Samba Magic returns to the Premier Division as Brazilian Eduardo Pinicelli joins the Bit O’ Red

Article by @andrewdempsey921

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For the second season in a row, the League of Ireland Premier Division will have some Brazilian Samba flair after Sligo Rovers announced that they have signed former Fluminense midfielder Eduardo Pinicelli on a one-year deal.

Starting off his career at Fluminense, the now 34-year-old Pinicelli who once played alongside the great Brazilian attacking star Romario, has also managed to have playing stints in Malaysia, Italy, Colombia and Sweden before most recently playing in Cyprus with Ethnikos Achna. Continue reading

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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

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

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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

Extent of Galway crisis now public following former FA chairman’s explosive resignation letter

Article by Kieran Burke.

For many weeks now there has been rumours of discord between Galway United Football Club and one of its former stakeholders, the Galway United Football Association. Last night this discord became public knowledge thanks to a public resignation letter from the departing Galway FA chairman Ger Gibbons.

In an address sent to all members of the Galway FA, who last week relinquished their interested in Galway United after the LOI side opted to become the latest fully fan owned membership model in the domestic league, Gibbons said:

‘’It is with regret that I have to announce that I am standing down as Chairman of the Galway FA with immediate effect. The main reason that I am doing this is the constant negative attitude towards Galway United. I would nearly go as far as saying that some people on the Galway FA hope that Galway United as a football club would collapse.

When the catering contract came up for renewal, Galway United offered more money than the other bidder, but the lower bid got the contract.

When Galway United inquired last year about putting in a bar in the old dressing rooms in EDP, there was serious opposition to it, but practically no opposition to renting out upstairs for 3 years, which I agree with, as you have to get a reasonable length of time to recover your outlay on renovations

The contract I signed with Galway United for the bar on behalf of the committee was for one year at a reduced fee, so that Galway United could recoup some of the €10,000 they spent renovating the old dressing rooms. The fee for the next season was up for discussion at around the end of this year, but an email was sent to Galway United telling them to remove all their stuff from the bar area and to restore it to its original condition. This in my opinion was not what was agreed earlier this year.

The decision to restore the dressing rooms was seemingly taken by some members of the football committee and other people who are not on the Galway FA and without consultation with the full committee of the Galway FA, so that this new academy could use them. Why would we need this when we have the finest dressing rooms in the League of Ireland?
The academy, I agree is the right thing to do, but it should be in conjunction with Galway United, who despite comments on social media did make contact with a member of the Galway FA about running this jointly, but was told that he would discuss with the committee and get back to him. When he did get back to Galway United he said the committee were not interested.

I am not sure what committee did discuss this, but it was not the full committee. Also the academy was seemingly launched last weekend and the first I knew of it was when I saw the picture on Facebook of all the coaches in EDP. Not sure who knew about the launch but I as chairman definitely didn’t
Finally, work started this week on the removal of the bar and I do not know who gave that instruction to remove it.

So, after 10 years on the GFA and 2 years as chairman, that’s it folks. All I ever wanted from my involvement with the GFA was to improve things in Galway football. We succeeded for a while but things seem to be going back to the old ways… fighting and bickering and the only ones that suffer are the people that are the most important, the PLAYERS.
Yours in sport,
Ger Gibbons.’’

Gibbons scathing criticism of the Galway FA committee comes just weeks after United were forced to issue a plea asking season ticket holders to leave their passes behind for the final game of the season against Dundalk and instead pay in at the gate if at all possible. This led to many LOI fans asking why a club that had received a sizeable transfer fee for star defender Lee Grace from Shamrock Rovers only recently were now in financial jeopardy. As a result, rumours of unfavourable lease agreements regarding Eamon Deacy Park, which is owned by the Galway FA and rented to United, began to emerge. Gibbons letter, which was made public on Reddit, seems to back up those claims which will surely lead to a backlash for those currently on the Galway FA board.

