Sunday, August 29, 2010

Stokes makes Celtic switch

Hibernian have agreed a fee with Celtic for Ireland striker Anthony Stokes, according to Sky Sports News.

Neil Lennon admitted he was keen to bring the former Sunderland man to Celtic Park earlier this week and could be getting his man by Monday.

Dublin born Stokes, who scored 23 goals last season, turned out during Hib's 1-0 defeat to St Mirren on Sunday and his manager John Hughes believed the unfolding transfer affected the stikers' performance.

"I felt he was poor, but I can understand it with everything on his mind," said Hughes.

"Sometimes you play on emotions and if it was to be his last game I thought he might go out with a bang, but it didn't materialise."

Friday, August 27, 2010

West Ham enter the hunt for Marc Wilson

SSN are reporting that West Ham have now entered the race to sign Portsmouth captain Marc Wilson.

The 23-year-old Irish international defender is subject to interest from a number of top-flight sides, with West Brom having already had a £3million bid turned down.

Fulham are also keen, while Stoke are thought to be lining up a player-plus-cash deal for the defender - with Dave Kitson and Liam Lawrence discussing moves in the opposite direction - estimated to be worth around £3.5m.

But Avram Grant's West Ham have now also made an approach, as they are eager to shore up a leaky defence which has already conceded six goals in their opening two Premier League defeats.

Pompey boss Steve Cotterill previously admitting he would be powerless to prevent the County Antrim born defender from leaving Fratton Park if the club receive the right offer

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Andy Keogh to Cardiff

Wolves mananger Mick McCarthy has revealed that Irish striker Andy Keogh is to join Cardiff City.

McCarthy left the Dublin born reland international out of his side's 2-1 Carling Cup win over Southend on Tuesday so the player is not cup-tied.

"It's a racing certainty that Andy will be going to Cardiff," said McCarthy.

Keogh, 24, will join Bluebirds signings Craig Bellamy, Seyi Olofinjana, Danny Drinkwater, Jason Koumas, Lee Naylor and Tom Heaton in south Wales.

Keogh has scored 49 goals in 180 competitive appearances for Leeds, Scunthorpe, Bury and Premier League Wolves since 2004 and is now set to join the Bluebirds bid to win promotion from the Championship.

McCarthy told Wolves' website: "He didn't want to be cup tied and Cardiff didn't want him to be cup tied and it was a chance for us to give Ashley Hemmings a game [against Southend].

"Andy has been fabulous here both for me and this football club. It's a good move for him to go to Cardiff and good luck to him.

"He wants to play football and doesn't want to be fourth in line here which I can fully understand.

"It was my decision to let him go but he goes with our best wishes and warmest regards."

Keogh has scored 49 goals in 180 competitive appearances for Leeds, Scunthorpe, Bury and Wolves.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Marc Wilson still in West Brom sights

West Brom manager Roberto Di Matteo has not ruled out a renewed bid for Ireland international Marc Wilson but he admits that it will be difficult to force a deal when Portsmouth are not willing to sell their most promising player.

Pompey boss Steve Cotterill revealed last week that his club had rejected a bid from the Premier League Baggies for his County Antrim born captain, with having broken the news earlier in August.

Wilson has been excellent for Portsmouth in the opening matches of this season and his versatility makes him an attractive prospect for top-flight new boys West Brom.

Di Matteo has remained evasive when questioned about the possibility of making another approach for Wilson but he does acknowledge that Cotterill is unlikely to sell one of his best players.

"We made an offer for Wilson and it's been rejected," the West Brom boss told the Birmingham Mail. "As he is not our player I won't comment too much on it.

"It's difficult to say what will happen because if a club doesn't want to sell we can't do much."

Friday, August 20, 2010

Shane Duffy gets Irish green light

The Football Association of Ireland announced today that Derry's Shane Duffy has been declared eligible to play for Ireland.

Duffy's change of association had been held up by the IFA who had brought a case to the Court Of Arbitration For Sport in an attempt to try and block Irish citizens born in the North of Ireland from representing Ireland at international level.

