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Bray-debunk: League of Ireland 2019

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    Bray-debunk: League of Ireland 2019

    I think the Premier Division could be really exciting this year - I predict a four way race between Dundalk, Cork, Shamrock Rovers and Pats.

    #2
    It's like the recession never happened, everyone is spending silly money and I think you can include Waterford in your calculations.
    Each one of them could win or could ccouldand burn;
    DUNDALK will start as favourites again, they've improved their squad with signing Danny Kelly from Bohs and ex Watford midfielder Sean Murray but you have to wonder how long their excellent but aging defence can keep going and losing club captain Stephen O'Donnell to injury is a blow, even though he didn't play much last year. But the main worry is the promotion of manager Stephen Kenny, they have promoted from within but will Vinny Perth be the next Bob Paisley or Wilf Mc Guinness time will tell.
    Of the other contenders CORK CITY have cut their budget and let a lot of senior players leave so it could be a season of top four consolidation for them, SHAMROCK ROVERS are still too inconsistent with problems at both ends of the pitch, ST PATRICK'S ATHLETIC have spent big on some excellent players but still have two aging and average keepers, if they can stop conceding stupid goals they could be in with a shout.
    At the bottom it could be any two from the other five, FINN HARPS and UCD have to hit the ground running having just been promoted, BOHEMIANS have lost the spine of last year's excellent side and may have to be happy just staying up though they'll probably battle DERRY CITY and SLIGO ROVERS for the mid table positions.
    In the first division SHELBOURNE have spent heavily in project promotion but won't have it all their own way with a revitalised BRAY WANDERERS, LIMERICK and GALWAY all with something to say about that.

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      #3
      Dundalk's greatest challenge will be succession management with legendary manager Stephen Kenny shamelessly poached by the FAI. Dundalk's squad is even stronger than last year, but there are some question marks over cover for defensive midfield, right back and up front. The incumbents in those positions are the best in the league though. They'll need to manage the squad, specially in the summer with (probably) 6-8 European games in successive weeks. Overall it'll take a really bad season to let anyone else in, and there's probably value in a bet on Dundalk at even money. Pats, Cork and Rovers should have a good old battle for the Euro spots.

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        #4
        I've just got the pun in the thread title.

        I fancy a summer football weekend in Ireland. What's the best option for a total know-nothing like me?

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          #5
          Bohemians v Shamrock Rovers is the big derby game, Bohs are at home on 14th June, if you are going get in early for tickets, you can check it out on copa90 YouTube channel, anarchy in Dublin. If you're over we'll have to meet up for a pint.

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            #6
            Originally posted by Patrick Thistle View Post
            I've just got the pun in the thread title.

            I fancy a summer football weekend in Ireland. What's the best option for a total know-nothing like me?
            Let us know when you're planning it PT and we'll point you in the right direction! Most games played on a Friday night though , so bear that in mind

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              #7
              I would have to say Pats and Dundalk. Dundalk isn't far from Dublin and their clubhouse is great. Quite a bit of memorabilia on the walls. Plus, seeing "The Home of Football" plastered on the side of their ground is both heart-warming and comical in equal measure. I'd save Bohs for the opening of the refurbished ground when it has the museum of Irish football attached.

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                #8
                Ooh. Would if be possible to do a Friday night - Saturday afternoon double header?

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                  #9
                  If you go up to Belfast you'd manage it, Dublin, Drogheda or Dundalk on the Friday, the North still does 3pm Saturday kick off.

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                    #10
                    In my experience of the fixtures I think your best bet for this would be a Cork-Cobh weekend (if you didn't want to do too much travelling once you arrive)

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                      #11
                      Forgot that the North play a winter schedule so that rules Belfast out, Sligo Rovers usually play Saturday games and Galway and Longford are also known to play then as well.

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                        #12
                        So the league kicks off tomorrow and it looks like we'll have decent weather for it, last year we had the second round of games wiped out by the beast from the east, anyway here's my predictions for the opening games
                        BOHEMIAN FC V FINN HARPS
                        Bohs start another season with the spine ripped out of their side by clubs with bigger (and in some case unsustainable budgets) Harps were promoted via the play offs and are usually dogged performers but with the smallest budget are favourites to go down.
                        Verdict; a tight one, 2.0 or 2.1 to Bohs
                        DUNDALK V SLIGO ROVERS
                        Television has chosen this as the live game though personally there are potentially better games on offer, different boss but same result
                        Verdict; a handy two or three goal Dundalk win
                        DERRY CITY V UCD
                        Potentially an upset here,the students have managed to hold on to most of their promotion winning side while it's all change at Derry yet again
                        Verdict; 1 all
                        ST PATRICK'S ATHLETIC V CORK CITY
                        Probably the match of the night, Pat's have spent big during the close season with Chris Forrester from Aberdeen the most eye catching, Cork have let a few high earners go and look to be going for a younger set up, long term the right idea but short term...
                        Verdict 3.1 to st Pat's
                        WATERFORD V SHAMROCK ROVERS
                        Opening game for the two big spenders who will feel disappointed at finishing 4th and 3rd respectively last season, both will fancy a tilt at the title but for tonight I think a draw will have to do them.
                        Verdict 0.0 or1.1

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                          #13
                          If you are going to Pats, please pick up a programme!

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by ingoldale View Post
                            If you are going to Pats, please pick up a programme!
                            I'll be in Dalymount but my mate's a Pats fan, are you in it tomorrow?

