Our U17 home fixture and U19 away fixture v Drogheda United today have both been postponed due to the weather. #LOI17 #LOI19
Our U17 home fixture and U19 away fixture v Drogheda United today have both been postponed due to the weather. #LOI17 #LOI19
Longford Town head to Tolka Park tonight off the back of a comfortable 3-0 win over Wexford FC at City Calling Stadium last weekend courtesy of goals from two former Shelbourne men; Chris Mulhall (2) & Dylan McGlade. Shels were away to Finn Harps in Ballybofey where they drew 1-1 courtesy of a goal from former Longford Town striker and record goalscorer David O’Sullivan.
Longford go into tonights game currently sitting on top of the First Divison with 5 points, Shels are in 8th place with 1 point. A hard fought 2-2 draw with Cobh Ramblers on opening day followed by last weekends win over Wexford saw Longford top the table. A defeat to UCD on the first day of the league saw Shelbourne head to Finn Harps after the weather cancellations, having not played a home game yet this season.
Alan Kehoe is still out injured from Longford and should not be expected back for a number of weeks. Shelbourne are missing Aidan Collins and Mark Hughes through injury while Alan Byrne and Derek Pendergast return to the squad this week.
Longford Town make the trip to Tolka Park this Friday to face Shelbourne in their third league outing of the season. It will be the Town’s first away game and the first home match for the Dubliners.
The Town are second in the table behind Galway on goal difference on four points after two unbeaten home games yielded a 2 all draw against Cobh and a 3-0 victory over Wexford FC. UCD and Cobh Ramblers also have four points in a four-way tie at the top of the table.
Striker Chris Mulhall is in fine scoring form for Neale Fenn’s charges with 3 goals in the two games to date, including a brace against Wexford FC at the City Calling Stadium last Saturday night.
Peter Hopkins and substitute Dylan McGlade were both outstanding for the ‘Red and Black’ against Wexford and McGlade may have done more than enough to earn a starting place at Tolka Park tomorrow night.
On the injury front, there are no new injury concerns, so the versatile Alan Kehoe is the only absentee from the Town squad ahead of the game.
It will be strange to see the club’s all time record scorer David O’Sullivan lining out for the opposition after 5 successful seasons with the Midlanders, and the Town faithful will be hoping that the mercurial O’Sullivan who scored against Finn Harps will be part of a Shels team that draw a blank in tomorrow night’s contest.
Shels have a lot of quality in their ranks with an experienced back-line that includes keeper Dean Delaney, Derek Prendergast, Aidan Collins and Dave Mulcahy. Former Longford player, Gavin Boyne, will provide plenty of energy in the midfield sector, while O’Sullivan and James English will provide the main goal scoring threat.
Shelbourne go into the game with just one point from their opening two games after a 2-1 loss away to UCD and a 1 all draw away to Finn Harps.
The game kicks-off at 7.45pm.
Highlights of the 3-0 victory over Wexford FC on Saturday night at the City Calling Stadium, plus a post match interview with Town manager, Neale Fenn speaking to Tony Ghee.
De Town had a good 3-0 home win against Wexford FC last Saturday. A heavy drizzle before kick off made for some slippery conditions but at least we didn’t let our lead slip this time. While, once again we played some lovely passing football, we still weren’t secured of all three points until the closing stages when our superiority and class showed with two more goals. It was a game we could have scored more but while we hit the woodwork twice, Wexford FC cracked it once..surely an unusual statistic.
What was particularly pleasing was the fact that we kept a clean sheet. So after our two opening home games, we’ve scored five and conceded two with four points on the board. It’s early days yet obviously but this time last season, alarm bells were beginning to tinkle. With results elsewhere favouring us,our win puts us level at the top with Galway,Cobh and UCD. It appears that we’re going to have a tight season ahead. Brace yourself.
This Friday night, March 16th we travel to take on Shelbourne at Tolka Park with a 7.45pm kick off. The hosts have a single point to their name and despite having our former goal machine Sully, we hope their point tally will remain at just one. It’s hoped that Section O will be running a bus to add to the noise level. In past years, Longford people exiled in the capital city used to turn up in large numbers at Tolka. We’d love to see this continue. A win on Friday night would be the perfect start to a great Bank Holiday and sporting weekend.
The match programme for the Wexford game was another excellent production. Fair play to Kieran Burke and Marty Stapleton for their terrific contributions. If you failed to pick up a copy you’ll have missed the fact that our match sponsor was King Wing Foods (Hong Kong) Ltd. Who says we don’t have far away appeal? On a different note, nice to see Marty togged out in his hi-vis gear as he cycled home after the match.
This Monday, 19th March sees our first car boot sale. Gates will open at 4am – yes, 4am and fees will be taken then from the stall holders. In the old days, we used to start much later but according as the car boot sales grew in success, the arrival times grew ever earlier. And of course we could do with some volunteers, maybe not the early shift but to help with traffic management and clean up afterwards.
Those long serving volunteers are all looking for some extra volunteers. Andy is searching for some more to help sell the 50/50 tickets and Tom could do with a pair of extra hands with the half time raffle. And as stated we could do with extra help at the car boot sales. Well, will you help us?
One supporter who was on a bit of a long road trip on Saturday night tuned into RTE’s Sport results after the 11pm news. He was driving and couldn’t check his phone. Like all Town supporters, he’s a law abiding citizen. He heard all about the rugby and plenty about English soccer, a little bit of golf and interestingly a report on cricket. But zilch, zero, nada about our game against Wexford.
