Category: Archive

Irish Sports Desk Mick confident heading into shopwdown with Macedonia

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Sean Creedon

The Republic’s Euro 2000 game against Macedonia in Skopje will now be played on Saturday, Oct. 9, with a kickoff of 6:30 p.m. Irish time.

. The Croatia and Yugoslavia game in Zagreb will start at the same time. If Croatia beat Yugoslavia and Ireland win in Skope, the Republic will automatically qualify for the finals.

Irish manager Mick McCarthy, who is expected to shortly agree a new contract with the FAI before the game, thinks it’s possible.

"I can’t see Yugoslavia winning in Croatia and I’m confident we can go to Macedonia and get the win we need," he said.

So Irish fingers are crossed that Roy Keane is available. But it’s not looking good. Keane, who was injured in game against Yugoslavia on Sept. 1st, has no hope of playing for United in their Champions League game against

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Sturm Graz this evening. And unless he make a comeback soon for Manchester United, there’s no way he will be released to play for the Republic.

Cork eye double

Cork will be bidding to become the first county in the history of the GAA to win the double twice in the same decade when they play Meath in Sunday’s Bank of Ireland senior football final. And of course there’s the chance for Sean Og O hAilpin to emulate Teddy McCarthy feat in 1990 when he won football and hurling medals. It’s been a great year for the Rebel County — this year’s Rose of Tralee is from Macroom and Clonakilty recently won the Tidy Towns competition. Now only the never-say-die Meath footballers stand in their way.

Meath got out jail against Armagh in the semifinal, but I still fancy them to spoil the Cork party.

Ballybunion want Clinton

Ballybunion are thrilled that are hosting next year’s Murphy’s Irish Open from June 29 to July 2. And already they are hoping that President Clinton will play in the Pro-Am event the day before the championship begins. Clinton played a five-ball at the famous North Kerry course last year when his partners were Charlie McCreevy, Christy O’Connor Sr., Dick Spring and Ballybunion President Brian McCarthy. Already a host of prominent names are being mentioned as likely partners if Big Bill decides to visit next year.

Irvine to depart

Eddie Irvine has announced that he will be leaving Ferrari at the end of this year and will drive for Jaguar next season. Despite some great performances this year, Ferrari wanted Irvine to continue as No. 2 driver to Michael Schumacher.

Irvine’s new boss is former world champion Jackie Stewart. The Scot had high praise for the 33-year-old Irishman.

"I think Eddie has suffered considerably by being under the leadership, if you could call it that, of Schumacher," Stewart said. "Eddie, this year, even before Schumacher had his accident, had come of age."

Irvine, whose place at Ferrari goes to Ruebens Barrichello, will be partnered in 2000 by Englishman Johnny Herbert.

Waterford tip Bonner

Former Tipperary hurler Colm Bonner has been appointed a selector with the Waterford senior hurlers for the coming year. Bonner, who has been a selector with the Waterford under 21s, is now based in Waterford.

Gerald McCarthy continues as manager of The Decies, while the other senior selectors are Declan Fitzpatrick (St. Mary’s), Pat O’Sullivan (Ballygunner) and Damien Byrne (Erin’s Own).

Browne steps down

Laoisman Colm Browne has stepped down as manager of the Tipperary senior footballers. The former Laois star said pressure of work was behind his decision to quit. And in Limerick one Kerryman is set to replace another as manager of the senior football team. Paddy

Mulvihill has stepped down after two years in charge. And his likely replacement is Dr. Crokes clubman Pat O’Shea.

However, one man who is staying on is John O’Mahony. The Mayoman, who guided the Tribesmen to their All-Ireland success in 1998, is going to give it another year in the West.

Meanwhile, in Mayo, it looks like former player Peter Ford will be the man to replace John Maughan.

Help wanted in Wexford

Wexford are having difficulty finding a replacement for hurling manager Rory Kinsella. The County Board are reported to have contacted 30 people to fill the vacancy. Two Kilkenny men have been mentioned,

Ger Henderson and Christy Heffernan. But the appointment of a Kilkenny man to manager the Wexford hurlers probably wouldn’t got down well in the county and now it looks like the job could go to former Wexford star Jack Berry.

Roscommon for N.Y.

Roscommon have earned a trip to the Big Apple to play New York on Oct. 4. The all-expenses paid trip is a reward for winning the FBD Connacht League title earlier this year. Now they play New York for the overall title.

De Bruin at pool

Banned Irish swimmer Michelle Smith de Bruin was back in the news last week because of her husband and coach Erik.

A pregnant Michelle was pictured at a pubic swimming pool in Tralee, Co. Kerry, watching her husband coaching a young Limerick swimmer, who was holidaying in nearby Banna Beach. The De Bruin’s were treated like any other paying customers and paid their £2.60 admission fee to the pool. Changed times for our Olympic champion. Erik, whose four-year ban for steroid use in 1993 ended his career as a Dutch international discus thrower, is free to coach in Ireland.

Townsend drops

Former Irish soccer captain Andy Townsend last week dropped down a division in England, moving from Premiership club Middlesbrough to first division West Bromwich Albion. Unable to command a regular first-team place at `Boro, Andy opted for a move to West Brom. He hopes to begin his first move into management at The Hawthorns, where the manager is Brian Little, who was also Townsend’s boss at Aston Villa.

But not so good news for former Irish goalkeeper Packie Bonner. When Tommy Burns was relieved of his job as manager of Reading, Bonner, who was his number 2, also got his papers. It’s likely that the Donegal man will now return to Scotland.

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