24 July 2014

Northern Ireland in the Milk Cup Minor Festival

Youth
Elite - Minor -

The Dale Farm Milk Cup introduced a new competition for Under-13 teams in 2014, the Minor Festival will complement the older age groups that feature in the Junior, Premier and Elite sections.

The Northern Ireland side is a product of the fledgling Club NI scheme.

2014
25-Jul 18:45
North Dublin Schools League
-
Northern Ireland
25-Jul 19:45
Partick Thistle
-
Manchester United
26-Jul 11:30
North Dublin Schools League
-
Manchester United
26-Jul 12:30
Partick Thistle
-
Northern Ireland
26-Jul tbc
Northern Ireland
-
Manchester United
26-Jul tbc
Partick Thistle
-
North Dublin Schools League

Northern Ireland Squad:
Neil Kilpatrick (Dungannon), Paul McLaughlin (Glentoran), Ethan Warnock (Glentoran), Lewis McGarvey (Glentoran), Barney McKeown (Portadown), Padraig Robinson (Linfield), Patrick Burns (Linfield), Paul McAdorey (Cliftonville), Cai Gemill (Linfield), Fergal McGarrity (Dungannon), Jordan McEniff (Derry Colts – Tri Star), Lee O’Brien (Linfield), Conor Farrelly (Linfield), Ben Cushnie (Glentoran), Ethan Galbraith (Glentoran), Andrew Whiteside (Coleraine), Christopher Conn (Linfield), Ben Wilson (Oxford)
Performance Director: Jim Magilton
Performance Coach: Declan Devine

Links: 
Irish FA
Dale Farm Milk Cup

14 July 2014

Transfers Summer 2014

- 2013/14 - 2014/15 - 2015/16 -
- Club Appearances - Transfers (summer 2014 - January 2015) - Cups, Ups & Downs -

Northern Ireland players on the move during the 2014 close season...

Permanent Deals:
Johnny Flynn (Falkirk to Cliftonville) story
Alan Blayney (Linfield to Glenavon) story
Robert Garrett (Linfield to Portadown) story
Sam Morrow (unattached to Linfield) story
David Armstrong (Ards to Dungannon Swifts) story
Michael Gault (Linfield to Portadown) story story
Mark McAllister (Linfield to Portadown) story story
Steve Jones (Airbus UK to Nantwich Town) story
Chris Hegarty (Rangers to Linfield) story story
Terry McFlynn (Sydney FC to Bonnyrigg White Eagles) story story
Jason Mooney (Tranmere Rovers to York City) story
Philip Lowry (Linfield to Derry City) story
James McPake (Hibernian to Dundee) story story
James Knowles (Linfield to Cliftonville) story story
Jude Winchester (Kilmarnock to Cliftonville) story
Michael McGovern (Falkirk to Hamilton Academical) story 
Michael Bryan (Hendon to Hampton & Richmond Borough) story
Kevin Braniff (Port Melbourne Sharks to Glenavon) story
Liam Boyce (Cliftonville to Ross County) story
Andy Little (Rangers to Preston North End) story story
Rory McKeown (Kilmarnock to Raith Rovers) story
Craig Cathcart (Blackpool to Watford) story
Kyle Lafferty (Palermo to Norwich City) story
Ryan McGivern (Hibernian to Port Vale) story
Trevor Carson (Bury to Cheltenham Town) story story
Chris Baird (Burnley to West Bromwich Albion) story
Jonny Steele (New York Red Bulls to Newcastle Jets) story story
Aaron Hughes (QPR to Brighton & Hove Albion) story story
Carl Magnay (Gateshead United to Grimsby Town) story story
Josh Magennis (Aberdeen to Kilmarnock) story
Michael O'Connor (Rotherham United to Port Vale) story story

Loan Deals:
Will Grigg (Brentford to MK Dons) story

Released:
Seanan Clucas (Bristol Rovers) story
Pat McCourt (Barnsley) story
James McQuilkin (Walsall) story
Kyle McVey (Linfield) story
Matt Ball (Stevenage) storyGeorge McCartney (West Ham United) story
Andy Kirk (Alloa Athletic) story
Johnny Gorman (Leyton Orient) story
Roy Carroll (Olympiacos) story

Get in touch via email or the comments form below if we've missed anyone!

