Republic Of Ireland Football Thread

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KiD MoYeS

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Happy with that.

Hopefully teams don't win in Serbia much... Wouldn't be surprised if Wales and Austria win there judging by their performance tonight.
 

Mr Anderson

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Good point. We have a lot to work on though. Very poor today. Shame we didn't test the Serb keeper, he is a turd.
 

Still ill

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Pretty brutal, unambitious stuff until the last 15. Great result, though.
 

Brophs

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Truly desperate standard of football, that. But we'd have taken a point going in so it could have been worse. We're really ropey at the back and none of the options eg Duffy are likely to change that massively in the short term.
 

Keenst

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Decent result. Having heard some of the analysis I'm not too disappointed I missed the game though. Quite worrying how limited the squad is, especially at the back. Going forward we are pretty poor too, no imagination in midfield, unless Brady is playing or they decide to give Wes a game. Where is our next Damien Duff or Robbie Keane? :(
 

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What's the story with Hoolahan? He's 34 yet only has 30-something caps.
Whenever I watch him I think he's class, was he a late developer/inconsistent/unlucky etc?
 

Keenst

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What's the story with Hoolahan? He's 34 yet only has 30-something caps.
Whenever I watch him I think he's class, was he a late developer/inconsistent/unlucky etc?
A mixture of things. He was a late developer in the sense that he moved to England relatively late in his career, he's always been skillful though. He was just seen as too small so found it hard to get a chance at club and national level. Typical Irish/British footballing shortsightedness regarding small players. It's only recently, since Trap left, that he's been given a proper chance to play for Ireland and is finally getting some of the recognition he deserves. He's definitely been more consistent at club level recently too which has helped him, just a shame it's all come so late in his career.
 

Tincanalley

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The pitch was a swamp
 

Cascarino

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Cheers for the reply! If he was younger he's just the sort of player I'd like to see at Swansea, technically competent and not a bruiser.
Such a shame about the physique thing, at least that mindset is finally being dismantled though.
 

Pogue Mahone

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Truly desperate standard of football, that. But we'd have taken a point going in so it could have been worse. We're really ropey at the back and none of the options eg Duffy are likely to change that massively in the short term.
As Dion Fanning said, setting fire to the kitchen while boiling an egg levels of ineptitude.
 

Brophs

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Decent result. Having heard some of the analysis I'm not too disappointed I missed the game though. Quite worrying how limited the squad is, especially at the back. Going forward we are pretty poor too, no imagination in midfield, unless Brady is playing or they decide to give Wes a game. Where is our next Damien Duff or Robbie Keane? :(
This is something I'm particularly interested in - partly because I have a mate who writes about this stuff at length - and there are a number of reasons, all of which are pretty worrying.

1. Money: We don't have enough of it. The tv rights are worth almost nothing. Gate receipts aren't strong. Sponsorship is flagging. Most modern studies tell you that the way to develop players generally is lots of hours with qualified coaches in an environment that promotes the development of skills rather than outcome-based football (we're obsessed with 'league formats' in Irish underage football). If we had more money - or, let's be honest, distributed the money more fairly - we would have more resources available on a local basis which would allow us to increase the skill levels of players. It raises the level of the league, which would lead to greater accomplishments in Europe - albeit, again, the financial disparities can mean you're reliant on a friendly draw - and also the ability to export players, something which has become more difficult for LOI clubs to do as the skill gap has widened and foreign players are much cheaper for British clubs to import. More money would mean more coaches, pitches and general access to resources.

2. Lack of coaches/footballing leadership: Ireland has less than 70 UEFA Pro Licence holders at present. In fairness, we put a push on around 2013/2014 and got a further 20 or so through which helps. Spain have near to 2,400, I believe, while Germany have 1,000 and England have 203. We have in or around 200 A Licence holders. By comparison - and I appreciate that it's somewhat apples and oranges - Spain has around 13,000 A Licence holders, Germany around 6,000 and England around 1, 200 (nb. the figures may be somewhat out of date, but you get the picture). It's not difficult to see a pattern there. The more high quality, qualified coaches you have, the more hours under their tutelage you expose young players to, the better their development. If you want to overachieve the way you do it is by over-producing coaches. That allows you a greenhouse effect where footballing thought and theory becomes party of the sporting landscape.

