Tag: player interview

U19 INTERVIEW: Tumelo Tlou

Fri Apr 26th 2019

At the recent coaching graduation for Longford Town FC underage players that took place recently at the City Calling Stadium, Under 19 player, Tumelo Tlou also graduated with a National D Coaching Licence.

Tumelo who hails from Mullingar has played at Under 17 and Under 19 level for the club.
Tumelo and team-mate and St. Mel’s college student Isaac Abankwah were capped this year with the Irish Under 17’s, and Tumelo told Tony Ghee that this coaching qualification is another step in progressing his football career.
Here’s the audio interview with Tumelo.
[audio mp3="http://ltfc.ie/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Tumelo-Tlou.mp3"][/audio]


PLAYER INTERVIEW: Conor Kenna

Thu Mar 21st 2019

INTERVIEW BY ANDREW DEMPSEY

All systems are go in the Longford Town dressing room ahead of El Clasico de Midlands this Friday evening at Athlone Town Stadium.

During an off-season of change, Neale Fenn brought in plenty of reinforcements to deal with many of the notable departures from City Calling Stadium. One man who has joined an impressive squad during the off-season is defender Conor Kenna who has a glittering CV to say the least.

The 34-year-old defensive rock at the heart of the Longford defence has impressed suitably since his arrival at the Strokestown Road venue.

So, ahead of the El Clasico on Friday evening the former Premier Division title winning captain spoke to LTFC.ie ahead of the crunch derby clash at the Co. Westmeath venue.

[caption id="attachment_20650" align="aligncenter" width="455"] Conor Kenna in action. Pic: Sportsfile[/caption]

“I’ve really enjoyed my time at the club to be fair.” The former Bray Wanderers centre back said.

“I was kind thinking of giving up football at the tail end of last season. Daire and Neale got onto me and asked me to come and see if I wanted to give it another go and as soon as I went in, I really enjoyed it. They’ve got a great bunch of lads together and a great atmosphere around the place. It’s great seeing a good bunch of las all wanting to work hard for each other and that’s what you have here.”

It has been a solid start to the season for Neale Fenn’s side so far this season.

A strong defence has underpinned the impressive nature of Town’s opening four performances of the season. Kenna, while being pleased with his defensive showings thus far, has been impressed with the team effort so far within the Longford Town dressing room.

“Neale has his way of playing and it’s great. He sticks to it and it is great to see. I’ve really enjoyed it so far, he likes us to play football the right way and I can’t complain at the moment!

“The clean sheets are an overall thing really. It shows you how hard we are prepared to work for one another. I know we had a bit of luck against Drogheda with Lee (Steacey) pulling off some incredible saves. Even the cup game as well against Cockhill Celtic we got a clean sheet with a different team so it’s nice to be in an environment like that.

“You obviously want to win your first game, but we went down to Limerick, it’s a tough place to go to and with it being the first game of the season it’s always going to be harder and to come away with a draw was good. We played some good football at times. We’re very happy with the start we had, saying that we would’ve liked more points but that’s football. The Cabinteely game was a disgrace, the pitch was a disgrace, but a draw was probably a fair result. We were happy coming away from it with a draw and knowing that we can play better.”

Having endured a tumultuous year at the Carlisle Grounds last year, 2019 has the makings of a year to remember for the former Coventry City youth.

Eager to right the wrongs of last year’s disappointment in Co. Wicklow, Conor is looking at promotion to lift his mood after the bitter taste of relegation last year.    

“I want to turn things around after what happened at Bray last year. I feel like I’ve got a point to prove and Paul O’Conor is like me in that sense after last year at Bray. It wasn’t an ideal year for us, and we just want to get back enjoying our football again. You enjoy football when you’re winning so getting promoted is the aim!”

This Clasico has the makings of a real classic, cue the christened name of the game. In addition, this will be Kenna’s first engagement with the Clasico, a prospect which excites the multi-trophy winner greatly.

“I’m really looking forward to it. There’s a fair bit of slagging going on at the minute with Aodh letting us know how important this game is. He’s been tormenting us all week about it. I’ve never played in one of these games before, so I don’t know exactly what it’s like but going by what Aodh has said, I’ll be taking his advice for definite.

Having played in so many big games previously, the former UCD defensive mainstay noted that he will be looking to utilise his big game experience from times gone by.

“Yeah hopefully I’ll be looking to use my experience on Friday. To be honest I’m just looking forward to getting back out there on the pitch. We didn’t play last weekend, so I just want to get back out there and get another game under my belt. Hopefully we can get a good result and start a good run on our push for promotion!”