Northern Ireland Players in the A-League

Soccer in Australia and New Zealand has long been held as a happy hunting ground for British and Irish players, offering the opportunity for some off-season earnings or a happy retirement base in a warmer climate. From Terry McCavana and Tommy Forde as antipodean football pioneers of the 1960s to Bobby Campbell's career re-building stint in the 1970s and George Best's brief stay in the twilight of his career, Northern Ireland internationals have not been afraid to take their boots to the far side of the globe.

Australia's first national league, the NSL, was founded in 1977 and was augmented with a first New Zealand side, Auckland Kingz, in 1999. Before it was wound up as financially un-viable in 2004, the following Northern Ireland full, B, Under-23 or Under-21 players featured in the NSL:
(exact details to be verified)
George Best (Brisbane Lions 1983)
Bobby Campbell (Brisbane City 1979)
Lee Feeney (Northern Spirit 2001)
Norman Kelly (Canberra Cosmos 1995-1999)
Bertie Lutton (Eastern Suburbs 1977, South Melbourne 1978)
Roddy McKenzie (Brisbane Lions 1977)
Tommy Morrow (Western Suburbs 1977)

When the NSL was wound up in 2004 a new top-level league for Australia and New Zealand was organised, and the A-League began it's inaugural season in August 2005. The A-League runs through the southern hemisphere summer, with a "regular season" where each team plays each other three times in a round-robin format to find the Premier winners, followed by a "finals series" where the top teams play-off to find the winners of the A-League Trophy. Successful clubs qualify for the Asian Champions League, having competed in the Oceania Champions League prior to 2007.

To date the following Northern Irish players have featured in the A-League:
Terry McFlynn
Season
Club
Regular
Finals

05/06
06/07
07/08
08/09
09/10
10/11
11/12
12/13
13/14
Sydney FC
Sydney FC
Sydney FC
Sydney FC
Sydney FC
Sydney FC
Sydney FC
Sydney FC
Sydney FC
15 (3)/1
15 (0)/0
13 (2)/2
14 (2)/2
(W) 23 (0)/1
27 (0)/1
25 (0)/0
15 (4)/0
3 (6)/0
150(17)/7
(W) 1(2)/0
1(0)/0
2(0)/0

(W) 4(0)/0

1(0)/0


9(2)/0
Jonny Steele
Season
Club
Regular
Finals

14/15
Newcastle Jets
-
-
-
-

See also:
NI Players in the NASL & MLS (1968-1984 & 1996-date)

23 June 2014

Poll: Who was Northern Ireland's Greatest World Cup Player & Team?



Northern Ireland have played at the World Cup Finals on three occasions, 1958, 1982 and 1986. These teams have achieved the stuff of legend - Northern Ireland are the smallest European country to qualify for the tournament finals and the smallest country in the world to make it beyond the first round stage. In Sweden 58 they drew with reigning champions West Germany and in Spain 82 defeated the hosts in a must-win game, each time coming within one game of the semi-finals. At Mexico 86 an aging Northern Ireland team held their own in a group containing the brilliant Brazilians.



In World Cup Finals matches Northern Ireland have used a total of 38 players, the 24 below have appeared in three or more games. Of course this list excludes the names of some of Northern Ireland's greatest ever players; men such as Peter Doherty, George Best and David Healy who never had the opportunity to appear on the world's biggest stage and make their marks on the imaginations of a global audience as some of the players below, however briefly, did.

While we watch Brazil 2014 wistfully from afar, why don't you vote for up to eleven players at the bottom of this screen, to be formed into an all-time XI with an all-time MVP.

Results to be announced before the World Cup final on 12th July...




Goalkeeper (1958)
4 appearances
"The Hero of Munich" recovered from the disaster then injury sustained in Sweden to earn the accolade of "Goalkeeper of the Tournament".

