Tag: player interview

Aodh Dervin hoping to emulate cup heroes of 2004…

Tue Aug 13th 2019

Interview by James Donnelly

Longford Town’s Aodh Dervin hoping to emulate Cup heroes of 2004…

Longford Town’s homegrown midfield maestro, Aodh Dervin was just 4 years old when his club retained the FAI Cup way back in 2004 with a dramatic 2-1 win over Waterford United at the old, iconic Landsdowne Road.

A Town fan from birth, the 20 year old spoke fondly of his vivid memories of the time, recalling seeing the Longford players arrive at the stadium all suited up and ready for action.

“I was only four years old but I remember all the players, Sean Prunty, Eric Lavine…I remember them all coming out in suits and it was really professional and it was a moment that’s stuck with me since then and it drives me on in a way…”

Now, 15 years later, one of the brightest prospects’ that the midlands club has produced in recent years, is hoping to emulate his old heroes by going all the way and winning the coveted cup in the Aviva Stadium and fulfilling a boyhood dream.

“I think anyone that has any ambition of being a footballer (in Ireland) dreams of that so it’s obviously always been a goal of mine and it would be even more special to do it with Longford especially with our history.”

Longford have a rich history in this competition, having won it twice in the early 2000’s and been finalists four times. Having had a decent run last year under the guidance of manager Neale Fenn, Longford had some terrific wins in the cup, beating Sligo Rovers in the first round for the second consecutive year and defeating Shelbourne at home in the second round before bowing out to a superior Cork City side in the quarter final although an early sending off didn’t help the Red and Black. A crowd of over 1100 were in attendance and while the final result was one to forget for Dervin, his performance for the Town showed everyone that he’s capable of playing at the top level in our league. However, with the Town chasing promotion and welcomign Shelbourne to the City Calling only 4 days after their cup game on Tuesday, potential opponents and revenge isn’t on the mind of the young player.

“We all know that promotion is our main aim but I think these cup games are good, we want to keep the momentum going and the only way we can do that is by playing and winning…obviously you’d want to get revenge on Cork and you always want to play against the best players but I haven’t really thought about it. We’ve Athlone on Tuesday and that’s our main focus.”

With tomorrow’s game being the fourth ‘El Clasico’ of 2019 and with Longford having won the last three and obtaining a 5-1 win only last week, Dervin is aware that the midlands derby is not quite what it used to be but insists that he and the team will still prepare the same way as usual.

“Obviously the rivalry isn’t what it was a few years ago when Athlone were doing well, I remember going to games as a fan and busses of Athlone fans would be travelling but it doesn’t matter, we treat Athlone the same as any other team. I motivate myself by not wanting to lose any game as I hate losing and I’m a sore one at that but beating Athlone will always feel that bit sweeter for me and always will.”

Aodh Dervin pictured in action against Cork City last year during our FAI Cup quarter final clash at the City Calling Stadium.

With league leaders Shelbourne losing out to Cobh last week, their lead at the top is down to 5 points. They will travel to Longford on Saturday night in what could be both clubs biggest game of the season, just a few days Longford are in cup action. When asked if he still believed ‘De Town’ could win the league, Dervin revealed the team are just taking it one game at the time.

“This is the biggest game of the season for us, and with Shels slipping up in Cobh, we’re looking to close the gap even more by beating them. Then there will only be 2 points between us so we just need to take it game by game and see how it folds out..”

Kick off at the City Calling Stadium tonight is 7.45pm.

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.


Thu Mar 21st 2019


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.

Conor Kenna in action. Pic: Sportsfile

“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!”

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