Rumori di Spogliatoio

Radio Ireland - news and views from Irish football

Angelo PalmeriComment

Dundalk Set to Double Dip

Angelo PalmeriComment

'Rumori' tries to bring coverage of as many continental leagues as possible.

For the SSE Airtricity League (or also known as 'League oif Ireland') we are counting on the insider look of Keith O'Dwyer


Keith has worked for several years at the Irish club Sligo Rovers as he was the Club Promotion Officer and Secretary. He is now a volunteer within the club and the match commentator for local radio, Ocean FM.

'Radio Ireland' will bring stories and inside look from the Irish football realm.

Not to mention that Sander Puri is now a player at Sligo and we will follow him very closely this season!


Last weekend saw the four quarter-finals of the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup take place, this is the premier cup competition in Ireland, the equivalent of the Evald Tipner's Cup in Estonia. Sligo Rovers were involved as they travelled to Oriel Park to take on Dundalk, it turned out to be a miserable night for the men from the West as they were comfortable beaten 4-0. Daryl Horgan, Ciaran Kilduff, Ronan Finn and Sean Maguire with the goals all of which came in the second half. Kilduff’s goal in particular is worth seeking out online as he flicked in a free kick from the left by Darren Meenan. Despite being back from international duty Sander Puri missed the game due to a tight hamstring and was rested as a precaution. So Rovers will now be left to focus on securing their Premier Division status. Dundalk are on course for the league and cup double and will be at home to Longford Town in the semi-finals. Longford booked their place by beating junior side Sheriff YC 3-1. David O’Sullivan, Ayman Ben Mohamed and Lorcan Shannon got their goals with Joseph Flood scoring for Sheriff. 

Even given all their managerial changes this season, five so far, Bray Wanderers are also through to the last four as they beat the other remaining non-league side Killester United 2-0 thanks to goals from Hugh Douglas and Dave Scully. The other remaining game needed a replay to settle the tie. In their initial meeting last Friday Derry City and Cork City drew 1-1. Ryan McBride gave Derry the lead with Mark O’Sullivan equalising for Cork. The replay was Monday night in Cork and the home side secured their place in the semis away against Bray thanks to a 3-0 win. Ross Gaynor, Garry Buckley and John O’Flynn with the goals. That game was significant also in that a couple of days after Derry parted ways with their manager Peter Hutton as they like Rovers are involved in the relegation battle. At the time of writing they have yet to appoint a new manager but Cliftonville boss Tommy Breslin is the favourite to take up the reins at the Brandywell. With only six games left the Derry board will be hoping that any new manager will have an instant impact.

Sander Puri returned to Ireland after the international week carrying an injury

Sander Puri returned to Ireland after the international week carrying an injury

So it’s back to league action this weekend although the first competitive piece of silverware in up for grabs as well as on Saturday evening Galway United take on St. Patrick’s Athletic in the EA Sports Cup Final in Eamon Deacy Park. This would be seen as the third ranked cup in the SSE Airtricity League with its importance diminished by the fact that there is no European place on offer. The winners get €10,000 which is not to be sniffed at. It’s a competition that I have a special place for as Rovers winning it in 2010 kick-started the great spell of success that the club had. Due to the EA Sports Cup Final Rovers will have no league fixture this weekend so instead they will be playing a friendly on Saturday against local junior side Aughanagh Celtic in a game to mark the official opening of their new pitch, kick-off is at 4pm Estonian time. It will be a quiet weekend for me with just the one game to cover which is on the Sunday as Rovers U-19’s take on their Dundalk counterparts in Oriel Park and I will have updates for Ocean FM. Don’t forget you can follow me on twitter @keithodwyer, every week I inch closer to 1,000 followers and even though it has no real significance, it has now become a milestone I want to attain so all follows appreciated!

Until next week,

Keith


Due to technical reasons, we couldn't publish Keith's two previous accounts on League of Ireland action. Here are duly published. Apologies to our readers and the author.

26th of August
Tough Cup Draw for Sligo Rovers


The (hoped for) revival of Sligo Rovers continued over the weekend as they booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup which is the premier cup competition in Ireland. Also Rovers have great recent pedigree in the FAI Cup as they won it three times this decade already in 2010, 2011 and 2013. They were 4-0 winners away against non league side Cobh Wanderers. Dinny Corcoran scored two with Raffaele Cretaro and David Cawley getting the other goals. Their reward an away draw against the country’s top side Dundalk who beat Galway United 4-1 in their cup tie. That game is due to be played the week ending 13th September. Rovers haven’t beaten Dundalk in the cup since 1951 so hopefully are due a change in fortune. Rovers will also have to face Dundalk the week previously in the league and again that is in Oriel Park. Sander Puri will miss the league game due to his recall to the Estonian national team but should be back for the cup game where he will be needed!

Elsewhere in the FAI Cup holder’s St. Patrick’s Athletic lost 4-0 against Cork City while Bray Wanderers won 1-0 away against Bohemian F.C. In an all non-league clash Killester United beat Tolka Rovers 4-0. Tolka were managed for the game by former Sligo Rovers manager Owen Heary who is in temporary charge there. Longford Town beat Cockhill Celtic 2-0 with Derry City winning 3-0 at home against Drogheda United. Sheriff YC who are another non-league side drew 2-2 with Athlone Town from the First Division. In the replay which was on Monday night the game was goal-less after full and extra time with Sheriff winning on penalties. That means that there are only two Dublin sides left in the competition and they are two non-league teams – Sheriff YC and Killester United. Imagine having no league clubs from Tallinn left in the quarter-final of the cup, I bet you that hasn’t happened too often!

 

3rd of September 2015
Dun & Dusted


I think it’s fair to say that the engravers can put Dundalk’s name on the SSE Aitricity League Premier Division as they showed their championship mettle last Friday night against Bohemian F.C. in Dalymount Park. Trailing 2-1 in stoppage time, Richie Towell scored an equaliser to ensure that they left with a point. Nearest challengers Cork City maintain a chase but surely they would have to admit that it is a fruitless one as they beat St. Patrick’s Athletic 3-1 on Monday after dispatching of Galway United on the Friday previous, that game ended in a 1-0 win for the Leesiders. It also made it back to back defeats for St. Patrick’s who lost 1-0 against Derry on the Friday. To compound matters for them their star player Chris Forrester departed for pastures new signing for English League One side Peterborough United. Longford Town were 1-0 winners against Bray Wanderers with bottom side Limerick continuing their remarkable run as they won 4-1 away against Drogheda United. It’s all getting very tight at the bottom of the table and as such Drogheda parted company with their manager Johnny McDonnell. Former Irish international Mark Kinsella has been appointed as caretaker. 

Sligo Rovers took on Shamrock Rovers last Saturday evening in the Showgrounds and entertaining game ended in a 1-1 draw extending Rovers unbeaten run in the league to three games, their best of the season to date! Sander Puri gave the Bit O’Red the perfect send off before he linked up with the Estonian national team squad as he gave them the lead in the first half. A well taken header from a Regan Donelon header and his first home league goal. Gary McCabe equalised for Shamrock in the second half. That game means that Rovers are now out of the bottom two and look to be on the right road to securing their premier division status. The game was also notable in that it was the first start for former Irish international Damien Duff for Shamrock and while he showed some good touches, he faded as the game went on. He is clearly short on match fitness but still great to have him playing in the league. Shamrock then travelled to Oriel Park during the week to take on Dundalk and were beaten 2-0. 

 

The Red Army is on the March!

Angelo PalmeriComment

'Rumori' tries to bring coverage of as many continental leagues as possible.

For the SSE Airtricity League (or also known as 'League oif Ireland') we are counting on the insider look of Keith O'Dwyer


Keith has worked for several years at the Irish club Sligo Rovers as he was the Club Promotion Officer and Secretary. He is now a volunteer within the club and the match commentator for local radio, Ocean FM.

'Radio Ireland' will bring stories and inside look from the Irish football realm.

Not to mention that Sander Puri is now a player at Sligo and we will follow him very closely this season!


