MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : IRISH SOCCER MAGAZINE – FEBRUARY 1996

The Jack Charlton era has just ended, but it is Paul Campbell of St Patrick’s Athletic and Jason Sherlock of UCD who are the cover stars of this edition of Irish Soccer Magazine.

The editorial focuses on Cork City, who are facing financial problems, and are following in the footsteps of previous clubs in the city in this regard.

Charlton’s time in charged is reviewed, with his legacy being described as winning the Irish footballing public over to their national team. They also look at contenders to replace him, withKenny Dalglish, Joe Kinnear, Mick McCarthy, Ronnie Whelan and Dave Bassett all in the frame.

Whoever the new manager is, their first competitive game will be a World Cup Qualifier in Leichtenstein, after the draw for France 98, with the focus being on Macedonia as a potential dark horse in the group.

Charlton’s departure came at the end of a year when Republic of Ireland slipped from 6th to 19th in the UEFA Rankings, not as dramatic as Sweden, who fell from joint 1st to 24th.

Despite the fact that Republic of Ireland didn’t qualify, there is a fixture list for Euro 96 in their foreign news section, which claims that Manchester United are interesting in signing South African defender Mark Fish.

One team who might not be at France 98 is Nigeria, who have been threatened with expulsion after withdrawing from the recent African Nations Cup in South Africa.

There is a feature on new Finn Harps manager Charlie McGeever, who has just replaced Patsy McGowan, while Buckley Park, home of Kilkenny City is the subject of the monthly ground profile.

Jimmy Conway, a former Republic Of Ireland international, is now living in the USA. He talks to Irish Soccer Magazine about life in the States, revealing that they expect to win the 2002 World Cup.

The coverage of Charlton isn’t all fawning, with one writer stating that his reign did not boost the domestic game at all during his decade in charge.

There is an interview with the head of General Motors, Arnold O’Byrne, who reveals that their sponsorship of the Republic of Ireland team is as much to do with his love of football, as it is a business decision.

Advertisements

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : IRISH SOCCER MAGAZINE – OCTOBER 1998

Paul Doolin of Bohemians and Denis Irwin are the cover stars of Irish Soccer Magazine, which you could have purchased for IR£1.50 at Tuthills. Sorry, I couldn’t get the sticker off.

The editorial focuses on Pat Dolan’s disillusionment with the League Of Ireland and his threat to quit, hoping that he doesn’t.

There is a preview of Republic Of Ireland’s forthcoming Euro 2000 away to Yugoslavia, stating that a draw would be a more than acceptable result.

That match would be postponed because of unrest in The Balkans, eventually being played in November 1998.

In foreign news, Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal are said to be involved in the creation of a European Super League.

There is a feature on TV coverage of football in Republic Of Ireland, as a new commercial broadcaster, TV3, is launched, and this is welcomed, as it means competition for RTE will mean they have to raise their game.

As well as looking forward to Yugoslavia, there is a look back at Republic Of Ireland’s opening Euro 2000 Qualifier, a 2-0 win over World Cup Semi-Finalists Croatia.

Eamonn Gibson has a column on British football, where he writes that the Bosman Rule and foreign import at other clubs have caused Manchester United to stand still. There is also a feature on the possibility of Wimbledon relocating to Dublin, after a recent poll claimed Dubliners were in favour of it.

There is a preview of domestic games in October, the highlight being the clash between St Patrick’s Athletic and Cork City at the end of the month.

There is also a preview of the games in September, a month that saw Brian Kerr awarded Manager Of The Month.

Cork City were recently in European action, and their defeat in the European Cup Winners Cup to CSKA Kiev gets a page of coverage.

In Dublin, St Patrick’s Athletic have announced plans to leave Richmond Park to build a new stadium at nearby St Michael’s Flats within the next five years, while the FAI have announced plans for a 40,000 all seater stadium, as well as redevelopment for Tolka Park and Dalymount Park.

The new commercial broadcaster TV3 gets a feature, focusing on their proposed football coverage, having bought the rights to Republic Of Ireland’s away Euro 2000 Qualifiers.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : NI FOOTBALL – WINTER 2008

David Healy is the cover star as he gives an interview to NI Football during the Winter of 2008.

In news, Martin Donnelly of Crusaders wins Player Of The Month, Roy Coyle celebrated his retirement at a dinner attended by Howard Kendall, and Brendan Rodgers has just been appointed manager of Watford.

