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Behind the scenes with Con Murphy

Updated: Tuesday, 17 Aug 2010 09:30

It looks like the league is dividing into a top five, bottom five scenario
It looks like the league is dividing into a top five, bottom five scenario

If you include the July goal of the month competition, there were probably more good goals on the programme this week than most.

It's interesting that that should occur in the same week that many email correspondents and at least one newspaper scribe talked about fans supporting English teams because the standard here isn't high enough.

I'm not going to rehash that argument once again, but I would say that for those who don't attend matches here, at least if they watch MNS they'll see that the quality in the Airtricity League.

Some of the footage of Joey Ndo's skill from the Showgrounds on Saturday night was breathtaking and worth the admission money alone.

By the way, if you missed the July Goal of the month competition, you can view the goals on the RTE Player, and also on the MNS website. The voting lines stay open until this Friday the 20th of August, so feel free to enter.

A number of our followers on Facebook wondered why I hadn't asked Eoin Hand about his comments about the domestic league during the Airtricity v Man United game.

I was covering the game on Radio and didn't hear Eoin's commentary. As you saw it was a very busy programme and chatting about those comments would have taken a chunk of time but it's something we will get to at a future point.

For what it's worth, I think Eoin’s comments, if he said what's been reported on Facebook, have been misconstrued.

I can assure you that there are few bigger supporters of the League, and Eoin has a vast knowledge of the teams and players having played and managed successfully here and then worked for years as co-commentator alongside Gabriel Egan for the Friday Sportsnight programme on RTE Radio One.

I'll let Eoin speak for himself next time, but some of the rash comments about him are so far off the mark that it's not funny.

One thing that emerged from this week’s programme was that Sean Connor and Ian Foster were unhappy about the officials from their games last weekend.

Eoin took Ian to task about what he had to say about Richie Winter’s handling of the Sporting-Dundalk match, but it would seem that Sean Connor’s gripe is much more justified.

The two sendings off from Dalymount Park were way off the harshness richter scale.

Rhys Meynell may well have flicked Eoin Heary, but a straight red? Very harsh.

The second red card, dished out to Paul Sinnott for what looked like a genuine attempt to get the ball, was unbelievable. Maybe a free kick at a push. Not even worthy of a yellow was the view of the panel, and yet he was forced to walk.

As Roddy said, not only did it penalise Galway on the night, but the subsequent suspensions for vital games must be very hard to swallow.

It looks like the league is dividing into a top five, bottom five scenario, and despite the fact the Shamrock Rovers have the advantage at the top, there's sure to be many more twists and turns, which should be good for attendances at the games, and yet you get the feeling that with the exception of the Hoops and possibly Sligo Rovers, the other contenders at the top should be getting bigger numbers through the gates.

Maybe St Pat's are about on target as well, although it would be great to see Inchicore packed to the rafters between now and the end of the season.

We didn't go into the financial situation at Bohemians in great depth on this week’s programme, as it's likely to take a couple more weeks before the full facts emerge, and there isn't much point in speculating without knowing how serious or otherwise the situation is.

On paper, it's looking bleak for the Gypsies, who could do with a knight in shining armour to arrive on the scene rapidly.

Certainly it looks like some of the jewels could be sold off to keep the show on the road, and for Bohs fans that will be a bitter pill to swallow, particularly with their biggest rivals in position to capitalise.

No doubt Bohemians have a massive task between now and season’s end to keep the push for three-in-a-row on course.

One thing Roddy mentioned in our pre-programme meeting was that even if players are unhappy with life at the club they should still be playing their hearts out for professional pride, and also with a view to getting a move to another top team either here or in foreign fields if things don't work out at Dalymount.

We had a chat in studio this week about Paul Magee having swapped jerseys with world cup-winning captains Diego Maradona and Daniel Pasarella when he played against Argentina for Ireland on two occasions.

Eoin Hand has swapped jerseys with Brazilian world cup winner Rivelinho after they played against each other at the Maracana. (Incidentally, Rivelinho called Eoin ‘Loco’ having been on the receiving end of Eoin’s size 10 boot more than once!)

I didn't get a chance to ask Roddy who was lucky enough to have swapped a jersey with him, but I will.

Finally for now, congratulations to MNS team member Seamus Leonard who won a hard earned bronze medal in the Welly Hop event at the Paddy Games held at the Mardyke last weekend.

Seamus's long hours of training, early morning starts and strict fitness and diet regime paid handsome dividends when he left a world class field in his wake. Already Seamus is starting a campaign to have the Welly Hop event included in future Olympic Games.

And happy birthday to Katie O'Toole, who's dad James was beavering away behind the scenes on MNS this week while she tucked into her second birthday cake.

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