Posts Tagged ‘ Ryan Brennan ’

Hoops Bolster Squad With North Capture

north

Shamrock Rovers  have swooped to secure the signature of striker Danny North from Sligo Rovers for the 2015 season.

The former St Patrick’s Athletic and Grimsby Town forward put pen to paper on a deal with the Hoops last night.

North had been training with Grimsby Town in recent weeks, but has decided to continue in the Airtricity League with Shamrock Rovers. Continue reading

Sligo Win FAI Cup In Dramatic Fashion

sligo

Sligo Rovers won their fifth FAI Cup in dramatic fashion as a late goal from Anthony Elding secured a 3-2 win over a spirited Drogheda United, who thought Ryan Brennan’s late equaliser had done enough to warrant extra time.

Drogheda United started the game counter attacking all of Sligo’s attacks in a 4-1-4-1 formation. Mick Cooke knew his side were the underdogs here and he set up his side perfectly.

Drogheda began well and restricted the play of their opponents, with Drogs striker Gary O’Neill in attendance to cheer on his side following his recent diagnosis with cancer.

Sligo Rovers did however have a half-hearted penalty claim turned down as former Shamrock Rovers man Aaron Greene was sent tumbling when he broke inside the box however his claims were waved away by Refereee Paul Tuite. Continue reading

LOI : Dublin Derbies Significant At Both Ends Of The Table

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The League Of Ireland run in is well and truly upon us with most teams now staring at their final ten games of the season.

This season has been highly significant in footballing circles as there has been a paradigm shift in all quarters. St Patrick’s Athletic appear destined for title glory , thus stealing the mantle of Dublin’s top team from Shamrock Rovers while the surprise package that has been Stephen Kenny’s Dundalk , have claimed the bragging rights for 2013 over fallen neighbours Drogheda United.

Elsewhere , not much has changed as both Sligo Rovers and Derry City remain in title contention while both Bray Wanderers and UCD continue to battle at the bottom.

Tonight’s Dublin derbies are extremely significant for many reasons. Each team needs a victory for their own purpose , the Saints to extend their lead at the top , the Hoops to continue their European push and Bohemians and Shelbourne to move themselves clear of the relegation trapdoor.

Continue reading

Cooke Hoping For Swede Success

Drogheda United manager Mick Cooke feels his side are more than prepared for their second leg tie against Malmo FF this evening.

Cooke was in a jovial mood ahead of the tie at the Swedbank Stadion, insisting his side were not out of the tie despite the 0-0 draw at Tallaght Stadium last Thursday. Continue reading

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.

The Fall and Rise of Drogheda United

“Battling Drogheda United bowed out of Europe despite twice coming from behind against Ukrainian giants Dynamo Kiev in this Champions League qualifier.”

The headline was relatively simple yet didn’t tell the full story of how the then League of Ireland champions nearly put one of the European greats out of the Champions League.

Drogheda United travelled to the Ukrainian capital of Kiev more in hope than in expectation having lost 2-1 in the first leg of their second round qualifier. It was an uphill task made all the more strenuous when the hosts grabbed a 13 minute lead. It appeared the ambitions of the Boynesiders were all but over. But then lady luck reared her head as the Irish side were awarded a 40th minute penalty which was converted by Shane Robinson. Queue the fightback or not. Paul Doolin’s men fell behind again and it looked like they were set to be put out of their misery when Artem Milevsky stepped up to take a penalty. But it was not to be and a glimmer of hope remained.

The Claret and Blue Army clearly hadn’t read the script as Graham Gartland levelled it up late on before the Drogs missed two glorious chances to steal the win, first with Adam Hughes missing a sitter before Robinson struck the post. A goal away from greatness yet their failure to convert brought a quick end to life at the top table for the Boynesiders.

