Longford Town sign Darren Meenan and Evan Galvin

Article by Andrew Dempsey – @AndrewDempsey2

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Neale Fenn has made a serious statement of intent for the 2018 First Division season in waiting with the double signing of former Shamrock Rovers man Darren Meenan and Evan Galvin who was formerly of Longford’s First Division rivals Cabinteely.

31-year-old Darren Meenan joins looking to help Longford Town on their way back to the Premier Division at the second time of asking.

Meenan will be a welcome addition to Neale Fenn’s young squad as the experienced wide midfielder has had plenty of match experience at League of Ireland level over the past 12 seasons for the likes of St. Patrick’s Athletic, UCD, Drogheda United, Sligo Rovers and Shelbourne as well as his two previous clubs Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers. Most notably Meenan has three Premier Division titles to his name thanks to his time under Stephen Kenny and Longford fans will be hoping that winning mentality will transfer over similarly to how ex-Rovers trio Pat Flynn, Stephen Rice and Pat Sullivan famously did in 2014 with the Midlanders.

The signing will come as a bit of a surprise to many Longford Town and League of Ireland fans in general as there had been much talk of Meenan testing the waters abroad with Belgian side RDWM. However, this seems to have fallen by the wayside and left Longford Town ready to pounce on his signature.

Also making the switch to the City Calling stadium is former Cabinteely FC star Evan Galvin who has swapped the capital for a spell in the midlands with the Red and Black.

Galvin, who is a 21-year-old midfielder, signs for Neale Fenn’s charges having enjoyed a positive year last season with Cabinteely as the former Waterford and Cobh Ramblers man played an integral role in Cabo’s record breaking 2017 season.

With Town fans crying out for some transfer activity in recent weeks, the news of this double-signing will be a welcome boost to the Longford Town faithful who are most certainly longing for a return to the Premier Division



Bohemians lose player of the year to Barnet

Article by Kieran Burke – @KieranBTS

Bohemians 2017 player of the year Faud Sule has this morning completed his long-awaited transfer to English League Two side Barnet. The deal, which is for an undisclosed fee, was of course almost completed mid-way through last seasons League of Ireland campaign but the clock ran out on Barnet who are currently struggling in the fourth-tier, only clear of the relegation zone on goal difference.

Having trained with the English club over the past number of weeks, the decision from Sule to move on from Dalymount Park will have come as little or no surprise to followers of the ‘’Gypsies’’, although ‘‘Bohs’’ fans are certain to miss the explosive style of play the twenty-year-old brought to Keith Long’s midfield.

A Premier Division player of the year nominee, Sule only signed a new contact with Bohemians in December 2016 and that has now proved to be a wise investment by the Dublin club who will now need to look at the transfer market in order to not only replace Sule but star striker Ismail Akinade who departed for free-spending Waterford a number of weeks ago.

Clearly delighted with the completion of the move, Sule had this to say upon putting pen-to-paper with the ‘’Bees’’: (Via Barnetfc.com)

“I’m very happy to be with this massive club and in this league. It has been ongoing for a while and the interest has been there since the summer.

“Little things were knocking the deal back but I’m very happy to get it over the line and get on the pitch now.

Despite his relief at getting the long-awaited transfer complete, Sule was sure to also praise his old club Bohemians and the success he enjoyed at Dalymount Park.

‘’It was my breakthrough season but it turned out to be a very, very good one. There were huge personal accolades that I achieved. Personally it was a good season and collectively it was a good season for everyone associated with the club.’’

“I will remember the club with very fond memories. I’m just happy to be here now and ready to kick on.”

With the English transfer window not open until January 1st and the paper work still needing to be ratified by the FA, Sule will not yet be available for action at Barnet who face Exeter today in a crucial league encounter.


Dave Mackey appointed Bray Wanderers Manager

Article by Kieran Burke – @KieranBTS.

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With just over fifty-days left until the start of the 2018 SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, Bray Wanderers have finally ended their search for a new manager with the appointment of Dave Mackey.

With the likes of ex-Longford duo Tony Cousins and Gary Cronin heavily linked in recent days with the post left vacant by Harry Kenny, it appears the County Wicklow club have opted for the man with an inside knowledge of the Carlise Grounds with Mackey filling a number of roles at Wanderers in recent years.

Working for the ‘’Seagulls’’ from January 2008 to December 2013, Mackey has previously worked as first-team assistant manager, coach, under 19’s manager and ‘A’ team manager but now steps into the main hot-seat at the Carlise Grounds with a deep crisis on-going.

Ahead of the new season which starts on February 19th with a trip to Oriel Park, Bray Wanderers currently only have five senior players on their books, with one of those want-a-way midfielder Keith Buckley who has spoken out publicly regarding the clubs lack of organisation over the off-season.

Mackey’s work will start immediately with pre-season friendlies and training schedules to be arranged while of course player recruitment will be crucial if the ‘‘Seagulls’’ are to avoid the drop many make them certainties for next season.

Announcing the acquisition of Mackey on the clubs official website, Bray Wanderers FC stated:

Bray Wanderers Football Club is delighted to announce the appointment of Dave Mackey as First Team Manager.

Dave takes up his role with 30+ years experience as a player, coach and manager in the League of Ireland and boasts a proven track record in recruitment and development of young players for First Team football.

