Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ireland qualify for European U19 semi-finals

Paul Doolin's Ireland U19 side booked a semi-final showdown with tournament favourites Spain in the European Championship finals today, following a scoreless draw against hosts Romania.

Prior to the encounter both sides had hopes of advancing to the last four yet it was the 'Boys In Green' who held on to seal their place after a frantic second half failed to produce an opening. Paul Doolin's side face tournament favourites Spain on Friday for a place in the final.

Having suffered defeats in their previous two games, Romania were determined to put on a show in front of the home crowd. Lucian Burchel's side enjoyed a bright opening and went close on two occasions, with Ionuţ Năstăsie the source of the danger. First he drilled wide having cut into the area and then drew a save from Aaron McCarey from a similar position.

Ireland appeared to lack the energy they displayed during an opening win against Greece and their subsequent loss to the Czech Republic, but they nonetheless probed in search of an opener. With ten minutes of the half remaining, Conor Murphy and Anthony O'Connor combined well, the latter providing a cross for Joseph Shaughnessy, who headed wide. John Egan's subsequent effort from O'Connor's corner produced a similar result.

The teams increased the tempo significantly following the restart and after O'Connor had a goal ruled out for offside, Romania broke up the other end and struck the top of the crossbar. The action continued to flow and it was Ireland who almost stole in soon afterwards when Kevin Knight's pass to the far post just avoiding Connor Smith's outstretched boot.

Romario Benzar's goal-bound blast from distance in the 66th minute elicited a smart save from McCarey as Romania continued to seek an all-important goal. They were to be frustrated again when Egan headed Sebastian Remeş's effort off the line.

Group A

1 Czech Republic 9
2 Ireland 4
3 Greece 3
4 Romania 1

Ireland – Aaron McCarey; Matt Doherty, John Egan (C), Anthony O’Connor, Joe Shaugnessy; Jeff Hendrick, Samir Carruthers, John O’Sullivan, Sean Murray, Anthony Forde; Conor Murphy

Romania – Laurenţiu Brănescu, Laurenţiu Brănescu, Sebastian Remeş, Adrian Avrămia, Romario Benzar, Ionuţ Năstăsie (C), Ionuţ Gugu, Sebastian Chitoşcă, Enghin Amet, Mihai Roman, Nicolae Stanciu

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ireland start U19 Euro finals with impressive win against Greece

Ireland got their U19 UEFA Championship finals off to a great start this evening with a 2-1 win over Greece in Buftea,Romania.

Paul Doolin's 'Boys In Green' took an early lead when Sean Murray's corner was headed home by Anthony O’Connor on four minutes. The early lead lasted all of two minutes when Katidis equalised with a volley from just inside the penalty area.

Ireland sealed the victory on 51 minutes in similar style to the first goal. A short Murray corner this time launched in for O’Connor who headed home for a very impressive win for Paul Doolin’s men.

In the other group game hosts Romania were beaten 3-1 by the Czech Republic.

Ireland: McCarey, Doherty, Williams (Shaughnessy 82), Egan, O’Connor, Murray, Hendrick, Carruthers, Forde, O’Sullivan (McGovern 85), Murphy

Greece: Stefanos Kapino, Kostas Stafylidis, Tasos Lagos, Giannis Potouridis, Charis Mavrias, Kostas Fortounis, Nikos Karelis, Nikos Marinakis, Kostas Rougalas, Dimitris Diamantakos, Giorgos Katidis.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Irish starlet Brady joins Hull City on loan

Hull have announced the signing of Irish Under-21 winger Robbie Brady on loan from Manchester United.

The 19-year-old Dublin born player, who can also play as a striker, has joined the Tigers until the end of the calendar year.

The highly-rated player was an influential member of United's 2009 Milk Cup-winning squad, scoring five goals in the prestigious youth tournament.

He also helped the Red Devils' second string win the Barclays Premier Reserve League North title last season.

Brady is highly rated at Old Trafford and the coaching staff are keen for him to get more games under his belt. Hull and the Championship are ideal for him to do that.