The CAS Panel dismissed the IFA appeal against Belfast born player Daniel Kearns and confirmed the decision issued by the Single Judge of the FIFA Players’ Status Committee, which recognized that he was fully eligible to play for the national team of Ireland.

FAI statement:

The FIFA Player Status Committee passed its decision today to allow the player represent the national team of the FAI. Having considered the submission made by the FAI and the request from the player, the Single Judge of the Player Status Committee concluded that Shane Duffy is eligible to play for the FAI based on his Irish Nationality and the fact he had never represented the IFA’s association team at ‘A’ International Level previous to the application.

Ireland squad named for Euro qualifiers

Ireland assistant manager, Marco Tardelli, today announced a 25 man squad who will take on Armenia away and Andorra at home in the opening Group B European Championship qualifiers.

Marco Tardelli said, “We go into this double header of qualifiers well prepared and confident having held a successful training camp in May and played a number of competitive and challenging friendly matches over the summer. Playing Armenia in Yerevan will be a tough test for the team but when we return to play our first competitive home game four days later, we hope to go to Aviva stadium having made a positive start to the campaign. ”

Ireland squad to face Armenia and Andorra:


Shay Given, Keiren Westwood, Joe Murphy.


John O'Shea, Richard Dunne, Sean St Ledger, Greg Cunningham, Kevin Foley, Stephen Kelly, Paul McShane , Darren O'Dea, Kevin Kilbane.


Glenn Whelan, Darron Gibson, Paul Green, Liam Lawrence, Aiden McGeady, Andy Keogh, Damien Duff, Keith Fahey, Keith Treacy.


Robbie Keane, Kevin Doyle, Shane Long.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Darron Gibson to Stoke?

Stoke City are reported to have made an enquiry to sign Manchester United and Ireland midfielder Darron Gibson on a six-month loan deal.

The Derry born international has been targeted by Potters boss Tony Pulis as he looks to bolster his midfield before the transfer window closes in a couple of weeks.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson views Gibson as a key member of his squad but could be persuaded to let him leave on a temporary basis to ensure he gets more first-team action.

It would be a major coup for Stoke if they were to land the 22-year-old, who scored an impressive five goals in all competitions for United last season.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Stephen Hunt ready to repay McCarthy's faith

Ireland’s Stephen Hunt won Player of the Year in his previous two seasons at both Reading and Hull. But he hopes he won’t make it a treble at Wolves – after both clubs were relegated in the same season.

Hunt is the only one of boss Mick McCarthy’s summer signings who hasn’t played for his new club yet and it is likely to be October before he finally makes his debut.

But hopes are high that the Portlaoise born winger will have a similar impact on Wolves that he had on his the Royals and the Tigers – and quickly banish any thoughts of a struggle against the drop.

“I didn’t think anyone was going to pick up on that!” said the 29-year-old when asked about the statistic.

“It’s been frustrating to win Player of the Season and get relegated twice. “Perhaps it’s a bad omen but we’ll see how we go here.”

Maybe Hull would have stayed up had Hunt been fit after suffering a foot injury from a Ronald Zubar challenge against Wolves in January.

“The last two and a half months of the season were out of my hands really,” said Hunt, whose six goals up to that point made him Hull’s top scorer.

“It was very frustrating but Hull were very good about the whole situation and with what I wanted to do, so I thank them for that.”

Now relieved to be among more faces he knows at Wolves, Hunt, who signed a three-year deal at Molineux, believes familiarity can breed success as Wolves look to build on last season’s 15th-placed finish.

Married to Kevin Doyle’s cousin, Hunt forms a former Reading quartet with Doyle, Marcus Hahnemann and Greg Halford.

He also rooms with Andy Keogh on Ireland trips, from where he also knows Kevin Foley, while he has bumped into fellow Irishman Stephen Ward enough times to call him a friend and has played against most Wolves players.

