Posts Tagged ‘ UCD ’

Airtricity League Officially Launched

Players, managers and officials from all 20 teams were at the Aviva Stadium today for the launch of the 2015 SSE Airtricity League season.

The SSE Airtricity League Premier and First Divisions will commence on Friday, March 6, and a total of 330 league and play-off games will be played in addition to matches in the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup, EA SPORTS Cup, President’s Cup, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.

Among the highlights of the new season will be the return to the Premier Division of Longford Town and  Galway United and the arrival of a new club, Cabinteely, who will compete in the First Division.

Launching the 2015 season, the FAI’S Director of Competitions, Fran Gavin said: “There has been a huge amount of energy and passion going in to pre-season preparations all over the country and I want to compliment the clubs for the hard work being done. Clubs are nothing without their communities, and the energy to really engage the local community is vital all year round from each of our clubs if we are to continue to advance as a League.”

Stephen Wheeler, Managing Director SSE Airtricity, said:  “For the 2015 season we want to focus in on the fans of the league, and use them as the driving force for our new creative #FanPoweredFootball. For us, it is the dedication of the fans, the players and all the clubs, which make the SSE Airtricity League what it is. Each season is filled with excitement and dramatic endings and I am sure this year will be no different.”

Fran Gavin also announced that the FAI is to undertake a consultation process for the SSE Airtricity League which will involve all stakeholders in the domestic game, the clubs, the media, the supporters, the general public and many other groups. The process will be headed Declan Conroy who led the successful Europa League and Euro 2020 bids. It will start next week and, as part of the process, every club will be met individually and the public will also be invited to express their views. The process will take a couple of months to complete and the details will be communicated to clubs on Monday. The pubic consultation will start from Tuesday, March 3.

“There are two objectives: to get views on how the clubs and the league currently operates and also to get opinions on how the clubs and the league can move forward. I am sure there will be lots of different opinions but we want to hear them. This League has a big heritage and we need to work hard and work together if we are to make it strong for the future,” said Mr Gavin.

SSE Airtricity are set to roll out a national advertising campaign which focuses on the availability of live football in Ireland using the slogan “Fan Powered Football” and will use the hashtag #FanPoweredFootball on their social media platforms when referencing the league.  A special promotional video was shown for the first time at today’s launch and can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxJBgvU4iok&feature=youtu.be.

RTE and Setanta Sports will also continue their live coverage of matches during the season and RTE has also committed to covering the SSE Airtricity League each week during the season through their popular football programme Soccer Republic which will commence on Monday, March 9, at 11:05 on RTÉ2.

The 12 clubs participating in the 2015 Premier Division will be: Bohemians, Bray Wanderers, Cork City, Derry City, Drogheda United, Dundalk, Galway United, Longford Town, Limerick, St Patrick’s Athletic, Shamrock Rovers and Sligo Rovers. The eight clubs participating in the 2015 First Division will be: Athlone Town, Cabinteely, Cobh Ramblers, Finn Harps, Shelbourne, Waterford United, Wexford Youths and UCD.

LOI: Dundalk Host Cork In Final Day Title Showdown

irishfootball

And so it all comes down to this. One match, two potential champions but there can only be one winner. Last week’s results surprisingly tipped the title race in Cork’s favour as Dundalk stumbled to a draw in Bray. Now Dundalk must tilt the momentum back in their favour with a shooutout against the rebel army or else their successful season will be nothing more than another year served as the nearly men. Issues at the bottom are also still far from settled so with that in mind let’s take a look at the final round of fixtures.

Athlone Town –v- Bray Wanderers    7:45

With their last chance of survival on the line Athlone Town host Bray Wanderers at the Athlone Town Stadium.

Goals from Philip Gorman and Kealan Dillon where enough to give Athlone Town a crucial 2-0 away win over St Patrick’s Athletic last week. That result however, was not enough to lift Athlone off the bottom of the table. They enter this game knowing that they have to win. Anything else will see them drop straight back down to the first division. Continue reading

LOI: Two Games, Two Clubs, One Champion

irishfootball

And then there were two. Two games, two clubs, one champion. With the penultimate weekend of League Of Ireland now upon us we take a look at the fixtures that could define the season. Can Cork City take the title race to a final day shootout against champions elect Dundalk at Oriel Park?