Elsewhere in news, David Healy has just launched his own DVD.

Keith Gillespie gets interviewed having just joined Charlton Athletic on loan from Sheffield United.

Also getting a profile is Jonny Evans, having just broken into the Manchester Untied team in the early months of 2008-2009.

Glentoran had just reached the final of the Setanta Cup, losing narrowly to Cork City, 2-1, and this match gets a full page review.

David Healy gets a double page interview, revealing that Jonny Evans could be Norther Ireland’s key player during World Cup Qualification.

Healy’s strike partner at international Kyle Lafferty gets profiled, after enduring a difficult opening months to his career at Rangers.

Another player getting profiled at a new club is George McCartney, although he is in his second spell at Sunderland.

Steven Robinson has just announced his retirement aged 33, and is profile after taking a job with the IFA coaching underage teams.

There is a profile of another 33 year old making his mark in coaching, recently appointed Coleraine manager David Platt.

There is a full page profile of Linfield player Paul Munster, who has returned to Northern Ireland after spending time playing in Sweden, Czech Republic and Canada.

There is a double page profile on the comparisons between set-ups in the Irish League and League Of Ireland.

At Junior Level, there are club profiles of Killymoon Rangers, Lurgan Celtic and Newington.

Staying in North Belfast, there is a feature on Cliftonville, who have just won the County Antrim Shield.

 

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : JUNE

The previous two seasons for me began in Bray. Not this time, it was the Stade De France to begin 2016-2017 with the opening match of Euro 2016 between France and Romania.

It was one of three Euro 2016 matches I attended, taking in Northern Ireland v Poland and Republic of Ireland v Sweden during my time in France.

Back home, it was the earliest start ever to a Linfield season, June 30th, and a UEFA Cup tie against Cork City, where I attended the home leg at Windsor Park.

France v Romania

France v Romania Photo Album

Northern Ireland v Poland

Northern Ireland v Poland Photo Album

Republic of Ireland v Sweden

Republic of Ireland v Sweden Photo Album

Linfield v Cork City

2016 IN PICTURES – JUNE

June 2016 was a month that was dominated by Euro 2016.

The early days of the month were spent chronicling a mural in East Belfast to commemorate Northern Ireland’s qualification, getting pictures of the final piece upon my return from France.

Oh yes, I was in France. Wasn’t that fussed about France as a country, but loved the three matches (France v Romania, Northern Ireland v Poland, Republic of Ireland v Sweden) I was at.

I also got some Street Art photos in Paris, and London, as I flew back from Gatwick due to there being no Paris-Belfast flights on a Tuesday.

Not a lot else happened in the rest of the month. That was, until, the final, when I attended two Belsonic concerts.

Belsonic? Yes, this year, it moved to June (though there were later concerts in August) and I went to see Elli Goulding and Stereophonics.

And it was at a new venue, Titanic Belfast.

There was even some domestic club football this month, as the last day of the month saw Linfield lose 1-0 at home to Cork City in the UEFA Cup.

Pride, Passion Belief

Pride, Passion, Belief Photo Album

Paris Street Art

Paris Street Art Photo Album

France v Romania

France v Romania Photo Album

Northern Ireland v Poland

Northern Ireland v Poland Photo Album

Republic of Ireland v Sweden

Republic of Ireland v Sweden Photo Album

London Street Art

London Street Art Photo Album

Ellie Goulding live at Titanic Belfast

Ellie Goulding live at Titanic Belfast Photo Album

Stereophonics live at Titanic Belfast

Stereophonics live at Titanic Belfast Photo Album

Linfield v Cork City

LINFIELD 0-1 CORK CITY 30.6.2016

Just like Christmas advertising, it feels like the early rounds of European competition get earlier and earlier each year. It was June 30th for crying out loud. Unless there’s a dramatic run of postponements in the Winter months, it will mean that Linfield will have played in every month of 2016.

The opposition, were the closest team they could face – Cork City, only the 266 miles away.

Both teams were hoping to secure a trip to Sweden. That’s the more modest ambition of a 2nd Round tie against BK Hacken, rather than the Final in Stockholm.

Cork had the better of the early exchanges and got the first shot on goal when Steven Dooley fired into the side netting.

Linfield were able to see off the danger in those opening moments, but they were having to get bodies in the way.

