1 August 2017

Trial Matches

Back in the earliest days of football assessing a player to see if they were worthy of gaining international honours was a time-consuming process. Obviously the filming of matches was out the window, so no DVDs or YouTube highlights were available to the selectors. Travel around the country was also an arduous task, with the motor car a rare sight on the roads.

To effectively scout a player in person was a real challenge and the views of pressmen were often skewed by their own biases, be they club, regional or "other". And so, based on whatever information could be gleaned from various sources, scout reports, press reports or simply word-of-mouth, the Irish FA's selectors would often bring together 22 players to see for themselves what they could do, often dividing them into elevens with the most tenuous reasoning.

Date
Venue
Score
21/01/1882
Cliftonville, Belfast
Improbables
8-1
Probables
11/02/1882
Bloomfield, Belfast
Improbables
1-0
Probables
11/02/1882
Bloomfield, Belfast
"Ireland"
4-1
"Scotchmen"
19/01/1884
Cliftonville, Belfast
Probables
9-1
Improbables
18/01/1890
Ballynafeigh, Belfast
North
4-1
South
17/01/1891
Ulsterville, Belfast
South
5-4
North
16/01/1892
Ulsterville, Belfast
Whites
7-2
Reds
14/01/1893
Ulsterville, Belfast
Reds
3-2
Whites
14/01/1899
Grosvenor Park, Belfast
Whites
4-2
Reds
05/01/1910
Grosvenor Park, Belfast
Home Irish
3-1
Anglo-Irish

21 January 1882
Cliftonville, Belfast
PROBABLES 1
IMPROBABLES 8
Prob: A. Cunningham (Queen's Island); W. Crone (Distillery) G. Bowie (Oldpark); A. Johnston (Oldpark), J. Miller (Distillery); R.M. Potts (Cliftonville), J.R. Davison (Cliftonville), S. Johnston (Distillery),  J. "Fox" Sinclair (Knock), A.H. Dill (Knock), J. Cowdy/Coudy (Distillery)
Improb: R. Gilmore (Queen's Island); J.M. McAlery (Cliftonville), J.W. Chapman (Knock); J.W. Orr (Queen's Island), J. Hastings (Knock), J. Bell (Queen's Island), J. O'Halloran (Cliftonville), W.B.R. McWha (Knock), S. Sinclair (Knock), W. Kerr (Queen's Island), W.G. Andrews (Avoniel)
This game was a trial match for Belfast & District's match against Ayrshire scheduled for the following week, with the eleven for that match selected after the final whistle.
The Probables were particularly weakened by withdrawals, with substitute backs Bowie and A. Johnston being recorded as "virtually useless" in one match report. The originally selected Probables team had R. Parlane (Cliftonville) as goalkeeper; Howell (Cliftonville), Gilmore (Queen's Island) and Martin (Cliftonville) instead of Bowie, A. Johnston and Miller.
The originally selected Improbables has W. Bryan (Avoniel) and Waring (Cliftonville) instead of R. Gilmore and Kerr.

11 February 1882
Bloomfield, Belfast
PROBABLES (0) 0
IMPROBABLES (0) 1 (Johnston 88)
Prob: R.J. Hunter (Banbridge); McAlery (Cliftonville), Chapman (Knock); Hastings (Knock), Martin (Cliftonville); "Fox" Sinclair (Knock), J. O'Hallaron (Cliftonville), Potts (Cliftonville), Davidson (Cliftonville), Waring (Cliftonville), Coudy (Distillery)
Improb: Hamilton (Knock); Rattray (Avoniel), Meneilly (Malone); Hannay (Cliftonville), King (Knock); S. Johnston (Distillery), McCaw (Malone), McWha (Knock), S. Sinclair (Knock), Reid (Aviniel), Hutton (Distillery)
Subs: back Crone (Distillery), half-back R. Moarn (Avoniel), centre-forward W. Johnston (Avoniel), right-wing Williams (Avoniel)
Trial match for upcoming international fixtures against England and Wales.
J. Johnston (Avoniel) as named in the original Probable eleven rather than O'Hallaron. O'Halloran had been in the Improbables side, with his place going to McCaw. Hutton came into the improbables side instead of Condy (Distillery).

11 February 1882
Bloomfield, Belfast
IRELAND (1) 1 (?)
"SCOTCHMEN" (1) 4 (..., Harper, ..., ...)
Ire: J.H. Hamilton (Knock); J. McAlery (Cliftonville) capt, A. Rattray (Avoniel); J. Hastings (Knock), D. Martin (Cliftonville); J. Sinclair (Knock), S. Johnston (Distillery), W.B.R. McWha (Knock), J.R. Davison (Cliftonville), J. Waring (Cliftonville), S. Sinclair (Knock)
Scots: Parlane (Cliftonville); Gouk (Queen's Island), Cunningham (Queen's Island), Gilmour (Queen's Island), Baird (Cliftonville); Harper (Queen's Island), Saunders (Distillery), McMillan (Queen's Island), Niven (Avoniel), Kerr (Queen's Island), Stewart (Queen's Island)
This match was held shortly after the initial trial match with the Irish eleven as selected for the international fixtures, with S. Sinclair taking the place of Dill who was unavailable. The Irish players inevitably tired in the second half. 
The "Scotch" players were all locally based.