“I’ve got an awful lot of friends here, which helped me settle in,” said Hunt.

“Kevin and Marcus are obvious ones, but there’s Andy and Kevin Foley I know through Ireland and I’ve met Stephen a few times so I know him very well.”

After failing with four bids rising to £5m in January, Wolves’ faith in Hunt was amplified by signing him when he was still three months away from being fit following the complicate foot injury.

It was some statement – and the 29-year-old is anxious to repay McCarthy.

“They came in when I’m not fit which shows they’ve got so much faith in me,” he said.

“They really wanted me which made me really want to come here – but I always wanted to come here anyway.”

With Matt Jarvis adapted to the Premier League and Michael Kightly nearing full fitness again, Hunt knows to battle for his place.

But confidence is not something he is short of and the bubbly character believes his all-action as well as his goal threat will impress at Wolves.

“I’ve got competition because a few of the lads finished last season strongly and they did a good job so I’ve got to get my head down and do my bit,” he said.

“The players who played last season will get better this time too because they have had the experience of a year at this level.

“But we need to add to it as well and hopefully I can do my bit.

“When you play midfield in the modern game you have to have a bit of everything.

“Hopefully I can score the same amount of goals if not more once I stay injury-free.

“I want to set up a few goals for Kevin Doyle or whoever is playing up front and to get plenty of crosses into the box, that’s my job really.”

Having played together at Reading for four years, Doyle is looking forward to linking up with him again.

“As well as his qualities on the pitch, he’ll be a boost off the pitch as well because he’s lively and a very good fellow,” said the striker.

“He’ll be good for keeping everyone positive as well as playing well on the pitch.

“We had a lot of success at Reading – he’s a good player and he’s easy for team-mates to play with.”

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cunningham pens new 4 year City deal

Ireland and Manchester City defender Greg Cunningham has signed a new four-year contract with the club.

The 19-year-old left-back has been staking his claim in the senior squad at Eastlands since January and has impressed manager Roberto Mancini enough to earn a new deal.

Galway native Cunningham admits he is delighted to have put pen to paper, and has ambitions of breaking into the first team in the not-too-distant future.

"I'm delighted to have signed a new deal with City," he told the club's official website.

"Now I need to impress the manager as much as I can and get as much game time as I can, too.

"I've been working hard and it's been an unbelievable year for me so far. To get this new deal sorted and win my first full cap for my country has exceeded all my expectations."

Ireland international Cunningham has earned a couple of call-ups in his short career to date and loves representing his country.

He added: "To play at any level for Ireland is an honour but to play a full game against Algeria and then another 30 minutes against Argentina recently is a dream come true."

Monday, August 16, 2010

Liam Irwin looking to follow in father's Ireland footsteps

A quick glance of Liam Irwin controlling a football confirms that the Ireland U-19 international is a chip off the old block.

So calm and composed in possession, the Bolton Wanderers midfielder has all the hallmarks you would expect from the son of former Manchester United and Ireland star Denis Irwin.

Denis' career started slowly -- he was released by Leeds United as a teenager -- but the Corkman went on to become one of the most decorated players in the English game.

Should Liam's dad ever be challenged to 'show us your medals', the chances are he would impress whoever is asking. His haul includes seven Premier League successes, a Champions League win, a Cup Winners Cup victory, three FA Cup triumphs, one League Cup, one Inter-continental Cup and one UEFA Super Cup.

Sean McCaffrey handed Irwin Jnr his Irish U-19 debut against the Ukraine last week.

"Dad gives me advice all the time and he just wants me to do well," said Liam.

"He has a go at me when I've not done well and I do try to listen to him. Obviously, I have to consider how much he did as a player himself.

"I've not got many memories of him playing for Ireland, but I remember some of the friendly games in Dublin.

"I was at the 1994 World Cup, but I really don't remember it because I was so young."

The 18-year-old, who is a central midfielder rather than a full-back, like his father, was delighted to finally make his debut for Ireland.