It was a pivotal weekend of action in the SSE Airtricity League with games on Friday and Monday. For Premier Division leaders Dundalk they have all but cemented their name on the league trophy as on Friday they travelled to Derry and won 2-0 and followed this up on Monday by beating St. Patrick’s Athletic 4-1. They are now ten points clear of Cork City who had a poor weekend as on Friday they lost 3-2 at home to bottom side Limerick while on Monday were beaten 3-0 by Shamrock Rovers. That game was notable for the debut of former Irish international and English Premier League star Damien Duff who came on in the 87th minute for Shamrock. The Hoops are now third as they won two out of two beating Longford 3-1 in their other fixture. Longford have slipped into the relegation battle and on Monday drew 3-3 with Limerick. Galway United are also dragged into the scrap after they lost against Bohs and drew with Drogheda United. 

Sligo fans aka 'The Red Army' (forzarovers.net)

Sligo fans aka 'The Red Army' (forzarovers.net)

It was a moving weekend for Sligo Rovers who recorded back to back wins for the first time this season. On Friday they travelled to Drogheda and won 4-0 thanks to two goals from Danish striker Morten Nielsen and one apiece from Jason Hughes and Anthony Elding. It was new manager Micky Adams’s first win in charge (see box below on the right about the new coach -edit) of the Bit O’Red and he followed it up on Monday by beating Derry 1-0 in the Showgrounds. Tim Clancy with the game’s only goal. Those results mean that while Rovers are still second from bottom they are level on points with Derry and also only one point behind Galway United and Longford Town. Crucially as well they seem to be building up a head of steam while other sides around them are running out of it. Sander Puri played every minute of both games and always looks lively and threatening on the left and works hard. But and there is a but if there is one criticism that can be levelled at him it is that he needs to deliver more of an end product. He has only scored once this season and his assists tally is in the low singles as well, given what he is capable of this needs to be higher on both fronts. He is so highly regarded by Rovers supporters and more to give, if he starts to produce more in terms of finishing and assisting then he will emerge as one of the best players in the league.

MICKY ADAMS, A YOUNG EXPERIENCED MANAGER ---- by Keith O'Dwyer, Sligo. After a long period of speculation and rumours Sligo Rovers (Estonia’s favourite Irish club tm) have a new manager in Micky Adams. Adams brings with him a lot of experience despite being relatively young in manager terms given that he is only 53. He has experienced it all in football in England having played and managed in the Premier League while in his most recent job with Tranmere Rovers he was sacked with two games left as Tranmere were relegated from League Two into non-league football. He will be assisted by Alan Rogers who was his assistant at Tranmere and who also enjoyed a decent playing career having had spells with Nottingham Forest and Leicester. It’s an expensive appointment by the club but one made with the clear aim of keeping Rovers in the Premier Division. Initially he has been appointed until the end of the season and the position will be reviewed then. He has actually managed twice in the Showgrounds before. In 1997 he was then manager of Fulham and his charges won 6-2 and then in 2001 he was back as manager of Brighton who were beaten 1-0. Random fact but my brother made his debut for Rovers that day!

This week it is a break from league action with the third round of the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup and Rovers face a long trip down to the bottom of the country as they take on Cobh Wanderers who are a non-league side . Cobh is perhaps most famous for having been the last docking point of the Titanic and let’s hope that Rovers cup hopes don’t come a flounder – I’m sorry but it had to be done!! Kick-off is at 9:45pm Estonian time tonight and I will have updates for Ocean FM which you can listen to Worldwide through www.oceanfm.ie

Until next week,

Keith

Dun Deal in the Race for the Premier League Title

Angelo PalmeriComment

'Rumori' tries to bring coverage of as many continental leagues as possible.

For the SSE Airtricity League (or also known as 'League oif Ireland') we are counting on the insider look of Keith O'Dwyer


Keith has worked for several years at the Irish club Sligo Rovers as he was the Club Promotion Officer and Secretary. He is now a volunteer within the club and the match commentator for local radio, Ocean FM.

'Radio Ireland' will bring stories and inside look from the Irish football realm.

Not to mention that Sander Puri is now a player at Sligo and we will follow him very closely this season!


Goal.com

Goal.com

Dundalk remain on course to retain the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division title as they drew 1-1 with their rivals Cork City in Oriel Park last Sunday evening. It was a game Cork needed to win to eat into the home sides six point lead. Richie Towell gave Dundalk the lead from the penalty spot while Mark O’Sullivan equalised for the Leesiders. Earlier in the week Dundalk crashed out of the Champions League qualifiers as a 0-0 home draw with Belarus side Bate Borisov meant that they went out 2-1 on aggregate.

It was a disappointing week in European terms for clubs from the Airtricity League as in the Europa League Shamrock Rovers went out against Norwegian side Odd while UCD were beaten by crack Slovakian side Slovan Bratislava. 

Shamrock Rovers' Mickey Drennan takes a free kick during the Uefa Europa League second qualifying (IrishTimes.com)

Shamrock Rovers' Mickey Drennan takes a free kick during the Uefa Europa League second qualifying (IrishTimes.com)

So it will be league and cup action that will dominate matters for all teams from here on in. Elsewhere Bohemian F.C. continued with their good season as they beat Derry City 4-2. Derry remain mired in the relegation battle. Bottom side Limerick were beaten 4-1 by Shamrock Rovers and Longford Town drew 1-1 with Drogheda United. And as for Estonia’s favourite Irish club it was another bad week as Sligo Rovers were beaten 3-0 in the Showgrounds by St. Patrick’s Athletic. Chris Forrester scored twice for St. Pat’s while Jamie McGrath got their third. They are now just below Cork in the league while Rovers are second from bottom and have a huge game this weekend when they travel to face table proppers Limerick. There will be updates from myself on Ocean FM and I think I know how you can listen in now if you want to, kick-off is at 8:30pm Estonian time. 

The Congo-born Nzuzi, he is a Newcastle youth produce (NUFC.co.uk)

The Congo-born Nzuzi, he is a Newcastle youth produce (NUFC.co.uk)

It has been a busy couple of weeks at the Showgrounds with players coming and going as Stephen Folan and Eoin Wearen departed. In came defender Patrick Nzuzi and midfielder Jason Hughes while striker Rob Lehane joined on loan from Cork.

Sander Puri had another good game against St. Pat’s but had to go off injured towards the end of the first half, when he left it took away Rovers main attacking outlet. He should be fit for the Limerick game and Rovers will need him! In the first division it’s starting to get close at the top in the race for promotion. Finn Harps still lead the way but they are now only a point ahead of Wexford Youths despite both having lost at the weekend. Youths were beaten 3-1 by Athlone Town while Harps went down 1-0 against UCD. The students are the team to watch as they will be buoyed by their run and performances in the Europa League qualifiers and also have two games in hand on the sides above them. Also well placed are Shelbourne who won 2-1 away against Waterford United. The division’s remaining game saw Cobh Ramblers edge out Cabinteely 2-1 in St. Colman’s Park. 


Until next week,

Keith O’Dwyer

Rovers Can Start to Look Upwards

Angelo PalmeriComment

'Rumori' tries to bring coverage of as many continental leagues as possible.

For the SSE Airtricity League (or also known as 'League oif Ireland') we are counting on the insider look of Keith O'Dwyer


Keith has worked for several years at the Irish club Sligo Rovers as he was the Club Promotion Officer and Secretary. He is now a volunteer within the club and the match commentator for local radio, Ocean FM.

'Radio Ireland' will bring stories and inside look from the Irish football realm.

Not to mention that Sander Puri is now a player at Sligo and we will follow him very closely this season!


Joseph Ndo is finally appointed official as new Sligo coach along with Gavin Dykes.

Joseph Ndo is finally appointed official as new Sligo coach along with Gavin Dykes.

Well they do say that a week is a long time in football and that was true in the case of Sligo Rovers. Supporters had been disappointed with the draw at home to Galway United but their enthusiasm was refreshed by the 3-2 win against Longford Town last Saturday evening in the Showgrounds. This was the first game after the permanent appointment of Gavin Dykes and Joseph Ndo. They were given a good endorsement by the Rovers supporters as there was a crowd of nearly 1,600 in attendance which isn't bad for a team in a relegation battle. And they were rewarded after an even 20 minutes Rovers remembered the side they were and produced some exhilarating football racing into a 3-0 lead at half time thanks to goals from David Cawley, Keith Ward and Dinny Corcoran. The goals are well worth checking out, they can be viewed on the Sligo Rovers website . Cawley's was the result of a 16 team passing move and Ward's a superbly taken dink over the keeper.

