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Posts Tagged ‘ Sheffield Wednesday ’

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

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Shamrock Rovers Sign Stephen McPhail

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Shamrock Rovers have today confirmed that former Ireland international Stephen McPhail has signed for the club for the 2014 season.

McPhail’s contract with English Championship side, Sheffield Wednesday comes to an end this month, allowing him to put pen to paper on a deal with the Hoops.

The 34-year-old midfielder, who has also played for Leeds United, Barnsley and Cardiff City will officially leave the Championship club on February 18 and link up with Rovers. Continue reading

Sunderland Sack Paulo Di Canio

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Sunderland have sacked manager Paolo Di Canio after the controversial manager was involved in a spat with his players following Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at the hands of West Brom.

The Wearsiders sit bottom of the Barclay’s Premier League and clearly felt a change was needed. Paolo, himself, was in charge for all of seven months. Sunderland released a statement to the press notifying them of Di Canio’s sacking on Sunday evening. In the statement came also the news that Kevin Ball will take charge of the first team affairs until a new manager comes in. Continue reading

Fenlon In Double Swoop For Heffernan And Zoubir

HibsPat Fenlon has completed a double signing ahead of the transfer window closing on Saturday night.

Earlier today, the club confirmed that Dublin born striker Paul Heffernan has joined from Kilmarnock after agreeing a contract until the end of the 2014/15 season, and 21 year old French winger Abdellah Zoubir has joined the club on loan from FC Istres for the 2013/14 season following a successful trial this week. Continue reading

O’Connor Enjoying Life In Orlando

Many footballers see America as a lucrative move to see out their career but not Dublin born Orlando City star James ‘Connor.

James has enjoyed an impressive career to date since leaving Ireland at the tender age of 16 playing for clubs such as Stoke City, West Brom, Burnley and Sheffield Wednesday before opting to head stateside.

32 year old James recalls his debut with fondness “As a 16 yr old to leave home  it was tough, but it made me grow up fast. I was really excited to get going and looking forward to it. I made my first appearance as a sub and I was really pleased to get onto the pitch.” 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.

FC Barcelona’s Irish Saviour

The generation of football fans which has grown up with the instantly recognisable and world revered and feared brand of tika-taka football which Barcelona play are familiar with a certain section of Barcelona managers who have strode back and forth in front of the touchline – Frank Rijkaard, Pep Guardiola and his successor Tito Vilanova. But rewind roughly 80 years and you would find a less continental name at the helm of a club struggling for their very lives in 1930s during the Spanish Civil war, because the Catalan club and area was associated so much with the Republican cause, and the immense pressure they came under almost caused them to fold.

Born and raised in working class Dublin, Patrick O’Connell used football as a method of escape. He joined Belfast Celtic in the early 1900s before transferring to Sheffield Wednesday, Hull City then Manchester United in May 1914, finishing his career with spells at Dumbarton and Ashlington while enjoying an international career with Ireland including captaining (with a broken arm) the side to a famous 3-0 victory at Ayrsome Park.

In 1922, for unknown reasons, Spain called to O’Connell and he left Irish shores and succeeded Englishman Fred Pentland as the manager of Racing Santander, guiding the side to five regional titles as they became founding members of La Liga in 1928. Between 1929 and 1935 as the world experience the Great Depression, O’Connell managed both Real Oviedo and Real Betis winning several titles with the latter. In the background right-wing tendencies were spreading across Spain and the Catalan region was becoming a focal point for resistance against these views. On the football pitch this manifested itself in the developing rivalry between Catalan Barcelona and the Franco-supported Real Madrid, a fierce and often bitter rivalry that still persists today. In the summer of 1935, O’Connell visited his native Ireland for a holiday and was appointed manager of Barcelona on his return after his successes with Betis hadn’t gone unnoticed. The club had gone into a decline during that decade, alongside the rising hostile political climate and success at the national level consistently evaded them. Things weren’t looking great.

What saved the club was the decision by O’Connell to take up an invitation to tour Mexico and America, for a guaranteed fee of around $15,000, a huge sum during the 1930s, throwing both the club a financial lifeline, and a period of respite and safety for the club’s players, some of whom had left to join forces in opposition to the military uprising, and who were feeling very unsafe. Thanks to O’Connell the tour was a PR success. The money was wired to a bank in Paris to ensure its safety from fascist hands, and the team eventually returned to Spain, consisting just of O’Connell and four other players from the original party which had travelled.  On his return to Spain, O’Connell left the club.

During the war years 1942-1945 O’Connell remained in Spain as the hand guiding Sevilla’s title ambitions, which never came to fruition before finishing his Spanish management career back where it all began at Racing Santander. What happened following his departure from Spain is unknown, all that is clear is that the man who ensured Barcelona’s survival through turbulent times died in obscurity in run-down lodgings in London in 1959. Today, the club still remembers the man who did so much for them; a bust of the man from Dublin sits in the Barca museum, part of their club’s history forever.

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