"Anybody would want to play on the international stage, but I never really thought about it until this season," he said.

"It felt different to an English club game. I had more time on the ball and I thought it went well."

After an unsuccessful trial at Manchester United, Liam ended up signing for Bolton and has progressed into the reserves.

The youngster's target this season is to do well enough to secure a professional contract at the end of the campaign.

"Owen Coyle hasn't spoken to me directly, but I got feedback that he was happy for me and said I deserved it.

"He saw me in the Youth Cup last season and apparently he's happy with how I'm doing," said Liam.

Ireland U-19 manager McCaffrey was impressed with Irwin Jnr's display against the Ukrainians.

"Liam was so neat and tidy with the ball. He has a great touch, great awareness and a great range of passing," said McCaffrey.

"He's a light wee cub, but I'm sure he will get stronger."

Sunday, August 15, 2010

O'Dea set for Ipswich loan move

Ipswich are reportedly set for a loan move for Celtic and Ireland defender Darren O'Dea.

The Dublin born international is not set to be a first choice in manager Neil Lennon's defence this season, and he is looking to gain first-team football.

The 23-year-old has already played at Championship level after a spell at Reading last season, and is due in Suffolk on Monday to agree terms over a spell under form Hoops man Roy Keane at Portman Road.

O'Dea has fallen down the pecking order at Celtic Park, with Swedish defender Daniel Majstorovic set to arrive form AEK Athens, and Lennon has admitted he wanted to see the player take the opportunity to gain more experience.

"He doesn't want to be a squad player, he wants to play and I can't guarantee him that," said Lennon.

"Ipswich have made an enquiry to take him on loan so there is a possibility he will be down there on Monday.

"Ipswich have given him the opportunity to go and play and I think it will be good for him to get some games under his belt because we're bringing in other people allied to the ones we've got."

Friday, August 13, 2010

McGeady completes Spartak move

Ireland winger Aiden McGeady has completed his £9.5m switch from Celtic to Spartak Moscow and agreed a four-and-half-year contract with the Russian club.

The 24-year-old Ireland midfielder is the most expensive ever export from Scottish football.

"It's what he wanted to do and sometimes you can't stand in the way of that," said Celtic boss Neil Lennon.

"It's a huge offer and I think it's the right offer. It's good business for Spartak and good business for us."

McGeady's departure will provide Lennon with funds to bolster his squad and may see Celtic revive their interest in McGeady's fellow Ireland international, Stoke winger Liam Lawrence.

Speaking on Thursday, the manager expressed sadness at losing such a talented player.

"I'm sorry to lose him, he is one of the entertainers in the game," said Lennon.

"We'll probably miss out on his peak years but he came to us and said that he felt at the end of the season it would be better for him to move on.

"It's difficult to stand in the way of someone who doesn't want to be here."

"I'm sure it's going to be a big hole. But it's up to someone to step up to the plate and fill it.

Spartak, managed by former Russian World Cup star Valery Karpin, lie in eighth position in the Russian Premier League, having won only five of their 15 matches.

Conor Clifford looking for Chelsea experience

Ireland u21 international Conor Clifford is looking to finalise a new contract with Chelsea after Carlo Ancelotti delayed a loan move so he can stay with the first team until Christmas.

The highly-rated Dubliner, who captained last year's FA Youth Cup-winning team, had expected to be sent out for first-team experience in this transfer window but Blues manager Ancelotti wants the midfielder to stick around.

"When I go back I'm looking to sign a new contract," said Clifford, who was a member of the Irish U-21 team that enjoyed a 5-0 win over Estonia on Tuesday night. "I've been involved in a few pre-season games and Ancelotti doesn't want me to go on loan yet. He wants me to stay and train with the first team and get experience -- maybe then go out at Christmas.

"My contract is up at the end of the season, so I'm looking at sorting out a contract when I go back."

Clifford admits that the idea of going elsewhere to play senior games did appeal, but he views Ancelotti's decision as a positive with a view towards his long-term prospects.

