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Does your telly know you’re here?

The slick live TV presentation style with graphics, commentary team and replays give the television viewer at home a real sense of a sporting occasion. Throw in the multi-camera, super slow-mo and spidercam views and it is almost like being there. Almost but not quite.

To get a sense of what it really means to be at a game, fan footage can nearly be a better option. There is something about those shaky camera angles, foul language and those guttural screams when a goal goes in that Sky Sports just can’t beat.

Here is a top eight of Shamrock Rovers fan footage.

 

‪8. A million euro penalty – Partizan Belgrade v Shamrock Rovers (August 2011) 

‪2,081 views

Maybe a surprise that this video from Shamrock Rovers’ incredible 2011 season is only at number eight. Despite the grainy footage and being a long distance from the action, this is Rovers video gold. The drama builds as Hoops fans realise what this will mean if Stephen O’Donnell slots this penalty away. The screams from the small pocket of 43 fans when he scores tell you Rovers have made history and qualified for the group stages of the Europa League.

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‪7. Injury time equaliser in the Dublin derby (April 2011)

‪3,929 views

‪https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hivM-DQks5c

‪Nobody likes to lose to their bitter rivals but that was the fate awaiting Rovers in April 2011 in Dalymount Park. Despite times call for desperate measures and that meant Alan Mannus making the journey up into the Bohs box for this last minute corner. He went up for the header but it is his team mate Ronan Finn whose touch earns Rovers a draw and the owner of the camera in the crowd a broken pair of glasses in the celebrations.

 

 

 

‪6. No European hangover as Gary Twigg helps Hoops beat Bohs (August 2010)

5,920 views

‪https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FWBV2wB0E0

‪Shamrock Rovers returned to Ireland on a Friday morning at 5am after their 1-0 defeat to Juventus in Modena facing into a crucial Sunday lunchtime kick off against Bohemians. Rovers were leading 1-0 in the second half when their defender Pat Flynn was sent off. ‪Could Bohs capitalise on the extra man and opposition tiredness after their recent European distractions? No was the answer as Gary Twigg scored a brilliant goal with his celebration in front of the Bohs fans not overly well received by the away fans! It would be a goal that would help the Hoops win the title.

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  1. He shoots, he scores, he wins Shamrock Rovers the league (October 2011)

7,066 views

What is better than a good pitch invasion? How about two pitch invasions! Dean Kelly’s injury time goal for Shamrock Rovers in Belfield secured the Hoops the 2011 title. Some Hoops fans celebrated the goal with the players and a couple of minutes later when the final whistle went it looks like every Rovers fan piled onto the pitch to celebrate winning back-to-back titles.

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‪4. Injury time goal earns Rovers passage to Setanta Final (April 2013)

‪7,404 views

‪https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCPUerFWkaE

‪It looked like Cork City had earned themselves a place in the Setanta Sports Cup final. However the Hoops won a free kick deep in injury time in the semi-final second leg in Turner’s Cross. One Rovers fans felt the wall needed to go back further. “That is not 10 fucking yards,” he said. It didn’t matter as Billy Dennehy’s free kick sent the Rovers fans, who had travelled mid-week down to Cork, home happy and the Hoops into the final.

 

  1. Penalty save providing passage to European glory (July 2011)

11,599 views

‪https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnvv7LjGl9I

‪A penalty save that would set Rovers on the way to European success in 2011. The journey from Tallaght to Tallinn to Belgrade and White Hart Lane, all came about because of Alan Mannus’ penalty save against Flora Tallinn.

 

 

2. Spurs v Shamrock Rovers…the Hoops goal (September 2011)

‪26,384 views

‪Video from the Spurs end showing Stephen Rice putting Shamrock Rovers 1-0 up in the second half of this Europa League Group game in White Hart Lane. The laughter accompanying the goal suggests it wasn’t shot by a Spurs fan.