Goalkeeper (1982 & 1986)
7 appearances
Already a veteran when Northern Ireland qualified for Spain, his cool experience was key in the side's progress. That he took in a second tournament four years later at the age of 41 added to his legend.

Right-Back (1958)
5 appearances
Formed a sterling back-line with Newcastle club-mate Alf McMichael.

Right-Back (1982 & 1986)
8 appearances
Ever-present attacking full-back at two World Cups, had to curb his more flamboyant traits as Northern Ireland's successes were largely built on a solid rearguard.

Left-Back (1958)
5 appearances
Former Northern Ireland captain continued to marshal the defence at the 1958 Finals.

Left-Back (1982 & 1986)
7 appearances
Billy Bingham's "Rolls Royce" might have blotted his record following his red card against Spain, but recovered to play a key role in Mexico four years on.

Centre-Back (1958)
5 appearances
Successfully switched from right-back to centre-half as an already threadbare Northern Ireland squad was robbed of Jackie Blanchflower by the Munich air crash.

Centre-Back (1982)
5 appearances
Another player who had to wait until the veteran stages of his career for a crack at the World Cup. He didn't disappoint with his never-say-die performances.

Centre-Back (1982)
5 appearances
Buoyed by his Northern Ireland career, McClelland rose to the top of the Scottish and English games. He repaid Bingham's faith in him in spades with his defensive performances in Spain. Was an unused squad member four years later.

Centre-Back (1982 & 1986)
4 appearances
Cultured defender who had to make do with a single appearance from the bench in Spain before becoming an excellent foil for the more tenacious McDonald in Mexico.

Centre-Back (1986)
3 appearances
Thrown into the deep-end towards the end of the 1986 qualifying series, he proved his mettle against some of the world's biggest attacking stars in the blistering Mexican heat.

Wing-Half (1958)
5 appearances
Captain, wit and tactical genius behind Northern Ireland's march to the quarter-finals in Sweden.

Wing-Half (1958)
4 appearances
The "Little Black Ant" was lauded for his work-rate. How Northern Ireland missed him when injury took its toll on this industrious midfielder.

Midfielder (1982 & 1986)
8 appearances
Small but fearless, it was McCreery who shielded the Northern Ireland defence against relentless attacks and stood tall despite weak refereeing in Spain. That he continued to fulfill that role four years later made a mockery of his so-called physical limitations.

Midfielder (1982 & 1986)
8 appearances
Ever present in Spain and captain in Mexico, mostly offered a cool-head in midfield when others may have lost theirs in the face of severe provocation.

Midfielder (1982)
5 appearances
An intelligent player and captain in Spain, who knows what might've been had his goal against France not been incorrectly ruled out for off-side. Missed out four years later due to injury.
Forward/Midfielder (1982 & 1986)
8 appearances / 1 goal
Record breaking man/boy in Spain, never intimidated by his surroundings, he was the certain star of the Northern Ireland side by the time of Mexico and didn't disappoint with his attacking force.

Outside-Right (1958)
5 appearances
Hard-working but slight winger, an ever-present in Sweden who's wing-play was in stark contrast to the man on the opposite flank.

Outside-Left (1958)
5 appearances / 5 goals
A winger built more like a centre-forward, used his stature to strike fear into opposition defenders and snaffle-up goals for fun in Northern Ireland's march to the quarter-finals in Sweden.

Utility Player (1958)
5 appearances / 1 goal
Employed at both inside-forward and half-back in Sweden, and indeed centre-back in qualifying, his massive heart made up for his tiny size.

Inside-Left
5 appearances
The most complete inside-forward of his generation, quick and intelligent, his play gave a Northern Ireland side lacking a competent centre-forward every chance of scoring.


Forward (1982 & 1986)
6 appearances / 3 goals
"What a worker he is..." hit the form of his life in Spain, notably scoring against the hosts and earning the title of "British Player of the Tournament".