(more to follow)

16 July 2017

101 Players Who Broke The Kop - Northern Ireland's Greatest Players 1936-2017



Between now and the end of the year, the NIFG Twitter feed will be publishing a regular feature on the greatest Northern Ireland players of the last 81 years, the 101 players most responsible for the Kop Stand shaking itself apart back in 2015!

Selection for the list itself will of course throw up plenty of controversies. In selecting the players, a balance of talent and skill, on field impact across a career or in a brief moment and loyalty to the famous green shirt have been considered. These are all very subjective measures and will no doubt lead to plenty of discussion - keep it polite please!

Of course this list could have been widened out to include all players that have taken the field to represent (Northern) Ireland since 1882, but the year 1936 has been selected as since then Windsor Park has been the exclusive "National Stadium for Northern Ireland" (aside from the brief period in the 1970s when "home" games were played in England and Scotland).

In selecting this date many giants of the game have been excluded - players such as Bill McCracken, John Peden, Olphie Stanfield, Micky Hamill and Elisha Scott - but it was considered that to include another five decades of talent would make the list too unwieldy... and that is the first decision of many which will no doubt leave many furrowing their brows!

101 - Will Grigg
100 - Andy Smith
99 - Billy McCullough
98 - George O'Boyle
97 - Con Martin
96 - Warren Feeney
95 - Shane Ferguson
94 - Josh Magennis
93 - Stephen Craigan
92 - Norman Uprichard
91 - Billy Cook
90 - Anton Rogan
89 - John O'Neill
88 - Billy Humphries
87 - Tommy Cassidy
86 - John Parke
85 - Willie Cunningham
84 - Martin Paterson
83 - James Quinn
82 - Jim Platt
81 - Michael O'Neill
80 - John McClelland
79 - ...

13 June 2017

Transfers Summer 2017


Permanent Transfers
Ross Glendinning (Linfield to Ballymena United) BUFC
Ivan Sproule (Dergview to Ardstraw (manager)) TyroneConstitution
Liam McMenamin (Strabane Athletic to Dungannon Swifts) StrabaneChronicle
Mark McAllister (Portadown to Crusaders) NewsLetter
Richard Clarke (Crusaders to Ballinamallard United) BBC
Robert Garrett (Portadown to Linfield) BBC
Jordan Stewart (Swindon Town to Linfield) BBC
Andrew Mitchell (Crusaders to Linfield) BBC
Josh Carson (Linfield to Coleraine) BBC
Michael McLellan (Linfield to Ards) ArdsFC
Alan Blayney (Dundela to Warrenpoint Town) BBC
Liam Nolan (Southport to Accrington Stanley) BBC
Matty Lund (Rochdale to Burton Albion) BBC
Michael Gault (Crusaders to Ballymena United) BUFC
Emmet Friars  (Ards to Ballymena United) BUFC
Jamie Harney (Old Garchonians to Cliftonville) CFC
Sean Ward (Linfield to Crusaders) BBC
Kyle McVey (Ballymena United to Portadown) BUFC
Adam Thompson (Southend United to Bury) BFC
Trevor Carson (Hartlepool United to Motherwell) BBC
Liam Bagnall (Warrenpoint Town to Cliftonville) CFC
Lee Camp (Rotherham United to Cardiff City) BBC BBC
Liam Boyce (Ross County to Burton Albion) BBC
Rory McArdle (Bradford City to Scunthorpe United) BBC
Kyle Lafferty (Norwich City to Hearts) BBC
Shay McCartan (Accrington Stanley to Bradford City) BBC
Michael Smith (Peterborugh United to Hearts) BBC
Josh Robinson (York City to Crusaders/Linfield) BBC
Niall McGinn (Aberdeen to Gwangju) BBC
Conor McLaughlin (Fleetwood Town to Millwall) BBC
Dean Shiels (FC Edmonton to Dunfermline Athletic) BBC
James Gray (Glenavon to Torquay United) DevonLive
Mark McChrystal (Bristol Rovers to Crusaders) CFC
James Knowles (Cliftonville to Glentoran)
Billy McKay (Wigan Athletic to Ross County)
Conor Brennan (Raith Rovers to Ballymena United) BUFC
Jamie Sendles-White (Swindon Town to Leyton Orient) TotalSwindon BBC
Jamie McDonagh (Greenock Morton to Sligo Rovers) ExtraTime
Robbie Weir (Leyton Orient to Chesterfield) CFC
Ben Reeves (MK Dons to Charlton Athletic) BBC
Sammy Clingan (Linfield to Glenavon) BBC
Ollie Bassett (Yeovil Town to Coalville Town) BBC
Alex Bruce (Hull City to Bury) Independant