Now it wasn't all plain sailing as when Longford pulled one back from the penalty spot, the doubts and defensive fragility that have plauged Rovers throughout the season resurfaced. And yes they were shaky as Longford's direct game yielded another goal and set up a nervy finish but Rovers held out and picked up the win. And it was a crucial one as the three points took them out of the bottom two and the feeling is now that Rovers can look upwards rather than over their shoulder. Ndo has a vision for the team, he wants them to play football the right way and finally the green shoots of recovery cane be seen. Their have been false dawns before this season but this one seems to have more substance about it. At the heart of it will be Sander Puri, he had another impressive game for the week being picked in a number of national teams of the week. A bright spot on what has not been a great season to date for the club but he is living up to his reputation. On this form he has to have done enough to force his way back into Magnus Pehrsson's plans and like all Rovers fans I await the announcement of the next Estonian national team squad and I don't mean the provisional one! 

Tonight Rovers travel to Dalymount Park to take on Bohemian F.C. Who are going into the game on the back of two straight defeats. The Bit O'Red have good recent form against Bohs and are unbeaten against them in their last eleven games. I will have updates on the game for Ocean FM and it will also be live on Setanta Sports. Kick-off is at 10:05pm Estonian time. 

As always you can follow me on twitter - @keithodwyer

Until next week,

Keith O'Dwyer.

White smoke at Sligo Rovers

Angelo PalmeriComment

'Rumori' tries to bring coverage of as many continental leagues as possible.

For the SSE Airtricity League (or also known as 'League oif Ireland') we are counting on the insider look of Keith O'Dwyer


Keith has worked for several years at the Irish club Sligo Rovers as he was the Club Promotion Officer and Secretary. He is now a volunteer within the club and the match commentator for local radio, Ocean FM.

'Radio Ireland' will bring stories and inside look from the Irish football realm.

Not to mention that Sander Puri is now a player at Sligo and we will follow him very closely this season!


And so we have white smoke and Sligo Rovers have a new management team and not a moment too soon as Estonia’s favourite SSE Airtricity League Premier Division side are very much in the thick of a relegation battle. Last week they drew 1-1 with Galway United in the Showgrounds and remain second from bottom in the table. There was another impressive performance from Sander Puri who has been one the clubs stand out players this season but again he needs to deliver more of an end product – in my opinion anyways!

yan Connolly who is a former Rovers player gave Galway the lead with Dinny Corcoran equalising for the Bit O’Red. A couple of days after this game it was announced that the caretaker duo of Gavin Dykes and Joseph Ndo had been appointed as the full time management team. This makes sense in terms of stability for the club and both know the club and the players well and will hopefully help Rovers pull away from the bottom end of the table. It was announced that Steven Beattie who had been another stand out player for Rovers had left to join title chasing Cork City. I have a feeling there will be a few more comings and goings in this transfer window at the Showgrounds!

As for the league itself, well it’s still Dundalk leading the way with Cork and Shamrock Rovers doing the chasing but with every week that passes it is becoming more and more likely that the Lillywhites will retain their league title. They begin their Champions League qualification campaign this week as they head off to Belarus to take on Bate Borisov. It has been a mixed European campaign for the Irish clubs so far with Cork and St. Patrick’s Athletic knocked out while UCD and Shams are through. Like Rover Bray Wanderers also appointed a new manager during the week with Mick Cooke taking charge. He is their third manager this season as rumours of financial difficulties and bounced cheques for players swirl around the Carlisle Grounds. Yet still they are getting the results on the pitch and with no manager the players went down to Limerick last week and won 1-0! Limerick look to be doomed and are currently propping up the table. Elsewhere the big news around the league is the incoming arrival of former Irish international Damien Duff. Duff who most recently played with A League side Melbourne City has had spells with Blackburn Rovers, Chelsea, Newcastle and Fulham and would be a great marque signing for the league. Shamrock Rovers look the most likely club to sign him and the rumour is that he will donate his wages to charity which is a magnificent gesture, if true. 

Tomorrow evening Rovers are home to Longford Town and again the game will be live on Ocean FM and you can listen in Worldwide through their website www.oceanfm.ie. Conor O’Grady and myself will be doing the commentary and if you would like a shout out let me know by tweeting me @keithodwyer.

 

Learning a Lesson from the Students

On Thursday the 2nd of July, I decided to head to the UCD Bowl for the UEFA Europa League as the home side took on F91 Dudelange from Luxembourg in the first leg. UCD play in the SSE Airtricity League First Division and qualified for Europe through the Fair Play league. Of all the Irish teams involved in Europe their chances had been written off the most given that they haven’t been setting the First Division alight and currently lie mid-table. And yet such is football that on the night UCD played well and won 1-0, their first ever win in Europe and took a lead and a clean sheet to the return leg that took place in Luxembourg on the 9th. Ryan Swan scored the game’s only goal. It was a lovely evening all round as they played some good counter attacking football and for a team that has an average attendance of 170, it was great to see over 1,000 in attendance. More heartening was the number of fans from other SSE Airtricity League clubs that had come along to support UCD on the night. Credit has to go to all involved with UCD for the smooth organisation of the game, there was little visible stewarding, no checking of bags or removing of caps off bottles and all in all it was a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. I think Dudelange underestimated them and even though they won 2-1 in Luxembourg, UCD went through on away goals. 

Until next week,

Keith.

Rovers Prepare for Seaside Trip

Angelo PalmeriComment

'Rumori' tries to bring coverage of as many continental leagues as possible.

For the SSE Airtricity League (or also known as 'League oif Ireland') we are counting on the insider look of Keith O'Dwyer


Keith has worked for several years at the Irish club Sligo Rovers as he was the Club Promotion Officer and Secretary. He is now a volunteer within the club and the match commentator for local radio, Ocean FM.

'Radio Ireland' will bring stories and inside look from the Irish football realm.

Not to mention that Sander Puri is now a player at Sligo and we will follow him very closely this season!


Owen Heary is probably gone however the club hasn't made it official, yet.

Owen Heary is probably gone however the club hasn't made it official, yet.

After the excitement of the European draws action resumes this weekend in the SSE Airtricity League and even though they aren't contending for the Premier Division title, once again it is Sligo Rovers who are the focus of attention. Again at the time of writing Owen Heary's departure had not been confirmed even though his close friend Stuart Byrne was talking on one of the national stations here in Ireland about how Heary has been sacked. It's not an ideal situation but to their credit the team have been back training since Monday with all attention focused on their game against Bray Wanderers on Saturday. Joseph Ndo is taking the training and will be in the dugout in the Carlisle Grounds which is close to the promenade in Bray. This is a crunch game for Rovers as the result could determine what supporters can expect for the second half of the season. A win would hopefully see Rovers start the climb towards mid-table safety and maybe a good run in the Cup. Ah! The cup! For so many football fans it is always the shining light of their season, the hope that it might be their clubs year or that a good run can kick start league form. Rovers supporters are no different and well in recent time Rovers cup form has been exemplary. Beaten finalists in 2009 and winners in 2010, 2011 and 2013. But I digress as a defeat would see Rovers very much involved in a relegation battle and that is not where a club like the Bit O'Red should be.

Joseph Ndo during his playing time with Sligo Rovers

Joseph Ndo during his playing time with Sligo Rovers

While the club had and is coming under heavy criticism for having not issued a statement (as of yet!) clarifying the managerial situation, it is a very delicate matter and I would imagine that their hands are tied until a settlement can be reached. It is clear that Heary's reign is over so once all is sorted on the compensation front the club will have to begin looking for a new manager – again! There will also be movement on the players front as a natural consequence of having to pay off a manager means the club will have to look to make savings and one of the places to make a cut back is on the playing front. There have been plenty of rumours of who will be going but again I am sure that will all be confirmed in due course. Also affected by events in the Showgrounds are First Division leaders and near neighbours Finn Harps, they have two players – Regan Donolon and Ruairi Keating – currently on loan from Rovers and both are expected to return to their parent side once the transfer window opens on the 1st July. This will be disappointing for Harps who will be losing two first team players but good for the two lads in question who will push for a starting place with the Bit O'Red. 

Due to gaelic (the national indigenous game in Ireland) commentaries it will just be updates on Ocean FM from the Bray game today with my good self, kick-off in the Carlisle is at 7:45pm Estonian time.