In truth, this bombshell has been a long time coming and the allegations made by Gibbons are not likely to surprise many within LOI circles. Having re-entered the LOI as recently as 2014 following the collapse of the old Galway United, Galway FC as it was initially branded was a make up of the old Galway supporters trust, the Galway FA and junior sides Salthill Devon and Mervue United.

Part of the agreement which saw the ‘’Tribesmen’’ re-established through this partnership was that the LOI club could not field underage sides. Many saw this as a way of appeasing the local junior clubs, Salthill and Mervue in particular who had of course given up their own LOI status at the conclusion of the 2013 season.

Casting thoughts back to earlier this season, the decision by the Galway FA to fine United for what was described as ‘’excessive damage and wear on Eamonn Deacy Park’s pitch due to fans incursion’’ will surely now be looked upon as sinister by both supporters of the club and LOI fans alike. This €100 fine was brought against the club following a 3-1 at home to Limerick FC on July 7th 2017 when young children approached Galway players for photographs at the conclusion of the match. At the time it was celebrated by LOI fans as a great marketing tool and way of creating a link between the club and its community of younger fans.

However, United soon made public the fact the club had been fined by the Galway FA, who receive €650 per game for the use of Eamonn Deacy Park from GUFC. While the bill was picked up by a local bar, the decision to fine the LOI club drew great ridicule among supporters on social media.

With the news of United’s new ownership model being celebrated by the LOI community earlier this week combined with the hugely successful LOI dash fundraiser by supporters, who raised just shy of €20,000 for the club by playing a short match at all twenty LOI grounds in the space of 24 hours, these are encouraging times for GUFC despite their recent relegation to the First Division. However, with the clubs home ground still under the ownership of the Galway FA, it remains to be seen how this public spat will play out with many followers of the domestic game now asking for intervention from the Football Association of Ireland.

With off-field crisis currently being endured at a number of LOI clubs, this is far from a good public image for the leagues governing body, who are yet to announce a new structure for the First Division, which Galway United will participate in come February.

Between the Stripes has offered the Galway FA an opportunity to comment on Ger Gibbons’s resignation letter and will update this article if response is made.

ENDS.

Episode 17 of Between the Stripes LOI podcast smashes listenership record!

Billed as Between the Stripes LOI podcasts biggest show ever, episode 17 certainly lived up to the hype as the #DecisionDay special smashed the shows listener-ship record. Over 800 people have so far tuned in to episode 17 which saw guests from all three sides in relegation pearl on the final day of the season appear.

Ger O’Brien (St.Pat’s assistant), Shane Morrison (Sligo fan) and Julian Canny (Galway fan) were all on hand to put forward their claims for survival while Chris Bennion (Drogheda goalkeeping coach) and Aidan Campbell (Finn Harps marketing and commercial director) also joined hosts Burke & Brier to discuss the impact relegation is likely to have at their respective clubs.

There was plenty of transfer stories to run the rule over, while the latest goings on at the FAI and Bray Wanderers respectively were strongly debated by the Longford duo.

With episode 18 being the final regular show of the year (there’s an Xmas special on the way folks) episode 17’s incredible figures could very well be instantly surpassed with what can only be described as a league winning line-up in the works. Keep an eye on Between the Stripes social media pages for details on the final show of the season which as ever will be uploaded at approximately 10PM on Wednesday via Audioboom, Itunes, Mixcloud, Pocketcasts and Podcast Republic.

Until then why not catch the record breaking episode 17 below via the Audioboom player:

 

Episode 13 of Between the Stripes LOI podcast

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Fresh off the back of breaking into the top 25 in the Sports category for podcasts on the Itunes charts, Kieran Burke and Jonathan Brier are back with another bumper edition. At the time of release, Between the Stripes LOI podcast sits 144th in the overall Itunes podcast charts and is in fact the highest ranked LOI podcast by a country mile!