"I was expecting to do my pre-season and then go out straightaway, but the gaffer didn't want me to do that so I was delighted," said the 18-year-old. "It's good to stay around and train with the best players in the world."

Chelsea are under pressure to promote youngsters from their academy, after investing heavily in youth development in recent years.

They are struggling to find their quota of eight home-grown players for their Premier League squad of 25. Clifford now counts as home-grown, although he doesn't have to be included in the 25 as he is under the age of 21 and can, therefore, be drafted in at any stage.

New Ireland U-21 manager Noel King was thrilled with his team's performance and singled out Anthony Stokes' fine display.

"Anthony was involved in everything. It was an unbelievable performance," said King. "Anthony will be named in the squad for our next games against Switzerland and Turkey if he's not in the senior squad. It depends what happens with them."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ireland 0 Argentina 1

Argentina spoiled the party as international football returned to Lansdowne Road, with a controversial goal from Angel Di Maria giving the visitors a 1-0 win.

The winger lobbed Shay Given after 20 minutes at the new Aviva Stadium, but was he offside when Gonzalo Higuain flicked on Sergio Romero's goal-kick.

Despite the loss, there was still enough to please Giovanni Trapattoni as he recovers from stomach surgery in the Mater Hospital, notably an impressive debut from substitute Keith Treacy.

The Italian will not worry too much about losing momentum for the opening European Championship qualifiers if, as expected, he is fit enough to take his place on the bench.

Following a rousing pre-match reception, Keane endured a tough night on the pitch, but could have made up for it if he had not uncharacteristically spurned a late chance.

The streets around Ballsbridge and Sandymount thronged with green before the game as international football turned to Dublin 4.

With Marco Tardelli replacing Trapattoni in charge, Ireland worked hard but could not provide the guile to match the endeavour.

Messi gave the 45,200 fans a glimpse of his talents as early as the ninth minute when he skipped past John O'Shea, but his lob sailed over the bar.

His opposite number had his first shot in anger moments later, but could not find the target after Cillian Sheridan, who replaced Kevin Doyle, had out-jumped Javier Mascherano and Martin Demichelis.

Ireland were fortunate not to go behind in the 14th minute when Paul McShane was caught out by Mascherano's cross-field pass. Fortunately, the defender recovered to block Di Maria's cross.

But Ireland did not heed that warning and fell behind on 20 minutes, albeit in controversial circumstances with an offside in the build-up to the goal.

O'Shea went missing as Higuain flicked on Sergio Romero's goal-kick to Di Maria, who was standing in an offside position. The winger lifted the ball over a stranded Given as Ireland waited for a flag that never came.

Ireland improved after the restart and two quick touches from Keane took him past Demichelis on backline, but his cross evaded Fahey and Sheridan.

However, at the other end, Messi picked out substitute Diego Milito and Dunne and O'Shea scrambled to snuff out the danger.

The crowd welcomed on Andy Keogh and Greg Cunningham for the tiring Sheridan and Kevin Kilbane.

After more changes from both sides, Damien Duff drew a comfortable save from Romero following Keane's lay-off. The effort seemed to lift a crowd that had grown weary with Argentina's grip on possession.

Given was a spectator for much of the second half but got down to stop powerful drive from Fernando Gago.

The numerous substitutions broke up the pattern of the game, but Treacy's late cameo offers hope for the future.

He was straight into the action as he raced down the left wing, his cross found Andy Keogh at the front post, but the striker could only divert the ball over the bar.

Ireland pushed hard for an equaliser in a frantic final five minutes. The chance to cap a perfect night for Keane came and went when he missed an attempted overhead kick with the goal at his mercy.

Republic of Ireland: 1 Given; 2 McShane, 4 O'Shea, 5 Dunne, 3 Kilbane (20 Cunningham '57); 7 Fahey (18 Treacy '77), 6 Green, 8 Andrews (15 Gibson '68), 11 Duff; 9 Sheridan (17 Keogh '57), 10 Keane.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ireland 5-0 Estonia

Ireland 5-0 Estonia

Noel King began his reign as Ireland U-21 manager with an emphatic victory over Estonia in a European Championship qualifier this evening.

