Category: Archive

Irish Sports Desk: McCarthy to cap fringe players in rare Danish friendly

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Sean Creedon The Republic of Ireland and Denmark will be meeting for the 12th time when they play at Lansdowne Road this evening, Feb. 28, but it will be the first-ever friendly encounter between the countries. All 11 of the previous meetings were either World Cup or European Championship qualifiers. The reason for the odd number is that a World Cup game against Denmark at Dalymount Park in December 1968 was abandoned because of fog after 51 minutes when the score was 1-1. The result was included in the official Irish records and, coincidentally, when the game was replayed the following year, it also ended in a 1-1 draw. Mick McCarthy has said he will use the game to look at some of the fringe players in the Irish squad. Tottenham’s Gary Doherty is certain to get a run, this time in defense. Meanwhile, Danish manager Morten Olsen has included two uncapped players in his squad. But Irish supporters will not get an opportunity to see the colorful Peter Schmeichel. The 37-year-old Great Dane, who is now playing for Sporting Lisbon, announced his retirement last week, saying that he wants to concentrate on his club career.Irish vs. Brazil? Former FAI President Louis Kilcoyne is hoping to arrange another game between an All-Ireland soccer team and Brazil. Kilcoyne was the man behind the Shamrock Rovers XI vs. Brazil game at Lansdowne Road in July 1973. The Irish team then wore the Shamrock Rovers colors, the club that the Kilcoyne family owned back then, but in reality they were an All-Ireland team with six players from The Republic and five from The North in the starting lineup. The team wore the green and white hoops of Rovers as Kilcoyne couldn’t get permission to wear the green. Kilcoyne, who is now vice president of the Olympic Council of Ireland, still has good connections in Brazil and if the South Americans travel to Europe next year, he is hoping for another game against a United Ireland selection.GAA-soccer fund-raiser Galway United have arranged a fund-raiser with a difference on Friday, March 2, when a United XI play a Galway All-Star selection at Terryland Park. The All-Star team will include GAA players Michael Donnellan and Sean Og de Paor, plus other Galway stars, like former rugby international Eric Elwood. The plan is to play one half under soccer rules and the other under Gaelic football rules. The GAA will not be happy with their players playing soccer, but they cannot ban the players from having a fun game. Much interest will feature on how Galway’s Barbados international, Eric Lavine, will fare at Gaelic football.Lions tour targets Irish There are 15 Irish players in the preliminary list of 67 players for this summer’s British and Irish Lions tour to Australia. Donal Linehan, the former Irish international, is the tour manager and he says that this elite squad does not close the door on players who are coming back from injuries. "The main purpose of the publication of the initial list is to ensure that players have an opportunity to examine the tour contract. This is by no means the definitive list of players being considered. The process of selection is never exhausted," the Corkman said.Stiff GAA fines The GAA continued their policy of handing out heavy penalties for players who are sent off in games. Last week, Roscommon’s Frankie Dolan and Leitrim’s Fergal Reynolds each got an eight-week ban, and Dublin’s Ciaran Whelan received a four-week suspension. Dublin’s Jason Sherlock, who could get a 12-week ban if found guilty of kicking with the boot, still does not know his fate. Sherlock, like Whelan, requested a personal hearing, but he was out of the country on business last week and his hearing was deferred. Meanwhile, two former Mayo stars have retired from intercounty football. Pat Fallon, 34, and James Horan, 29, are reported to have quit, but Horan might still make a comeback for the championship.GAA competition changes Two weeks ago, the GAA decided to get rid of the Oireachtas hurling competition, South East hurling League and "B" football championship. Now the Leinster secretary, Michael Delaney, is urging the Leinster Council to drop the O’Byrne Cup football competition and Kehoe and Walsh Cup hurling competitions. "Serious examination must also be given to the future of under 21 championships in hurling and football," he said. "Otherwise, internal county competition will be squeezed out." Meanwhile, the Railway Cup competition, which won a reprieve thanks to the Players Committee, will be played at Easter this year. McCullough eyes Dublin bout Although denied a permit by the British Boxing Board of Control last week, Wayne McCullough still hopes to box in Dublin in May. The Belfast "Pocket Rocket" would like to bring his boxing career to a conclusion on Irish soil. Although granted a license by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, the British Board will not move on their decision made last October when they refused McCullough a license after an anomaly appeared on his brain scan. Now McCullough hopes to box in Dublin, provided he gets medical clearance from the Boxing Union of Ireland. Crowe challenges Speake Bohemians striker Glen Crowe looks like he could set a record for goals in the Eircom League premier division this season. Currently on 20 League goals, Crowe needs only four more to equal the premier division record held by Jonathan Speake, who hit 24 for Derry City in 1988. Crowe who set a new record for the fastest League goal of all-time (9.96 seconds) against UCD two weeks ago, has nine more games to break Speake’s record. Duff not for sale Blackburn Rovers manager Gr’me Souness says he has no intention of selling Irish winger Damien Duff to Newcastle United, or anybody else, for that matter. Newcastle boss Bobby Robson was reported to have offered £8 million for the 21-year-old Dubliner. But Souness said, "Damien Duff is not for sale, end of story. There’s absolutely no chance I’d be prepared to let him go."Jacobs for Leopardstown race Regina Jacobs, twice runner-up in the 1500 meters at the World championships, will lead the U.S. women’s team for the short course race at the World Cross Country Championships in Dublin next month. Jacobs, whose last cross country race was all of 14 years ago, was a comprehensive winner of the America trials recently. The championships will be held at Leopardstown Racecourse on March 24 and 25.

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