Posts Tagged ‘ Tolka Rovers ’

New Irish Basketball Season Launched


The 2013/2014 season was launched last week in the National Basketball Arena. The AerTV cameras were also present to capture the action as the National Cup draws also took place.

Templeogue are preparing to enter the top league of Irish basketball for the first time. U18 Irish international point guard Sean Flood was in the Arena and spoke to about how big of a step up the Premier Division is going to be for everyone in the club. Continue reading

Hibs Irish contingent determined to reward fans with cup win

As Hibs prepare for arguably the biggest game in their history, the Irish contingent at Easter Road are determined to do everything in their power to bring the Scottish Cup back to Leith for the first time since 1902. Pat Fenlon insists that no team managed by him will ever be bullied, First team coach Liam O’Brien claims that the current players deserve their place in the final and striker Eoin Doyle believes that the happiest Irishman this week will be Ryanair owner Michael O’Leary given the number of seats booked by his friends and family.

Speaking from Tolka Rovers ground where the squad have been put through their paces, the former Bohs manager said; “We’ve got to get confidence into them and the belief that we can go and compete with anyone, I’ve said it before, if we play well on the day we can compete with any team. We can match most teams when we play well. It is just important that we believe that.

“We’ve got some really good players at the club. The boys that have come in on loan have given us a lift. We’ve got some good young players who are starting to come back into a bit of form. You can see the confidence coming back into them.

“We have confidence and we don’t fear anyone. As long as I am the manager, we won’t be bullied by anybody. I think that’s happened too many times with Hibs in Hearts games. We’ve just got to make sure we compete and give our best.”

“I’d like to win the cup but I think that’s for other people to enjoy themselves and celebrate on the day. If it happens, it will be a great moment for everyone associated with the club. But from my point of view, it is about trying to bring the club back to where it belongs. That would be a big stepping stone towards doing that.”

Fenlon’s views were echoed by First Team Coach Liam O’Brien who has hit back at suggestions that the players do not deserve to go down in history as legends, particularly given the number of on-loan signings in the team and the poor league form this season.

The former Manchester United, Newcastle United and Republic of Ireland star said: “There are plenty of players and managers, who have never got to a Cup final, never had the chance to win it, but these lads have an opportunity to make history and I hope that will happen.

“It hasn’t happened for all those great players down through the years but now history can be written and these players have earned the right to be there. You can only beat what is put in front of you and that’s what they have done in every round, so they deserve to be in the final.”

“Our main aim when we came in was to keep the club in the SPL and we managed to do that. We’ve had a fantastic run to get to the final which is a massive achievement. The way the season has gone for us no-one would have predicted that but now we could cap it off by turning what has been a really poor season into a fantastic one.”

O’Brien revealed that it didn’t take long to discover Hibs deplorable cup record after arriving at Easter Road.  He said: “We were asked to do a job and a week later you are told the last time Hibs won the Cup Jesus Christ was wearing short trousers. It’s been a long time, you hear it every week but now there’s a great chance for us. It’s a game of football, there’s 90 minutes to win it and that’s what we will be telling them. I think it’s gripped the imagination of everyone. It’s great for the city of Edinburgh but unfortunately one of us is going to be unhappy come Saturday night. Hopefully it won’t be Hibs.”

Meanwhile former Sligo Rovers hitman Eoin Doyle, who has played in the last three Irish Cup finals, winning the previous two on penalties, insists that it’s the result that counts, not the manner of the victory.

Doyle said: “Obviously the club itself has that connection to Ireland and formed before Celtic. As such there is a following for Hibs in any case. But a good few of the reporters who turned up had reported on us when we’d played in the League of Ireland and the fact we’re now looking to play in the Scottish Cup final has created a great deal of interest.”

Twenty-eight of Doyle’s friends and family have found tickets, booked flights and hotels and are hoping to celebrate a famous victory at Hampden. “I think all of us have quite a few coming over, probably enough to fill a couple of Ryanair flights. They’ve all got their tickets and flights booked and are looking forward to it.

“But I’m sure there would be a few empty seats going back on Sunday if we win; they’ll all want to stay for a party.”

“In a cup final anything can happen. I’ve won the cup in Ireland being both favourites and underdogs so it doesn’t matter when it comes to the day; it all goes out of the window.

“It’s you against them and to me it’s a case of whoever wants it more on the day and I’m sure that will be us. Cup finals are sometimes not the greatest of games to watch, it’s a matter of getting through it and hoping you can nick the goal.

“What we do know is it’s going to be a massive occasion, the first all-Edinburgh derby in how long and there’s obviously the history at this club of not having won it for 110 years. We also know we could forever be part of club folklore if we do win.

