MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : NORTHERN IRELAND FOOTBALL – SPRING 2007

Dean Shiels is the cover star of Northern Ireland Football, as he has made a comeback after having an eye removed in early 2006.

In news, Mark Clyde of Wolves and Northern Ireland has had to announce his retirement at the age of 24 due to a succession of injuries.

At Burnley, Michael Duff and Kyle Lafferty have signed new deals that will keep them at the club until 2010.

Dean Shiels gets a full page interview, having made a comeback for both club and country, looking forward to a Scottish League Cup Final for Hibs against Kilmarnock.

Alan Shearer was recently in Belfast to present awards to Glenn Ferguson, Peter Thompson and Darren Kelly on behalf of Umbro.

Darren Murphy spills the beans on his Ballymena United team-mates, revealing that Mark Picking has the worst taste in music.

David Jeffrey gets a two page profile as he celebrates ten years as manager of Linfield.

The 2007 edition of the Setanta Cup has just kicked off, and a full page feature looks at the success of the competition so far.

Grant McCann gets profiled, as he hopes to get game time in Northern Ireland’s upcoming European Championship Qualifiers against Leichtenstein and Sweden.

The recent friendly against Wales, a 0-0 draw at Windsor Park, gets a full page picture special.

Meanwhile, the Irish Cup has announced a new sponsor, JJB Sports.

Northern Ireland’s Women are also in European Qualifying action, kicking off with an away game against England in May 2007.

Cliftonville get a double page profile, having just won the County Antrim Shield.

Across Belfast, there is a feature of Peter Thompson, Michael Gault and Paul McAreavey, who are settling into life as full-time professionals based in the Irish League, as they adjust to no longer having to combine playing with a full-time job.

McAreavey was selected for an Irish League Select XI who defeated the English Conference 3-1 at Mourneview Park.

Colin Murray and Neil Lennon were recently in Belfast to present the Football For All Awards.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : NI FOOTBALL – SUMMER 2008

Nigel Worthington, manager of Northern Ireland, is the cover star of NI Football during the Summer of 2008.

There is a profile of Andrew Waterworth, who has just won promotion to the SPL with Hamilton Academical, and is looking forward to playing at Celtic Park and Ibrox, hoping that he can break into the Northern Ireland team. He also says he is learning a lot from his team-mate James McCarthy, even though he is a few years younger than him.

He signed for Glentoran that summer.

Cover star Worthington gets interviewed as he reflects on his first year in charge of the national team, and looking forward to the forthcoming 2010 World Cup Qualifiers.

He spoke highly of Michael O’Connor, who made his international debut in a recent friendly against Georgia, and he gets a full page interview.

He would have been hoping to get a cap in the upcoming away friendly against Scotland in August, which gets a preview.

There is a review of the three divisions, which saw Linfield win their third successive title.

The Setanta Cup is taking place across two Irish League seasons, and the second half of the group stages gets previewed ahead of the group stage resuming in September.

As well as winning the league, Linfield won the Irish Cup in 2008, and the final, a 2-1 win over Coleraine, gets a two page review.

Paul Leeman spills the beans on his Glentoran team-mates, revealing that Sean Ward is nicknamed “Google” because he knows everything.

Off the pitch, the IFA have been recognised by UEFA for their marketing success.

In ads, there are adverts for Linfield and Glentoran’s new kits, both made by Umbro, side by side on successive pages.

2013 IN PICTURES – MARCH

March began for me with a trip to Dublin to see Linfield take on Shamrock Rovers in a Setanta Cup game. Unfortunately, I missed the first couple of minutes of the game, as I would have loved to have got the stadium in advance of kick-off to get some shots, and get a good shooting position.

The less said about the match, the better.

Three days later, I was at the Waterfront Hall (amazingly, it has been open since 1997, and this was my first concert attended at it) to see Stereophonics in concert.

Got a good shooting position and some good shots. An excellent concert as well.

That weekend, I went out and got some Street Art photos in Ormeau Park.

The following weekend, I was in Manchester to see United take on Reading. I didn’t know it then, but it would be the last time I would go to a United match managed by Sir Alex Ferguson.