I've long thought that the answer, or at least one of them, is for the FAI to subsidise the UEFA courses to a large extent - and, tbf, they are very expensive - while also create a means by which those coaches can contribute before and after their qualification. They are essentially working off their 'debt' and thus contributing to the overall improvement of coaching in the country.

But that's not even the whole picture. One story I was told recently concerned a coaching session being put on at a LOI club by an A Licence holder. He kept going on about "playing the ball out from the back". Over and over, like a tired mantra. One of the players who was in midfield asked a simple question "yeah, but after I get it, what then?" The coach seemed stumped and fell back on a cliche along the lines of "make space for yourself, give it and go" which is an admirable ideal, but doesn't teach the player anything. Probably, one assumes, because the coach himself didn't truly know how "playing from the back" fit into an overall ethos of the game. You need real leadership and vision to coach the coaches. At present, it doesn't seem the FAI have that, or even try to foster it.

The coaching at LOI clubs is often done by coaches who are, to all intents and purposes, volunteers. Without the right guidance they coach their mistakes into players and by the time more qualified coaches get hold of them, the damage is done.

3. Lack of a professional league: This relates to money, obviously, but also it means that unless kids leave home well before they've even done their Junior Cert, they may be irretrievably behind their peers when they arrive into English football. There are notable exceptions (e.g. Seamus Coleman) but it's well documented that foreign coaches are distinctly unimpressed with the technical abilities and also the ability of the players to understand the game/tactics etc.

The clubs aren't professional, which means they have smaller staffs, less resources and an inability to nurture talent that might go otherwise unnoticed. The way in which young players end up in the LOI, for example, doesn't offer a great deal of hope for players who don't fit into the perceived template of what a young footballer should be.

4. The FAI: Again, related to money, but it's so much more than that. The Association simply isn't fit for purpose. They completely misunderstand - whether wilfully or not is another issue - that their role is not primarily to ensure the success of the senior football team in the short term. It's to promote the sport as a whole in this country. That means that for all of Delaney's self-promotion - and, let's have this right, he's only one part of the issue - that we focus on providing the support needed to create a footballing infrastructure in this country that is, if not self-sustaining, then certainly with the ability to contribute to its own ongoing needs. That won't happen, though. We've all seen the graphic of how the Iceland FA distributed the Euros money to their clubs. Around the same time St. Pat's rejected a €5,000 "strategic planning" grant from the FAI as they felt it was essentially a derisory sum from an association which had just had the benefit of a massive windfall. And let's not forget, John Delaney's regard for our national league is such that he described it as "a problem child". In many other countries that would have been sufficient to render his position untenable. Here, it just raised a chuckle from his acolytes and utter disgust from the journos who were forced to endure it, knowing that the story would get less attention than it deserved from an indifferent public.

Anyway, I'll drive myself mad if I go on. Short answer, we don't have the environment to produce the players so when they go to the UK, where they have much less scope to take chances on young players than they did years ago, they get quickly passed out by players who've been in the Academy system for years and have a better technical level (also, the Academy system certainly isn't without its flaws either, but that's another debate). I'm fairly sure I heard on a podcast recently that an Irish player hasn't come through as a first choice player at one of the top 6 clubs in 20 years.
 

Pogue Mahone

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John Delaney's regard for our national league is such that he described it as "a problem child". In many other countries that would have been sufficient to render his position untenable. Here, it just raised a chuckle from his acolytes and utter disgust from the journos who were forced to endure it, knowing that the story would get less attention than it deserved from an indifferent public.
That really is an astonishing quote, considering his responsibilities. The glib assumption that clubs in the English leagues should be responsible for developing all the best Irish players is scandalous (even if there's an element of truth in it).

On the coaching thing, my 7 year old started playing with a local club last season. The coaches are all volunteers but essentially well intentioned. Lots of emphasis on short passing and small pitches. I went along to watch their U-8s play their first game of the season and the other club played some freakishly big child up front and their coach was actively encouraging everyone on their team to lump it long to him, so they could feed off the scraps. This is a very effective tactic at that level and they ended up smashing us. I couldn't believe my eyes, though. 7 and 8 year olds being taught route one football. The mind boggles.
 

Brophs

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That really is an astonishing quote, considering his responsibilities. The glib assumption that clubs in the English leagues should be responsible for developing all the best Irish players is scandalous (even if there's an element of truth in it).

