Friday, December 24, 2010

Chris Shields Interview

Okay, First of Chris thanks for taking time to speak to The LoI Interview Show

No problem

Okay so this year has been very up-down for Bray, who up to towards the end of the season looked to be "Doing a Derby" until Eddie Gormley left and Pat Devlin took over when you pulled off the remarkable feat of staying up via the play-offs, what did you think?

Ah Eddie can’t get all of the blame, as a team we weren’t performing well, but I suppose Pat made a big difference when he took over along with Keith Long and they did a brilliant job to keep us up

Yes and you yourself had a remarkable finish to the season starting with an own-goal against Monaghan and then within an hour of that scoring the winning penalty in the shoot-out how did it feel not only when you scored both stunning goals, but also when Jake Kelly saved your reputation in-between?

Streakers invade the pitch, oh wait it's just an ecstatic Chris Shields
Ha ha ye it was absolute madness, stuff you only see in a film. When the own goal went in I just felt absolute dejection [I] was near going to ask to be taken off, when Jake scored it was like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders myself and Daire Doyle went off on our own little celebration. But when the peno went in there was no better feeling in the world

Then you won Young Player of the Year award for Bray, and as we all know many a great player has won that in there time was that really the icing on the cake to end the season?

I was absolutely chuffed with that, yes like u said it was the icing on the cake, really I wasn’t expecting it because of the amount of young players who had a good year like Shane O’Neil, Jake Kelly and Dave Webster so I was delighted

Now lets talk a little about the bad things about this year, in the Monaghan game fans got onto the pitch in an all too easy manner when both goals were scored do you think that with better security in the LoI they could have stopped that from happening?

em No I think the security is ok, but u have to look at the game that it happened, like there was no way anybody was going to stop the bray supporters getting on the pitch after the year we’ve had, and the Monaghan fans was just unfortunate

I suppose, well now lets stay on the subject of the stadium. The League title has been won at the Carlisle in the last 2 years, how long do you reckon it could be until the Home team wins the trophy at that ground??

ha-ha em I don’t know, we’re definitely not afraid of the bigger teams anyway looking at the points we took off rovers Bohs and pats this year, but its a bit early to be talking about that

Okay, well at the start of this year up to a week before the season started it looked like you would be in Ireland's second tier, do you think that could have been one of the main factors of your bad early season form?

I think it was a factor but not a huge one; there was a lot of chopping and changing throughout the season

Okay well lets get back to the happy stuff, do you reckon that results like your 0-0 draw in Dalier and your last day draw 2-2 with Rovers of the shamrock variety contributed to making the title race even more memorable than last years tight title race?

I suppose it affected it in some respect but so did other results like [Shamrock] Rovers and Fingal and Bohs and Galway. But I thought it was a fantastic end to the season going right to the last game

Okay and now lets talk about the FAI Cup were you disappointed with how that ended abruptly in the quarter finals?

I was disappointed but our main focus was always going to be on staying up, and anything in the cup was going to be a bonus

Okay well we're almost out of time our last question is a very random, non-football related question, what's your favourite movie?

Step brothers. Pure genius

We would like to thank Chris for his time as well as wishing you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS

Donagh :P

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Morton to Dalymount, Fingal's Stadium Story

Fans sit quite far away from the players, as you can see here

Morton Stadium, even saying the name aloud causes shudders around the football loving faithful in the League of Ireland. 

Fans travel from all over the country to sit in the seats, higher and farther away from the pitch than any other stadium in Ireland's highest tier. Even players won't miss it as we found out when I spoke to Darren Quigley. Morton has a lovely playing surface, one of the best. I'm not sure I will miss it as I, and nearly all players, hate running tracks around pitches. It's OK if balls are flying back on after going out of play but that's not the case. Some times we build momentum and then it may take 30-45 seconds to take a throw in. 

I won't miss it, no.

The running track, ruining view for fans
Fingal were founded late in 2007, and were launched in 2008, and up until an agreement was made yesterday (the 22nd of December 2010) played all of their home games in The LoI at Morton Stadium, Santry.

Morton doesn't meet UEFA grade 2 standards, which means it couldn't host Fingal's home European Games.

Fans and players did not seem happy with a dreaded running track halting fans view of the pitch, which has caused havoc at even Europe's biggest stadiums.
I don't know what sort of fan numbers we will have now but one thing for sure is that any Fingal fan travelling to the games will now feel a closer relationship to the players. This can only be a good move considering the running track around Morton distanced the player and fan interaction.

It only annoys people at one other LoI Stadium, Waterford United's RSC.

Fingal have many fond memories at the stadium however which almost outweighs its problems  My favourite moment from Morton personally was the Fingal v Bray 1st promotion play off leg. Conditions were awful, match should never have been played but it was and I did well to give us a clean sheet going to Bray.

As a team, my definite favourite was 2-0 down at HT to Rovers in the 1/4 final of FAI Cup. Coming back to draw and then going on to win the cup, that was the real moment we knew we could win the cup.

Yesterday it was announced that Sporting Fingal had reached an agreement with Bohemians FC to Ground Share Ireland's most famous LoI stadium; Dalymount Park, which houses Bohemians FC.

Fingal have played at "Dalier" 3 times already, once as the designated home team against CS Maritimo in The UEFA Europa League 2nd Round of qualifying. 

Will This be a good move for Fingal??? We'll have to wait and see.