On the Monday, I was at a freezing Seaview to see Linfield lose 3-0 to Crusaders. I should have just stayed in the house and watched it on TV.

The following Friday, I was hoping to go to Windsor Park to see Northern Ireland take on Russia. Unfortunately, it was postponed due to snow. In March.

I went out to try and get some snow photos. It wasn’t very photogenic snow. The photos of it weren’t particularly great.

The following Tuesday, I did get to see Northern Ireland play, against Israel, in a 2-0 defeat.

Shamrock Rovers v Linfield

Shamrock Rovers v Linfield Photo Album

Stereophonics Live At Waterfront Hall

Stereophonics Live At Waterfront Hall Photo Album

Anco

Manchester United v Reading

Manchester United v Reading Photo Album

Crusaders v Linfield

Snow

Snow Photo Album

Northern Ireland v Israel

Northern Ireland v Israel Photo Album

Niko

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON – MARCH

March, like February, began in another country. Though, unlike February, there was no two games in one day shenanigans.

My first game in March was the Setanta Cup tie at Tallaght Stadium between Shamrock Rovers and Linfield. My main reason for going to this game was that i’d never been to Tallaght Stadium (think the UCD Bowl is the only main Dublin stadium I haven’t been to)

Unfortunately, I made it there just in time for kick-off, so didn’t really get much in the way of good photos, though Linfeld’s lack of attacking situations didn’t really help.

The following Saturday, I was at Linfield v Lisburn Distillery. A match so bad, I got no worthwhile pictures whatsoever.

The following weekend, I made my second visit to Old Trafford of the season to see United take on Reading.

I was in the Stretford End and got some ok pictures in what was a poor game.

Having originally thought I would miss this due to being in Manchester, Sky moved Linfield’s trip to Seaview to a Monday night, meaning I was able to go. Not really sure why I bothered.

Managed to get some nice shots of Seaview. You have to clutch at straws for positives when you’ve spent two hours in the freezing cold watching your team lose 3-0.

The following weekend, Northern Ireland’s World Cup Qualifier against Russia was postponed, and due to the attempts to play the game on the Saturday afternoon after a Friday postponement, I didn’t even have an opportunity to try and get a picture of a snow covered Windsor Park.

The following Tuesday, I was at Windsor Park for the match against Israel, and got some ok photos.

Five matches, four competitions, three countries. A real mixed bag of a footballing month.

Shamrock Rovers v Linfield

Shamrock Rovers v Linfield Photo Album

Manchester United v Reading

Manchester United v Reading Photo Album

Crusaders v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Israel

Northern Ireland v Israel Photo Album

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : 2012-2013

Barring something dramatic, the 2012-2013 season is over for me in terms of football attending.

The season began in June at the Amsterdam Arena, and ended in May at Clandeboye Park.

Unsurprisingly, most of the Linfield matches I attended weren’t particularly enjoyable.

There wasn’t much in the way of curiousities (last season, I saw two twins on opposing sides) apart from going to two matches in once day – twice, and there being a power failure at a match I was at.

Amazingly, it was an FA Premier League game, rather than an Irish League game.

So here, is a statistical look back at my 2012-2013 football season :

Matches Attended : 52

Goals Seen : 147 (should be 149, but I missed 2 goals in 2 different matches due to being late)

Red Cards : 11 (Plus also 2 players sent-off in dressing room for on field incident)

Hat-Tricks : 2

Matthew Tipton (Orangefield OB v Linfield, Linfield v Coleraine)

Penalties Missed/Saved : 7

Highest Scoring Match : 7 (Linfield 5-2 Coleraine, Falkirk 3-4 Hibernian AET)

Countries Seen Matches In : 5

England, Holland, Northern Ireland, Republic Of Ireland, Scotland

Teams Seen Play : 35

Australia (1st time), Azerbaijan, B36 Torshavn (1st time), Ballinamallard United (1st time), Ballymena United, Bangor, Cliftonville, Coleraine, Crusaders, Donegal Celtic, Dungannon Swifts, Falkirk (1st time), Fulham, Glenavon, Glentoran, Harland and Wolff Welders (1st time), Hibernian, Heart of Midlothian, Holland (1st time), Israel, Linfield, Lisburn Distillery, Luxembourg (1st time), Manchester United, Northern Ireland, Norwich City, Orangefield OB (1st time), Portadown, Queens Park Rangers (1st time), Rangers, Reading (1st time), Rosenborg, Shamrock Rovers (1st time), Scotland, Tobermore United (1st time)