Eventually, Linfield got more into it, causing problems for Cork from a series of set pieces.

In fact, Cork caused problems for themselves when Karl Sheppard almost headed into his own net, forcing goalkeeper Mark McNulty to tip it over the bar.

McNulty saw himself as a showman, even standing on the halfway line when Cork attack. Sadly, Linfield didn’t get the chance to make him pay for his exhuberence.

Paul Smyth had the best of Linfield’s chances, heading over from close range after a flick-on.

Picking up from last season, Smyth was the focal point of Linfield’s attacks, forcing Cork into cynical fouls as the only way to stop him.

The half-time whistle blew and Linfield were holding their own. Neither side were dominating.

Just after the hour, Cork got a penalty for a foul by Stephen Lowry. It was a stupid tackle to make on a wet pitch when the Cork player was going away from goal.

Roy Carroll, making his Linfield debut just five days after being on the bench for Northern Ireland at Euro 2016, had saved a penalty in two of his last three appearances at Windsor Park.

It wasn’t to be a hat-trick for Carroll as Sean Maguire made it 1-0 to Cork.

In the immediate aftermath of that goal, it looked like Cork were going to get a second goal.

Stephen Lowry atoned for conceding the penalty by heading off the line when a goal seemed certain.

Paul Smyth was surprisingly substituted as Linfield chased an equaliser. Ironically, just after he was fouled.

For what it’s worth, no pun intended, but I would have had Michael McLellan on as a sub to bring some fresh impetus to Linfield’s attacking play, especially as Andrew Waterworth was struggling on his own.

Linfield were able to stop Cork getting a second, but unfortunately, Cork were able to stop Linfield getting an equaliser.

It was an awful game were neither team really looked like scoring in open play, with the only goal coming via a penalty.

Not that Cork will care. I know I wouldn’t be caring if Linfield were on the right side of a 1-0 scoreline.

Sadly, a Linfield supporter died at the ground after taking ill when the teams were warming up, just two weeks after a Northern Ireland supporter died at the match against Ukraine, and just nine months after a Linfield supporter died at a match last season.

With regards to the second-leg, i’m still not sure wether to go. I’m looking at travel and accommodation at the moment, but still non committal.

Cork is a city I would love to visit, and have had it in the back of my mind to go. It’s hard to get a decent hotel price at short notice though. I have been to Cork before, in 1999.

There is an event in Cork I always keep an eye out for the line-up, Live at the Marquee. It’s a Cork version of Belsonic, set in a tent in Cork’s docks.

The line-up generally falls into two categories, popular Irish acts (Christy Moore, Damien Rice, The Coronas) and acts who can flog a Greatest Hits Set.

This year’s line-up is awful, to be honest.

I’ve always hoped to have a line-up with two decent gigs on successive nights, and then fit a Cork City and/or Cobh Ramblers match in while i’m there.

Maybe in 2017.

If I don’t go to Cork next week, there is still one other avenue for an international away day for Linfield, as they’ll be joining the Scottish Challenge Cup at the 4th Round stage in November. I’ll be keeping an eye out on seeing if Linfield can get a decent (and easy to get to) away day.

In terms of Manchester United games, i’ve already booked to go to the home game against Hull City on Wednesday 1st February 2017, doing Tuesday to Thursday travel.

On the Tuesday, i’m hoping to go to a game in the North-West of England on the Tuesday night. There’s no League One or League Two games scheduled (postponements and rearrangements could see some be played that night)

There is a full Championship fixture list, including Wigan Athletic v Norwich, and get to see the famous and almost mythical Will Grigg (‘s On Fire, your defence is terrified) in the flesh.

……. and then Zlatan the next day. Oh yes!!

Hopefully, he does better than when I saw him in Euro 2016. Even though he had a rubbish game, he still set up a goal.

Once the UEFA Cup Group Stage draw is done, i’ll see if I can get a decent price to go Thursday-Monday and take in two home games, as well as a game in North-West England on the Saturday afternoon.

Ideally, not on Matchday 6, as it would mean i’ll have to miss Cast’s gig at The Limelight in December,

A 1-0 home defeat isn’t ideal, but it is retrievable.

June might have only just finished, but the 2016-2017 is already in full swing.

Hopefully, it will involve Linfield v BK Hacken in a few weeks.

Photo Album