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  1. ‪Hoops half time sing song against Juventus in Modena (August 2010)

‪52,572 views

‪https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j75fFPS9u8c

Okay, not fan footage of any action on the pitch but of fans sheltering from the Monsoon in Modena at half-time in the Europa League qualifier against Juventus. Not the most PC of lyrics but this is fan footage so what do you expect?

 

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Tallaght Time: Shamrock Rovers 2009 – 2012

“Tallaght Time: Shamrock Rovers 2009-2012” the book I’ve written with Karl Reilly, with photos by Bobby Best & George Kelly, has gone to print. Published by The Liffey Press, it should be available for purchase around end of June.

Front cover Tallaght Time

Tallaght Time tells the remarkable story of Shamrock Rovers’ recent history since the club moved to Tallaght. After a nightmare decade-long journey, they finally got to play in their new home in 2009 after overcoming near financial ruin, planning pitfalls and High Court cases. Only in their wildest dreams could supporters of the club have foreseen the success that would come while playing in the venue. Rovers, now owned by its fans, would win back-to-back league titles and qualify for the Europa League group stages during their short tenure in Tallaght.

https://www.facebook.com/TallaghtTime

Told through the words of those closely involved, including Shamrock Rovers’ managers, officials, players and fans, Tallaght Time describes the many magical nights since
the Hoops moved to their new stadium: Cristiano Ronaldo making his debut for Real Madrid against Rovers; taking on Alessandro Del Piero and his star-studded Juventus team
in 2010; and winning their first league title since 1994. The book also charts Rovers’ extraordinary 2011 European campaign when they made history by becoming the first Irish team to reach the group stages of a major European competition after a never-to-be-forgotten win over Partizan Belgrade in Serbia.

13-1 Europa League football comes to Tallaght MF

ISBN 978-1-908308-44-3

Shamrock Rovers v Cork United

Shamrock Rovers play Cork City this evening in the Airtricity League Premier Division. Here is an old newspaper clipping looking back on when Rovers played Cork United 65 years ago. Click on image below for a larger version:

On tee, Stephen Grant (@soccer2golf)

Irish golf is in rude health with four current Irish players with Major wins on their CVs and an Irishman top of the World Rankings. Hoping to join Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Darren Clarke and Padraig Harrington playing in one of the major golf tours is former Shamrock Rovers player Stephen Grant. Grant begins playing on the European Challenge Tour this month, the tour that is just one level below the European PGA tour.

It was in 2005 that Grant made the switch from professional football to professional golf having played over 150 times for Shamrock Rovers as well as playing with Waterford United and Stockport County amongst others. In 2007, he shot a course record 64 at the West of Ireland Championship in Rosses Point leaving a certain up and coming golfing star Rory McIlroy behind him in the field!

In recent years he has been living in Florida playing in events on the US Gateway Tour. Grant shares a coach with multi-major winner Ernie Els as he works with Butch Harmon and his son Claude Harmon III. He now has his sights firmly set on a place on the European Tour and the Challenge Tour is the stepping-stone for that.

I spoke to the former Ireland under 21 international footballer when he recently returned to Ireland from Rabat in Morocco where he had to withdraw from an event on the European Development Tour due to illness. “I’ve got a tournament on the European Challenge Tour on the 10 May in France,” said Grant about the forthcoming Allianz Open Cotes d’Armour Bretagne. “I’m going to playing a number of tournaments on the Challenge Tour. If you finish top 25 on the order of merit on the Challenge Tour, you get your full European Tour card.”

The man from Birr will be hoping to get his automatic card rather than having to go to qualifying school again to attain the coveted full European Tour place. Last year, he missed out on qualification for the final section of ‘Q school’ by just two shots. “If I can’t card this way,” said Grant about the Challenge Tour option, “I can always go to Q school. The last two years I’ve been getting really close to where I need to be to get my card.”