Forward (1982 & 1986)
8 appearances / 2 goals
Similar in style to Armstrong, his strong running and eye for goal may not have hit the headlines quite as hard, but were vital in Northern Ireland's successes in Spain. Traveled to Mexico despite not being fully fit and still played a role in all three games.


Forward (1986)
3 appearances / 1 goal
Rose rapidly from lower league goalscorer to world star, claiming an opportunist goal against Spain in Mexico, and interest from football's higher echelons.
Results:

8 June 2014

Northern Ireland's Players' Goalscoring Ratios


What is the absolute measure of a goalscorer; total goals or goals to game ratio? Certainly, in Ireland's early days of international football it was difficult for a player to build up a significant number of caps as there were generally only three matches per season, and so some of the more prolific players of this era get forgotten when only totals are analysed. Some more recent players may have had their international careers curtailed by injury, by a falling-out with the "management" or because they were over-looked in favour of the "bigger names" of their era.

Scoring ratios for Northern Ireland players with more than five international goals...
Player

Career
Caps
Goals
Ratio
J.A.
1928-1938
11
12
1.09
H.A.
1903-1909
8
5
0.63
S.J.
1961-1967
12
7
0.58
S.
1947-1951
9
5
0.56
D.J.
1946-1950
9
5
0.56
W.B.
1913-1930
25
13
0.52
J.C
1961-1966
12
6
0.50
W.J.
1954-1962
15
7
0.47
J.A.
1959-1967
24
10
0.42
W.J.
1951-1958
12
5
0.42
D.J.
2000-2013
95
36
0.38
O.M.
1887-1897
30
11
0.37
W.J.
1963-1972
23
8
0.35
C.J.
1986-1992
38
13
0.34
P.J.
1954-1962
34
10
0.29
A.E.
1933-1947
17
5
0.29
J.
1887-1899
24
7
0.29
J.M.
1984-1995
46
12
0.26
G.
1964-1977
37
9
0.24
K.
2006-date
37
9
0.24
N.J.
1982-1989
38
9
0.24
W.W.
1950-1961
26
6
0.23
P.
1992-2001
26
6
0.23
I.
1990-1999
59
12
0.20
G.J.
1977-1986
63
12
0.19
A.D.
1958-1973
43
8
0.19
J.
1951-1965
55
10
0.18
W.L.
1951-1963
56
9
0.16
K.J.
1987-1995
42
6
0.14
G.P.
1990-2002
51
7
0.14
W.R.
1978-1986
41
5
0.12
H.M.
1971-1984
64
7
0.11
W.J.
2002-2011
46
5
0.11
J.
1991-2002
52
5
0.10
S.
2005-date
68
5
0.07
M.E.
1991-2004
71
5
0.07
S.B.
1972-1986
88
5
0.06

Other players with a goalscoring ratio of 0.50 or above...
Player

Career
Caps
Goals
Ratio
H.
1927
1
2
2.00
B.J.
1912
1
1
1.00
T.L.
1936
1
1
1.00
A.
1902
3
3
1.00
G.
1895
1
1
1.00
J.A.
1936
1
1
1.00
S.
1957
1
1
1.00
C.
1980
1
1
*1.00
J.
1912-1913
2
2
1.00
D.
1939
1
1
1.00
F.
1924
1
1
1.00
A.
1896
1
1
1.00
J.
1955
1
1
1.00
T.
1891
1
1
1.00
N.
1936-1937
3
2
0.67
J.
1886-1889
3
2
0.67
J.
1912-1920
5
3
0.60
J.
1928-1932
7
4
0.57
S.
1926-1928
4
2
0.50
L.
1984-1987
2
1
0.50
S.
1932
2
1
0.50
W.
1966
2
1
0.50
W.
1911-1912
2
1
0.50
W.C.
1962-1966
2
1
0.50
S.
1933
2
1
0.50
J.
1899
2
1
0.50
W.
1931-1932
2
1
0.50
J.R.
1886
2
1
0.50

Who was Northern Ireland's Greatest World Cup Player & Team? (select up to eleven players)

© NIFG 2006-2014