On the coaching thing, my 7 year old started playing with a local club last season. The coaches are all volunteers but essentially well intentioned. Lots of emphasis on short passing and small pitches. I went along to watch their U-8s play their first game of the season and the other club played some freakishly big child up front and their coach was actively encouraging everyone on their team to lump it long to him, so they could feed off the scraps. This is a very effective tactic at that level and they ended up smashing us. I couldn't believe my eyes, though. 7 and 8 year olds being taught route one football. The mind boggles.
Yeah, it's beyond troubling. But the good news is that Delaney doesn't sit in front of the media any more so we won't have to concern ourselves with these uncomfortable truths much longer.

Probably a more common story than you think, that one. I was in Athlone a few weekends back looking after our nieces and nephews and one of the girls had a football blitz. Mixed teams of boys and girls under 7 years old. The main focus early on was well-intentioned as you found; keeping banks of DF/MF/AT in their respective positions so it didn't get crowded and on getting everyone a few kicks of the ball and making them feel included. As the morning went on there was a very definite air of the weak being gradually given less and less time on the pitch, not to mention the ball and a group of parents becoming very vocal both towards the kids and the referees. "Get stuck in" and "Get rid of it" were the most common thing I heard. Like yourself, the final was between the two teams made up of the biggest kids and, as far as I could tell, the most vocal parents. Towards the end of that match there was a minor argument between one of the coaches and a parent as the coach wanted a smaller girl who wasn't that skilful to take a peno they'd gotten and the parent wanted his son, by far the best and biggest player, to take it. In the end he stood his ground and the little girl took it and missed, which didn't seem to help the mood.
 

Pogue Mahone

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Yeah, it's beyond troubling. But the good news is that Delaney doesn't sit in front of the media any more so we won't have to concern ourselves with these uncomfortable truths much longer.

Probably a more common story than you think, that one. I was in Athlone a few weekends back looking after our nieces and nephews and one of the girls had a football blitz. Mixed teams of boys and girls under 7 years old. The main focus early on was well-intentioned as you found; keeping banks of DF/MF/AT in their respective positions so it didn't get crowded and on getting everyone a few kicks of the ball and making them feel included. As the morning went on there was a very definite air of the weak being gradually given less and less time on the pitch, not to mention the ball and a group of parents becoming very vocal both towards the kids and the referees. "Get stuck in" and "Get rid of it" were the most common thing I heard. Like yourself, the final was between the two teams made up of the biggest kids and, as far as I could tell, the most vocal parents. Towards the end of that match there was a minor argument between one of the coaches and a parent as the coach wanted a smaller girl who wasn't that skilful to take a peno they'd gotten and the parent wanted his son, by far the best and biggest player, to take it. In the end he stood his ground and the little girl took it and missed, which didn't seem to help the mood.
I get the impression that "enthusiastic" parents (to put it kindly) is a long-standing problem in kid's football, in Ireland as well as everywhere else. We're regularly taken aside and given a talking to about being sure to applaud good bits of play from all players, on both teams. It's difficult, though. I'm a really competitive person and instinctively root for my son more than the other kids. He's cut from the same cloth and it can ruin the whole day if he loses his match. All of which means it's sometimes hard to be patient with the varying standards of play (and refereeing) even at this young age.

I've managed to stop short of chanting "you're shit and you know you are" at the weaker members of his team but there's still time, right?

EDIT: Having posted that, I feel the need to clarify. I don't actually moan out loud about mistakes by referees/other kids, on the basis that I'm not a complete cnut.
 

Brophs

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I get the impression that "enthusiastic" parents (to put it kindly) is a long-standing problem in kid's football, in Ireland as well as everywhere else. We're regularly taken aside and given a talking to about being sure to applaud good bits of play from all players, on both teams. It's difficult, though. I'm a really competitive person and instinctively root for my son more than the other kids. He's cut from the same cloth and it can ruin the whole day if he loses his match. All of which means it's sometimes hard to be patient with the varying standards of play (and refereeing) even at this young age.

I've managed to stop short of chanting "you're shit and you know you are" at the weaker members of his team but there's still time, right?

EDIT: Having posted that, I feel the need to clarify. I don't actually moan out loud about mistakes by referees/other kids, on the basis that I'm not a complete cnut.
Yeah, that's been my impression too. I don't know how you solve it, though. My missus' nieces' school tried instigating a "no negative comments from spectators" policy but policing it is near impossible and has led to some barneys on the touchline, by all accounts.

