'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,