Until next week,

Mid-Season Break Gives Chance for Reflection

Angelo PalmeriComment

'Rumori' tries to bring coverage of as many continental leagues as possible.

For the SSE Airtricity League (or also known as 'League oif Ireland') we are counting on the insider look of Keith O'Dwyer


Keith has worked for several years at the Irish club Sligo Rovers as he was the Club Promotion Officer and Secretary. He is now a volunteer within the club and the match commentator for local radio, Ocean FM.

'Radio Ireland' will bring stories and inside look from the Irish football realm.

Not to mention that Sander Puri is now a player at Sligo and we will follow him very closely this season!


As in Estonia the SSE Airtricity League in Ireland is currently on its mid-season break with action not due to resume until Friday 26th June. For many players this is their chance to go on holiday and for every club it is an opportunity to reflect on how the first half of the season has gone. And for Estonia’s favourite Irish club Sligo Rovers™ this is particularly pertinent. Things have not panned out as planned and Rovers find themselves third from bottom and currently embroiled in the relegation battle. Also the uncertainty over the future of manager Owen Heary exists. He is still officially listed as manager but for the club’s last game before the break which was home to defending champions and current leaders Dundalk it was Joseph Ndo who was in the dugout and he also had taken the tea training during the week. Heary in fact was in Dublin the night of the game watching his former side Bohemian F.C. take on Shamrock Rovers. At the time of writing the terms of departure for Heary had still not been sorted and as such the club can issue no statement. In the absence of a statement there has been no shortage of rumours with the strongest being that he had been asked to come back and another that he was asked to stay on as manager in name only while Joseph takes training and picks the team.

Heary's job might be already over after the midseason break.

Heary's job might be already over after the midseason break.

In lieu of a settlement and with his position now fairly untenable it could well be that he might have to be placed on ‘gardening leave’ while a replacement is found. While Joseph would be the popular choice for both players and supporters alike sadly he does not yet have the required coaching badges that would allow him to take charge but should certainly be involved in whatever the set-up is going forward. It was clear that he an impact on the players given the performance that they put in against Dundalk as while they lost 2-1 the home supporters went home as happy as you can be when your side lose a game given the level of their performance and effort. Rovers started well with Sander Puri going close after three minutes as he had an effort cleared off the line. Puri had another good game and is really starting to emerge as a player of note in the league. The one criticism I would have of him from the first half of the season is that sometimes he holds onto the ball too much dribbling into dead ends or losing possession, definitely something that can be worked on. A long range strike from Morten Nielsen gave Rovers the lead as they played a high tempo game switching from 4-5-1 to 4-3-3 depending on whether they had the ball or not.

Ndo is a former player of Sligo

Ndo is a former player of Sligo

They couldn’t hold that for 90 minutes though and it is always hard to keep a side like Dundalk out and an own goal from Danny Ledwith and then a second half penalty which was converted by Richie Towell saw them pick up the three points. So going into the break it remains pretty much a three horse race for the title with Dundalk leading the way and looking odds on to retain their crown. In the First Division Finn Harps are starting to stumble but remain top but Athlone Town have closed the gap. As the dust settles and the teams regroup we await confirmation of just who will be in charge of Sligo Rovers when the league resumes!

Until next week,

Horror Show in Tallaght for Sligo Rovers

Angelo PalmeriComment

'Rumori' tries to bring coverage of as many continental leagues as possible.

For the SSE Airtricity League (or also known as 'League oif Ireland') we are counting on the insider look of Keith O'Dwyer


Keith has worked for several years at the Irish club Sligo Rovers as he was the Club Promotion Officer and Secretary. He is now a volunteer within the club and the match commentator for local radio, Ocean FM.

'Radio Ireland' will bring stories and inside look from the Irish football realm.

Not to mention that Sander Puri is now a player at Sligo and we will follow him very closely this season!


An aerial view of Tallaght. The ground is used also for rugby games.

An aerial view of Tallaght. The ground is used also for rugby games.

It was a tough week for Sligo Rovers supporters as the club was beaten and comprehensively so by Shamrock Rovers in the Tallaght Stadium last Friday evening. Despite an even opening and actually some good passages of play they were beaten 5-1 in what was their heaviest defeat of the season and one of their biggest in recent times. Mikey Drennan and Brandon Miele scored two apiece for Shamrock Rovers with Kieran Marty Waters getting their other goal. Dinny Corcoran scored the goal for Sligo Rovers. It was defensive mistakes that led to Rovers undoing as the first Shamrock goal was a ball across which Eoin Wearen failed to clear and it came through to Miele. Their second goal was a ball in from midfield which Rovers left back Danny Ledwith let bounce in front of him and over his head allowing Waters to knock it over the oncoming keeper. In keeping with the flow of the game it was a defensive error by Shamrock Rovers that let Sligo Rovers (a lot of Rovers mentions, hope you can stay with me!) back into the game. Corcoran reacting quick after miscommunication in their defence. They weren't back in the game long though as Ledwith conceded a penalty and then further goals from Miele and Drennan saw the Hoops wrap up the win and the points.

Sander Puri collected another start at Sligo

Sander Puri collected another start at Sligo

Sander Puri started and finished the game but had little impact as Rovers concentrated a lot of their play down the right wing while Puri and Ledwith's wing was the one targeted by Shamrock Rovers as too often there was a gap between them. The fall out from that game is still being felt as I write as at the time of writing there is a huge level of uncertainty as regards the managers position. On Sunday the rumour broke that Owen Heary had been sacked with different people in the club confirming it off the record but no official word. And this continued throughout the week with rumour and counter rumour and countless names being linked to the post. It seems from the outside that the whole thing has come to an impasse as a deal hasn't yet been able to be reached over Heary's compensation. He has a two year contract and is looking for it to be paid up – by all accounts. So the scenario exists where amidst a legal stand-off that Heary could turn up and take the team for their game on Friday even though Joseph Ndo has been taking the training all week and would be expected to be picking the side. There is never a dull moment in football!!

This week Rovers face a tough task as they try to sign off before the mid-season break with a win as they welcome Dundalk to the Showgrounds on Friday evening. Dundalk suffered their first defeat of the season last week when they were beaten 2-1 at home by Bohemian F.C.

Kick-off in the Showgrounds is at 9:45pm Estonian time and as always there will be full live commentary on Ocean FM with former Rovers captain Conor O'Grady and myself. As always you can listen in Worldwide through their website www.oceanfm.ie 


Until next week,

Rovers Progress in FAI Cup

Angelo PalmeriComment

'Rumori' tries to bring coverage of as many continental leagues as possible.

For the SSE Airtricity League (or also known as 'League oif Ireland') we are counting on the insider look of Keith O'Dwyer


Keith has worked for several years at the Irish club Sligo Rovers as he was the Club Promotion Officer and Secretary. He is now a volunteer within the club and the match commentator for local radio, Ocean FM.

'Radio Ireland' will bring stories and inside look from the Irish football realm.

Not to mention that Sander Puri is now a player at Sligo and we will follow him very closely this season!


A Crumlin United's XI (Belfast Telegraph)

A Crumlin United's XI (Belfast Telegraph)

Sligo Rovers are on their best run of the season as they made it three games unbeaten by beating non-league side Crumlin United 2-0 in the Showgrounds last Sunday evening. Dinny Corcoran and David Cawley got the goals as Rovers progressed through to the third round. Crumlin recently won the FAI Intermediate Cup and would be considered one of the top non-league sides and have in their ranks a couple of players who have played in the SSE Airtricity League so on paper this would have been considered a tricky tie but in reality it was anything but. Crumlin were poor not creating a chance from play and it says a lot about the fragile confidence of the Rovers side that they struggled to put them away and didn’t look comfortable being the dominant side. But look all that matters is that they got the win and are through to the next round and are a little bit of a run even if there hasn’t been the biggest improvement in terms of performances. There was a disappointing attendance for the game with just over 600 supporters in the ground, this has become a worrying trend and one the club urgently needs to address. Cup football used to hold a special appeal for the Rovers faithful but not now as it too is being affected by the sense of apathy that is growing towards the club. 

