Fenn exclusively reveals new signing, retirements and pre-season fixtures on Between the Stripes LOI podcast

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.

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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

 

Fenn and Henderson give reaction to opening day clash

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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.’’

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