We're back for another double header length episode, and two guests who had very different plans in mind at the start of the year. Ruaidhri Higgins joins us after the mid pandemic move from Dundalk's coaching team to Ireland's backroom staff and explains his special relationship with Stephen Kenny, the specifics of his new brief and why he realised early in his career that his top level ambitions would likely only be realised as a coach. Meanwhile, Padraig Amond joins us ahead of a round of golf with his season at Newport County over. The League of Ireland export reflects on Shamrock Rovers and Sligo Rovers memories and encourages today's generation of players to be open to markets beyond England.
We're still in limbo about whether the League of Ireland 2020 season will return and the FAI's interim deputy CEO Niall Quinn is central to the attempts to try and make it happen. He joined the lads to discuss the health challenges, the financial risks, and the search for support to remove the concerns of clubs who feel they won't be able to afford a behind closed doors return. We hear about UEFA's stance, the First Division position and why waiting until 2021 could pose serious problems for the league's short and long term future. We also discuss the FAI's broader vision for the league, Ruud Dokter's role, the national underage leagues, All-Island league plans and more...
We're back with another bumper show, longer than your average FAI Cup final with the standard extra-time and penalty shootout, to pass away some lockdown time. Dan explains the thinking behind his Irish Indo list of the top 50 League of Ireland players 2000-2020, with Johnny offering his brief take on each selection before we bring in our special guests. Conan Byrne runs through the results of his poll on the all-time greats and puts forward flaws in Dan's thinking and admits the Covid-19 crisis could have an unexpected impact on his career. Then we are joined by high ranked stars Paddy McCourt and Stephen O'Donnell to discuss comparing eras, the attributes of the best players they encountered, and also get the lowdown on Stephen Kenny and Ruaidhri Higgins based on their shared experiences. We also discuss if it's possible to open minds to closed doors.
‘It might be a while before we are on the road again but we were joined for our latest lockdown production by Eoin Doyle who gave us an entertaining account of his journey through the League of Ireland en route to his career in England. Bus trips with Paul Cook and Pat Scully feature heavily and he also explains why plans to move home are on the backburner for now. We also catch up with referees Paul McLaughlin and Alan Patchell to learn what attracted them to the lifestyle and what they would change about it. Johnny and Dan also discuss Dundalk statements, Trump press conferences and much more besides.
It's the LOI Weekly Easter special which means a feast of words about Stephen Kenny's appointment as Ireland manager. We hear a portion of Kenny's virtual press conference (17:58), break down some of the commentary around what his promotion represents and mull over how things might go before speaking to three people who were given a front seat view for sections of his journey. Alan Murphy reflects on the Longford days (37:13), and the passion of the young manager that convinced him to go there. We have a fantastic chat with David Forde about Kenny's role in his Irish ascension (1:02:26), a wide ranging discussions which takes us to unexpected places. Mark Rossiter talks Dundalk and his reservations about the speed of the handover (1:42:18). It's basically a Kenny show but we also ponder when football might return, amongst other things, in this bumper edition. Like an Easter egg, you may not want to devour it all at once. Just space it out and make sure to remember to come back to it.
We don't know what the future holds but we got through the past and the present on this week's show. Dundalk manager Vinny Perth joined us on the line to discuss the challenges presented by the Covid-19 crisis and the encouraging response of the club's owners. He also helped the lads down memory lane as they picked their teams of the 21st century - with terms and conditions that complicated the selection process. Cork City's Declan Carey also offered us an update on where the Leesiders stand following a turbulent period. We also discuss Setanta Cup nostalgia, haircut dilemmas & the next socialist portrait for the Bohemians boardroom.
No make-up, no lingering looks to camera, no Facebook likes. The coronavirus has sent LOI Weekly back to its roots with an audio only Skype special broadcast from designated bunkers around Dublin. We discuss the serious business of what the Covid-19 crisis means for Irish football and the uncertainty over what happens next. We hear Niall Quinn discuss the LOI's position and managers Tim Clancy and Alan Reynolds offer their take on their club's response to the unprecedented situation. A posse of players let us know how they are keeping busy, while listeners questions takes us down some strange paths. Tune in as we try to keep you company.
It's week five and Johnny phones in from Cheltenham, a sporting event that is continuing uninterrupted in spite of Covid-19, but it's unlikely that we will be saying the same about the League of Ireland. Shane Dawson takes the chair to discuss with Dan about what it all means for the league after the first FAI meeting on the subject. We break down what it could all mean. Ger O'Brien joins the lads to discuss the St Patrick's Athletic structure, the league's best winter signings, and the weekend's games. They might be our last ones for a while.
It's episode four. Or episode phwoar as we digest the Jordan Flores wonder strike and a thrilling game in Tallaght that showcased all that is good about the league. Pat Fenlon joins the lads to digest what the game says about Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk and what the gap between the top two and the rest says about the league today. We also discuss pitch battles, politics and Jack Byrne's royal seal of approval.
It's week three and friend of the show Johnny Dunleavy returns to studio to discuss a tough start to the season for Sligo Rovers, the sudden decline of his old club Cork City and the ups and downs of the League of Ireland and Las Vegas. We touch on some of the big issues of the week; Shamrock Rovers v Dundalk, grass v astroturf and fan owned models v private investment. And there's the obligatory Cheltenham references too.