That failure by Doolin’s men brought about rapid change at the club who had a huge opportunity to establish themselves as a strong force in Irish football. Doolin had brought about great change at United Park, establishing the club as a Premier Division side after their promotion in the 2002/03 season. He made all players full time at the club and this move reaped great rewards as he guided the club to their first ever FAI Cup win in 2005, and their first ever league title two years later.

Drogheda had seemingly banked on European success and their failure to advance past Dynamo Kiev almost brought the club to its knees. October 2008 saw the club go into examinership after failing to pay back a €500,000 loan to the revenue commissioners and a further €10,000 to Bohemians for use of Dalymount Park for their Champions League ties. Their ambitious plans for a new stadium and state of the art youth academy fell through and the future looked incredibly bleak. Despite a ten point deduction the Drogs avoided relegation but now there side was a far cry from the one which almost knocked out the Ukrainian giant. Gone were the iconic names of O’Brien, Ristila and Zayed and in their place were hungry up and coming kids. The club eventually found a reprieve thanks in large part to fan led fundraisers and in January 2009 the club escaped extinction.

What was to follow wasn’t pretty for the long suffering Drogheda fans. It would appear that their yo yo status which Doolin once shed was on the way back. Doolin left as the club moved to part time. The United Park outfit became nothing more than relegation fodder. A team once feared by all was now feared by nobody and the fortress that was once United Park became a fortress no more. The Drogs narrowly avoided relegation in 2009 as Alan Matthews steered them to a 2-0 win over Bray Wanderers in the relegation playoff.

Still financially crippled the claret and blue army would become a club devoid of any real expectation and their only ambition would be to avoid the drop. After a managerial merry go round in the 2010 season the club were ultimately relegated after only four wins and nine draws. However the Boynesiders where handed a reprieve when Sporting Fingal folded and they held onto their Premier Division place.

Mick Cooke took over in 2011 and was tasked with keeping a squad designed for the First Division in the top flight. The former Monaghan United manager succeeded in keeping the club up and even managed to record the clubs first derby win over Louth rivals Dundalk in 13 years. After his successful season at the newly renamed Hunky Dorys Park, Cooke penned a three year deal with the club.

Fast forward to the current season and Cooke’s side have tranformed themselves into serious title contenders by acquiring numerous stars from his old club including Sean and Ryan Brennan and the Drogs all time top scorer Declan “Fabio” O’Brien. The surprise package of the season have set about bringing the good times back to the banks of the Boyne and currently sit a point behind league leaders Sligo Rovers. With no European action this year the Drogs appear to have the advantage in the title race as both Sligo and St Patricks Athletic have faltered in the league given their European exertions. Few would now bet against Cooke bringing some silverware to Louth as the club remain in both the League Cup and the FAI Cup. It would appear the club are on their way back to the top, whether or not they can stay there remains to be seen.

Some Tweets from the @DroghedaUnited boys on Twitter showing the renewal of their fortunes.

Ryan Brennan (@RyanBrennan08) “Drogs 2nd in the league, in cup semi final and last 16 of FAI Cup. Not a bad year considering everyone wrote us off at the start!“

Declan Fabio O’Brien (@Fabster9) “Thanks for all the messages tonight, early days but another great night to be a Drog” (tweeted after Fabio scored his 100th goal for the Drogs in a 1-0 win over UCD on July 27th)

League of Ireland Preview

The League of Ireland begins tonight with anxious fans awaiting what will hopefully be a great season both on and off the pitch.

 Recent matters such as the demise of Sporting Fingal and other licencing issues have soured some people`s expectations but now normal order is set to resume as the 10 teams get set to battle once again. 

Shamrock Rovers are clear favourites to regain their crown and there is no reason to see why they can`t. The Hoops have brought in some of the best players in the league with the likes of Karl Sheppard, Ronan Finn, Ken Oman, Ciaran Kilduff, Gary McCabe and Gary O`Neill all moving to Tallaght. Michael O`Neill has also bolstered his ranks with the addition of exciting prospect Conor McCormack, formerly of Triestina in Italy.   

