Tag Archives: republic of ireland

Last night.

Bratislava, Slovakia.

The Republic of Ireland football team has missed out on a place in the European Championship finals….

Elimination was all the more agonising for Ireland because in the preceding 120 minutes they performed with a style that justified Kenny’s belief in their creative potential

Agony for Republic of Ireland as they lose penalty shootout in Slovakia (Guardian)

Meanwhile…

In fairness.

Rotherham United winger Chiedozie Ogbene

This morning.

Via RTÉ Sport:

The FAI have begun the paperwork on the eligibility process for 23-year-old Ogbene who was born in Lagos, Nigeria, but moved to Cork aged seven with his family in 2005.

He played schoolboy football in Cork with College Corinthians, Kilreen Celtic, Tramore Athletic and Everton before he was signed by Cork City in 2015 and then moved to Limerick in January 2017.

After a move to England and Brentford in 2018, Ogbene spent a season on loan with Exeter City before a transfer to Rotherham in August 2019.

Chiedozie Ogbene declares for Republic of Ireland (RTÉ)

Chiedozie Ogbene

[Kick Click to enlarge]

Literally beating them at their own game.

Name those 9 players (left to right), anyone?

Yesterday: All Decked Up

Department of Health’s Covid-19 Health Surveillance Monitor as of yesterday; Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan giving his nightly Covid-19 briefing yesterday evening

Yesterday evening.

The Department of Health’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan gave his nightly Covid-19 briefing to journalists, saying:

“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, again thank you for being with us.

“Today we’re reporting to you that we have diagnosed an additional 500 – five, zero, zero – cases of Covid-19 bringing the number confirmed in this country to 6,574. And there have been an addition 28 deaths, bringing our total number of deaths to 263.

“Of those 28 deaths, 13 of them were males, 15 of them are females, and 19 of them, we have reports of an underlying medical condition.”

How are Covid-19 deaths in the Republic of Ireland calculated and recorded?

A Department of Health spokeswoman said:

“We count any death that involves a positive COVID-19 test, and we also include post-mortem positive COVID-19 tests.”

Separately, a spokeswoman from the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland, when asked the same question, said:

Deaths are recorded of patients who have died within 28 days of a positive test result, whether or not COVID-19 was the cause of death. By definition therefore, deaths where tests were not taken will not be included.

“The deaths may have taken place in a hospital setting, or in the community or a care home, but must have been reported to PHA by the Health and Social Care Trust to be included in the report.

“This reporting process allows a “real time” daily update of trends in COVID -19 deaths within each trust area. In this pandemic, public health professionals, policy makers and the public value an up to date, daily record of the number of deaths associated with COVID 19.”

The spokeswoman also confirmed that, like the Republic of Ireland, Northern Irish authorities also include the deaths of people whose remains test positive in a post-mortem.

View the Department of Healths’ Covid-19 dashboard here

Related: Coronavirus: Why death and mortality rates differ (BBC)

From top: Dr Gabriel Scally; front page of this morning’s Irish News; in this morning’s Irish Times

This morning.

In both the Irish Times and the Belfast-based Irish News newspaper.

Dr Gabriel Scally called for the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to harmonise its approach to Covid-19 and said the “inconsistencies” between the two jurisdictions “are not trivial”.

Speaking to Seán O’Rourke on RTÉ this morning, Dr Scally repeated his call. He explained that a person who develops symptoms in Dundalk, Co Louth, would be asked to self-isolate for 14 days while a person in the same situation in Newry would be asked to self-isolate for seven days.

He added that the Northern Irish authorities “are fighting this fire blind”. He also said it would be “nonsense” to implement restrictions on people flying into Dublin and not have the same restrictions on people flying into Belfast.

Dr Scally said by not taking a unified approach the jurisdictions are “squandering” the advantage that the island could use against the virus.

