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

Article by Kieran Burke – @KieranBTS.

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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

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Gypsies sign former Students star Swan

Article by Kieran Burke – @KieranBTS.

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Keith Long has added to his Bohemians squad ahead of Christmas with the arrival of twenty-one-year-old striker Ryan Swan. Continue reading

Exclusive interview with St.Pat’s recruit Dean Clarke

Dean Clarke Interview 

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In an exclusive interview with Andrew Dempsey of Between the Stripes, new St Patrick’s Athletic Signing Dean Clarke has spoken about his time in the League of Ireland to date, his time at his former clubs while also looking ahead to the upcoming 2018 season for his new employers at Richmond Park. Continue reading

Cabinteely complete shock signing of striker Swan

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Image via http://loi.cabinteelyfc.ie

First Division side, Cabinteely have today announced something of a coup with the signing of former UCD goal hero, Ryan Swan. The twenty-one-year old striker arrives following an unsuccessful spell in English football with Exeter City. In fact, Swan failed to make a single first team appearance for the “Grecians”, who he signed for following a now famous run of three goals in four European games for the “College”.  Continue reading

Late drama as Fenn is made to sweat for first win

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Neale Fenn accepts the congratulations of Longford Town fans following his first win in charge. – Photo credit – @betweenstripes

An improved attendance, a first ever League of Ireland victory over Cabinteely, a clean sheet and a Daniel O’Reilly wonder-goal made up the story of the night as Longford Town FC claimed a maiden triumph under new boss Neale Fenn Continue reading

Longford chasing hat-trick of home wins as UCD come to Town

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Can Longford make it three home wins in a row at City Calling Stadium on Saturday?

Having previously gone almost eighteen long months without a home win, Longford Town will be looking for a third consecutive home triumph on the bounce when they host surprise title contenders UCD on Saturday. 

Despite being among the youngest squads in the league, Collie O’Neills UCD have proven a number of doubters wrong by climbing to within a point of heavy title favourites and big spenders Waterford FC at the top of the table. With six wins from their opening eleven league matches, UCD have double the amount of W’s on the board compared to a Longford side who also got the cheque book out quite regularly during the off-season, in the hope of an instant return to the top flight. 

However, it’s been a slow start for Alan Mathews side, who failed to break down a well organised Cabinteely side at the weekend, a result which saw Longford Town’s wait for consecutive league continue. Incredibly, the tail end of the 2015 season is the last time the Midlands club managed to claim back to back league wins, that is a record that must change immediately if ”De Town” are to show the kind of constancy required to mount a title challenge. 

Injuries have played a role in Longford’s inconsistency this season and the news that record goal-scorer David O’Sullivan is to be sidelined for a prolonged spell certainly comes as unwelcome to Town followers. A lack of ruthlessness in front of goals has been Longford’s biggest issue this season, with Enda Curran the latest Town striker to miss an absolute sitter in the recent meeting with ”CABO”, so for O’Sullivan to now be unavailable is a major headache for boss Alan Mathews to contend with. Perhaps the option of deploying strikers turned wingers Cody Mulhall and Don Cowan in a more central position will be a route Mathews decides to go down at some stage, but with Jake Kelly and Dylan McGlade struggling for form it would certainly leave Longford lacking in wide areas. 

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Town will be without their all-time leading goal-scorer David O’Sullivan for the foreseeable future. 

On the bright side for the Longford coaching staff, the teams defensive shape has certainly come on leaps and bounds in recent weeks with the back four of Mark Langtry, Stephen Walsh, Daniel O’Reilly and Tristan Noack Hofmann (Click here to read an exclusive interview with the young Town star) now picking itself every week, while Dean Zambra is growing into his role as midfield protector with every passing game. 

The only previous meeting between Longford and UCD this season came at the UCD Bowl, where a fine first half showing by the ”Students” blew a lacklustre Longford away. Despite putting in one of their worst performances of the season, Longford could have still left Dublin with a point to their credit as a youthful UCD tired dramatically in the second period and again only for poor finishing ”De Town” could have gone home with a different result. It will be interesting to see if O’Neill’s side are still struggling with their stamina now that we are into the second series of games, as this would certainly be a hindrance to his side in sustaining their early title challenge.  

Poor playing surfaces have been a constant talking point throughout the 2017 League of Ireland season, particularly in the First Division but the crucible like surface at City Calling Stadium should see both sides encouraged to get the ball down and play some attractive football.

With a trip to rivals Waterford next on the cards for Longford Town, this game certainly falls into the must win category, with the gap to the ”Blues” already standing at nine-points ahead of this upcoming round of games. With a real injury crisis currently taking place at the RSC, plus the loss of key players who’s loan deals with Swindon Town have now expired, this may be Longford’s only realistic opportunity to catch Waterford FC napping and they will have to take that chance starting Saturday night against UCD! 

Prediction: Longford Town 1-0 UCD  – With Longford showing a lot more steel at the back in recent weeks the onus will he on their attacking players to find the key to winning this game. Expect a big performance from lone striker Enda Curran who has scored 5 goals in his last two home appearances. 

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“Drugs ban was the start of my turnaround” – Craig Walsh opens up to Between the Stripes.

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Having risen to prominence on Sky’s inaugural edition of ‘Footballs next top star’, Craig Walsh has had a more dramatic career than most players his age in Irish football. The twenty-five-year old midfielder has already represented five different League of Ireland clubs, four of those been based in Walsh’s native Dublin, with a loan spell and a permanent stint at Longford Town in between. Continue reading