In the modern golf game, it is key to have a high level of fitness and that isn’t a problem for the former professional footballer. “To be honest, my fitness levels this time last year were unbelievable. I got my body fat down to 8%. I was training like crazy. I almost found I was probably overtraining and I was neglecting practicing my short game. This year I’m still really fit. I still train real hard and while I’m not as fit as last year, I’m playing better golf this year as I’m spending more time practicing my short game.”

It is on the greens that Grant feels he needs to improve if he is to make the step up to the top level of the game here in Europe. “Putting is probably the thing I’ve found the hardest. On the greens for me it has gotten a lot better as I’ve gone for a belly putter over the last four or five months and that has helped a lot. My course management is getting better. That has been costing me shots but that is down to experience.”

Experience is something that is only now beginning to come to Grant as he only became a golf pro at the age of 27. “I probably only played five or six times in my life before my mid 20s. I never played Youth or Boys golf or anything like that.” So does he feel he can realistically make the step up and get a card on the European Tour? “The difference is experience and that bit of consistency. The top players’ game is at a certain level and it is at that certain level more often. That really is the key. The gap is not massive at all.

“The thing that amazes me is that there is such a fine line. There are guys out there making millions of dollars a year and they are good but they are not that good. McIlroy is a player who I’ve played with and you see how stupidly good he is! But I play with guys who are good but aren’t that special and they are making a million and a half as a player.”

Grant regularly tees it up in Florida with players like Ricky Fowler (US Ryder Cup Player), Keegan Bradley (winner of the US PGA Championship in 2011) and US PGA Tour players Kris Blanks and Steve Marino. “If I’m playing with someone like Kris Blanks and he is handing my a**e to me every time we tee it up by five shots then I know I’m not good enough. But I’m playing money games with these guys and that is not the case. I’m taking money off them and they are taking money off me. I have the will to keep going and I’m seeing my scores get better.”

So what are the major differences between playing professional football, like he did for 10 years, and professional golf? “It is different in a sense that the golf is totally down to what I do myself. Soccer is different. It is opinions, how you play and the team around you. I can’t make any excuses. There is nowhere to hide.”

Kenny pleased with second half comeback


http://www.extratime.ie/newsdesk/articles/7907/

Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Kenny had to be satisfied with a point from their game with Bray Wanderers in the Carlisle Grounds on Friday night. Rovers had a very poor first half and found themselves 2-0 down at the break. However, in a much-improved second half, they scored two and could have claimed a winner.

The visitors might have been going in at half time just a goal down as, just before the break, Gary Twigg earned a penalty for the Hoops. Darren Quigley saved Twigg’s penalty before Billy Dennehy put the ball in the net on the rebound. But referee Paul McLaughlin ruled it out to the confusion of many in the ground.

Speaking to extratime.ie after the game, Stephen Kenny was able to confirm that a free out was “given for encroachment” by a Rovers player. If Twigg had scored with that encroachment, the rules state the penalty would have to have been retaken. As the penalty was missed, the referee was correct in awarding a free to Bray.

The supporters on the night spent much of half time discussing these penalty infringement rules but Stephen Kenny was plotting with his team how they could turn around the two-goal deficit. Kenny asked for his team to step up physically, especially in midfield, and they responded with a much better performance in the second half

“The midfield area was problematic in the first half,” admitted Kenny, “but in the second half it was much much better. We had to believe in ourselves and be physically stronger. I felt we had the capacity to get back into the game as we have the ability to score goals and create chances. We were much stronger in the second half.”

Additional strength was provided by second half substitute Daryl Kavanagh who played a key part in both of Shamrock Rovers goals. Just after the hour mark Kavanagh replaced Gary O’Neill who had taken a knock to his ankle. Having scored his first goal for the Hoops in last week’s 6-0 win over Dundalk, Kavanagh first got a touch to play the ball into Ronan Finn for Rovers’ opener. He then held off a couple of Bray challenges in midfield before sliding a ball through to Gary Twigg who got the equaliser eight minutes from time.

“Daryl had a good energy and gave us a good impetus,” said Kavanagh’s manager. “He did well for us getting us back into the game. The two goals we got were outstanding goals but the disappointment was that we couldn’t get the third goal that we needed.”