Joining us for episode 13 are esteemed guests Stephen Henderson, Gary Rogers and LOI die-hards Shane Marron and Julian Canny as attendances take centre stage as the main topic of debate this week. As ever theres all the latest fixture reviews and previews too, so sit back and listen now by using the Audioboom player below and don’t forget to subscribe and review us on Itunes as the #BTS assault on the charts continues!

St.Christopher’s charity betting column

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The people of Longford show their support for St. Christopher’s at a protest march in 2014.

A bit like our very own Longford Town, the ‘Between the Stripes’ charity betting column has been on a losing slide for the past few weeks. However, as “De Town” fans often say it’s time to “keep the faith” and the team here at ‘Between the Stripes’ are hoping to repay that faith with a big betting win tonight, in aid of the good people at St.Christopher’s services in Longford Town. Ahead of tonight’s action, our current charity pot stands at a total of €144. Below are tonight’s selections, best of luck to anyone following:

TREBLE: Derry City (19/20), Galway United -1 (13/10) and Shamrock Rovers -1 (13/8). €5 stake returns €58.86

REASONING:

Derry City V Sligo Rovers – After a winless run of eight games for new Sligo boss, Dave Robertson, the “Bit o’Red” finally found their shooting boots last weekend as they trounced bottom club Longford Town FC. However, given the “Midlanders” none performance in that visit to the Showgrounds, it perhaps isn’t the best barometer the measure Sligo’s form with. On the other hand, Kenny Shiels Derry City side have made a flying start to the season and whispers of a title challenge have already begun around the “randy Brandywell”. Shiels has brought an attacking identity back to a “Candystripes” side who had struggled to find their best form in seasons gone by but with striker Rory Patterson in the form of his life, you can never rule out this Derry team.

EXTRA TIP – Rory Patterson First Goal Scorer – @4/1.

Galway United V Longford Town – We hate to back against our own, but perhaps that is a sign of the likelihood of the predicted result. Search for match previews of this game online and you will struggle to find anyone putting their faith in anything other than a big Galway win. Why? Well, the league table tells the strory really. Only nine games into the new season and already the hosts, who finished four places below Longford last term, find themselves twelve points clear of under fire Tony Cousins troops. It’s a second trip to the West in a row for “De Town”, who were booed off following their 3-0 horror show defeat to Sligo last weekend and with all eyes on Tony Couins response tonight, their is incredible pressure on the Midlands outfit to get some sort of a result here. The recent 1-1 home tie with high flying Derry City offers hope to the small band of supporters set to travel West but should former Town midfielder, Ryan Connolly pass a fitness test and line out against his former employers, you would have to fancy the red-hot Vinny Faherty to have a field day up against a more than wobbly Longford defence. Backing Galway to win by more than a goal might be a bit harsh, and even a bit risky, but at those odds it was impossible to say no.

EXTRA TIP – Vinny Faherty to score and Galway to win – @6/4

Shamrock Rovers V Bray Wanderers – Speaking of under pressure mangers, Shamrock Rovers boss, Pat Fenlon could soon find himself fighting for a future at the Tallaght stadium as his star studded “Hoops” continue to flop. Many saw Rovers thumping derby day win over Bohemians as a potential turning point in the Fenlon era, however, back to back defeats to title favorites Cork City and Dundalk have landed the former “Shels” boss back in hot water and anything but a convincing win against a managerless Wanderers won’t do. Mick Cooke’s days at the Carlise Ground were numbered for weeks now as the former Drogheda boss failed to return results off the back of some strong off-seasin investment in the playing squad. Assistant, Harry Kenny takes the reigns for the visit of Ireland’s most successful club tonight and he will be hoping to repeat last week’s shock 1-0 defeat of St.Patrick’s Athletic. However, Fenlon will have worked his players hard in training this week and will be demanding a strong response to his sides critics. It’s now or never for Rovers and that’s why we are backing them to turn up with a big win tonight.

EXTRA TIP – Shamrock Rovers 2-0 Bray Wanderers – @13/2