And finally, with the hours just counting down to the big kick-off in Co. Westmeath, Conor had this message for the fans ahead of Friday night’s clash down the N55.

“It’s been my first time at the club and I’ve really enjoyed what the fans have brought to the table for us. the fans have been great during the games. They know what the game means to them and the players know what it means as well, as Aodh has driven it into us! We’ll be all up for it and hopefully we can grab a win at the end of the game!”


PLAYER INTERVIEW: Jamie Doyle speaks to LTFC.ie

Thu Jan 31st 2019

Come February 22nd it will have been 153 days without a competitive ball being kicked for Jamie Doyle and his Longford Town FC teammates. To put that into context, that is almost five months without De Town taking to the field of play in a competitive setting. As the days count down ever so slowly, Town striker Jamie Doyle caught up with LTFC.ie’s Andrew Dempsey as the excitement ratchets up another notch towards the season opener away to Limerick FC on February 22nd.

Having returned to pre-season training shortly after Christmas to meet up with his teammates after the long break, in a footballing capacity at least, the former Bohemians and UCD hitman revealed that pre-season preparations are going well thus far.

“Pre-season is going well. All the squad are pulling together in the one direction looking for promotion. There’s no injuries just yet and everyone is happy! Our last game was in September versus UCD and that feels like a lifetime ago so roll on Limerick in three- or four-weeks’ time. Everyone in the squad is pulling in towards that game and we are all looking forward to it beginning again!”

In terms of blending into the squad, Jamie noted that the ideal mix of both youth and experience will be massive aid to De Town’s aspirations of 2019 at the City Calling Stadium.

“The new signings have been great. Neale has obviously brought in a good mix of youth and experience this year. Anto Breslin has come in and has looked excellent, coming in from Wolves. Paul O’Conor has also come in bringing in much experience, so all is good. It’s all blending in quite nicely at the moment!”

Reflecting on his best moments in the Longford Town jersey to date, the former Shelbourne target man admitted that his favourite memory in the Red and Black would have to be the superb 2-0 win over his former employers in the FAI Cup Second Round in August 2018.

“I would have to say when we knocked out Shels in the FAI Cup last year would be my favourite moment for Longford. They had beaten us 6-1 a couple of weeks before and it didn’t feel like wee got what we deserved in the end. It was nice to beat them after all that.”

While De Town just about missed out on the playoffs last term, the 25-year-old former UCD man admits that injuries took away from De Town’s playoff charge in the end.

“I thought we didn’t have the depth in the squad towards the end of last year. We had a couple of key injuries at the end of last year and we just couldn’t keep up. We lost our experience from injuries and that was that.”

Despite that, the striker, once of LSL side Leixlip United is confident that the squad has been added to accordingly which will hopefully drive the team on towards an even better finish come September 2019.

“However, we’ve added to the squad big time this year and everyone seems to be doing well and maybe that can help us go one step closer this year!”

Looking at the side’s ambitions for 2019, Doyle has fired warning shots towards the rest of the division.

“We want to win the league outright! There’s no point in playing otherwise, I think. If we get into the Playoffs all well and good but we want to win the league, that’s it!”

And finally, Neale Fenn’s key attacking outlet has called on the club’s supporters to get right behind the team this year, admitting that the support from the stands really does help in pushing the team when the going gets tough on the field of play.

“Hopefully the fans can come out in numbers again to get behind us. They’ve been absolutely brilliant since I’ve come in last season and even the away support was unbelievable as well. They were brilliant at the likes of Galway and Drogheda last season, it was brilliant and if they can do the same it will be a massive help and we’ll go far!”


PLAYER INTERVIEW: Dean Byrne

Mon Jan 14th 2019

Interview by Andrew Dempsey

2018 heralded a new dawn for many Longford Town players. While some have gone on to pastures new, most have stayed on for one more year at the City Calling Stadium. One man who has decided to stay on is lethal finisher Dean Byrne who lit up the City Calling Stadium on many occasions last term. While injury ultimately cut the Dubliner’s fine debut season short, it was a year that ‘Deano’ stole the hearts of a fiercely passionate and loyal fanbase on the Strokestown Road. After battling through a long-term injury, Byrne caught up with LTFC.ie reporter Andrew Dempsey with a view in mind to next season’s First Division which looks set to excite once more.