He added:

“The advice from Whitehall, in my view and in the view of many other senior public health people, is seriously flawed, they are ignoring the very strong advice they’re getting from their experts and the World Health Organisation, they’re ignoring the European Central Communicable Disease Control and they’re going there own way, which they’re perfectly entitled to do.

“But there’s no reason in my view why the same advice should apply in the North, the health is a devolved power in the North, and they could make up their own minds and it should be a meeting of minds.”

Leading doctor warns north must ‘harmonise’ with south to win coronavirus battle (Seanín Graham, The Irish News)

Gabriel Scally: North and Republic must harmonise Covid-19 response (The Irish Times)

Listen back to Today with Seán O’Rourke in full here.

From top: Adam Idah (top left) and Adam O’Reilly as young Republic of Ireland teammates; Adam and Adam, as senior football rivals today; Luke Brennan

What are the chances?

This time last year, I wrote about two players, both called Adam, both from Cork, who ended up playing against each other in the English FA youth Cup.

That day, Adam O’ Reilly had won out, the flinty midfielder captaining a strong Preston North End U18 side.

He scored one of three goals that beat an U18 Norwich side starring Adam Idah, their star striker, who had scored two hat-tricks in the competition the previous year, this year, came up short.

On Saturday, a year older and wiser, they faced off again. This year the stage was so much bigger: they had both made the jump up to the senior squads of their respective clubs, this time they met in the senior FA Cup, the real FA Cup.

O’Reilly had a more difficult year, injury pulling him in and out of the first team, he had only made it to the bench.

As young footballing bodies try to progress this final stage in their development, injuries are common. Players appear and disappear in a panicked sea, as they clamour towards their hopes and dreams.

Those that get left behind are never heard from again, swimming in the hope and dreams of your friends and family, amidst all the backslapping, a man could drown in his own expectations. Nobody wants to fall foul of their own ordinariness.

The only way out of this cold sea is to announce yourself in such a way that cannot be forgotten. Write your name in letters big and bold. MY NAME IS ADAM. So that the manager knows your name, and the players know your name, and the dogs in the street know your name. The fans need to know your name and call it out, you need to be unforgettable. ADAM. ADAM. ADAM. The press should be asking, about, well, WHAT ABOUT ADAM?

Adah Idah is not an ordinary player. After his performance on Saturday, well, everyone at the club knows his name. He got his first senior team start and he grabbed it with both hands.

Within 90 seconds he was on the scoresheet, breaking at pace from midfield before calmly slotting the ball into the far corner.

By half time he got a second, taking advantage of some poor goalkeeping, he drove the ball into an empty net, but from 40 yards, on his weaker left foot.

He completed his hat-trick in the second half winning his own penalty, before converting it with his usual delicate ease. The youngest FA cup hat-trick scorer since Ian Lawson in 1957.

Adam Idah has soft feet, he scores with delicate ease, he strokes the ball into the net; he manages this while inhabiting a frame not unlike that of Zlatan Ibrahimović. In this, the universe seems to be playing some deeply ironic cosmic joke on us, as Adam Idah could not be more unlike Zlatan in every other way.

Adam Idah is humble, considered, courteous, affable and thoughtful. If you had a daughter, you’d love if she brought Adam Idah home, you’d think “That’s a relief”.

Adam Idah is cool, in the only way someone can actually be cool; he is cool because he couldn’t care less about being cool (most likely because he is too busy thinking about how he can score more goals).

Of course Adam Idah is most cool because he is from Cork. And for some reason, Cork seems to produce a large number of hyper-cool people. They are mystery to me, Cork people.

They produced Roy Keane, who I could never understand until St.Patrick appeared to me in a vision explaining to me that, like the shamrock, Roy was three things, 1) My favourite footballer of all time 2) Someone who I deeply admired as a human being 3) A bit of a langer. – Like the shamrock, he was one thing, but also, all three things.

