ET Bitesize: Shh, We Didn't Say That

Tue, Oct 25 2016

Spotlight

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SHH, WE DIDN'T SAY THAT

 

Oyez! Oyez!

 

Here at Bitesize HQ we're not afraid to hold up our hands and say, “boy, we got it wrong.”

 

Not for us the Donald Trump defence, to say “I didn't say that” while simultaneously brushing evidence of literally saying that under a lavish, probably fake, carpet.

 

Which is why you won't find any evidence of us talking down Dundalk's title credentials or pontificating about it finally being Cork City's year.

 

And you definitely didn't see us in the betting shop with our life savings, loudly telling the man behind the counter “PUT IT ALL ON CORK CITY – I'VE A GOOD FEELING IT'S FINALLY THEIR YEAR.”

 

You won't find any evidence – and there's no point looking – because we never said that. And we'd tell you if we had.

 

It's stupid to suggest we would ever doubt a team described as “raging hot favourites” to beat Finn Harps by no less an authority than Finn Harps.

 

A team whose manager has become so adept at overcoming adversity and misfortune that he's started to factor the effect on referees of opposition crisp packets into his gameplan.

 

Quite simply, This Dundalk Team – for this is how we must all refer to them now – have elevated themselves to a higher plane.

 

Sure, they may benefit from the unfair positioning of the away dugouts, which gives them a clear advantage at Oriel Park.

 

And cushy away ties in places like Iceland and Belarus are in stark contrast to arduous bus journeys like the one endured by Derry City to Wexford not one but two weeks in a row.

 

Whether This Dundalk Team can now emulate That Dundalk Team's feat from last year and pip Cork to the double at the Aviva Stadium, where the dugouts are fairly placed, remains to be seen.

 

The Thursday before the final sees This Dundalk Team face Zenit St Petersburg in Russia before returning to Ireland the following.

 

With roughly half the squad now actually living in Dundalk, it's not beyond the realms of possibility they could defect and take their chances on a better life in Putin's Russia.

 

Others, like Daryl Horgan, will undoubtedly be tempted by offers from glamorous destinations like Sunderland and Ipswich.

 

It's quite possibly that, by the time next season kicks off sometime between January and April, This Dundalk Team won't be This Dundalk Team anymore – they'll be Half This Dundalk Team.

 

Then it will, finally, be City's year. But we didn't say that.

 

 

FROM THE ECHO CHAMBER

 

 

 

PODCAST

 

On this week’s Extratime.ie Sportscast, presenter Josh Dolan is joined by the Bray manager who has completely transformed their season, the Shamrock Rovers player full of praise for the underage club structure and the former League of Ireland player who just managed UCD under 19s to the league title.

 

 

QUIZ TIME

 

Have you got the knowledge of the League of Ireland to mix it with Extratime.ie's most esteemed eggheads? Take the ET Weekly Quiz and let us know you get on Twitter @ExtratimeNews.

 

 

IN-DEPTH

 

In Dave O'Connor's ET column, the Rovers defender speaks about how it's the time of the year when many League of Ireland players start to look for their nearest social welfare office.

 

Football administrator Philip Nolan writes about how midweek fixtures don't work in the League of Ireland.

 

Dan Lucey speaks to ex-Sligo Rovers and Longford Town midfielder Alan Kirby on marking Esteban Cambiasso and his time in the League of Ireland.

 

Caoimhin Reilly reflects on a night of high drama in Tallaght as Dundalk were edged out by Zenit St Petersburg in the Europa League.

 

Dundalk defender Brian Gartland told reporters after the game he was disappointed but the squad were determined to press on.

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

Former Shamrock Rovers and Republic of Ireland midfielder Stephen McPhail called time on his playing career at the age of 36.

 

The FAI announced the Republic of Ireland will host Euro 2016 quarter-finalists Iceland at the Aviva Stadium in March.

 

Derry City boss signed a contract extension after guiding the Candystripes to a third-placed finish and European football.

 

Drogheda United take a 2-0 lead into the home leg of their promotion play-off with Cobh Ramblers. The winner will face Wexford Youths after they lost 5-0 at Cork City.

 

Shelbourne condemned the behaviour of some fans during their final game of the season at home to Waterford United. The Reds lost 1-0, finishing sixth in the First Division.

 

Ireland slipped two places to 33rd in the latest FIFA Rankings despite wins over Georgia and Moldova.