Sander Puri started and lasted an hour before being replaced by Kevin Devaney in what is a now common substitution. It wasn’t one of his better games but then again the team as a whole was flat. I was surprised as such to see that he didn’t make the cut for the Estonia national teams games against Finland and San Marino as last Sunday aside he has been in good form and also and this could be considered controversial! But I think that the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division would be of a slightly higher standard than the A. Le Coq Premium Liiga. I can only base that on results in European competitions between the two sides and also the couple of games that I have watched online. Anyhow I think that on the basis of his recent form he deserved at least a call up to the squad proper. That said every cloud has a silver lining and he will be available for Rovers for their home game against Dundalk on Friday 12th June. This is the last league game for two weeks as in Ireland there is a mid-season break.

It was one of the concessions made for players when the league switched to Summer football as it gives them time to go on holiday with their families and for clubs it can mean that they don’t have to pay wages. There are meant to be no games played during the break but that rule has started to relax in the past couple of years. It was back to league action this week and Friday evening was the ‘Clash of the Rovers’ as Sligo travelled to take on Shamrock in the Tallaght Stadium. Shamrock is familiar to football fans in Estonia due to their 2011 UEFA Champions League qualifier against F.C. Flora, Kick-off was at 10pm Estonian time and Shamrock smashed Sligo 5-1. You can hear Sander's impressions about this game in a long interview with Ocean FM available here at Soundcloud. Sander also spoke about his season with Sligo so far and the life in Ireland.

Until next week,

Just the Ticket............

Deni DelevComment
Sligo Rovers fans (the42.ie)

Sligo Rovers fans (the42.ie)

The thorny issue of accurately reporting attendances is one that is not unique to just Estonia or Ireland for that matter but rather one that is symptomatic to every league outside of the top ones. And the reasons for this can range from not having enough manpower, financial resources to put in a proper ticketing system or in some cases just not wanting to for other reasons! When I started with Sligo Rovers back in 2009 I used to have a running battle with the club about our attendances. I used to always believe that they were higher than reported but really it used to be a matter of perspective. I would stand in the middle of our main stand and look around and it would seem full whereas if you stood across from it you would see pockets of empty seats. Still like with many clubs, our system for working out attendances wasn’t ideal as there was no proper ticketing system in place. Supporters paid cash on the gate and between gate receipts and guesstimating how many season ticket holders were in the ground the crowd was worked out and to be fair it was usually accurate give or take!

The Showgrounds, Sligo's home (foot.ie)

The Showgrounds, Sligo's home (foot.ie)

As we got more successful the need for a proper system became more apparent and gave the club what it has today which still isn’t fool proof but works. Now whenever a supporter goes to a game they are given a ticket as they pay and these are broken down into three categories:

Adult

OAP/Un-Waged/Student

U-12’s.

The club retains the stub and works out the attendances on that and can ensure that the gate receipts tally, there is still an issue over accurately accounting for season ticket holders but again the differences would be minimal. From my experience in Ireland the club with the best system was and is Cork City’s who developed one in association with Ticketgroup. Everyone who attends one of their games is allocated a ticket which is scanned from ball-boy to supporter to season ticket holder and they can sub divide these into different categories. It was expensive to install but well worth it as they can account for everyone in the ground, I would love to see the FAI make clubs in Ireland roll out a similar system because there are still clubs who apply a lot of guesswork to their attendances and that shouldn’t be acceptable in this day and age.

Anyways on the pitch it was a special weekend for Sander Puri who scored his first league goal for Rovers in their 1-1 draw with Derry City in the Brandywell. He took it well timing his run so that as he controlled a long ball out of midfield he found himself in behind the defence and he went on to round the keeper before shooting into the empty net. Unfortunately Rovers lead lasted less than two minutes! This week they take on non-league side Crumlin United in the second round of the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup. That game is on Sunday in the Showgrounds and kick-off is at 7pm Estonian time and as always Ocean FM will have live commentary which is available to listen to Worldwide through their website www.oceanfm.ie.

Until next week,

Keith O’Dwyer

Follow @keithodwyer

Three Horse Race in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division

Angelo PalmeriComment

Another week of action in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division but still that old familiar pattern with wins for Dundalk, Shamrock Rovers and Cork against Derry, Longford Town and Cork respectively. Now they were all made work hard for their wins but they remain locked in their own three horse race for the title. In the First Division Finn Harps continue to lead the way as they won 3-2 away against Cobh Ramblers. This was a notable win for Harps as it is an incredibly long and arduous journey from the top of the country to the bottom and usually can take them anywhere from 6-8 hours on a bus. Cobh is a beautiful part of Ireland and apart from being the home town of Roy Keane; it is notable as well for being the last docking point of the Titanic as it undertook its doomed Maiden voyage!! The quarter-finals of the EA Sports Cup were held on Monday and Tuesday with Dundalk, St. Patrick’s Athletic, Galway United and Shamrock Rovers all booking their place in the last four, Dundalk are the holders.

Corcoran's brace helped Sligo bringing the first win home.

Corcoran's brace helped Sligo bringing the first win home.

It was a good weekend for Sligo Rovers who finally recorded their first home league win of the season as they beat Drogheda United 2-0 in the Showgrounds last Saturday night. Dinny Corcoran got both goals in a game where Rovers were solid if not spectacular but all that matters was getting the win and keeping a clean sheet. That should stand them well ahead of their trip to the Brandywell to take on Derry City this coming Friday evening. This is the North West derby and a crucial game for two sides who’s season has been disappointing so far to say the least. Kick-off is at 9:45pm Estonian time and as always there will be full live commentary on Ocean FM and you can listen in Worldwide through their website www.oceanfm.ie.

Sander Puri kept his first team place and played well, he’s starting to grow in confidence and take players on and has finally nailed that starting place that he needed. If he continues like this he shouldn’t be long until he is called back into the national team squad. Maybe it’s time that Magnus Pehrsson made a trip to Sligo to check on his form!

One disappointing aspect from the game on Saturday was the crowd which was just over 1,000 people. I know that there are a multitude of reasons for this and that supporters have been disappointed with results and the style of football that the team is playing but the reality is that the club cannot compete with the likes of Dundalk and Cork on crowds like this. When you consider that the bulk of those attending were season ticket holders, it means that the gate receipts would have been paltry. If crowds continue at this rate then the club will find itself under financial pressure and having to cut costs, that is the cold harsh reality of football and I would imagine it is the same in Estonia as it is in Ireland. 

The club had made an effort to drum up interest as well by releasing a really well done simple and effective promotional video but frustratingly for them it had minimal impact.

Interesting to note the piece here on Rumori di Spogliatoio about the counting of crowds and accuracy of attendances, this was a not too recent debate in Ireland as well and I will write more about this next week.

Close but no Cigar for Sligo Rovers

Deni DelevComment

'Rumori' tries to bring coverage of as many continental leagues as possible.

For the SSE Airtricity League (or also known as 'League oif Ireland') we are counting on the insider look of Keith O'Dwyer


Keith has worked for several years at the Irish club Sligo Rovers as he was the Club Promotion Officer and Secretary. He is now a volunteer within the club and the match commentator for local radio, Ocean FM.

'Radio Ireland' will bring stories and inside look from the Irish football realm.

Not to mention that Sander Puri is now a player at Sligo and we will follow him very closely this season!


There is a depressing familiarity about this blog as another week passes and Dundalk and Cork City remain the top two in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, Finn Harps remain atop the First Division and Sligo Rovers continue to struggle.

Kevin Devaney's goal wasn't enough to keep Sligo level with Cork City (sligorovers.com)

Kevin Devaney's goal wasn't enough to keep Sligo level with Cork City (sligorovers.com)

Last Friday they made the long journey down to the South of Ireland to take on Cork City in Turner’s Cross. They lost 3-2 but showed some good fighting qualities which will hopefully serve them well as they look to get up into mid-table. A brace from Karl Sheppard had seen the home side race into an early 2-0 lead, Sheppard also missed a penalty in-between scoring as Rovers were being run ragged. But they responded well to going behind with John Russell pulling a goal back as they went in 2-1 down at half-time. Kevin Devaney then equalised in the 73rd minute only for Cork to get an 88th minute winner through Mark O’Sullivan. Rovers did have a couple of chances to score after that but failed to take them and again their tendency to concede late goals this season came back to haunt them.