Brady has not travelled with the Irish Under 19 squad for the European Championships in Romania that start on Wednesday but this move to Hull will see him play more first-team football and should speed his progression through the Irish ranks.

The former St Kevin's Boys player has long been tipped for the top, and turned down the advances of a host of Premier League clubs to choose the Red Devils in 2008.

Brady has been a part of Ireland's international youth set-up for the last five years, progressing throuth the u15,u17 & u19 teams and made his u21 debut in the European u21 qualifier against Switzerland in September last year.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Shay Given completes Villa move

Aston Villa have completed the signing Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given from Manchester City.

The 35-year-old has signed a five-year contract at Villa Park after the clubs agreed an undisclosed fee.

Given told the club's website: "Aston Villa is a huge club and I'm really excited to be joining. It's a new challenge and I'm eager to embrace it."

Given had been on the margins at Eastlands after City manager Roberto Mancini made England international Joe Hart his first choice.

The Irish international he will make his Villa debut in a friendly against Walsall on Thursday.

He is McLeish's first signing since taking over at Villa Park and the former Birmingham manager believes Given will have a major impact at the club.

"Shay has come here with something of a point to prove and that won't do him any harm at all," McLeish said.

"Everybody who has watched him perform over many years in the Premier League will know his pedigree so we believe we have secured the services of one of the best goalkeepers in the business."

Villa defender and Ireland team-mate Richard Dunne is delighted at the prospect of being reunited with Given and told the Birmingham Mail: "He was frustrated over the way things have gone over the last year, I think he just wants to get playing again and he'll be looking forward to it.

"I spoke to him on Friday when he got here and I think he was surprised about how good the facilities and the setup are here at Bodymoor.

"I think it's a good opportunity for Shay to get back to playing football and I think it's one he's really looking forward to."

Friday, July 15, 2011

Ireland squad announced for Croatia friendly

Giovanni Trapattoni has named his 32 man Ireland squad for the international friendly against Croatia on August 10th. The squad includes Darron Gibson, Marc Wilson, James McCarthy and Mark Walters, who all missed the end of season Carling Cup games in June due to injury.


Shay Given
Keiren Westwood
David Forde


John O’Shea
Paul McShane
Kevin Foley
Seamus Coleman
Stephen Kelly
Stephen Ward
Richard Dunne
Sean St. Ledger
Darren O’Dea
Damien Delaney
Ciaran Clark
Kevin Kilbane


Glenn Whelan
Darron Gibson
Keith Andrews
Keith Fahey
Andy Keogh
Aiden McGeady
Damien Duff
Stephen Hunt
Liam Lawrence
James McCarthy
Keith Treacy
Marc Wilson


Robbie Keane
Kevin Doyle
Jon Walters
Shane Long
Simon Cox

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sunderland complete O'Shea signing

Sunderland have completed the signing of Manchester United and Ireland defender John O'Shea.

O'Shea, 30, has signed a four-year deal at the Stadium of Light after the clubs agreed an undisclosed fee.

Manager Steve Bruce said: "O'Shea's wealth of experience and versatility will be great attributes for us."

The Black Cats had a joint bid for O'Shea, Brown and midfielder Darron Gibson accepted last month, but the move for Gibson seems to have slowed with Stoke entering the race to sign the Derry born Ireland international.

Brown, 31, and O'Shea will add experience to a Sunderland defence that was badly affected by injuries last season.

Bruce added: "John has been a solid, consistent part of Manchester United's squad for well over a decade which goes to show the fantastic pedigree of player we have signed.

"He is a wonderful professional both on and off the field.

"I'm delighted with the players we've been able to secure ahead of the new season."

O'Shea, who has only ever played for United in his career, added: "Once I'd heard reports about the club and the people here, the ambitions and what the manager was all about, this was the only place I was going to come to."

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Ireland football podcast - Episode 1

From Dublin to Australia to the Ukraine, we catch up with Gary and John from YBIG.ie and Foot.ie who talk about the forums and Irish soccer.

Some of the topics discussed include:

- European Fans Championships
- Players on the Move
- Dodgey Posters