Shamrock Rovers now face into back-to-back games against Derry City. The Hoops travel to the Brandywell on Monday night for the second leg of the Setanta Sports Cup semi-final 3-0 down after the first leg. They will then play Derry again, this time at home, in the Airtricity League as Stephen Kenny faces the team he managed last year. “We’ve got Derry on Monday and Friday. Monday is a tall order. Friday is a big one as we need to get back to winning ways in the league.”

Bray Wanderers 2 – 2 Shamrock Rovers

http://extratime.ie/fixtures/detail/17893/2/

Shamrock Rovers were lucky to escape from their trip to the Carlisle Grounds in Bray with a 2-2 draw. Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters scored both of Bray Wanderers’ goals. However, his first half goals were cancelled out by Ronan Finn and Gary Twigg, who got the equaliser for Rovers eight minutes from time.

Bray Wanderers dominated proceedings in the first half. Dane Massey and Waters were constant thorns in the visitor’s sides. Massey went close after just three minutes when his shot hit the side net. Rovers could have conceded a penalty 10 minutes later as Conor McCormack’s hand flicked away a ball that Waters had lifted inside the Rovers right-back.

Some nice build up play from Bray saw Adam Hanlon get down the Rovers right. He played a dangerous ball into the box and Jason Byrne stepped over it to allow Waters get a shot away. Oscar Jansson saved that shot but could do nothing four minutes later when Bray opened the scoring. It was a great move with some lovely linked up play between Massey and Byrne. Massey played in Waters whose crisp left foot finish hit the back of the net from the edge of the box.

Rovers finally came into the game on the half hour mark with Gary McCabe floating in a couple of crosses but first Chris Turner and then Gary Twigg wasted headed chances.

On 35 minutes Rovers keeper Jansson came running out of his box to head a Bray through ball clear. McCabe picked the ball up for Rovers but was sloppy in possession allowing Waters to try a speculative shot from 40 yards that went over the bar.

Two mintues later Wanderers double their lead with Waters getting his second of the night. Dean Zambra passed to Waters wide on the left. He showed great skill as he cut inside Craig Sives and with his right foot slotted the goal away nicely.

Controversy reigned just before half time. Gary Twigg was fouled by Pierce Sweeney in the Bray box and referee Paul McLaughlin pointed to the spot. Twigg put it away but the ‘keeper and referee were not ready. The ref was busy sending off Keith Long from the Bray dugout as he protested over the penalty concession. When eventually Twigg retook the penalty, it was saved by Darren Quigley. Billy Dennehy slotted the rebound home but he had encroached into the area. As the penalty had been saved, the ref ruled that it wasn’t goal and play was restarted with a free out to Bray.

Bray looked to protect their lead in the second half and defended resolutely until they were picked apart by Rovers on the break. Second half substitute Daryl Kavanagh slotted Ronan Finn in on goal in the box. Finn’s fine finish low to Darren Quigley’s left made it 2-1.

Bray’s discipline began to let them down. Jason Byrne picked up Bray’s fourth yellow card when he conceded a free in a dangerous position. Dennehy’s free beat the wall but not Quigley in goal who claimed it at the second attempt.

Daryl Kavanagh provided great impetus for Rovers when he came on and he set up the equaliser. He picked up the ball in midfield and holding off a couple of Bray challenges played the ball to Twigg in the box. Twigg took once touch and tucked it away to make it 2-2.

Rovers had one final chance to get a winner that they really wouldn’t have deserved. McCabe picked up a return ball thanks to Finn’s flicked back heel but the winger shot high over the bar as the game ended in a draw.

Bray Wanderers: Darren Quigley; David Webster, Danny O’Connor, Pierce Sweeney, Kevin Knight (Adam Mitchell 83); Adam Hanlon, Dane Massey, Dean Zambra, John Mulroy, Kieran Marty Waters; Jason Byrne (Daire Doyle 86).
Subs not used: Brian Kane, Stephen Last, Graham Kelly, Jonathan Kelty, Anthony Bolger.
Yellow Cards: John Mulroy (52), Dane Massey (58), Darren Quigley (60), Jason Byrne (75).

