Article by Kieran Burke – @KieranBTS.
Speaking exclusively earlier this evening to Between the Stripes LOI podcast, which returns to the airwaves tomorrow afternoon with tonight’s recorded New Years Special, Longford Town manager Neale Fenn gave a number of exclusives to our listeners.
With two pre-season friendlies already announced against Fenn’s former sides Shamrock Rovers and Bohemians, podcast co-host Kieran Burke put the question to Fenn regarding other upcoming opponents in the lead up to the new First Division season. Fenn revealed “De Town” will take on St.Patrick’s Athletic (A), Limerick FC, Newbridge Town and an American side from Philadelphia, who will also be facing the “Saints” during their time in Ireland. Times, dates and venues are still to be confirmed for these preparation matches but the visit of the Philadelphia outfit to City Calling Stadium is certainly an exciting novelty for Town fans to look forward to while a reunion with club legends Paul Perth and Sean Prunty will bring a feeling of nostalgia to Town supporters of a by-gone era as the duo are involved with Newbridge at present.
Moving on to talk about transfers and how the Longford squad was shaping up for 2018, Fenn broke the news out an imminent arrival from the non-leagues at LTFC while also confirming the status of five players from last seasons squad. To be announced by the club tomorrow is the signing of a striker from Dublin side Hardwick who play in the AUL league. While withholding the new attackers name, Between the Stripes believe the player in question to be Dean Byrne. Fenn commented that his new recruit had been scoring a lot of goals at AUL level in Dublin and would help strengthen his options up-front following the departure of David O’Sullivan to Shelbourne.
Finally, in perhaps the most important announcement of all made exclusively by Fenn on Between the Stripes LOI podcast New Years Special, the Londoner confirmed the retirement of long-time servants Don Cowan and Kevin O’Connor in addition to the already known retirement of defender Noel Haverty. In more positive updates the former Dundalk striker announced exclusively that local talents Aodh Dervin and Tristan Noack Hoffman had both all but re-signed for Longford with the latter set to put pen-to-paper on a new deal tomorrow afternoon.
To hear Neale Fenn’s interview in full plus exclusive chats with Darren Meenan, James Doona, Dave Donnelly and Kevin Kiely subscribe to Between the Stripes LOI podcast on Itunes, Audioboom, Mixcloud, Pocketcasts and/or Podcast Republic now and never miss an episode. Tonights New Years Special will be uploaded tomorrow afternoon (Thursday) with links posted on Between the Stripes Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat accounts.