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Sports Desk – July 25

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Sean Creedon

The FAI are facing a logistical problem if, as seems likely The Republic

are involved in a play-off for the World Cup Finals. FIFA have set aside

November 10 and 14 as the play-off dates, but there are Rugby games at

Lansdowne

Road three Saturdays in November. The problem for the FAI is installing

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the so called ?bucket seats? for a Wednesday game and removing them again

for a Rugby international on Saturday. ??We won?t know until October 6

whetherwe will be in a play-off, but we are already making contingency

plans,??

said FAI General Secretary Brendan Menton. Those ?plans? including FIFA

for permission to play at home in the second leg of the play-off, but of

course the opposition may not agree to this.

Meanwhile on the playing front the good news is that Niall Quinn came through

his first game of the new season for Sunderland at the weekend. Quinn, our

only target man, who missed the end of last season, played for half of

Sunderland?s

friendly against Mansfield. ??I want to play every game, but I have had

a good think about things over the Summer and I know I have got to be more

careful,?? said Quinn.

*****

Semple Stadium, Thurles, which has been overlooked for all big hurling games

this Summer, will stage one of the four All-Ireland football quarterfinal

on August 4 when Kerry meet Dublin. This is the most attractive of the four

pairings and revives memories of the seventies and eighties which produced

some memorable games between the counties. It will be the first championship

meeting between the counties since the 1985 All-Ireland final. Kerry as

All-Ireland champions will be favorites, but The Dubs have a strong squad

and if they all click, could cause an upset. The game will no doubt be

labeled?The Trip to Tipp? by Dublin supporters and they will have no worries

about

?going to the country? as they beat Cork at Pairc Ui Chaoimh in a semifinal

replay in 1983.

*****

Bohemians are improving the image of the Eircom League in Europe. For the

second season in a row, The Gypsies have got through to the second round

of the Champions League qualifiers. After beating Estonian side Levadia

Maardu, they now take on Swedish club Halmstads, with the first leg at

Dalymount

Park this evening (July 25).

Meanwhile the popularity of Monday night football will be tested in the

new Soccer season. Shamrock Rovers will play their homes games at Tolka

Park on Monday nights until their new stadium in Tallaght is ready. And

Dublin City (formerly Home Farm Fingal) have also opted for Monday night

games. They will share Dalymount Park with Bohemians.

*****

Mick O?Dwyer is going to fulfill his contract with Kildare. The Kerryman

is going to persevere with the Lilywhites for another year. Many people

though that Micko would quit following Kildare?s defeat by Sligo in the

All-Ireland qualifiers.

*****

Former Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Packie Bonner has been appointed

National

Goalkeeper coach. The Donegal man, who has been part of Mick McCarthy?s

backroom team for the past five years, has got a two-year contract.

Ends++++

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