Competitions Watched : 11

County Antrim Shield, European Cup, FA Premier League, Irish Cup, Irish League, Irish League Championship 1, Scottish Cup, Scottish Premier League, Setanta Cup, UEFA Cup, World Cup,

Stadiums Visited : 20

Amsterdam Arena, Ballyskeagh, Clandeboye Park, Craven Cottage (1st time), Cregagh Sports Ground (1st time), Easter Road, Ferney Park (1st time), Hampden Park, Ibrox (1st time), Loftus Road (1st time), Mourneview Park, Old Trafford, Seaview, Shamrock Park, Stangmore Park, Solitude, Tallaght Stadium (1st time), The Oval, Tillysburn Park (1st time), Windsor Park,

SHAMROCK ROVERS 4-1 LINFIELD 4.3.2013

Was in Dublin last night for the Setanta Cup match between Shamrock Rovers and Linfield, as Linfield had saw their last possible chance of a trophy this season disappear.

It was only my second Setanta Cup away game, my only other one being a trip to Bohemians in 2010. My main reason for wanting to go to this game was that i’d never been to Tallaght Stadium.

I’d been to four other stadiums in Dublin (Tolka Park, Dalymount Park, Richmond Park, Lansdowne Road) for matches, as well as visiting Whitehall Stadium (I was staying in a nearby hotel) meaning that the UCD Bowl is the only football stadium in Dublin I haven’t attended a match at.

When I was at the Bohemians game, I had the opportunity to go to Tallaght Stadium, as I was staying over on the Friday night and was going to take in a game that night. I chose to go to St Patrick’s Athletic v Sporting Fingal, which finished 0-0.

Shamrock Rovers match that night against UCD finished 0-0, so I couldn’t kick myself.

I was surprised it wasn’t brought forward to Saturday lunchtime, given the fact that Linfield had a free Saturday, but the evening kick-off was managable, leaving Belfast at half four.

I arrived at the ground 1 minute before kick-off due to being an a slow bus, which was a pity, as I would have liked to have had a wee look around the ground before kick-off.

I did find it a bit odd that Tallaght Stadium didn’t have stands behind the goal. Nice wee stadium, typical of modern newbuilds.

For all Shamrock Rovers possession, Linfield kept them at bay, until a series of self inflicted defensive mistakes saw the hosts go 1-0 up.

William Murphy needlessly climbed on his opponent to concede a free-kick, which was palmed out by Ross Glendenning for Shamrock Rovers to take the lead. From there, there was only one winner.

A second came before half-time. Linfield’s record of bottling it in the big games this season continues.

Linfield started the second-half better, not that it was hard, but never really had Shamrock Rovers under pressure, but pulled a goal back through Billy Joe Burns.

A 2-1 defeat wouldn’t have been the worst result in the context of a two legged game, especially being 2-0 down at half-time, though for that to become important, that would have had meant Linfield would have needed to win 1-0, and keeping a clean sheet is an alien concept.

Two further Shamrock Rovers goals killed the game off, and the tie.

To add further insult to injury, Linfield missed a penalty in stoppage time, with a 4-2 defecit could have made the tie more alive.

Got an ok shooting position and some ok shots. Would have been nice if Linfield’s players had got some shots on target.

Now I have six weeks of playing for 3rd to look forward to.

Photo Album

 

2010 IN PICTURES – APRIL

April was a busy month, and I have photographic evidence to back it up, including trips to Dublin, Sheffield, Manchester and Liverpool.

I headed to Dublin at the start of the month to see Linfield take on Bohemians in a Setanta Cup Semi-Final.

The game was on Easter Saturday, but I decided to take Good Friday off and head down to make a wee break of it.