Shamrock Rovers: Oscar Jansson; Conor McCormack, Craig Sives, Ken Oman, Conor Powell (Aaron Greene 79); Gary McCabe, Chris Turner, Ronan Finn, Billy Dennehy; Gary Twigg, Gary O’Neill (Daryl Kavanagh 64).
Subs not used: Reyaad Pierterse, Sean Gannon, Graham Gartland, Stephen Rice, Dean Ebbe,
Bookings: Conor Powell (41), Ronan Finn (56).

Referee: Paul McLaughlin.
Attendance: 1,500 (estimate).
extratime.ie Man of the Match: Kieran Marty Waters (Bray Wanderers).

Hoops mark Milltown 25th anniversary

http://extratime.ie/newsdesk/articles/7856/hoops-mark-milltown-25th-anniversary/

Article for extratime.ie

This week marked the 25th anniversary of Shamrock Rovers’ last game in Milltown. On Friday to commemorate that last game, Shamrock Rovers and their club’s Heritage Trust organised a walk from the monument outside Milltown to Rovers’ new home in Tallaght.

The walk began with a small ceremony in Milltown that was addressed by former Rovers player Mick Byrne, scorer of the last Rovers goal in Milltown, in front of a crowd of around 200 club supporters. The fans then set out on the 10km walk to Tallaght Stadium ahead of that evening’s game against Dundalk.

Extratime.ie spoke with Mick Byrne and asked him about his memories of Milltown.
“I used to walk through the gates here on Sunday and know we were going to win the match,” recalled Byrne who was an integral part of the Rovers team that won four-in-a-row league titles in Milltown in the 1980’s. “My fondest memory is just coming here and scoring goals here.”

The journey on Friday night took two hours to complete as the fans walked from Milltown through Dartry, Rathgar, Terenure, Templogue before arriving in Tallaght Stadium. The highly controversial decision by the Kilcoyne family to sell Glenmalure Park in 1987 meant it was a 22-year journey for the football club to get from Milltown to Tallaght.

Addressing the crowd on Friday evening was James Cooke who was involved in the Keep Rovers at Milltown (KRAM) campaign and is now a member of the Rovers Heritage Trust. “When those gates closed 25 years ago, this football club was effectively thrown on the scrap heap of Irish football,” said Cooke. “To have survived 22 years not knowing from season to season where we were going to play was a miracle. This football club is stronger now than at any other period in our history.”

At different stages after leaving Milltown, Rovers played games in Tolka Park, Dalymount Park, RDS, Morton Stadium, Richmond Park and even played one home game 200km from Milltown in Turners Cross in Cork. Rovers eventually played their first game in Tallaght three years ago.

When the club organised a ceremony at Milltown for the 20th anniversary back in 2007, at the time it remained to be seen would Rovers even get to Tallaght as the GAA had taken out a High Court Judicial Review over access to the stadium. This 25th anniversary has seen some ghosts laid to rest as in the five years since that last ceremony, the club is now firmly embedded in Tallaght Stadium, playing in front of crowds in excess of 3,000 and are back-to-back League of Ireland champions.

In the month that Louis Kilcoyne died, the club are in as strong a position as they have been since Kilcoyne sold Glenmalure Park for housing. So can the club close the chapter on the controversy of the sale of Milltown? “I think we should do now,” said Mick Byrne. “It is unfortunate that it happened at the time. But I think the club is in a much better place now and we have to get over it.”

When the fans arrived in Tallaght after the walk, the club laid on some drinks in the ‘Glenmalure Suite’ function room in the stadium as reward for making the 10km trek to Tallaght. On the pitch Rovers rewarded the fans with an impressive 6-0 victory over Dundalk.