Category: Archive

Shelbourne and St. Pat’s may play at Foxboro

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Sean Creedon and Harry Keaney

Irish soccer fans in Boston could be in for a St. Patrick’s Day treat.

Plans are currently in the works for two of Ireland’s top soccer clubs, table toppers Shelbourne and St. Patrick’s Athletic, to play a game at Foxborough Stadium.

The clash would be a home game for St. Patrick’s Athletic club, but managing director Pat Dolan is reportedly eager to have the clash take place Stateside.

The idea has the blessing of Ireland’s soccer governing body, the Football Association of Ireland, and Dolan hopes that the game will be televised live in the United States and in Ireland.

Rita O’Reilly, marketing executive of the FAI, told the Echo Tuesday morning that all the arrangements for the game had not yet been finalized. But, she added, "I do expect that it will go ahead."

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She said a venue had not yet been finalized, although it was most likely to be Foxborough Stadium, home of the New England Patriots NFL team.

"All the I’s are not quite dotted or T’s crossed, but it’s more than an idea," O’Reilly said. "Only a few things need to be ironed out, like insurance. I think it will happen. We are 98 percent of the way there."

She said it would be the first league game ever played away. "We are very excited about it," she said.

Shelbourne is currently four points clear at the top of the premier division table, while reigning champions St. Patrick’s are in the fifth place.

It would be the first time that a domestic Irish soccer game would be played in the United States. The biggest Irish sports event brought to the United States was in 1947 when Cavan and Kerry met in the All-Ireland football final at the old Polo Grounds in New York.

As the Echo went to press, there was no one available for comment at Foxborough Stadium.

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