I spent the Friday in Dublin and took in a League of Ireland clash between St Patrick’s Athletic and Sporting Fingal in the evening, before the Linfield match on the Saturday.

One big regret of the month was that I didn’t take my camera to the Easter Tuesday title decider against Glentoran, but two days later, I was in Sheffield watching James in concert at Sheffield O2 Academy.

The next day, I headed to Manchester, before spending the Saturday in Liverpool and then going to Ewood Park on the Sunday.

A few weeks later, I had an unexpected week off work and became a tourist in my own city, and managed to get some intersting graffiti shots.

The end of the month, saw Linfield visit Seaview to take on Crusaders in a game where Noel Bailie made his 1,000th appearance for Linfield, which was commemorated with a banner.

A win for Linfield that day would have secured the title, but a 0-0 draw meant that champagne was on ice.

A 1-0 win over Cliftonville on the following Tuesday night meant Linfield were champions, and I had my camera there to capture.

Dublin Blog

Sheffield/Manchester/Liverpool Blog

James Review

James Photos

Linfield Champions 2010 Photos

DUBLIN

With Linfield being drawn away to Bohemians in the Setanta Cup and the game being held on a Saturday, I thought that this would be a good opportunity to head down to Dublin for a weekend.

The fact that the game was a 12.30pm kick-off would have meant getting on a bus for 8am, so it gave me even more of an excuse to head down on the Friday and stay overnight.

After getting the train down and checking into my hotel, I then headed to the Temple Bar district where I was staying, taking advantage to look around some of the markets that were up and running.

The last time I was in Dublin, i’d stayed in the outskirts of the city, and as a result, mostly spent my time in the main crowded touristy places, so it was good to see another part of the city, and what it offered.

Of course, the camera was packed and the eye was set to look out for graffiti and Dublin didn’t disappoint.

My favourite was one drawn in chalk commenting on art, but notable worthy mentions for A Bicycle, Spok, A Monkey, Hysteria, and one mocking people from Cavan.

That evening, I decided to take in the delights of the Airtricity League, and the match between St Patrick’s Athletic and Sporting Fingal.

St Pat’s are an established club in the league, and were looking to take advantage of Bohs inactivity to go top of the league against newly promoted Fingal, formed only two years ago.

The match took an age to really get going, and for all the huff and puff of both teams, it finished goal-less. It wasn’t a bad goal-less draw, but in reality, for all the possession and situations, neither side really looked like scoring.

So, come Saturday, up bright and early to head down to Dalymount Park for the lunchtime kick-off.

I entered the ground about 50-60 minutes before kick-off, and I was amazed by how poor the facilities were.

I’d been to Dalymount Park last year, but was in the Jodi Stand, on the other side, and the facilities seemed OK, but the end were Linfield fans were situated in was accessed via a narrow alleyway, and the turnstiles were like relics of the 1960s.

It could have taken just 1 person to get frustrated by the arrangements for a situation to develop. Thankfully, it didn’t.

The match itself was a disapppointing 2-1 defeat, with the game changing on a harsh red card for Linfield’s Markus Kane.

The away goal, and the performance certainly gives hope that the situation can be rectified in the second leg.

I’d planned to stay in Dublin for the afternoon and get the 7pm train but the constant rain made the decision to get an earlier train home an easy one.

Next up, is a trip to the North of England as part of April’s STLFTEM, where I received some good news on the ticketing front.

I managed to get tickets arranged for the Blackburn v United game at Ewood Park next Sunday, while I also got lucky by managing to be successful in getting tickets for a Five Live show debating the future of Liverpool and Everton.

Still undecided about wether to head to Bramall Lane for Sheffield United v Coventry, but most definately looking forward to seeing James at Sheffield Academy.

Meanwhile, got May sorted for STLFTEM with a ticket for Echo and the Bunnymen at Custom House Square., which is on the same day as the Irish Cup Final.

No pressure Mr Jeffrey, but you’d better not cock-up the semi-final.

Meanwile, June’s STLFTEM has been sorted with Tegan and Sara at Mandela Hall.

Until then, enjoy some photos from Dublin