa League campaign against Tottenham Hotspur on December 15th.

69 Number of goals scored in this seasons Setanta Cup.

73 The record amount of goals scored this term, a feat achieved by both Sligo Rovers and Cork City.

77 Number of points amassed by eventual champions Shamrock Rovers.

85 Total number of goals scored in this seasons League Cup.

91 This season was the 91st since the league was established.

94 The minute when both the Premier and First Division titles were won. Dean Kelly struck a late winner for Shamrock Rovers against UCD and Graham Cummins broke Shelbourne hearts when he sealed the title for Cork City with a last gasp header. Both games finished 2-1.

95 Galway United`s goal difference was -95 after they scored 20 goals and conceded 115.

115 Record number of goals conceded by any top flight team in history. Galway conceded 115 times as they were relegated to the First Division.

124 The minute of the match when Shamrock Rovers star Stephen O`Donnell converted the winning penalty against Partizan Belgrade to make the Hoops the first ever Irish team to enter the group stages of the Europa League.  

159 Total number of First Division matches this season.

180 Total amount of league matches played in the Premier Division this season.

339 Total number of all league matches played in League of Ireland this season.

431 Number of goals scored in the First Division this season.

500 Number of goals scored in this season’s top flight.

2,000 Smallest capacity of a League Of Ireland stadium, Hunky Dory’s Park, home of Drogheda United.

4,164 Attendance at League Cup Final where Derry City beat Cork City 1-0.

4,789 The attendance at the Setanta Cup Final where Shamrock Rovers beat Dundalk 2-0 to capture their first Setanta Cup Title.

 9,680 Capacity of the League Of Ireland`s biggest stadium, Tolka Park, home of Shelbourne.

350,000 The fee that took James McClean from Derry City to Sunderland in August of this year.

10,759 The number of air miles St Patricks Athletic clocked up when they travelled to Kazakhstan to face FC Shakter Karagandy in the Europa League. The Saints suffered a 2-1 defeat on their travels but beat their opponents 2-0 in Inchicore to advance to the next stage. 

21,662 Highest attendance of the season which happened at the FAI Ford Cup Final where Sligo Rovers beat Shelbourne 4-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.