With a devastating injury cutting Byrne’s season so cruelly short in June 2018, the road to recovery was difficult for the former AUL star especially in a brutally long off-season as said by Neale Fenn’s dangerous attacking talent.

“It was long. I lost my way a little bit with the injury, but I worked hard and got back on the pitch with Hardwicke in the AUL, so I got going there during the off-season and got myself a head-start in regard to getting back out on the pitch. In September I got back in the gym and started training a little bit on the leg. I was working hard and but before I started back, I had a lot to do. I started doing sessions on my own with Hardwicke, doing sprints and running. Football work came in at the end of September. From then on I started building my leg back up and from there on in I got back with Hardwicke and it worked out well with me.”

While Dean was recovering from his season-ending blow against Cabinteely, the rest of the first-team had no time to feel sorry for themselves. An intense Playoff push was eventually stopped in its tracks by Drogheda with an injury-ravaged Town battling gamely right to the final whistle of the season.

“I couldn’t believe how well the lads got on with all the injuries we had. The team spirit was brilliant and the lads that were there stuck with each other and stuck around to keep a close bond together. It was like a team of best friends and they just kept going. We were obviously really unlucky with how things went in the end but hopefully we can continue the good form from last year and we can hopefully start like a house on fire!”

With the likes of Anto Breslin and Lee Steacey coming in through the doors of the City Calling Stadium, there have been many notable departures from Neale Fenn’s ranks. While the loss of key men such as Daniel O’Reilly and Dylan McGlade will be difficult to initially deal with, Byrne revealed that there is a belief in the squad to stand up and be counted following the departures of such key personnel during the transfer window.

“No matter what or who you bring in, Daniel O’Reilly is going to be a massive loss for us. He’d be a massive loss for any side in the Premier and First Division, and obviously you add in Sam Verdon and Dylan McGlade. I don’t know what you can say about Dylan, his goals were monumental for us last year and they kept us going. Obviously, there’s a large amount of us who are willing to work just as hard and are just as talented as Dylan is so there’s always somebody ready to step in and lead by example. I think we can fill the void quickly and hopefully they can have the same impact as what Sam, Dylan and Sam had for us!”

With the days counting down to the big kick-off away to Limerick FC, Byrne is certainly not one lacking ambition as he is targeting at least a Playoff spot for a young and hungry Red and Black Army in 2019.

“The very least we’re looking for is the playoffs but we’re obviously looking for more than that. We’re all confident in our own ability but as a team we’re all getting on really well in pre-season. there’s some really good talent after coming in to the side and they’ve just gelled in like they’ve been there for years. I think we should be definitely aiming for the playoffs this year and we will cause upsets, big time!”

With the game against Limerick on the opening night pitting Dean against two of his former teammates from last season in Jack Brady and Chris Mulhall, Dean has said, while he is looking forward to the game and meeting up with two of his ex-teammates, all the focus is on beating the Blues come February 22nd at the Markets Field.

“For me personally that’s exactly what I’m looking forward to, getting back in the swing of things and playing for Longford again. I’ve never looked forward to something so much in my life. Obviously playing against Jack (Brady) and Chris (Mulhall) will be different but they were great for me last year. Jack was one of the first who came up to me and I became close with him right from the off last season. He took me under his wings last year and it will be nice to see Jack again and obviously Chris then. I learnt a lot from him last year being a striker and all but hopefully we’ll do them, no disrespect!”

And finally, Byrne called on the supporters to replicate their passion and commitment of last season in 2019 as De Town look to go one further than last season at the City Calling Stadium.

“The fans. I can’t even explain how good they were last season. It was unbelievable to walk out every single week and see them singing away, going at the drums for the whole ninety minutes, win, lose or draw. It was unbelievable. As I’ve said before, I’ve never experienced that kind of support in my life from the amateur ranks so to feel the passion, it really does feed into the players minds and give us that little extra fire in our belly!”

 



2019 SSE Airtricity League First Division

Markets Field

City Calling Stadium

Stradbrook

Athlone Town Stadium

City Calling Stadium

Ferrycarrig Park

City Calling Stadium

St. Colman's Park

City Calling Stadium

United Park

City Calling Stadium

Eamonn Deacy Park

City Calling Stadium

Tolka Park

City Calling Stadium

City Calling Stadium

Carlisle Grounds

City Calling Stadium

Markets Field

City Calling Stadium

Stradbrook

City Calling Stadium

Athlone Town Stadium

City Calling Stadium

Ferrycarrig Park

City Calling Stadium

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