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extratime.ie most read articles of 2018 (Part 2: Top 10)

Tue, Dec 25 2018

Continuing our countdown of the most read articles on extratime.ie in 2018

 

'Absolute shambles' - Bray Wanderers defender reacts as squad put up for sale in Twitter post

Brendan Graham

There have been plenty of off-field stories emanating out of the Carlisle Grounds in recent years that have grabbed people’s attention and this article by Brendan Graham on Bray was another bad news story for the club.

Bray defender Sean Heaney was describing the situation at the club earlier this year when the players seemed to have been up on sale via twitter before the the squad had been informed.

 

Thankfully there is much more positivity about the club now despite their relegation to the First Division. The Seagulls’ new owners have steadied the ship and have instilled a much better atmosphere at the seaside. Our most listened to podcast for the year, was when the ET Sportscast team talked with new Bray owner Niall O’Driscoll.

 

National Football Exhibition to open as EURO 2020 draw comes to Dublin

Macdara Ferris

It was a busy week in Dublin Castle at the end of November as football fans got their first chance to see the national football exhibition, which will tour the country before returning to Dublin in time for the EURO 2020 tournament.

 

 

All of a sudden we were told that money troubles had arrived - Ger O'Brien

Dan Lucey

Since 2015 Dan Lucey has been carrying out extratime.ie interviews with league of Ireland personalities such as referee Alan Kelly, Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill and RTÉ analyst Alan Cawley amongst many others. This year two interviews Dan conducted have made our top 20 most-read list, with the first being this chat with Ger O’Brien. The current St. Patrick’s Athletic Director of Football talked about his career in the game including a quite dramatic day when he heard about the demise of his then employers Sporting Fingal:

We then heard rumours about the club going to the wall and contracts to be terminated. When I got my letter saying as such, my wife had gone into labour. That day we had our first child and I lost my job, which was surreal.” 

 

UEFA Nations League Explained

Macdara Ferris

There seemed to be some fear about this new competition, one that everyone appeared to think was super complicated. It really wasn’t that difficult but on the pitch the Republic of Ireland couldn’t seem to work out what they were doing – with Martin O’Neill paying the ultimate price.

Despite not winning a match though, we still have a very good chance of the back-up play-off route to EURO 2020 available to us through the UEFA Nations League, should we need it. Think we might need another explainer article to outline the permutations for that…

 

Former Shamrock Rovers goalkeeper Alan Mannus to return to Ireland in the summer

Dave Donnelly

If Shamrock Rovers goalkeeping troubles had been solved at the start of the season, rather than mid-way through the Hoops would have been a lot closer to the top of the table. This story by Dave Donnelly from back in April revealed that Mannus was returning to the League of Ireland and it wasn’t long before Rovers were announcing the arrival of the former Northern Ireland international.

 

 

The more I trained with them, the more I got back my love of the game - Alan Keane interview

Dan Lucey

Coming out of retirement to play in the Europa League, is just one of the many stories that Alan Keane recounted from his career in this Dan Lucey interview:

 

“Then one Sunday morning, Stephen (Kenny) rang and they’d just qualified for the Europa League. Stephen believed in me and thanks to him, I played the last six games for Dundalk in the conclusion to the league championship because Sean Gannon picked up an injury. It was mad because four months earlier I was retired and four years before, I missed the last six games for Sligo.”

 

World Cup Postcard - Come on you Brazilian boys in blue

Macdara Ferris

This postcard from St. Petersburg on watching Brazil take on Costa Rica was more about the higher quality entertainment on show from Brazilian boss Tite  post-match compared with that of Neymar Jr during the match:

Coach Tite captivates the packed media centre. With his slicked back grey hair and demenour, he comes across like a politician, or maybe more like a preacher. His gold chain, with a couple of crosses, sit above his open white shirt. 

He answers the questions not vaguely looking at the back of the room but he looks left and right catching reporter’s eyes. He points. He gesticulates. He preaches.

We have nearly 45 minutes of entertainment as Tite talks to his people. He works the room as he leaves. Shaking hands, offering a smile and even posing for a few media selfies.

 

 

25% increase in attendances for League of Ireland

Gareth Penrose

extratime.ie has become the go to destination for anyone seeking attendance statistics for the League of Ireland. Gareth Penrose plagues club officials across the Premier Division and First Division for weekly attendance figures and compiles the stats with the official figures for 21 of the 22 league clubs - Derry City continued this year their tradition of not confirming attendances. Rumour has it Gareth is spending the run up to New Year’s Eve compiling an opus with the 2018 figures.

 

 

Stephen Henderson: 'People ingrained in Irish football have been pleading to be part of the group to improve standards and their cries are constantly ignored'

Brendan Graham

We don’t have just one Stephen Henderson interview in our Top 20 but two. This interview last month very much caught the eye of our readers. On this occasion Brendan Graham spoke to the Cobh boss after the new managerial arrangement was made at the top table of Irish football involving Mick McCarthy and Stephen Kenny. Henderson had plenty to say about the structure of the game in Ireland.

 

 

Watch: John Caulfield and Bastien Hery clash as six sent off in Waterford

Dave Donnelly

When a Donnybrook breaks out on the pitch, supporters don’t really think “nobody wants to see scenes like that”. There is a roman spectator in all of us who suddenly thinks they are in the coliseum about to see a bit agro. Below is how Dave Donnelly called it in his Watch article where the extratime.ie viewers in their droves went to see John Caulfield’s on-pitch ‘tackle’ and the resulting dust up:

 

There were unsavoury scenes at the RSC on Friday night as that saw Cork City manager John Caulfield thrown to the ground and six red cards dished out.