Posts Tagged ‘BBC Radio Ulster’

Media Watch (Partizan 1 Shamrock Rovers 2) : BBC Northern Ireland

September 7, 2011 Leave a comment

My interview with BBC Radio’s ‘Good Morning Ulster’ (Friday 26 August)

Audrey Carville: In sports headlines, Rangers and Celtic are knocked out of Europe League but Shamrock Rovers became the first Irish football club in history to reach the group stages of the European competition. And talking of which we’ve got big Shamrock fan on the line, Macdara Ferris. You’re over the moon as they say, Shamrock Rovers did really well?

Macdara Ferris: Yeah, we did very well. We came having drawn 1-1 in the first leg and we needed to come and score a goal and we came scored two goals to go through. The first Irish side to go through to the group stages of any European competition so it was a historic night for Shamrock Rovers and an historic night for League of Ireland Football.

AC: Were you in Belgrade yourself?

MF: Oh I was. I was one of just 43 Shamrock Rovers fans who were in the crowd. There were around 18,000 at the game and we were 43 fans that were singing and cheering our team on.

AC: Well 43 die hard fans I suppose people might have assumed that you were on the way out but quite the opposite.

MF: I think the bookmakers had us at 18/1 to win the match in 90 minutes. But we needed 120 minutes to win the match. Pat Sullivan scored a goal from about 30 yards to take it to extra time and we got a penalty that took us through to win the game 2-1.

AC: I’m told you watched the match on the TV afterwards with the team.

MF: Yeah, there was quite a heavy security presence for us at the game. We were bused in and out of the stadium both the fans and the team together so we came back to the team hotel and sat in the bar to watch the highlight and the players came in. So players and fan watched the highlights of the match together so it was something special.

AC: Were the Belgrade fans very angry then that Shamrock had given them a bit of a pasting?

MF: I think they were angry at their own team and management. They clapped the Shamrock Rovers team at the end and clapped the Shamrock Rovers fans out of the stadium so I think they were probably beaten by a more determined side on the night.

AC: Passion is everything and Macdara you’re clearly passionate about your side and your passion has paid off. It is not everyone that was going to pay for the ticket to go to Belgrade but you did and you came good.

MF: Yes, absolutely. I’ll need to try and find some money and extra few days off work to go to the three away games that are coming up as we’ve now got six more games in Europe.

AC: It’s going to bit pricey Macdara but you’re locked in now. Very good to talk to you and safe home.

MF: Thank you very much.

Maggie Taggart: Well Nikki Gregg is with us now in studio and it’s a fantastic story which is all over the papers.

Nikki Gregg: He sounds very alert for what was probably a very late night!

26 August 2011 Last updated at 15:16 GMT

Shamrock Rovers draw Spurs in Europa League group stages

Shamrock Rovers chairman Jonathan Roche has said drawing Tottenham Hotspur in their Europa League group is a dream come true for their fans. The Dublin side, who are managed by former Northern Ireland international Michael O’Neill, will also play Russia’s Rubin Kazan and Paok FC from Greece in the same group.

It follows Rovers’ victory against Serbian champions Partizan Belgrade 2-1 in the second leg of their tie on Thursday night. The first leg in Dublin had finished 1-1. Shamrock Rovers became the first club in Irish football history to reach the group stages of the Europa League.

Mr Roche said the magnitude of their success “hasn’t quite soaked in”.
“It’s been an unbelievable two days,” he said.
“Five years ago we were relegated, then the fans took over the club and we won the league for first time in 16 years last season.
“Hopefully now this shows people that we play a good style of football.
“It’s not really about the money but it’s the whole razzmatazz and the whole profile on the football club. Hopefully we can do ourselves justice.”

On Thursday night, Vladimir Volka had put Partizan ahead, but the Dublin side replied with a 30-yard volley from Pat Sullivan and a Stephen O’Donnell penalty. Macdara Ferris travelled to Belgrade to watch his team sail to victory.

“I was one of just 43 Shamrock Rovers fans at the game out of 18,000. We were screaming and cheering our team on,” he said.
“I need to try and find some money and extra days off for the three away games that are coming up in Europe.”
Mr Ferris said the Partizan players and supporters were gracious in defeat.
“I think they were angry at their own team and maybe their own management, but they clapped the Shamrock Rovers team off at the end and they clapped the fans out of the stadium as well.
“They were probably beaten by a more determined side on the night.”