After re-joining the club following a spell away in England with Conference North side Blyth Spartans, Dylan McGlade got talking with LTFC.ie reporter Andrew Dempsey as the former Middlesbrough prodigy discussed how his move back to the City Calling Stadium came about whilst also comparing the League of Ireland to the Non-Leagues over in England.
Having decided to re-join the Red and Black after a brief spell across the water over in England with Conference North side Blyth Spartans, McGlade revealed that his previous relationship both Neale Fenn and Daire Doyle played a key role in getting the deal over the line.
“It actually just happened when the team I was playing with in England were having some difficulties and they just said, if you’d like to leave we can facilitate that. I think Daire and Fenny caught wind of that and we just had a chat. I know the lads already, I know Daire and Fenny for a couple of years now so the opportunity that I had to work under them was something I couldn’t really let go.”
With this being the first time that Dylan has worked under both Fenn and Doyle simultaneously in a professional capacity, the 22-year-old Dubliner has explained that he has found the transition to Fenn’s footballing philosophy an easy exercise so far.
“It’s been good so far! He knows what he wants and its good to have that clearness in your instructions. Everybody knows exactly the way he wants to play, and he doesn’t shy away from how he wants to play. I’ve been coached under him for the last couple of years with his academy, so I know how he deals with things and how he works so it’s been an easy transition for me.”
Having enjoyed a six-month spell at the club last time out, the former St Patrick’s Athletic star revealed that realisation of how a big a club De Town really are stood out for him in his last stint at the City Calling Stadium.
“Probably just realising how a big a club Longford is. I mean when you come down to the City Calling Stadium. I remember the first time I came down here in 2016 with Pats away and I just couldn’t believe how big the stadium was and how professional everything looked. Even walking down to the changing rooms and just stuff like that.”
With the good times not far gone, he also revealed that Daire Doyle constantly keeps on referring to the good old days at the club when the Red and Black were pulling in back in the mid 2000’s having had a spell at the club himself.
“That was probably the main thing but Daire always talks about when he was playing for Longford and how the club were nearly getting almost 2,500 at nearly every home game and all. Obviously back when I was with Shels as well I remember Longford always had a huge following so probably that would have to be the thing that really stood out for me.”
With there being far more positivity amongst Longford Town supporters this time round compared to this time last season, the 22-year-old noted that he believes that this year’s squad feels a lot more cohesive than the side starting last season’s campaign.
“I think the big difference this year would probably have to be the cohesiveness of the team. I look at the team this year and most of the boys all know each other. The way in which we’re setting up this year is much different to last year and how Neale wants to play, and I think everyone really fits into that. As well as that, I think that we’re a lot stronger this time around in all areas of the pitch. I mean, if you look at the team, we almost have two people to play every position on the park and we didn’t really have that last year. Last year we were a bit light up front and I know this year we kind of are a bit light up front, but we have a few boys that can play up there as well as me if needs be. we have a lot more competition which always helps.”
Having played at both Non-League and League of Ireland levels in his brief playing career so far, McGlade revealed that League of Ireland football has a far superior professional feel surrounding it compared to the Non-League set-up in England.
“It’s a lot different I have to say. At Blyth we were playing in the Conference North and there are massive teams in the league such as Southport, York and Salford. Darlington are a massive team as well in there. I remember we played them last year and there were thousands at the game, it was just crazy, but the professionalism isn’t the same. I remember we came back from one of the games and the chairman came on and put two crates of beer on the bus on the way home from an away game. After the games lads would be heading down to the pubs, downing pints and all. You would never see that here! I remember one of the lads used to have a Subway pre-match, and you just don’t do that! The standard is very, very good like, I’ve played with some very, very good players and played against some very good players as well but the professionalism isn’t over there with that whereas over here you wouldn’t see that!”
Personally at least, McGlade has said that he is looking to break into a highly competitive starting eleven at Longford Town but has also noted that he feels as if there is a lot more experience this season compared to last season at the City Calling Stadium available to Neale Fenn and his backroom staff.
“First of all, I’d like to break into the first team and get a good of games under my belt. I think that’s what every player coming into a team wants to achieve. I think also, looking around, even though I’ve only been here for two weeks or so far, we look a lot more penetrating than last season and I think we’ve brought in some good experience with the likes of Darren Meenan who has won the Premier Division a few times, you look at Shane O’Connor last year getting player of the season at Waterford and getting promoted with them last time round. You look at Chris Mulhall who done the same at Limerick when he went up with them. I really think that we’ve strengthened in areas and we’ve got a lot of experience available to us and we still don’t have an old team!”
Echoing all the sentiments from the Red and Black’s dressing room, the former Malahide United and Swords Rovers starlet knows that a tilt towards the SSE Airtricity League First Division is well within reach come the end of the season at the City Calling Stadium.
“This year we’ve got to look for a promotion spot and we have to look at going for the league title. I know Neale has told all the boys that he wants to win the league outright and that’s how we’re setting up to try and do. We’re going into each game looking to win and we won’t be going into games looking to take draws even though the league will be very tough to win so I think, if we can get a good run of games and get the boys confidence up, I think there’s no reason why I don’t think we can’t go on and compete for the title.”
Why not give a listen to our official LTFC Soundcloud channel, where’ll you find player interviews, match reports and more. Our latest interview is with Town skipper, Dean Zambra in conversation with Kieran Burke, about City Calling Stadium, the excellent facilites at the club and the season ahead. We’ll have more great content coming soon.