 The Hoops will still be smarting after last season`s FAI Cup final defeat to Sligo Rovers. It is the Bit O`Red who like the main challengers to the Hoops title ambitions. Paul Cook has worked his magic in the North West for many seasons now and the Merseysider is well aware that the club must transform their domestic cup success into the League. 

Sligo started off slowly last season but a tremendous push towards the end saw them prosper and the threat they pose cannot be underestimated. Sligo have added tremendous strength to their squad for the forthcoming season with Brendan Clarke, Aaron Greene and Jason McGuinness  all signing on at the Showgrounds. However it is the capture of former favourite Raffaele Cretaro that has many Sligo fans bursting with excitement.

 Pats and Dundalk seem the most likely to challenge The Hoops and Sligo, all though whether they can last the distance or not is the key question. Pats burst into life last season as they went unbeaten in their first six games. The Inchicore faithful believed that it could be their year under the guidance of Pete Mahon however they fell off in the final third of the season, eventually finishing 5th.

 Ian Foster`s side finished 6th last season however recent  acquisistions have the Oriel Park fans believing it is their time to shine. Striking duo Jason Byrne and Mark Quigley  have joined from Bohemians in what was a shrew piece of business. The duo will be well complimented on the wings by Daniel Kearns and Ross Gaynor, two of the finest talents in the league last term that Foster has done well to keep a hold off. 

Derry City and Bohemians will consider themselves to be in with a shout of securing European football. Derry City have been promoted as Champions of the First Division under the astute guidance of Stephen Kenny. Kenny has installed great spirit in his young side with the McEleney brothers, James McClean and David McDaid all sett to rip up the Premier Division.  The return of key duo Ruaidhri Higgins and Gareth McGlynn will add experience to the Candystripes while the signing of Eamon Zayed will fill the void left by Mark Farren.

As for Bohs it will be a case of restoring some pride. The 2009 champions finished second on goal difference last season however financial turmoil over the close season left the club`s future in serious doubt. Thankfully financial matters have eased and all players that were owed money have been paid. However some Bohs fans remain cautious at the club`s spending. Pat Fenlon lured Killian Brennan back to Dalymount Park after Sligo baulked at his wages. While many fans appreciate Brennan they are aware that the survival of the club is of foremost importance. The additions of Ger O`Brien, Aidan Price, Anto Flood and Robert Bayly will give Bohs a strong first time but should any injuries or suspensions occur the squad will struggle.   

The remainder of the teams will contest a four team relegation shootout. UCD played some great football last season but must start from scratch having lost their finest talents to other clubs. Martin Russell will be hoping his next batch of youngsters can produce some form of cup run.

 Bray Wanderers narrowly survived last season, beating Monaghan United on penalties in the crucial relegation play off. The Seagulls have kept hold of their prize assets such as Jay Kelly and Shane O`Neill but a relegation fight is definitely on the cards for Pat Devlin`s men .

Galway United and Drogheda United make up the final two teams, despite much controversy over the licencing system. Galway were demoted to the A Championship only to be reinstated to the league following a successful appeal. Sean Connor will again be looking to work wonders on a shoestring budget .

 Mick Cooke has taken over the reigns at Drogheda United and will do well to keep the Boynesiders up. Drogheda finished bottom last term and only return to the Premier Division following the untimely demise of Sporting Fingal.The former Monaghan United supremo has added to his ranks with some talent from the First Division, although he will be kicking himself that he brought Ryan Brennan to Monaghan before departing the club. 

Verdict

  1. Shamrock Rovers
  2. Sligo Rovers
  3. St Patricks Athletic
  4. Dundalk
  5.  Derry City
  6. Bohemians
  7. UCD
  8. Bray Wanderers
  9. Galway United
  10. Drogheda United

 

FAI Cup: St Patricks Athletic

 League Cup: Sligo Rovers

 Setanta Cup: Shamrock Rovers