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by elguapo4 View Post

                              I'll be in Dalymount but my mate's a Pats fan, are you in it tomorrow?
                              No, I won't be there. I contribute to the programme and like to encourage people to pick up a copy where I can. They are, sadly, in my opinion going to be a thing of the past as a physical copy soon so I hope that by contributing and encouraging people to buy one I can help keep them going for a little longer.

                              I'll be interested to see how much longer Keith Long is at Dalymount. I think he is the real managerial talent of the division at the moment. His next move, whenever his time at Bohs ends, is a big one. If he makes it a success it could be the stepping stone to something bigger or over the water.

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                                #16
                                Keith (and assistant Trevor Crolly) both signed a new 3 year deal in January, they were among the favourites for both the St Patrick's and Dundalk jobs but Keith has a financial job in the IFSC and drives a big BMW so between that and his Bohs wages he'd probably have to take a pay cut.

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                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by elguapo4 View Post
                                  Keith (and assistant Trevor Crolly) both signed a new 3 year deal in January, they were among the favourites for both the St Patrick's and Dundalk jobs but Keith has a financial job in the IFSC and drives a big BMW so between that and his Bohs wages he'd probably have to take a pay cut.
                                  I didn't know that. Makes the job he's doing all the commendable in a way. I liked Trevor Croly too. Thought it was amazing when he got sacked from Shamrock Rovers and they had him on Soccer Republic pretty much the next day grilling hi. You'd never get that here.

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                                    #18
                                    WEEK TWO PREDICTIONS
                                    FINN HARPS V DUNDALK; Harps are going to find out the hard way the difference between the premier and first division, after narrowly losing to Bohs last time out they face the champions in their first home match of the season, Dundalk slipped up last week only drawing against Sligo, can't see lightning striking twice, away win

                                    SLIGO ROVERS V SAINT PATRICK'S ATHLETIC; As I said above Sligo picked up a very useful point last week and will be hoping for more in their first home match, in truth they were battered last week and their defence will be lucky to get away with it again, Patrick's had a good win last week against Cork but I think home advantage will help Sligo get another point;Draw.

                                    CORK CITY V WATERFORD; the Munster derby between two sides who lost narrowly last week but by all accounts were well beaten ,they'll both be looking for a win and I think Cork are better fixed to do it; home win.

                                    SHAMROCK ROVERS V DERRY CITY; Rovers came home from Waterford with all three points, Derry's first game was a 3.0 thumping of U.C.D which could say more about the students than anything else, Rovers to make it 6 points with a second win; home win.

                                    UCD V BOHEMIANS; The two youngest squads in the league meet in Belfield, like Finn Harps, the students need to start getting points but I don't think they will tonight, Bohs have too much firepower for them; away win

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                                      #19
                                      2 points dropped for Saints last night. There is a great history column in the programme this season to celebrate 90 years of the club.

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                                        #20
                                        Bohs go top and only 100% after beating Rovers last night, my St Patrick's supporting work mate is already worried about Forrester that they've spent big money on someone who's just home to coast through games.

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                                          #21
                                          It's only matchday four and while it's to early to say that there are "must win" games there are certainly a couple of "don't want to lose" ones,starting with....
                                          CORK CITY V DERRY CITY
                                          Cork have had a pretty poor start by their standards, beaten by Pats and Waterford and squeezing out a narrow win against Sligo, Derry have started well with two wins from three but they have a miserable record in Cork, kicking for touch on this one I'll say a draw.
                                          SLIGO ROVERS V FINN HARPS
                                          "don't want to lose "part two, Harps were tipped to struggle and they started with a defeat to Bohs but two draws against Pat's and Dundalk will give them more optimism, another new dawn for Sligo under Liam Buckley and another busload of new signings has started with 1 point from 9, by tonight I'm going with 1 point from 12, AWAY WIN
                                          SHAMROCK ROVERS V DUNDALK
                                          And we come to part 3,Seand's big one, Rovers were flying on six points until they came unstuck against Bohs on Monday (and they've been whingeing about it in the media all week), Dundalk have one win and two draws against relegation favourites Harps, UCD and Sligo, and have been behind in all three games, they've got to come good at some time and I think they could give Rovers manager Steven Bradley another chance to complain to the media, AWAY WIN
                                          UCD V ST PATRICK'S ATHLETIC
                                          nothing to see here folks, the students are enthusiastic but limited, I can see Pat's cutting loose here, AWAY WIN
                                          WATERFORD V BOHEMIAN FC
                                          The league leaders, only 100%ers and no goals conceded (it feels good to type that) travel to the south coast to take on a Waterford side that's blown hot and cold, a defeat to Rovers on day one was followed by a win away to Cork and a defeat in Derry, logic says that sequence will balance out with a win, bollocks to logic, my heart says away win but I'll go for a,still optimistic DRAW.

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                                            #22
                                            There have been some excellent crowds so far this season.

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                                              #23
                                              Yep,we're looking at a third full house of the season next Friday.

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                                                #24
                                                It'd be interesting to see what kind of crowd levels the league could maintain if 3-4 teams were in the running for the title most of the season but its been encouraging so far.

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                                                  #25
                                                  According to the Irish times last week Dermot Desmond was planning to invest 3 million into Shamrock Rovers, purely an act of altruism and nothing to do with building a Celtic feeder club no siree. In other news St Patrick's Athletics big signing Chris Forrester missed training last week, he was fined and still played in Friday's defeat to Rovers. And finally, Bohs striker Dinny Corcoran appeared as a contestant on Countdown last week, his attempts to keep things quiet didn't go to plan, as appearing on one of the most popular afternoon TV shows in the country ensured a lot of people saw him.

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