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


Daire Doyle expresses his delight upon O’Connor’s arrival

New Longford Town signing Shane O’Connor (right) pictured with manager Neale Fenn.

Article by Kieran Burke – @KieranBTS.

Speaking exclusively to Between the Stripes earlier today, Longford Town’s new assistant manager Daire Doyle expressed his delighted following last nights capture of former Ipswich Town and Waterford FC midfielder Shane O’Connor. A First Division winner with Alan Reynold’s Waterford last term, O’Connor is just twenty-seven but has already played for eight clubs including some pretty big ones in the likes of Shamrock Rovers and Cork City, while the midfielder has experience abroad with Port Vale and in Northern Ireland with Portadown.  Continue reading

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.

Longford Town sign Darren Meenan and Evan Galvin

Article by Andrew Dempsey – @AndrewDempsey2

Embed from Getty Images

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

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.’’

Fenn announces arrival of ex-Shels man O’Connor

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

Longford look to step over Bangor banana skin – Match preview


Bangor Celtic vs Longford Town FC

By Andrew Dempsey (@AndrewDempsey2)

Longford Town look to build on the momentum of two great victories over both Sligo Rovers and Athlone Town as “De Town” make the trip to Dublin to face Bangor Celtic at the Iveagh Grounds.  Kick-Off is at 7.45PM on Friday night.

With this being the weekend of Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas, many may see this as a less significant clash compared to what is due to take place on Saturday night or the early hours of Sunday morning in McGregor’s boyhood home area. However, both sides will see this as a major opportunity to reach the Quarter-Finals of the FAI Cup which happens to be only 3 wins away from European football!

Speaking about the hammering of local rivals Athlone Town, manager Neale Fenn didn’t want to get too carried away by the great result after speaking with theleagueofireland.com

Fenn said; “It was a strange game. Yes we were delighted to win and score 7 goals, but there were still aspects of it where I thought we could improve.”

“We could have pressed them more and kept possession better but overall we have to be happy with the performance.”

These comments must surely wet the appetite of all Longford Town supporters as Fenn looks to elevate standards within the first team, and hopefully spark a run of form that should raise supporter expectations for next season in what will be an ultra-competitive first division.

However, Fenn is wary of complacency after two big wins by saying;

“Confidence is high at the moment after the last 2 results but we can’t let complacency set in, we have a big FAI Cup game this Friday and still want to finish as high as possible in the league.” You can read the full article here.

As for Bangor Celtic, they are a Leinster Senior League outfit and recently defeated fellow non league side Everton (Not the English Club!!!) of the Munster Senior League (MSL). The Crumlin based outfit went 2-0 down to their MSL counterparts before embarking on a fantastic 10 minute comeback which saw them progress.

If there is anything that you can draw from this it is that they certainly don’t lack character which will surely make for an intriguing match-up in the FAI Cup second round.

Bangor can also count on a former Town player in goalkeeper Stephen Conlon. “Congo” as he has always been known by played for “De Town” during 2010 and 2011 making 16 appearances for the club. Conlon also said hello to Between the Stripes LOI podcast giving his thoughts ahead of the game. You can take a listen to our podcast on iTunes, Mixcloud, pocketcasts, Podcast Republic and/or audioBoom.

Paddy Power have Longford Town as clear favorites at 8/13 with Bangor Celtic out at 4/1. On paper at least you would have to imagine that the Midlanders will have too much for Bangor but with the winner being decided on the night, the underdogs may have their day as we saw in the last round when Fenn’s charges scored twice in injury time to dump out a hapless Sligo Rovers team.

Prediction: Bangor Celtic 1-3 Longford Town