Loans
Ollie Norwood (Brighton & Hove Albion to Fulham) (season) BBC


Players Released
Rory Donnelly (Gillingham) BBC
Louis Rooney (Plymouth Argyle) PlymouthHerald
Josh Doherty (Ards) ArdsFC
David Scullion (Glentoran) BelfastLive

10 June 2017

623: 10 June 2017

622 vs New Zealand - 623 - 624 vs ---
10th June 2017. 18:00 CET
AZERBAIJAN (AZE) 0-1 NORTHERN IRELAND (NIR) (H/T 0-0)

Venue:
Tofiq Bahramov Republican Stadium, Baku

Attendance:
-
Referee:
Javier Estrada Fernández (SPA)
Assistant Referees:
Miguel Martinez (SPA)
Teodoro Sobrino (SPA)
Fourth Official:
Alejandro Hernandez (SPA)
UEFA Delegate:
Jean Paul Mievis (BEL)
Goalscorers:
NIR S. Dallas 90+2



NORTHERN IRELAND
Manager: Michael O'Neill
Captain: Steven Davis
(3-5-2) M. McGovern; C. McLaughlin, G. McAuley [N. McGinn 25] [L. Hodson 86], J. Evans, A. Hughes, C. Brunt, O. Norwood, S. Davis _, S. Dallas, L. Boyce [K. Lafferty 77], J. Magennis _
Unusubs: A. Mannus (gk), R. Carroll (gk); S. Ferguson, T. Flanagan, D. Lafferty, P. Paton, M. Lund, S. McCartan, A. Thompson.

AZERBAIJAN
Manager: Robert Prosinečki (CRO)
Captain: Rashad F. Sadiqov
(4-3-3) Aghayev; Medvedev _, Huseynov, Sadiqov, Pashaev, Huseynov _, Garayev _, Almeida de Oliveira, Ismayilov, Sheydaev, Nazarov

Programme/Teamsheet/Ticket:

Match Reports:
BBC
UEFA

Squad as announced for previous New Zealand match.

9 June 2017

David Parkhouse

Name: David Parkhouse
Born: 24 October 1999, Strabane
Height:
Weight:
Position: Forward

Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: Under-21, Under-18 Schools, Under-17, Under-16 schools.

Club Career:
Maiden City Soccer Academy
Sheffield United May-16 Youth

Biography:
A former pupil of St Joseph's in Derry and prolific goalscorer throughout his youth. He joined Sheffield United in September 2014 and this was followed by a three year scholarship deal.

A regular scorer for the Northern Ireland schools and youth teams, he was promoted to the Under-21 squad in June 2017 while still just 17, and marked his debut with a goal against Estonia.

More to follow.

Northern Ireland Under-21 Cap Details:
08-06-2017 Estonia A W 2-1 ECQ 1 goal
still active

30 May 2017

622: 2 June 2017

2nd June 2017. KO 19:45 BST
NORTHERN IRELAND (NIR) 1-0 NEW ZEALAND (NZL) (H/T 1-0)


Venue:
National Stadium at Windsor Park, Belfast
(Adidas)

(Nike)
Attendance:
16,815
Referee:
Laurent Kopriwa (LUX)
Assistant Referees:
David Mateus Santos (LUX)
Daniel Da Costa (LUX)
Fourth Official:
Alain Durieux (LUX)
Goalscorers:
NIR Boyce 6