As for Adam O’Reilly. I’m guessing his day in tall letters isn’t so far away. He first hit the headlines in 2014 as a 13 year old, who, when his Ringmahon Rangers team were 1-0 up to Corinthian Boys (Adam Idah’s team, a co-incidence, or is it?) and had been awarded a penalty.

He adjudged the award to be unfair to the other team (a player had picked up the ball to allow attention to an injured player). O’Reilly stepped up and rolled the ball into the goalkeeper’s hands. The first penalty miss of his fledgling career.

Good karma awaits those who know how to do the right thing. It’s great that we are producing such fantastic footballers, but isn’t it phenomenal that they are such wonderful human beings too?

In the last year since I first proposed that Ireland might win the 2030 World Cup, things have been moving along nicely. Adam Idah isn’t the only one hitting the headlines.

We’ve also had man of the match performances from Aaron Connolly with 2 goals against Spur in the premiership. Jason Knight got two for Derby in the Championship, Wayne Rooney says he reminds him of a younger version of himself.

Nathan Collins was Stoke’s youngest ever captain in August: when he was awarded the winning goal, he amended the record to say it was his team- mate. Troy Parrot has made his Premiership debut.

Micheal Obafemi has been getting on the pitch for Southampton in the premiership, he scored against Chelsea, the goal was top-drawer, the turn to take it was better, but the Irish jig to celebrate it suggests he needs more time in Dublin based training camps.

All the above players are not only Irish Under 21 Internationals, but also qualify as Under 19s. Add in Will Smallbone who scored in Southampton’s senior FA Cup match. Gavin Kilkenny, who is making the grade at Bournemouth, on the senior bench on Sunday, but a goal scoring man of the match winner in a summer game with Lyon.

The outstanding Conor Coventry has just signed a long term contract at West Ham. At Celtic you have a trio of players at (Barry Coffee, Jonathan Afolabi, and Luca Connell ) all itching to make an impact at club level.

As well as all these wonderful club performances, they have been ripping up trees for the Ireland Under 21s. Looking like contenders to qualify for U21 Euros for the first time. However, this is just a test run, for the next U21 campaign (it runs on a two year cycle), we’ll lose no more than 3 or 4 players, leading us to the U21 2023 Euro Championship at full strength.

Leading us nicely into the 2024 Olympic qualification, which should be a nice dry run for the World cup final 6 years later.

#COYBIG

Luke Brennan is an Ireland born, Portugal-based writer, entrepreneur and sports fan.

PS: If you’d like more frequent updates on the progress of the young Irish footballers, I can suggest no better source than @KennysKids on twitter. Run by UCD student Kevin Higgins, he provides such thorough and up to date reporting that I wonder if he will make through college at all. Or perhaps he’ll be the real winner from the 2030 World cup as he passes 1 million followers and retires with his laptop to the Caribbean.

 Previously: Why I Think We Could Win The World Cup In 2030

FIGHT!

Meanwhile…

Thanks Nick

From top: Troy Parrott (second left), celebrates with, from left, Jason Knight, Cameron Ledwidge and Barry Coffey during the UEFA U17 Championship Finals group between Bosnia & Herzegovina and Republic of Ireland in Burton-upon-Trent, England last May; Luke Brennan

When I first saw Robbie Keane play football, I thought “I know a Robbie Keane when I see one, and that Robbie Keane, is a Robbie Keane”. The question on every football fan’s lips these days, is “Where will we find the next Robbie Keane?”.

The FAI now have one of the most useful tools available in unearthing another Robbie Keane. They have, Robbie Keane. The thinking is that it takes a Robbie Keane to catch a Robbie Keane.

As they revealed Keane to the press, they had only one question, but dared not ask it: as Robbie leant down to sign on the dotted line, winking at the cameras, humming “There’s only one Robbie Keane” to himself.

“Will you be ringing Declan Rice, Robbie?”

I will in me swiss, thought Robbie, humming quietly to himself. “Yeah”, he said, “Meself and Mick will get the boy sorted”, wondering why anyone with half a million followers on Instagram would ring anyone.

