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Showing posts from August, 2017

Trial Matches

Back in the earliest days of football assessing a player to see if they were worthy of gaining international honours was a time-consuming process. Obviously the filming of matches was out the window, so no DVDs or YouTube highlights were available to the selectors. Travel around the country was also an arduous task, with the motor car a rare sight on the roads. To effectively scout a player in person was a real challenge and the views of pressmen were often skewed by their own biases, be they club, regional or "other". And so, based on whatever information could be gleaned from various sources, scout reports, press reports or simply word-of-mouth, the Irish FA's selectors would often bring together 22 players to see for themselves what they could do, often dividing them into elevens with the most tenuous reasoning. Date Venue Score 21/01/1882 Cliftonville, Belfast Improbables 8-1 Probables