NORTHERN IRELAND
(3-5-2)
Sub
Cap
NEW ZEALAND
Sub
1
McGovern, Michael
Norwich City
-84
21
1
Marinovic, Stefan
6
Flanagan, Tom
Burton Albion
1
5
Boxall, Michael
5
Evans, Jonathan ©
West Brom
60
22
Durante, Andrew _
18
Hughes, Aaron
Hearts
105
20
Smith, Tommy
2
McLaughlin, Conor
Fleetwood T.
25
18
Colvey, Kip 
-63
14
Dallas, Stuart
Leeds United
-74
21
15
Lewis, Clayton 
-45
11
Brunt, Chris
West Brom
-45
58
8
McGlinchey, Michael
16
Norwood, Oliver
Brighton &HA
45
14
Ryan Thomas
-79
17
Lund, Matthew
Burton Albion
-45
3
17
Tom Doyle
-74
9
Boyce, Liam
Ross County
-45
9
11
Marco Rojas
-63
21
Magennis Josh
Charlton Ath.
-83
28
9
Chris Wood ©
Substitutes
Substitutes
3
Ferguson, Shane
Millwall
+45
30
6
Tuiloma, Bill
+45
8
Davis, Steven
Southampton
+45
94
7
Barbarouses, Kosta
+63
10
Lafferty, Kyle
Norwich City
+45
61
13
Patterson, Monty
+63
15
Paton, Paul
St Johnstone
+74
4
3
Deklan, Wynne
+72
19
McCartan, Shay
Accrington St.
+83
1
10
Smeltz, Shane
+79
23
Carroll, Roy
Linfield
+84
45
Unused Substitutes
Unused Substitutes
4
Thompson, Adam
Bury
2
2
Brotherton, Sam 
7
McGinn, Niall
Aberdeen
51
4
Tzimopoulos, Themi
12
Mannus, Alan
St Johnstone
9
12
Moss, Glen
20
Lafferty, Daniel
Sheffield Utd
13
16
Ingham, Dane
19
Rufer, Alex
21
Roux, Storm
23
Williams, Tamati
Manager
Michael O'Neill
Coach
Anthony Hudson

Match Pictures:
Hughes, Dallas, Boyce, Brunt, Norwood, McLaughlin, Lund, Flanagan, Magennis, McGovern, Evans
Flanagan, Magennis, Brunt, McGovern, Evans, Dallas
Hughes, Norwood, Lund, Boyce, McLaughlin (Roy Cathcart)
Pre-match warm-ups
Aaron Hughes was given a special award before kick-off in honour of
him reaching 100 caps
Debutant Tom Flanagan warms-up

Jonny Evans starts as captain
Regular captain Steven Davis
starts on the bench
The team celebrate
Liam Boyce's early goal
Half-time warm-ups


The Under-18 side show off the
Centenary Shield

Un-used sub, Adam Thompson
has just joined Bury
The half-time subs led on
by captain, Steve Davis

Match Programme/Teamsheet/Tickets:

 

-



Match Report:
BBC

Pre-Match:
Announcement

NI SquadGoalkeepers: McGovern (Norwich City), Mannus (St Johnstone), Carroll (Linfield)
Defenders: McAuley (West Brom), Evans (West Brom), Hughes (Hearts), Cathcart (Watford), Brunt (West Brom), C McLaughlin (Fleetwood), Hodson (Rangers), R McLaughlin (Oldham), Thompson (Southend), D Lafferty (Sheffield United), Flanagan (Burton Albion)
Midfielders: Davis (Southampton), McGinn (Aberdeen), Norwood (Brighton), Ferguson (Millwall), Dallas (Leeds), Lund (Burton Albion), Paton (St Johnstone)
Strikers: K Lafferty (Norwich), Magennis (Charlton), Boyce (Ross County), McCartan (Accrington Stanley)
Irish FA
NZ Squad
Goalkeepers: Stefan Marinovic (SpVgg Unterhaching, Germany) 14/0, Tamati Williams (RKC Waalwijk, Netherlands) 1/0, Glen Moss (Newcastle Jets, Australia) 29/0
Defenders: Andrew Durante (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand) 15/0, Thomas Doyle (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand) 4/0, Storm Roux (Central Coast Mariners, Australia) 7/0, Michael Boxall (SuperSport Utd, South Africa) 22/0, Kip Colvey (San Jose Earthquakes FC, USA) 8/0, Themi Tzimopoulos (PAS Giannina FC, Greece) 10/1, Deklan Wynne (Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Canada) 7/0, Sam Brotherton (Sunderland AFC, England) 7/0, Tommy Smith (Ipswich Town FC, England) 31/2, Dane Ingham (Brisbane Roar FC, Australia) 1/0
Midfielders: Bill Tuiloma (Marseille, France) 16/0, Clayton Lewis (Auckland City FC, New Zealand) 8/0, Michael McGlinchey (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand) 42/4, Ryan Thomas (PEC Zwolle, Netherlands) 9/2, Marco Rojas (Melbourne Victory FC, Australia) 32/5, Alex Rufer (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand) 3/0
Forwards: Chris Wood (c) (Leeds Utd, England) 47/19, Monty Patterson (Ipswich Town FC, England) 9/1, Shane Smeltz (Borneo FC, Indonesia) 53/24, Kosta Barbarouses (Wellington Phoenix FC) 37/3

Notes:
This match was preceded by a week long training camp in Manchester.
Liam Boyce scored (Northern) Ireland's 650th senior international goal.
Debuts for Tom Flanagan and Shay McCartan
The Northern Ireland Under-18 Schools teamed displayed the Centenary Shield at half-time.

Credits:
Roy Cathcart

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

© NIFG 2006-2015