Another tough break for Owen Heary’s side but at least they showed some good spirit in fighting back. He was given somewhat of a boost as well over the weekend with the club’s chairman Joe Burns coming out on radio giving him full backing. This is important as the club needs stability and Heary has to be given the chance to put things right. He also needs to work on the teams concentration as they fade in the last ten minutes which is crucial as it is costing them points and goals as in the two games against Cork and the recent home game with Limerick. They have to learn to shut up shop and see games out. Sander Puri again started on the left hand side and did well before being replaced by Devaney in the 70th minute. This weekend Rovers face a crunch clash against fellow strugglers Drogheda United, there will be full live commentary on the game and as always you can listen in Worldwide through www.oceanfm.ie. Kick-off in the Showgrounds is at 9:45pm Estonian time. 

It was a busy week for former Sligo Rovers manager Paul Cook who left English League One side Chesterfield F.C. to take over at League Two side Portsmouth F.C. Normally dropping down a division would be seen as a step backwards but this one as Pompey are a club on the up with a larger fanbase and budget than Chesterfield and in Cook they have the right man to get them promoted. Between the English and Scottish leagues there are currently four former Rovers managers employed which shows the calibre of candidate that the club has been able to attract over the few years. This is encouraging as well for Heary because it shows if he does a good job then he will be putting himself in the shop window. The managers in question are:

Scottish Premier League – Ian Baraclough @ Motherwell F.C.
English Championship – Steve Cotteril @ Bristol City
English League Two – John Coleman @ Accrington Stanley and Paul Cook @ Portsmouth F.C.

Until next week,

Keith O’Dwyer

Follow @keithodwyer

Stick or Twist Time for Sligo Rovers

Angelo PalmeriComment

'Rumori' tries to bring coverage of as many continental leagues as possible.

For the SSE Airtricity League (or also known as 'League oif Ireland') we are counting on the insider look of Keith O'Dwyer


Keith has worked for several years at the Irish club Sligo Rovers as he was the Club Promotion Officer and Secretary. He is now a volunteer within the club and the match commentator for local radio, Ocean FM.

'Radio Ireland' will bring stories and inside look from the Irish football realm.

Not to mention that Sander Puri is now a player at Sligo and we will follow him very closely this season!


Another hit on target for Corcoran, not enough for the three points.

Another hit on target for Corcoran, not enough for the three points.

Another week of action in the SSE Airtricity League and another disappointing result in the Premier Division for Estonian's favourite Irish side – Sligo Rovers – no other team is making such a claim so I am trademarking it for Rovers!

Last Saturday they took on bottom side Limerick in the Showgrounds and despite a more improved performance the game finished in a 1-1 draw. Dinny Corcoran had given them the lead in the first half and despite having most of the possession and chances they couldn't get a second. As the game wore on they naturally began to play a little deeper looking to protect their lead and Limerick ended up equalising in the 94th minute. To rub further salt in their wound it was a former player Paul O'Conor who scored the goal.

For me what was more disappointing was the crowd which was just over 1,000 which is one of the lowest in recent times and clearly supporters are voting with their feet and showing their dissatisfaction with results and performances. There is a lot of pressure on the manager Owen Heary but he seems to be handling it well and comes across well in his post match interviews, he went on radio then on Sunday and held a firm line that the team are playing well and will turn their season around and he believes that he can win the league with the club albeit not this year!

By all accounts the management committee of the club met during the week and gave Heary a vote of confidence which is the right thing to do as he needs time and needs to be given the chance to turn things around.

I'll make a bold statement and say that the club won't get relegated but that said this is going to be a disappointing season. Sacking the manager now will achieve little, they were rash last year with the way they treated Ian Baraclough and in my opinion the club is still suffering from the ramifications of that. What they do need to do to address the falling crowds is do what the club had been great at and get out and engage with the support base. Get Heary out and about more and hold forums around Sligo and have him share his vision for the club because at the moment a lot of supporters aren't on board with him and his stand offish manner isn't helping develop a relationship with the Rovers fans. The club did get a good draw in the FAI Cup with a home draw in the second round against non-league side Crumlin United from Dublin. It will be a sticky game but one that Rovers can and will come through and that game is due to be played on Saturday 30th May. A good cup run would go a long way towards getting supporters on board with Heary.

For Sander Puri well he started against Limerick on the left and played well, he seems to be settling into the side and now that he is playing more, he is beginning to show what he can do, he will be key to Rovers starting to string some results together. This evening Rovers are away to Cork in what is sure to be a tough game yet the Bit O'Red do have some form in that ground and have ran the Leesiders close in their past few encounters. As always there will be live radio commentary on Ocean FM and you can listen Worldwide through the website www.oceanfm.ie. Kick-off in Turners Cross is at 9:45pm Estonian time.

Until next week,

Keith O'Dwyer 

Hello, World!

Dundalk Remain in Pole Position

Angelo PalmeriComment

'Rumori' tries to bring coverage of as many continental leagues as possible.

For the SSE Airtricity League (or also known as 'League oif Ireland') we are counting on the insider look of Keith O'Dwyer


Keith has worked for several years at the Irish club Sligo Rovers as he was the Club Promotion Officer and Secretary. He is now a volunteer within the club and the match commentator for local radio, Ocean FM.

'Radio Ireland' will bring stories and inside look from the Irish football realm.

Not to mention that Sander Puri is now a player at Sligo and we will follow him very closely this season!


Richie Towell brings Dundalk another set of three points (RTE.ie)

Richie Towell brings Dundalk another set of three points (RTE.ie)

The standout game last week in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division was the meeting of the top two in Turners Cross, Cork as the champions and current leaders Dundalk travelled to face last season’s runners-up Cork City. It was the league games between these sides last season that effectively decided the title race and that added to the occasion. The game was broadcast live on RTE and was a sell-out with just under 7,000 in attendance and there were even people turned away. This itself was a great advertisement for the league and the game lived up to the hype with Dundalk winning 2-1 thanks to two goals from Richie Towell coming after Billy Dennehy had given Cork the lead. So a huge early blow for Cork but after the game they were all that everyone was talking about as pundits talked about the crowd and the attention that they generated for the game. They are been held up as the model for other clubs to aspire to but it’s not that simple and it’s something that the league has a habit of doing.

From the brink of bankrupty to becoming Irish Champions in 2012. The Irish Post (where the picture is taken from) talked about a 'sporting miracle'.

From the brink of bankrupty to becoming Irish Champions in 2012. The Irish Post (where the picture is taken from) talked about a 'sporting miracle'.

When I started working with Sligo Rovers we were told Galway United were the club for us to emulate and then it was Shamrock Rovers, then ourselves and now Cork and Dundalk to be fair as well. The nature of football means that you can’t take the marketing principles applied to one club and use them on another, it’s not that easy, there is a lot of common ground but you need the buy-in of the people involved with the club and of the players, management team and supporters, all have to be on the same page working towards the same goal. Going back to my experience when I started with Rovers we nearly went bankrupt and there was an unspoken pact between everyone involved with the club that it would never be in that situation again. There was a drive to improve in every aspect and we did and it is something I will go into further detail on in subsequent blogs. It’s also why supporters find it hard to take the current situation that the club is in. Last week I said the club had turned a corner well I was wrong and more than a tad optimistic as Rovers were easily brushed aside in Richmond Park by St. Patrick’s Athletic. 

Former player Aaron Greene scored two and Chris Forrester got the other and well in truth St. Pat’s could have won by more as Rovers had one shot on target in the whole game.

Sander Puri started on the right wing and finished on the left but such was St. Pat’s dominance that he spent most of the game camped in his own half as an auxiliary defender. He also received criticism for not tracking back.

Manager Owen Heary remains under pressure and supporters seem split as to whether he should stay or go. I still think that it’s far too early to be making a call on a man who is only in his third season of management. His stand off nature is hurting his relationship with the supporters as he doesn’t acknowledge them after a game and even though it shouldn’t it’s one of things that annoys people and as we all find out too often in life it is the small things that can trip you up. 

Until next week,

Keith O’Dwyer 

Rovers Slowly Starting to Turn the Corner

Angelo PalmeriComment

'Rumori' tries to bring coverage of as many continental leagues as possible.

For the SSE Airtricity League (or also known as 'League oif Ireland') we are counting on the insider look of Keith O'Dwyer


Keith has worked for several years at the Irish club Sligo Rovers as he was the Club Promotion Officer and Secretary. He is now a volunteer within the club and the match commentator for local radio, Ocean FM.

'Radio Ireland' will bring stories and inside look from the Irish football realm.