You see, we don’t need another Robbie Keane, nor do we need Declan Rice.

It doesn’t matter if you are making sausages or running the Irish football team, the recipe for success is a steady supply of good raw material.

When you get that part right, you don’t end up relying on one player being your only goal-every-second-game striker for 20 years. We were lucky to have him, but we’re even luckier to have moved on.

I haven’t watched Premiership football in 20 years. I still won’t watch it. Everything from the prawn sandwiches to the wall-to-wall betting slogans winds me up, never mind the harm it does the Irish game.

I was living and working in the UK when I turned my back on it. I was placing in the top 5 of a company-wide fantasy football competition and had a “moment of clarity”, thinking I’d be better off spending my time working out what makes the factories of the world work than wasting any intellectual real estate on the Premiership.

I’m slightly disgusted with myself for even writing about it in passing; but it’s a necessary part of the good news that I bring.

Ireland are on the up.

They have been steadily improving their underage performance, the U17s were ranked 24th in Europe back in 2015, they’ve moved to 12th this year (Irish players Adam Idah and Aaron Connolly winning the golden boot for most qualification goals in the 2017 and 2018 competitions along the way).

At very least, we’ve got a golden generation.

There are half a dozen Irish teenagers making the bench in the Premiership this season, one even got a goal (Michael Obafemi scored the first premiership goal of the season by an Irish forward, in December). There are as many Irish teenagers in the English second division making it onto the pitch.

But that is nothing compared to what they are doing in the second string and underage
teams. In English underage football, the Irish are providing 5% of the players, but 12% of the goals.

They are learning their craft, captaining their teams, scoring winning goals with a relish that implies a new confidence. Heroism is an art; leadership a learnt skill. The Irish captains of the future are lining out for their club’s FA Youth cup teams in far greater numbers.

Last week Southampton’s youth team was captained by Kameron Ledwidge, formally of St.Kevin’s boys, Dublin. They were beaten 2-1 by Watford, captained by scorer of both goals, Ryan Cassidy, another St. Kevin’s alumni.

In another fourth-round tie, Preston beat Norwich, captained by Adam O’Reilly, defeating his former Cork schoolboy team-mate (and Norwich leading underage goal-scorer) Adam Idah.

There are other young captains, such as Stoke City’s Nathan Collins and Bolton’s Luca Connell. There is Troy Parrot at Tottenham. James Jennings, Ethan Varian, Will Ferry and Jason Knight all average a goal every other game for their Premier league youth teams. Parrot averages a goal a game.

I saw Ryan Nolan from Limerick captaining Inter Milan’s U19 team. I saw Ryan Johansson come on for 20 minutes as centre forward for Bayern Munich’s U19 team against Barcelona U19. He was the best player on the pitch.

All these players should put in a good performance at this year’s U19 championship. The 2020 U19 championship is being held just up the road in Northern Ireland, we can expect a good result in what is almost a local tournament.

Ireland’s U21 team will be building towards the 2021 finals in Slovenia. The hope is that the 2023 finals, when this golden-age of Irish football comes good, will be an all-Ireland hosted event.

A good result in that, would mean an Irish team would qualify for the 2024 Olympics. Plenty of opportunity to practice heroics, make mistake, learn, grow, yielding a mature and practiced squad.

We should also ask another question. What if that is the new normal? What if the wealth, prosperity, new genetic input and solid sports management is giving that result as a constant?

What if we’ve got the product pipeline right? What if there is another generation to follow?

Truth is we would need it.

Again, It doesn’t matter if you are making sausages or building an international football team; you need a product pipeline. Unlike sausage recipes, players wear out. You need to have been producing consistently over time to have a shot.

Did someone say we have a chance at a World cup? The future is bright, but the future is ten years away. Roll on World Cup 2030.

Luke Brennan is an Ireland born, Portugal-based writer, entrepreneur and sports fan.

Top Pic: Malcolm Couzens/Sportsfile