McMillan departs Dundalk while Dunleavy extends Cork stay

Article by Kieran Burke – @KieranBTS

In news that will see defenders across the League of Ireland draw a sigh of relief, Dundalk’s lethal front-man David McMillan has said his goodbyes to County Louth and indeed Ireland by signing a two-and-a-half-year contract with Scottish Premiership side St.Johnstone. Continue reading

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Ex-Longford man Friel signs for Finn Harps.

Article by Kieran Burke – @KieranBTS

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Image via www.ltfc.ie

Strabane native and former Athlone Town, Wexford Youths and Longford defender, Aidan Friel has signed for Finn Harps. Continue reading

A huge day in the transfer market as Doona & Connolly grab the headlines – Between the Stripes daily transfer update 12/12/17

Article by Kieran Burke – @KieranBTS

Embed from Getty Images

It’s been a busy day in both divisions with St.Patrick’s Athletic, Galway United and Longford Town all announcing big deals ahead of the new season. As already reported on Between the Stripes, Longford Town have announced the arrival of Adam O’Connor, previously of Shelbourne, and you can read about that deal in full here. 

Elsewhere today, St.Patrick’s Athletic announced a double re-signing deal with both goalkeeper, Barry Murphy and midfielder, Ian Turner signing new deals at the club, while sensationally James Doona has switched alliances from the Tallaght Stadium and Shamrock Rovers to the “Saints”! Continue reading

Fenn announces arrival of ex-Shels man O’Connor

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Town boss Fenn is a big hit with LTFC supporters. Photo credit @BetweenStripes

Article by Kieran Burke – @KieranBTS

Longford Town manager Neale Fenn announced his eleventh close-season signing this afternoon, with the London-born rookie boss confirming the arrival of Adam O’Connor at the Midlands club on social media. An avid user of Twitter, Fenn is one of a growing number of League of Ireland bosses to use the online platform to keep supporters updated of developments at their respective clubs and Longford fans will be hoping a striker is next on the managers list, following the departure of all-time leading goal-scorer David O’Sullivan recently.

O’Sullivan signed for Shelbourne FC and that is where right-back O’Connor last appeared in the LOI, having left the “Reds” at the mid-way point of last season. With many expecting Longford and Shelbourne to clash for promotion, if not the title next season, it will be interesting to note how the likes of O’Sullivan, O’Connor and former “Shels” ‘keeper Jack Brady fair against their old employers when the two sides eventually meet in 2018.

Despite playing under-nineteens football as recently as 2013, O’Connor is relatively experienced having played both top-flight and First Division football in his four and a bit years spell at Shelbourne. Continue reading

Keith Buckley involved in Bray Twitter spat as mystery regarding next season continues

Article by Kieran Burke – @KieranBTS

Bray Wanderers star Keith Buckley found himself at the centre of a Twitter spat today, after the “Seagulls” midfielder hit out at the lack of updates coming from his employers in regards to the forthcoming 2018 campaign. Supporters of the Wicklow based side, and indeed League of Ireland followers in general, have been left to ponder regarding Wanderers situation for next season with the club still manager-less following Harry Kenny’s resignation at the tail-end of last season. In fact, at present Bray Wanderers are one of very few LOI clubs yet to announce any new additions to the first-team squad, with Ryan Brennan deciding to switch alliances to Premier Division rivals St.Pat’s in recent weeks.

Twenty-five-year-old, Buckley is one of a number of Bray Wanderers players who were signed by the club on two-year contracts. With the upcoming 2018 season included in those contracts, which also cover the likes of Mark Salmon and Aaron Greene in the Bray squad, answers are being demanded regarding the lack of activity at the Carlise Grounds as Christmas fast approaches.

Taking aim at the clubs official Twitter account, Buckley posted the following:

Responding almost instantly, Bray Wanderers official Twitter account hit back, clearly irate at the fact the midfielder had directed his fury at what the admin described as a fan/volunteer run account.

Following up on that response, the Bray Wanderers FC admin had this to say to a disgruntled supporter, while ex-Bohemians man Buckley remained tagged in the conversation his original tweet had kicked-off.

It remains to be seen whether Buckley will face action from his employers over what is clearly a poor piece of PR for the Wicklow club, who dominated the headlines for all the wrong reasons last season. Disputes over ownership, fans protests and an ever growing sense of suspicion regarding the clubs plans for long-time home, the Carlise Grounds seemed to play a major role in the “Seagulls” poor second half of the season form as Harry Kenny’s men missed out on the much needed financial boost of European qualification.

Drogheda’s squad building begins as Rovers set sail in pre-season again

Article by Andrew Dempsey – @AndrewDempsey2

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In what has been a slow news day in terms of League of Ireland transfer deals being done, Drogheda United have confirmed that 3 of last seasons relegation squad have re-signed ahead of the 2018 season. Also, Shamrock Rovers have confirmed exciting news as that they will take part in the Atlantic Cup that is due to take place in early 2018. Continue reading

Athlone Town announce interesting new management team for 2018

Article by Kieran Burke – @KieranBTS

athlonetownLate last night (Sunday, 10th of December 2017) Athlone Town announced a surprising new first-team management structure for the forthcoming First Division season. Since the conclusion of an utterly embarrassing 2017 campaign at the Midlands club, there had almost been a news blackout surrounding Lissywoolen with little or no updates regarding the leagues oldest club emerging. However, supporters of Athlone now know who will guide the club forward in what is an expanded ten-team First Division for next season.

Taking up the managerial reigns half-way through last season, following the resignation of ex-Longford boss Alan Mathews, Roddy Collins will remain at Athlone for 2018 but in the new role of general manager. Instead, the first-team manager position will be filled by Aaron Callaghan, who has previously managed the “Blue and Black” as well as other League of Ireland clubs Longford Town, Bohemians and UCD.

Assisting Callaghan will be Terry Butler, who has worked with the experienced manager at Bohemians, UCD and Carrick Rangers of the Northern Irish Football League.

As part of the announcement, Athlone Town revealed they will be hosting open trials for local players with an interest in forging a career in the LOI. The statement posted on the clubs official website stated the new management structure would now set-out to start recruiting for what they hope will be a successful 2018 campaign.

Athlone Town finished bottom of the second tier last season, while off the pitch the club were subject to an FAI investigation, following claims of betting irregularities in a league tie away to local rivals Longford. Athlone duo Igors Labuts and Dragos Sfrijan were both handed twelve-months bans as a result by the governing body.