Not to mention that Sander Puri is now a player at Sligo and we will follow him very closely this season!


A Finn Harps XI. The gaelic name of the club is Cumann Peile Chláirsigh na Finne (Donegal News)

A Finn Harps XI. The gaelic name of the club is Cumann Peile Chláirsigh na Finne (Donegal News)

It was another busy weekend in the SSE Airtricity League with a double round of games in the Premier Division on Friday and Monday with one round of First Division games. In terms of league positioning not much has changed.

Dundalk, Cork City and Shamrock Rovers are close to breaking away from the pack in their own three horse race for the title with the rest competing for fourth place.

Finn Harps are five points clear in the First Division but have been in a position like this before and faded away so their supporters will be hoping they can stay the course.
And that I promise is the end of my horse racing references for the rest of this piece!

If Harps were to get promoted then it would be great geographically for Sligo Rovers as it would be another team from the North West of Ireland in the top division and also a handy few points! :D It’s something that had happened before but not too often and would be great to see again and counter what had happened in the past few years where Harps have been squeezed by the success of both Rovers and Derry City in terms of competing for players and supporters.

David Cawley scored Sligor Rovers 8th goal of the season (Goal.com)

David Cawley scored Sligor Rovers 8th goal of the season (Goal.com)

For Rovers their slow recovery continues as they had to back to back draws. On Friday they drew 1-1 away against Longford Town in a game that was scrappy but illuminated by two quality goals. Longford took the lead in the 40th minute through a wickedly struck 30 yard shot from their midfielder Kevin O’Connor that swerved and dipped into the top corner.

Just before half time and the sides were level. A good move down the right saw the ball played across to David Cawley and he controlled it on the chest before letting it bounce and lashing it right footed into the net leaving the Longford keeper a mere spectator.

For Sander Puri it was another cameo appearance from him as he came on in the 85th minute for Kevin Devaney and playing on the right wing, he put in a couple of good crosses and looked lively and impressed enough that supporters were calling for him to be given a starting berth.

Which duly happened in Monday night’s game against Bohemian F.C. . Devaney was ruled out through illness and Puri started on the left wing.

The game itself was a stalemate which suited both managers but Puri was solid throughout and showed some great close control and crossing ability.
A run of regular games and he will start to show why he is so highly thought of. It will be interesting now to see if the manager Owen Heary will hold faith with him or put Devaney back in the side.

They are away to St. Patrick’s Athletic tonight and Jeff Henderson and myself will be doing full live commentary for Ocean FM and as always you can listen Worldwide through the website www.oceanfm.ie.

Kick-off in Richmond Park is at 9:45pm Estonian time.

Sligo Rovers get off the Mark!

Angelo PalmeriComment

'Rumori' tries to bring coverage of as many continental leagues as possible.

For the SSE Airtricity League (or also known as 'League oif Ireland') we are counting on the insider look of Keith O'Dwyer


Keith has worked for several years at the Irish club Sligo Rovers as he was the Club Promotion Officer and Secretary. He is now a volunteer within the club and the match commentator for local radio, Ocean FM.

'Radio Ireland' will bring stories and inside look from the Irish football realm.

Not to mention that Sander Puri is now a player at Sligo and we will follow him very closely this season!


Corcoran scored the winner against Galway, his second goal in League of Ireland (Sligo Rovers official website)

Corcoran scored the winner against Galway, his second goal in League of Ireland (Sligo Rovers official website)

Finally good news for Sligo Rovers supporters of which there are a few in Estonia!

The Bit O’Red got their first league win last weekend as they beat local rivals Galway United 1-0 in Eamonn Deacy Park.

Well I say local rivals as Galway are in the same province as Sligo (Connacht) but it’s still a two hour drive away!  Dinny Corcoran scored the game’s only goal from the penalty spot after 5 minutes in what was a very scrappy game.

Not that it mattered as that result lifts Rovers off the bottom of the table. Sander Puri was on the bench but came on five minutes into the second half as Steven Beattie went off injured. It was an impressive outing for Puri who helped his side defend their lead.

He tucked into midfield when needed to provide cover and always looked to arch his run so as to cut off any breaks down his wing. He also went close with a shot from distance that flashed wide of the post. There had been word that Puri was struggling to settle in Sligo but hopefully Friday’s game will mark a turning point for him.

No change at the top of the Premier Division with the race for the title very much a three horse one. Leaders Dundalk left it late but beat their near neighbours Drogheda United 1-0 thanks to an 88th minute goal from Richie Towell.

Shamrock Rovers drew 0-0 away against Derry City and it also finished goal-less in the meeting of St. Patrick’s Athletic and Cork City. This allowed Bohemian F.C. to jump to second place courtesy of their 2-0 win at home against Longford Town. However I don’t believe that they’ll sustain their current run and as such am not including them in my three horse race for the title!

Bray Wanderers followed up their win last week against Sligo Rovers with a convincing 4-0 home win over Limerick F.C. Current caretaker manager Maciej Tarnogrodzki must now be in pole position to get the job on a full time basis. Bray announced over the weekend that they have sorted the issues that led to the resignation of previous manager Alan Matthews which has prompted speculation that he might return to the post he left less than two weeks ago!

Finn Harps top the First Division as they beat Athlone Town 1-0. Wexford Youths continued their good run with an impressive 4-2 win away against Shelbourne F.C. in Tolka Park. Waterford United drew 1-1 with Cobh Ramblers while Cabinteely were beaten 2-0 at home by UCD.

This week Sligo Rovers are on the road again as they travel to face Longford Town in the City Calling Stadium, I’ll be on commentary duty for Ocean FM and you can listen through their website www.oceanfm.ie, kick-off is at 9:45pm Estonian time.

Until next week,

Keith O’Dwyer

New Dawn Yet to Rise for Sligo Rovers

Angelo PalmeriComment

'Rumori' tries to bring coverage of as many continental leagues as possible.

For the SSE Airtricity League (or also known as 'League oif Ireland') we are counting on the insider look of Keith O'Dwyer


Keith has worked for several years at the Irish club Sligo Rovers as he was the Club Promotion Officer and Secretary. He is now a volunteer within the club and the match commentator for local radio, Ocean FM.

'Radio Ireland' will bring stories and inside look from the Irish football realm.

Not to mention that Sander Puri is now a player at Sligo and we will follow him very closely this season!


'Nothing goes!' seems to say Sligo's coach, Owen Heary (RTE.ie)

'Nothing goes!' seems to say Sligo's coach, Owen Heary (RTE.ie)

Usually every week on this blog I give a wrap up of the week’s results in the SSE Airtricity League but this week will be a little different as I will be concentrating on the fortunes to date of Sligo Rovers.

Anyways there hasn’t been much change in the Premier Division Dundalk, Cork City and Shamrock Rovers are going to be teams that will contest the title and in the First Division it looks like it will be between Finn Harps, Shelbourne and Athlone Town.

It wasn’t a good few days for Sligo Rovers but strangely the week ended on a positive note. On Good Friday Rovers were beaten 3-1 at home by Bray Wanderers in what was a real upset as going into the game Bray’s manager had just left and they hadn’t scored a goal let alone won a game! Yet David Cassidy scored a hat-trick two of which were penalties, Steven Beattie scored for Rovers. Both teams had a man sent off. Then on Easter Monday Rovers took on Derry again at home in the second round of the EA Sports Cup and were beaten 2-0 after extra time and again had a man sent off.

A Sligo starting XI during pre-season including also Sander Puri

A Sligo starting XI during pre-season including also Sander Puri

That led to a lot of anger among supporters and finger pointing as to where it is all going wrong but I tend to look at it differently and ask why hasn’t it gone right yet? When Owen Heary was appointed manager I was delighted as I was impressed with the job he did at Bohs and he is widely regarded as one of the most talented young managers in the league. But there is a difference managing a club where you are expected to just stay in the league and managing a club who are expected to win the league. And that is what Sligo Rovers supporters expect and demand a team that will challenge for the league or at the very worst claim an European place. They have been conditioned to accept that and find it hard to accept that maybe this is a transitional season and that is a problem. Because it is a year of transition, the team on which Rovers success was built is aging and he signed nine new players and wants to promote a few of the U-19’s as well and all of that means it will take time for a side to gel. As well he has shown some indecision in picking a settled team.