“I think everyone is dreaming of scoring the winner; even Mark Brown our goalie threw his name into the hat at one point. But who scores doesn’t matter so long as we do it.”

“The first year I played in the final we were beaten by Sporting Fingal. I’d scored but they got two in the last six minutes. The next one was the very first game in the new Aviva Stadium which was something special as was the match itself. It ended 0-0 against Shamrock Rovers but we won 2-0 on penalties with our goalkeeper Ciaran Kelly saving four of their spot-kicks. And last November we were drawing 1-1 with Shelbourne Rovers when Ciaran came on for the last couple of minutes and then went on to save two more penalties as we won 4-1 (in the shoot-out).

“Winning on penalties didn’t belittle either of those victories in any way. I don’t care how we win; it’s the name that’s engraved on the trophy, not the way it’s won.”

The 24 year old will probably start on the bench with on-form Leigh Griffiths and Garry O’Connor likely to start the game, but his performance and goal against Dunfermline has given Fenlon something to think about. Whether he features or not, Doyle has more than played his part in the historic cup run, with a goal in the 3-2 win at Cowdenbeath and the only goal of the game against Kilmarnock. As Fenlon’s first signing Doyle believes that things are definitely looking up at Easter Road since the January transfer window.

He said: “I think the team has developed massively, a lot of boys have come in and a few left but we have progressed over the last month or two. It’s all starting to come together and we’ll be going into the final with a bit of confidence.

“The gaffer had been talking of making sure we stayed in the SPL, getting to the cup final has been a bonus and to win it would be a great achievement.”

Fenlon To Prepare Team For Final With Dublin Trip

Pat Fenlon will bring his players to Dublin next week as a change of routine ahead of the Cup Final.  The squad will fly over on Sunday and stay for three days, whilst training at Fenlon’s first club, Tolka Rovers.

The former Bohs boss realises that Edinburgh will be ‘mayhem’ in the run up to the game, and is keen to shield the players from the attention of fans and media.

“I just think, because of all the stuff that goes with this game, it will be nice to just get them away,” Fenlon said at East Mains yesterday. “It would have been better to get to a bit of sun; but it’s ideal to get away from everything that goes with the cup final.

“The fact that we’re playing Hearts has added fuel to the fire, and I think there’s going to be mayhem here next week. To get away from that, concentrate and pick the team without distractions, work on the shape; that has to be good.

“We’re going to train at Tolka Rovers, actually a club I started my whole career at as a six or seven-year-old. We’re going to use their great facilities. We’ll be based in Portmarnock and travel to Tolka Rovers, not far from where I was brought up.

“I don’t know whether I’ll get home, it’s all business, trying to avoid distractions, and work on what needs worked on.

“Come next Saturday, we want to have done as much as we can to have prepared for the game. I hope to pick the team early enough in the week, so we can give everybody an opportunity to understand how we want to play.

“We had a couple of options – one to go further afield. But with flight delays etcetera you don’t want too much upset. Dublin is just across the way; doesn’t take long. There is no change of language, no change of food.

“We were going to try to train at Malahide, but the national team are going there next week. Tolka Rovers is a club I know well: they’re good people, and it’s a fantastic facility.

“It might have been difficult to stay here and treat it as just another game, on the basis that everyone knows what the cup final is, what it means for Hibs. We could train here without a problem. But what happens when they leave here?

“You want to let them focus, not worry about people looking for this, that and the other off them. Their only thoughts should be how we’re going to play, how we’re going to win the game. We’re back Wednesday afternoon, go away Friday after training, so they don’t have much time at home. It’s about making sure their heads are where they should be and that, come Saturday, we play the game; we don’t play the occasion before the game.

“Sometimes players can think too much about how they’re going to affect the game, what they’re going to do. If you’re here for a week with everything going on, that adds to it.

“Getting away lets them refocus on work. Training will be straightforward. It’s more just working on shape, how we’re going to play.”

Before that however, Hibs end this campaign with an away fixture against Inverness Caledonian at the Tullochs Caledonian Stadium, their third visit to the ground this season. Both previous visits ended in wins, and Fenlon is hoping that run continues.

First team regulars James McPake (cold), Tom Soares (Achilles), Pa Kujabi (hamstring) and Jorge Claros (foot) are all unlikely to be risked in the Highlands but Fenlon assured supporters that the team would aiming for the three points.

He said: “There are two or three of them in there at the moment carrying little niggles and knocks so we will plan to change one or two of them around.

“We want to go and try and win the game as well, so it’s important that we put a team out that’s capable of getting a result up there. There will be players who play who will also play in the final, that’s for sure.”

Teenage keeper Paul Grant is expected to make his debut in goals whilst midfielder Sam Stanton is likely to make his first start for the club.