Heh. But I know what you mean. There's that sort of inherent sense of fairness that you try to pass onto them and sometimes, for either reasons of unfairness, ineptitude or even just trying to show sportsmanship, that isn't really upheld, at least for some of the kids. I know, for example, when I was watching the games I mentioned, some of the decisions seemed to be made on the basis that if they weren't, the ref would have had to chase the ball across the field or whatever.
 

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Surely the FAI can learn something from the IRFU. Granted it's a different set up with the provinces in rugby etc but even at club level in Ireland rugby is miles ahead of local the football leagues in terms of coaching and organisation. This is from my experience in the midlands at least, having playing both sports.
 

Pogue Mahone

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Surely the FAI can learn something from the IRFU. Granted it's a different set up with the provinces in rugby etc but even at club level in Ireland rugby is miles ahead of local the football leagues in terms of coaching and organisation. This is from my experience in the midlands at least, having playing both sports.
Always assumed that was for financial reasons. Rugby clubs seem to have loads of wealthy players/ex-players willing to plough money back into the club. I always assume rugby clubs are re much better off than their football counterparts. At least that's my impression. Could be wrong.
 

Keenst

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Always assumed that was for financial reasons. Rugby clubs seem to have loads of wealthy players/ex-players willing to plough money back into the club. I always assume rugby clubs are re much better off than their football counterparts. At least that's my impression. Could be wrong.
Probably does have a lot to do with it to be fair. But there's got to be a lot more to it than that too. Can't put my finger on what exactly but to me it just seems there is a much better plan in place for rugby all around Ireland compared to football where most of the focus seems to be on Dublin.
 

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Probably does have a lot to do with it to be fair. But there's got to be a lot more to it than that too. Can't put my finger on what exactly but to me it just seems there is a much better plan in place for rugby all around Ireland compared to football where most of the focus seems to be on Dublin.
Money aside, the RFU are far more dedicated to doing what is best for the game in Ireland than the cnut in charge of the FAI. As per @Brophs post above.
 

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Money aside, the RFU are far more dedicated to doing what is best for the game in Ireland than the cnut in charge of the FAI. As per @Brophs post above.
Yeah that much is clear. It just seems they have such a clear plan and it's working well. The FAI seems amateur in comparison, it's a disgrace really.
 

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Yeah that much is clear. It just seems they have such a clear plan and it's working well. The FAI seems amateur in comparison, it's a disgrace really.
In fairness look how we've come since the 2002 training facilities fiasco. Things are looking up white text
 

Brophs

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In fairness look how we've come since the 2002 training facilities fiasco. Things are looking up white text
The John Delaney method of governance: use the 14 intervening years to catch up to where the smaller nations were in 2002.;)
 

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So I presume we've all heard about this incident with the supporters being searched outside the stadium in Belgrade, presumably under the instructions of the FAI looking for anti Delaney flags etc. ?

Just unbelievable really.
 

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That first half performance against France made me love them again. I warmly welcome the Republic of Ireland back into the fold of British national sides.
 

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Irish teenager Gavin Kilkenny of Bournemouth named in Guardians top 20 next generation talents at premier league clubs...he's a winger...we could do with one or two more of those in the future

https://www.theguardian.com/footbal...0-of-the-best-talents-at-premier-league-clubs

Guardian says this about him -
The 16-year-old winger impressed after initially arriving on trial from the Dublin-based St Kevin’s Boys Club towards the end of last season. The young Irishman, who has been capped at Under-17 level, spent 10 years with St Kevin’s, a club that nurtured Hull City’s Robbie Brady and Burnley’s Jeff Hendrick as well as, in years gone by, Robbie Keane.

“He’s a fairly attack-minded winger, he’s bright, has got good feet, good technical ability and a good work-rate,” says Carl Fletcher, the Bournemouth youth team manager. “He’s progressing nicely from what we have seen so far.”
 

limerickcitykid

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Should really be two straight forward enough matches but I know we'll make a meal of the Georgia match.

I'd like to see Matt Doherty called up and given a go at LB. Ward is our only option there and he is shit and we shouldn't be wasting Brady back there. And what is even the point of the likes of Hayes and Gleeson? Why not get Byrne and Cullen and in to train with the team.
 

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Delighted with the 3 points, performance was shockingly bad but it's how O Neill wants us to play (long ball) so will have to suck it up. If we beat Moldova 7 points would be a fine start.
 
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