Stokes hit struck the opener in the 15th minute, the 22-year-old rifling a right-foot shot past Marko Meerits from 15 yards after turning inside Aleksei Jahhimovits.

Just before the half hour Stokes then cheekily chipped Meerits from the penalty spot after he had been brought down by Marek Kaljumae.

Stokes should have completed his hat-trick in the 55th minute, only to plant a header a yard over in meeting Owen Garvan's right-wing free-kick.

But the man of the match brilliantly played a part in the three goals that followed for Wigan midfielder James McCarthy, Everton defender Seamus Coleman and Crystal Palace midfielder Garvan.

Ireland team named for Argentina clash

The Ireland team to face Argentina at the Aviva Stadium on Wednesday evening has been named.

Manchester City goalkeeper Shay Given will start in goal, with a back four of Paul McShane, Richard Dunne, John O'Shea and Kevin Kilbane.

Across the middle will be Liam Lawrence, Keith Andrews, Paul Green and Damien Duff, whilst Robbie Keane and Kevin Doyle are in attack.

Dunne and Doyle are doubts, however, with knee and calf injuries respectively, so Darren O'Dea and Cillian Sheridan are on standby.

Assistant Marco Tardelli took the training on Tuesday, although he is hopeful Giovanni Trapattoni will be capable of taking charge of the game.

Tardelli said: 'I think everything is okay and he will be in the dugout. He is very strong.'

Ahead of his 100th cap for Ireland, captain Robbie Keane added: 'We are all hoping he will be fit.

'It won't be the same without him.'

Ireland : Given (Manchester City); McShane (Hull City), Dunne (Aston Villa)/O'Dea (Celtic), O'Shea (Manchester United), Kilbane (Hull City); Lawrence (Stoke City), Andrews (Blackburn Rovers), Green (Derby County), Duff (Fulham); Keane (Tottenham Hotspur), Doyle (Wolves)/Sheridan (Celtic).

Doyle hails legend Robbie Keane

Kevin Doyle has hailed Ireland strike partner Robbie Keane as one of the greats of Irish football.

Doyle is hoping to be fit to partner Keane in the first ever international match at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday when the opposition is provided by star-studded Argentina. The Irish captain will earn his 100th cap in the game and Doyle says that playing alongside him has only been a pleasure.

"He's just been a joy to play with to be honest," the Wolves man was quoted as saying by the Irish Independent.

"He's on 100 caps, it's unbelievable. Someone was asking is he now going to be up there with the top players, the (Liam) Bradys, the (Paul) McGraths. I think there is no doubt that he is.

"He's the record goal-scorer by more than double what anyone else has got. He's played in World Cups, he's scored in World Cups, there is not much more to achieve at international level.

“He's only 30, so he has plenty of time to get plenty more caps. He's the captain. For strikers especially, it's great to see how he trains, he prepares. He's someone you can follow, try and follow. In training, not just in matches, he works so hard. It means as much to him to win a five-a-side as a match.

"Little things like that you can take from players who have played at the highest level, get records like he has. It makes you realise you can't just breeze through it as a young player. You realise what the better players do and try and copy that, to be at that level yourself.”

Keane, though, has his share of critics, with some feeling he does not take enough chances but Doyle says fault can hardly be found in 43 goals in 99 games, and adds that the former Liverpool man would have had even more had he been playing for one of the world’s biggest nations.

Doyle added: "If you're playing for a Holland or a Spain, it's like playing for a Chelsea or a Manchester United; you're going to get more chances.

"In the top countries in Europe, I would imagine he has as good a strike rate as anyone."

Monday, August 9, 2010

Shay Given may consider City future

Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given has stated he will consider his future at Manchester City if he's not selected for the opening game of the new Barclays Premier League season against Tottenham Hotspur this weekend.