The relegation battle is far from settled also so let’s see what’s at stake and who looks destined to come out on top.

Bray Wanderers –v- Dundalk    7:45

Bray Wanderers host title chasing Dundalk at the Carlisle Grounds.

Despite losing 1-0 to Shamrock Rovers last week, Bray Wanderers will be pleased that they have managed to survive for another season. They will not expect to get much out of this game but manager Alan Matthews will be determined to ensure his side are as professional as possible and make Dundalk earn any result they get.

The 0-0 draw with Shamrock Rovers midweek has allowed Cork City to close the gap in the title race. Depending on results a win here could win them the league, though it does seem that the title will be decided in the head to head clash next week. Dundalk still need a win and will most likely get it. Continue reading

LOI: Title Challengers Can’t Afford To Slip Up

irishfootball

Athlone Town –v- Dundalk    7:45

Bottom versus top here as Athlone Town host Dundalk at the Athlone Town Stadium.

A 4-2 defeat against Limerick last week kept Athlone Town from lifting themselves off the bottom of the table. That defeat leaves them one point behind UCD with three games to go. They face the arduous task of getting a result against the league leaders here and with St Pat’s next, there may not be enough time to gain survival.

Having not had had a league game since the 2-0 win over UCD, Dundalk will look to pick up where they left off as they head into the final stretch.  With difficult games against Shamrock Rovers and Cork City still to come, Dundalk will need to be at their best to win their first league title since 1995. All that will be irrelevant if they fail to win here. Continue reading

LOI: Cup Action Takes Over End Of Season Schedule

irishfootball

There’s a busy weekend of League Of Ireland card this weekend, complimented by Sunday’s FAI Cup semi final double header, which pits Shamrock Rovers against Derry City and St Patrick’s Athletic against Finn Harps. Onto the league action.

Cork City –v- Drogheda United    7:45

Title chasing Cork City play Drogheda United at Turner’s Cross.

Goals from Mark O’Sullivan and Billy Dennehy were enough to give Cork City a 2-1 win over Sligo Rovers last week. That win keeps them second, three points behind Dundalk. Cork will be fully aware of the importance of not dropping points in their final games, for if they drop even one it could be season over. Continue reading

LOI: Cork Aim To Turn Up Pressure On Dundalk

irishfootball

Bray Wanderers –v- St Patrick’s Athletic    7:05

Relegation threatened Bray Wanderers play St Patrick’s Athletic at the Carlisle Grounds.

With only six games to go, every game is now crucial for Bray Wanderers, who have not played since the 2-1 defeat to Bohemians on September 5th. Bray will be determined to put some more points on the board. They face a tough ask against St Patrick’s Athletic but with home advantage anything is possible.

Now that the league title is beyond them St Patrick’s Athletic have focused their aim on the FAI Cup. Despite that the Dublin side are still capable of big results in the league as seen by their recent 1-0 win over champions elect Dundalk. Despite having little to play for St Pats are still capable of beating anyone on their day and will be fully expecting all three points here. Continue reading

LOI: Reigning Champs Seek To Dent Dundalk’s Title Tilt

irishfootball

St Patrick’s Athletic –v- Dundalk    7:05

St Patrick’s Athletic play host to league leaders Dundalk at Richmond Park.

A solitary goal from Aaron Greene gave St Patrick’s Athletic a 1-0 win over Derry City last week. That win keeps their European ambitions alive and with the FAI Cup still up for grabs, this season is far from over for the Dublin side. The reigning champions face extremely tough opposition in the form of Dundalk but St Pats are capable of beating anyone on their day and may just pull off an upset.

Dundalk took a huge step towards their first league title since 1995 by beating Bohemians 3-2 last week. That puts them six points clear with seven games remaining. It’s now Dundalk’s league to throw away, something Stephen Kenny and his side will be determined to avoid. Another three points here and all the pressure is on Cork who they play in the final game. Continue reading