PuriSander.jpg

It changes every week and the formation has changed a couple of times as well which doesn’t help the players but his hand has been forced by injuries and suspensions, he needs to pick a team and stick with them and see how they go. For the new signings it takes time to adapt as well, some of them have moved from Sligo to Dublin, some from abroad. I get accused of always looking through rose tinted glasses when it comes to Rovers and I understand why and even now I still think that the season will be turned around, the problem will be trying to qualify for Europe as Rovers have a lot of ground to make up.

It has been a tough introduction to life in Ireland for Sander Puri as well, he was a sub for the Bray game and came on after 67 minutes but never settled into the game and then against Derry he wasn’t in the squad at all. It has to be frustrating for him as everyone knows that he is a good player but he just hadn’t been able to showcase that yet.

Which is why developments this week should help him as Rovers brought in two new coaches in Liam O’Brien and club legend Joseph Ndo.

Liam O'Brien during his time at Man United

Liam O'Brien during his time at Man United

Both have huge experience and crucially both believe in playing positive attacking football and will encourage that. O’Brien is a former Irish international who has played for both Manchester United and Newcastle United while Ndo is a former Cameroon international who has played in two World cups, won the African Cup of Nations and he is man who kick-started this modern era of success for Rovers when he signed in 2010.

Their arrival has given everyone a lift and now that has to be built on by getting a result tonight as Rovers travel to play Galway United, kick off is at 9:45pm Estonian time and I will be doing commentary for Ocean FM and you listen in through the website www.oceanfm.ie

Until next week,

Keith O’Dwyer

Sander and Sligo Rovers Both Waiting for Season to Start

Angelo PalmeriComment

'Rumori' tries to bring coverage of as many continental leagues as possible.

For the SSE Airtricity League (or also known as 'League oif Ireland') we are counting on the insider look of Keith O'Dwyer


Keith has worked for several years at the Irish club Sligo Rovers as he was the Club Promotion Officer and Secretary. He is now a volunteer within the club and the match commentator for local radio, Ocean FM.

'Radio Ireland' will bring stories and inside look from the Irish football realm.

Not to mention that Sander Puri is now a player at Sligo and we will follow him very closely this season!


After five games of the new SSE Airtricity League season it’s fair to say that it has been a frustrating start for both Sligo Rovers and Estonian international Sander Puri as to date neither have lived up to their pre-season billing. Last Friday was the chance for them to make a statement as they travelled to take on the reigning Premier Division champions Dundalk in a live televised game.

It didn’t happen.

Dundalk continued with their 100% start to the season as they won 3-0 with David McMillan getting one of their goal and Richie Towel the other two. They were deserving winners but there were some signs of green shoots of recovery for Rovers in the game but then again when it comes to the Bit O’Red I am an eternal optimist!
For Sander it was another week of sitting on bench as he remained an unused substitute. 

Rovers now face into another weekend of double fixtures as on Good Friday they are home to Bray Wanderers and then on Easter Monday they are home to Derry City in the EA Sports Cup so Sander should feature in one if not both of those games. Cork City and Shamrock Rovers are just about keeping pace with Dundalk as Cork beat Bray Wanderers 1-0 while the Hoops played out a goal-less draw with Bohemian F.C. Derry City beat Drogheda United 3-0, St. Patrick’s Athletic were 2-1 winners away to Limerick and Longford Town made it back to back wins in the league as they beat Galway United 2-1. In the First Division Athlone Town had an impressive 3-1 win away against Shelbourne in Tolka Park while Finn Harps kept up their good start with a 2-0 home win against Cobh Ramblers. Wexford Youth beat UCD 1-0 and Cabinteely had a similar result against Waterford United. 

The money prizes increase (click to enlarge - ECA)

The big news of the week for clubs in both Ireland and Estonia was of course the increase in the prize money for the qualifying rounds of both the Champions League and the Europa League.

his is a very significant increase as take for example Dundalk who will now receive a minimum €500,000 for taking part in the Champions League qualifiers while clubs like St. Patrick’s Athletic, Cork City and Shamrock Rovers will each receive a minimum of €200,000 for competing in the Europa League qualifiers. Of course should any of these teams progress then they will make more, a great incentive as this is season defining money especially given that you get €100,000 for winning the league in Ireland.

These clubs can use this money to strengthen their squads cushioned by the fact that they know what they will be getting.

For other clubs come July when the window opens and if they are in contention for a European place then the temptation will be there to throw money at bringing in players. This has happened many times in Ireland and will happen again where clubs put all their eggs in the one basket. I would love to think that this money could be used for ground works, improving facilities, establishing proper under-age structures or even adding women’s teams to clubs but I have a feeling that the lessons of the past haven’t been learned.

And that teams will continue to chase short glory at the expense of long term stability but we’ll see!

Until next week,

Keith O’Dwyer.

Dundalk Continuing to set the Pace

Angelo PalmeriComment

'Rumori' tries to bring coverage of as many continental leagues as possible.

For the SSE Airtricity League (or also known as 'League oif Ireland') we are counting on the insider look of Keith O'Dwyer


Keith has worked for several years at the Irish club Sligo Rovers as he was the Club Promotion Officer and Secretary. He is now a volunteer within the club and the match commentator for local radio, Ocean FM.

'Radio Ireland' will bring stories and inside look from the Irish football realm.

Not to mention that Sander Puri is now a player at Sligo and we will follow him very closely this season!


'Clinical Champions Dundalk too strong for battling Bohs' wrote The Irish Times

'Clinical Champions Dundalk too strong for battling Bohs' wrote The Irish Times

Last season’s champions Dundalk continue to be the team to beat as they recorded back to back league victories to maintain their 100% start to the new campaign.

Both were 3-0 wins as they accounted for first St. Patrick's Athletic and then Bohemian F.C.

The win against Bohs was a significant one as like Dundalk they had won all their previous league games until Tuesday’s encounter in Dalymount Park. Cork City remain on their heels as they drew 0-0 with Shamrock Rovers and then beat Galway United 2-0. The Galway game was a momentous for the club as it was their 1000th league game since their formation. Mixed fortunes for Galway who had drawn 1-1 with Drogheda in the game preceding the Cork one. Drogheda drew both of their games as it also finished 1-1 in their meeting with Limerick. That made it two draws in a row for the Shannonsiders following on from their 2-2 draw with Longford Town. Longford did record their first win of the season as they beat Bray Wanderers 2-0 on Tuesday.

Worrying times for the Wanderers who prior to that game had been beaten 1-0 by Bohs. On Tuesday St. Pat’s got back to winning ways with a 2-0 win over Derry and the first of their goals from Greg Bolger was a 45 yard wonder strike (see video above from Gazzetta dello Sport). So a glut of game between last Friday and Tuesday and this will continue for another few week.

It is one of the quirks of the Irish season in that as it is only 40 weeks due to clubs wanting to save money on wages there are a number of times where teams play 2 sometimes 3 games a week.

Less congested is the First Division where Finn Harps and Shelbourne continued with their impressive starts. Harps won 2-0 away against Waterford United and Shels beat league newboys Cabinteely 1-0. Athlone Town were 2-1 winners against UCD and Wexford Youths won 4-1 away against Cobh Ramblers. That result led to the first managerial casualty of the season as Cobh’s manager Martin Cambridge resigned after the game as the Ramblers are on the lookout for a new boss. 

Sligo's starting XI for the Clash Of the Rovers featuring Sander Puri (third from left in first row - Michael Melly / Sligo Rovers website)

Sligo's starting XI for the Clash Of the Rovers featuring Sander Puri (third from left in first row - Michael Melly / Sligo Rovers website)

For Sander Puri and Sligo Rovers it has been a week of frustration as last Saturday they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Derry City and then on Tuesday night lost 2-1 against bitter rivals Shamrock Rovers in the Showgrounds.

Puri was an unused substitute for the Derry game and started the Shamrock Rovers game being replaced in the second half by Kevin Devaney.

He put in a couple of good crosses, one of which nearly went in but hasn’t matched his pre-season form yet. Then again neither has the club as a whole and they will be hoping to put that to right tonight as they travel to Oriel Park to take on the reigning champions Dundalk.

Kick-off is at 9:45pm Estonian time and there will be full live commentary with myself on Ocean FM which is available to listen to Worldwide on www.oceanfm.ie 


Until the next time,

Keith.