Given, who has recovered from a shoulder injury that saw him miss the final three games of last season, is in a battle with Joe Hart for the number one shirt at Eastlands and is considering a transfer or loan move if he's not picked this weekend.

Meanwhile, Ireland trained in Malahide this morning ahead of Wednesday's international against Argentina.

Richard Dunne, John O'Shea and Kevin Doyle sat out the session because of injury.

Aiden McGeedy has been given permission to miss the match as he closes in on a move to Spartak Moscow.

Liam Lawrence to complete Celtic move

Stoke and Ireland midfielder Liam Lawrence expects to complete his move to Celtic when fellow Ireland international Aiden McGeady finally leaves the Parkhead club.

McGeady will pen a four-year deal with Spartak Moscow this week and hand boss Neil Lennon an extra £9.5million towards his transfer kitty as he tries to reshape his squad ahead of the start of the SPL season.

Lawrence has been a long-time target of the Hoops and reckons his transfer will be given the green light when McGeady jets out to Russia.

He said: “Well, that’s what I’ve been told. I want a new challenge and, if it comes about, I will be chomping at the bit to achieve things at Celtic because they need to push this year and win things again.

“I have had some little bits of banter with Aiden as well.

“I spoke to him the other day and fired him a text because I knew he was off to Russia. I’m not telling you what I said though.

“It’s a massive, massive move for him and it’s an important decision both football-wise and for him and his missus.”

The capture of the Irish international will represent the next piece of the jigsaw for Lennon as he continues his summer rebuilding work.

And Lawrence insists the Hoops are still an attractive prospect despite their Champions League exit at the hands of Braga last week.

“I’m not one of those players who say they want to move because a club is in the Champions League,” he said.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Robbie Keane wins Irish player of the year award

Ireland's top international football stars were today honoured at the 20th FAI International Football Awards.

Ireland captain, Robbie Keane scooped the senior international player of the year award while his goal against France in the FIFA World Cup play-off in November was voted as the international goal of the year.

The young player award went to Manchester United's Darron Gibson while Seamus Coleman captured the U21 award as Lanre Oyebanjo was crowned the U19 player of the year.

The FAI International Player of the Year Award winners are:

Senior International Player of the Year:
Robbie Keane - Tottenham Hotspur

International Goal of the Year:
Robbie Keane - Tottenham Hotspur
France V Rep of Ireland, 18th November 2009

Young International Player of the Year:
Darron Gibson - Manchester United

Under 21 International Player of the Year
Seamus Coleman - Everton

Airtricity League Player of the Year:
Gary Twigg - Shamrock Rovers

Under 19 International Player of the Year:
Lanre Oyebanjo - Histon FC

Under 17 International Player of the Year:
Stephen McDonnell - Dundalk FC

Under 16 International Player of the Year:
John O'Sullivan - Blackburn Rovers

Senior Women's International Player of the Year:
Niamh Fahey - Arsenal

Friday, August 6, 2010

Ireland player of the year awards

Robbie Keane, Richard Dunne and Kevin Doyle will battle it out for the title of senior international player of the year at Sunday's 2010 FAI International Football Awards, it was announced today.

Darron Gibson, Aiden McGeady and Paul McShane have been nominated for the young player award.

The nominees for the International Goal of the Year are Glenn Whelan for his goal against Italy on October 10 last; Liam Lawrence’s strike against Australia in September 2009 and Robbie Keane strike against France in the World Cup play-off in Paris in November.