That's all folks,
Donagh :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ireland's Loss Is Aussie's Gain

Yesterday (18th December 2010) it was confirmed via Facebook that the duo of Paul Byrne (Recently released from St. Patrick’s) and Michael Kelly (UCD) will be leaving the LoI to go to sunny Australia, and more importantly Melbourne with no clubs yet confirmed.

Their Status’s were updated between 16:00 and 16:05 yesterday. Kelly’s read: “one way flight to Australia booked just now, adrenaline pumpin doin it!


While Byrne’s was along the lines of: “Just booked a one way ticket to Australia......Scary!!


When asked about the move Paul Byrne had this to say to Josh Dolan: A few personal things are the main reason for moving over, I decided I needed a fresh start and the opportunity to go to Australia came up, and my phone hasn’t been ringing off the hook with offers from within the league of Ireland so it was an easy decision really"


The opportunities for pro football are few and far between in Australia, with only 11 teams in the league at this moment in time, but it is rapidly rising I will be starting out playing in a provincial league side, but I would love if I got the chance to move to the A league at some stage while I’m there


This move comes as a shock to all LoI fans as Byrne did help Pat’s to a 5th place finish in the league which [If clubs struggle financially] could see them qualify for Europe, scoring many goals and providing many assists. “Yeah I had a good run for a couple of months alright , the injury was unfortunate and in all honesty the way it was dealt with was the most upsetting thing , in my opinion I could have got back playing far sooner with the proper attention but these things happen and I probably didn’t help myself at times either


Settling in may be a problem for the Dublin-based duo but Paul Byrne isn’t to worried. “I haven’t lived away from home before so I could end up starving to death in the first couple weeks but I’m sure there will be nice restaurants near me somewhere


When asked about his long term future in the country Byrne had this to say: “I’m not sure what will happen, I’ve a visa for a year there so at least that amount of time anyway


Still no word has come out of the Kelly camp, but when he gets back to us or makes a public statement we will have it right here, on The League of Ireland Interview Show. SO WATCH THIS SPACE


Thanks to Josh Dolan very much for the interview and thank you to Mr. Paul Byrne and we wish you the best for the future.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sydney FC - The Club

Taken From Wikipedia:

Sydney FC, founded in 2004, is a professional football (soccer) club based in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia and competes in the country's premier football (soccer) competition, the A-League. Sydney FC were inaugural winners of the A-League in 2006 and are considered as one of the most successful teams in Australia having won two national A-League Championships (2006 and 2010) and one Premiers' Plate[ (2010). Covertly, Sydney also remain the only A-League team to have won the OFC Champions League as since 2006, competing A-League teams have gained qualification to the AFC Champions League instead, in which Sydney has also competed finishing 2nd in the group stage of the 2007 season of the tournament and will also compete in the 2011 season. Having won titles in the W-League and in theNational Youth League Sydney hold the distinction of being the only club in the A-League to have won all 3 competitions.
Its home ground is Sydney Football Stadium, a 45,500 seat multi-use venue in the suburb of Moore Park. Right from the beginning Sydney FC was marketed as the "glamour club" of the new competition, with the involvement of the club's high-profile personnel, including investor and actor Anthony LaPaglia, ex-Manchester Unitedstar Dwight Yorke as the team's first "marquee player" and 1990 FIFA World Cup winner Pierre Littbarski as manager in the first season. Sydney went on to sign Former English International defender Terry Butcher as the 2006–07 season coach, Brazilian superstar midfielder Juninho Paulista in the 2007–08 season, and Socceroos legend John Aloisi as striker in their 2008–09 season, with each as the highest paid footballer in Australia in their respective seasons. Strikers Benito Carbone of Italy, and Japanese legend Kazuyoshi Miura have also made appearances in the sky blue jersey.

Colours etc.

The primary club colour of Sydney FC is sky blue, which represents the state colour of New South Wales. The secondary club colour is navy blue, with additional contrasting colours of orangeand white.

Sydney FC's Home Jersey worn against Everton

he Sydney FC badge was created and used since the clubs founding in 2004. It features a football set centrally in a stylised crest shape. Above the ball is the shape of three shells of theSydney Opera House, an internationally recognisable symbol of the city of Sydney. Below the ball is the Commonwealth Star, a seven-pointed star symbolising the Federation of Australia.

Sydney's Sydney Football Stadium

Sydney FC play their home matches at Sydney Football Stadium (commonly known as SFS, and formerly known as Aussie Stadium), located in the Sydney suburb of Moore Park. It was built in 1988 to be the premium "rectangular field" for rugby league matches. It is also now used for association football and rugby union for major matches and domestic competition.
The stadium has easy access from the city centre, with shuttle buses running from nearby Central Station on match days. It has been the venue for several Australian international matches (notably World Cup Qualifier against Argentina in 1993). The stadium's capacity was stated at 41,159 prior to renovations in 2007, although the attendance of the 2006 A-League grand final exceeded this number by over 500. The currently stated capacity is 45,500.
Sydney FC have played matches at other Sydney venues. Parramatta Stadium in western Sydney was the venue for an AFC Champions League match against Indonesian football side Persik Kediri in April 2007 when the SFS was unavailable due to a NRL match being played there. A friendly match against LA Galaxy was played at ANZ Stadium in November 2007 due to its greater capacity, which drew a crowd of 80,295. Some argue that if the home stadium of Sydney FC was moved to the ANZ Stadium in Homebush Bay, then it would attract much larger crowds, making it an easier travel distance from the stadium to the south and south-west districts of Sydney. However, the FFA has said they would like a separate team in Western Sydney.