Dave was previously involved with BWFC from Jan. ’08 to Dec. ’13. His roles included Asst. First Team Coach, U-19 Manager/Coach and A Team Manager/Coach.

During that time, players who progressed to First Team football included Chris Shields, Dane Massey, Dave Webster, Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters, Ismahil Akinade, Stephen McGuinness and Pierce Sweeney.

Dave’s playing career spanned from July 1980 to June 1993 and included stints with Dundalk FC, Shelbourne FC and Shamrock Rovers.

The club looks forward to a long and fruitful spell with Dave at the helm.


Bray managerial announcement expected tomorrow with Cousins among three front-runners.

Article by Kieran Burke – @KieranBTS

Former Longford boss Cousins is one of the front-runners for the vacant Bray Wanderers position. Photo credit – Frank McGrath photography Facebook. 

Between the Stripes understands that Bray Wanderers are likely to make an announcement on their new first-team manager tomorrow, with three contenders in the mix for the post vacated by Harry Kenny at the end of the 2017 season.

Eagerly awaiting the call from the Wicklow club are Dave Mackey, Maciej Tarnogrodzki and former Longford Town boss Tony Cousins.

Following the resignation of another ex-Longford manager Alan Mathews in 2015, Tarnogrodzki stepped in as interim manager at the Carlisle Grounds and was relatively successful during his short stint in charge. However, without the appropriate badges at this time, the Pole was forced to return to managing the clubs under-19 side, who he left for UCD’s under-19’s in 2016.

Mackey is also another man with experience of the Carlise Grounds having filled multiple roles in the clubs underage section over the course of six-years. Departing the ‘’Seagulls’’ in 2013, UEFA listed coach Mackey was most recently the assistant manager at Cabinteely under Pat Devlin.

As for Tony Cousins, the Dubliner also spent time with Wanderers as a player, although the former Liverpool striker failed to make a single appearance in his twelve month spell with the club due to injury prior to retiring. Out of work since mutually departing relegation doomed Longford Town in 2016, the former Galway United boss is extremely keen to get back into League of Ireland management according to sources close to the forty-eight-year-old.

Regardless of who is chosen to lead the crisis club into the new ten-team Premier Division for 2018, the majority of LOI pundits and fans have already condemned the ‘’Seagulls’’ to relegation next season with the Wicklow club only having five players signed up ahead of the new year. One of those players is want-away midfielder Keith Buckley, who has publicly slammed the clubs lack of organisation and communication ahead of pre-season, with a date still yet to be set for a return to training and as of yet no pre-season friendlies are believed to be arranged.

With media reports emerging this week regarding an approach to St.Pat’s owner Garrett Kelleher to buy a majority share in Bray, off-field headlines are set to dominate the Premier Division outfit well into the new year after a 2017 season filled with board-room and financial turmoil.

Fenn and Henderson give reaction to opening day clash

Longford Town manager Neale Fenn took over a week after Gary Cronin had led Town to a late win over Cobh. (Photo by @KieranBTS)

Article by Kieran Burke – @KieranBTS

Longford Town will open their eagerly anticipated 2018 SSE Airtricity League First Division campaign at home to last seasons runners up Cobh Ramblers on Saturday, February 24th.

On paper this looks to be an incredibly difficult opening task for Neale Fenn’s Longford and last seasons head to head record against the ‘’Rams’’ certainly backs that up. In four league meetings last season ‘’De Town’’ only came out on top once and that was under the stewardship of interim boss Gary Cronin. In the three other meetings Cobh beat Longford at the City Calling Stadium twice and towards the tail end of the season at St.Colman’s Park. In fact, one of Cobh’s two away wins over Longford came in what was ‘’De Town’s’’ first home game of the season, perhaps a bad omen for supporters of the Midlands club ahead of February’s 2018 curtain raiser.

Speaking exclusively to Between the Stripes following Tuesday’s fixture list release, Longford Town manager Neale Fenn couldn’t contain his excitement to get back to the job he took up midway through the 2017, following the sacking of Alan Mathews.

‘’Yes it’s a tough start, Cobh at home will be difficult but we’ll be ready by then, got plenty of friendlies lined up to prepare so we’ll be raring to go.’’

As for Cobh boss Stephen Henderson, the popular League of Ireland manager also spoke exclusively to Between the Stripes and was quick to stress how last seasons results against Fenn’s side now mean nothing.’’

‘’Last year is done, it (The head to head record V Longford in 2017) will have no bearing on this season. Longford will be challenging for automatic promotion so it is a very difficult start for us but one we will look forward to.’’

Former Waterford United chief Henderson went onto speak of the importance of focus within the Cobh camp once the new season does indeed get underway.

‘’I’m happy we have such a difficult start, it really does help focus the minds of coaches and players. We will do what we always do, be competitive, have a plan and see where it takes us.’’

Between the Stripes daily transfer update 18/12/17

Article by Andrew Dempsey. @AndrewDempsey2

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Waterford FC have made another serious signal of intent as the ‘’Blues’’ have announced that Gavan Holohan is to join up with the Premier Division new-boys at the RSC for the 2018 season. In addition to this, Derry City have confirmed the return of Jamie McDonagh to the Brandywell after a spell at the Showgrounds with Sligo Rovers. In First Division news, Cobh Ramblers Striker Cian Leonard joins a growing list of players re-signing for Stephen Henderson’s charges at St. Colman’s Park. Continue reading