EXCLUSIVE: Gorman training with Bray while Salmon’s future remains unclear

Article by Kieran Burke – @KieranBTS.

Gorman and Salmon were First Division winners in 2014, could they be re-united at Bray? 

Between the Stripes has exclusively learned that former Longford Town favorite Rhys Gorman is currently in training with Bray Wanderers. The “Seagulls”, who appointed Dave Mackey as manager a fortnight ago, have been playing catch-up in the transfer market following a prolonged search for Harry Kenny’s replacement and alleged board room power struggles. However, having announced a raft of additions and re-signings at Mackey’s first press conference, the County Wicklow side now have fourteen first-team players on the books at the Carlise Grounds.

Among those are former Longford winger Jake Kelly, who failed to impress in the First Division under Alan Matthews, Gary Cronin’s or Neale Fenn’s watch last season with the latter opting to release Kelly at the end of the 2017 season. One mans future that remains uncertain though is “De Town’s” 2014 league winning skipper Mark Salmon, who Bray are still keen on retaining for 2018 according to Between the Stripes sources close to the Premier Division outfit. Continue reading


Dave Mackey appointed Bray Wanderers Manager

Article by Kieran Burke – @KieranBTS.

between the stripes logo

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.


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.’’

Tony Cousins linked with vacant Bray Wanderers post

Article by Kieran Burke – @KieranBTS



Image with thanks to Frank McGrath photography on Facebook.

Unseen in the League of Ireland since his humiliating departure from Longford Town in August of last year, Tony Cousins is today being linked with a sensational return to the domestic game with crisis club Bray Wanderers. Continue reading

Robertson and Clancy the unlikely new Drogs management team

Article by Kieran Burke


Recently relegated Drogheda United have shocked the LOI public this Tuesday evening with what can only be described as the unorthodox appointment of Tim Clancy & Dave Robertson as the County Louth clubs new management team. Thirty-three-year-old Clancy had been on the books of Bray Wanderers in a playing capacity last season while Robertson was dismissed as Sligo Rovers boss early in the year after a woeful start to the 2017 season.  Continue reading

Mathews former clubs collide as Cronin leads Longford into battle at Tolka

Alan Mathews was sacked by LTFC last weekend. 

Less than a week on from the shock news that Alan Mathews and Longford Town FC have parted ways, first-team coach Gary Cronin will lead Longford into a battle for mid-table supremacy when they face thirteen-time League of Ireland winners Shelbourne on Friday night.  A 5-0 home win over rock-bottom Wexford FC was not enough to save Longford Town’s most successful ever manager from the chopping board, as a slow start to the season effectively killed off the clubs hopes of an instant return to the Premier Division, with Mathews paying the ultimate price.

Ahead of this final game before the mid-season break, Gary Cronin will be looking to not only throw his name into the hat for the hot-seat position at Longford Town FC, but in the process claim a win which would see “De Town” move four-points clear of sixth placed Shelbourne and potentially within a single point of fourth placed Cabinteely. Continue reading