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Showing posts from April, 2017

Inter-County & Inter-City Representative Matches

Co. Antrim & District FA In the early days of organised football in Ireland a County Antrim select could be regarded as almost as strong as any potential Irish international XI that could be fielded. Indeed, when a Canadian touring side visited these shores in 1888 it was the Co. Antrim FA that hosted them. As with the inter-provincial matches  of the same era, the matches in the 19th century were often used as international trials. Over the years the Co. Antrim & District FA (the boundaries were stretched to include all of Belfast in 1896) have fielded sides against county teams from across Ireland and Britain as well as other representative selections. In the early days of football there was also a strong hold of the kicking game in the area controlled by the County Londonderry FA (now the North West FA), where a number of teams made an impact on national competitions. Hence, it was a Co. Derry XI that proved the Co. Antrim's most regular opponent in those formati

Cups, Ups & Downs 2016/17

Gareth McAuley has been a potent goalscoring threat from West Brom's defence We're now at the business end of the season with most of the important matters about to be decided. So, will there be glory or frustration for Northern Ireland's players at club level? English Premier League There is no Northern Ireland interest at the very top-end of the English leagues, even European qualification will be a push for Southampton (captained by Steven Davis ), West Brom (who have among their squad Gareth McAuley , Jonny Evans and Chris Brunt ) or Watford (with Craig Cathcart in defence). At the wrong end, Sunderland , who have been without PaddyMcNair through injury for most of the season, look to be all-but relegated. Will Grigg hasn't been on fire for struggling Wigan English Football League Championship Brighton look nailed-on for a return to top-flight football for the first time since 1983, so giving Ollie Norwood a first chance to exp