Tuesday, June 26, 2007

New Signing

Damien Curran signs, on a 3-year full-time contract.

Photos of the fella also, on the official site.

Apparently a player who can play anywhere across the middle, but prefers CM or LM, I can only imagine we're going to play him predominantly on the left, as Maccers, Gaulty, Mulgrew and Downey when he gets back have CM sorted. I'm not convinced tbh, but Newry fans speak very highly of him.

A big hand for the Players' Fund, whose tireless fundraising provided the money for the (reported) £10000 transfer fee.

Other less pleasing rumblings surrounding Linfield FC have been emerging from various sources over the last few days. Of course, it has to do with the new National Stadium, Linfield's long-term contract with the IFA, and the willingness of the latter, combined with the NI Assembly and the NIO, to waggle their way out of the contract. A long drawn-out fight seems to be on the cards. Cue accusations of financial msimanagement, attempts to reduce Windsor's capacity by any means as to render it unsuitable for international football, all sorts of restrictions and Health and Safety demands that would not be applied elsewhere, etc etc. Interesting times ahead.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Linfield on the WWW

Mate in Berlin, Endi, found this on the web today and sent me it, it's an article in German about Linfield, I'll translate it here:

Linfield yet again

The best football club in Europe are called FC Linfield Belfast... they won their national championship for the 52nd [sic] time this year, more often than any other club in Europe...

...update: OK, I found out more. In the text beside the badge on Wikipedia, it states that Linfield, with "more than 200 trophies - 46 of those league championships alone", are the most successful team in the world. I can't be bothered counting out the exact number of championships [le: I put him right :) ], it's a lot. What is interesting is that as well as League and Cup, there are 6 other competitions stuffing the calenders of Irish footballers.

Like I said, it's now 47, 52 will take another 5 years :)

There's also an interesting interview (in German) that derStandard in Austria did with Michael Boyd, IFA Community Relations Officer, about the IFA's Football For All scheme and attempting to eradicate sectarianism in the Irish League and for the national team. I can't be assed translating it here, maybe later. The most interesting part for Linfield fans is here:

derStandard.at: Can Windsor Park (home stadium of the national team, but also of Linfield Belfast with a staunchly loyalist fanbase) offer a welcoming environment to Catholic fans for Norn Iron games at the moment?

Boyd: Yes!

: Is it foreseeable that a neutral anthem will be played before international matches, instead of the British National Anthem?

Boyd: Yes.

In other news, Linfield are apparently in for Damian Curran from Newry City. Doesn't inspire me, we don't REALLY need a CM who can also play LM. What inspires me even less is DJ's apparent comment that other than Curran the Blues do not have "a specific transfer target". That can't be serious. We're crying out for a new centre-half. Leaving successful teams to go stale by not adding quality reinforcements in close seasons has been our downfall before.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Transfer And Friendlies Update

Not much news to report.

In: none.

Out: Gregg Shannon -- Crusaders
Mark Magennis -- Dungannon Swifts


David Scullion (though Glentoran and Newry City are sniffing around him)
Mark McAllister (possibly in a swap for Timmy Adamson)
Steve Harkness (approach made, but signed a new 1-year deal with Kidderminster)
Sam Morrow (Hibs striker, no concrete news as yet)

On the friendlies front, the news is none-too optimistic either, with most attractive opposition unavailable due to us having such an early season start with Champions League qualifiers coming so soon.

Newbuldings away
TNS (Wales) home
Bangor away

Not much to whet the appetite.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Nostalgia Time

When back home in May, I came across a old programme. It was from the Linfield - Portadown 92/93 league game, our last game of the season. Effectively, we had won the league the week before with a come-from-behind win versus the Glens at the Oval, and these are what most of the black and white blurry (sorry, no scanner, just a digital camera) pictures here show.

I don't remember too much about this team and trophy win, even though I must have been at the game, must have been from the 91/92 season...

However, these photos bring back a lot of happy memories. This was Anderson's first league win, and he took over as manager from Bowyer at JUST the right time, any later and it would have been too late to win the league. I loved this title run-in, our team wasn't really good enough at the time, imo, but we showed a lot of guts, Anderson moulded them into a team, and made some inspired loan signings in Dessie Gorman, Martin Bayly, (not so inspired) Geoff Twentyman [oh, and Graeme Harvey, how could I forget? Cheers MB].

You can just see in one of those photos Dessie converting a penalty away to Ballyclare at Dixon Park on Easter Tuesday. I was at that match, and will never forget it, someone threw an apple onto the pitch from the shed on the side we were on, Dessie picked it up, took a bite and then threw it back off again! Classic.

Anyway, enjoy...