International Player of the Year
Robbie Keane
Richard Dunne
Kevin Doyle

International Goal of the Year
Glenn Whelan v Italy (10/10/2009)
Liam Lawrence v South Africa (08/09/2009)
Robbie Keane v France (18/11/2009)

Young International Player of the Year
Darron Gibson (Manchester United)
Aiden McGeady (Celtic)
Paul McShane (Hull City)

U21 International Player of the Year
Owen Garvan (Crystal Palace)
Alan Judge (Blackburn Rovers)
Seamus Coleman (Everton)

Airtricity League of Ireland Player of the Year
Paul Keegan (Bohemians)
Gary Twigg (Shamrock Rovers)
Rafael Cretaro (Bohemians)

U19 International Player of the Year
Lanre Oyebanjo (Histon FC)
Gavin Gunning (Blackburn Rovers)
Conor Clifford (Chelsea)

Under 17 International Player of the Year
Ciaran Gallagher (Finn Harps)
Stephen McDonnell (Dundalk)
Jeff Hendrick (Derby County)

U16 International Player of the Year
Shane Byrne (Leicester City)
John O’Sullivan (Belvedere)
Robert Maloney (St. Joseph Boys)

Senior Women’s International Player of the Year
Stefanie Curtis (Chelsea)
Aine O’Gorman (Peamount)
Niamh Fahy (Arsenal)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Marc Wilson looks to retain capataincy for new season

Ireland defender Marc Wilson revelled in his new-found responsibility at Portsmouth and insisted: I want the captaincy for keeps.

The County Antrim born Irishman was the surprise choice to lead Steve Cotterill's strongest side out for the pre-season friendly against Fulham last Saturday.

Despite being only 22, he was given the nod ahead of the likes of more senior players Michael Brown, Richard Hughes, Hayden Mullins, Tommy Smith and David Nugent.

For Wilson, it's recognition of the growing maturity from a player who in 12 months has established himself as a first-team regular.

The home-grown talent, who also skippered Pompey in Edmonton, has been one of four captains used during seven pre-season matches.

Wilson has also been called into Giovanni Trapattoni's Ireland squad for the friendly international against Argentina next week.

But Wilson is determined to cling on to that armband for Saturday's Championship opener at Coventry.

He said: 'The manager has been really good. He's just happy for me to go and play my game.

'He hasn't actually given me a reason why he's made me captain a couple of times during the pre-season.

'But I'm happy to accept the responsibility.

'I think it's a good chance for me and I think it will help me as well.

'It will help me mature as a player. It's giving me that responsibility of telling the other players what to do, talking to them, trying to gee them up.

'It's definitely a good opportunity for me and a bit of recognition, if you like.

'The captaincy means a lot to me because I love the club – I've been here seven years.

'I love doing it to be honest. I've been with this club since I was little and it's a privilege, it really is.

'I do a lot of talking and have been getting a sore throat shouting too many times! But it's all good and I'd love to keep it for the Coventry game.

'I just hope the players listen to what I am saying.'

Wilson grabbed the match-winner against Fulham during unquestionably Pompey's best performance of the pre-season.

Buoyed by the return of the likes of Kanu, John Utaka and Prince Boateng – plus Ibrahima Sonko's debut – it was a timely shot in the arm ahead of the trip to Coventry.

And Wilson is looking for Pompey to carry that form into the season ahead.

He added: 'I think that Fulham performance was probably the best of the pre-season, especially as it was against Premier League opposition.

'Fulham are a good team, they did really well last year and had a strong team out.

'We always knew it was going to be a difficult game – so to get the result was even better.

'To be honest, the trip to America took it out of the lads a little bit with all the travelling.

'Even when we came back we were jet-lagged for a long time, especially for the Bournemouth game when the lads were still struggling with it.

'I think we are now all getting back and that showed against Fulham.

'I'm looking forward to the start of the season now.

'There are some tough games ahead and we have to be ready for them.'

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Robbie Keane injury latest

The injury which ruled Robbie Keane out of Tottenham's pre-season trip to Portugal is not thought to be serious.

Keane reportedly sustained a knee problem, which meant he did not travel to Lisbon for Tuesday night's friendly against Benfica.

Ireland striker Keane has been repeatedly linked with a move away from White Hart Lane since spending the second half of last season on loan at Celtic.

Keane is due to celebrate his 100th international appearance for Ireland at the opening of The new Lansdowne Road stadium in Dublin on the 11th of August in a friendly international against Argentina.