St Pat's new boys to face Spurs
SOCCER:St Patrick's Athletic manager John McDonnell is likely to use this evening's friendly against Tottenham Hotspur at Richmond Park to give run-outs to new signings Keith Barker and Michal Macek, both of whom completed moves to Inchicore ahead of Monday's European deadline.
The manager will be hoping a strong performance in this evening's sold out game will help to restore some confidence to a side that has lost its early-season league momentum. They return to Premier Division action on Sunday when Longford visit Emmet Road, after which they have four days to prepare for the first tie of their Uefa Cup clash with Odense of Denmark.
This week's recruits bring to five the number of players signed by McDonnell since the transfer window opened a couple of weeks back. Barker is a big centre forward, formerly with Blackburn, who played most of last season with Rochdale, while Macek is a former Czech underage international midfielder who represented his country at a youth World Cup and scored twice on his only appearance at under-21 level.
Spurs bring a strong squad of 20, although Martin Jol said yesterday that some of senior internationals, including Paul Robinson, Jermaine Jenas and Dimitar Berbitov, who have only returned to training, are likely to sit the game out.
"The likes of Berbatov and Jenas," he says, "have only had a couple of sessions and need more work, especially on conditioning, so they probably won't be involved, but you never know."
Robbie Keane, however, is almost certain to start.
Derry City's preparations for next week's Champions League qualifier against FC Pyunik of Armenia have been hit by an injury to new goalkeeper Dave McEwan, who fractured a bone in his hand in training on Tuesday. The Scot will be out for several weeks. Defender Darren Kelly, however, has confirmed that he will stay with the club as long as they involved in Europe after which he is likely to be allowed to return to England.
Former Nottingham Forest star Tommy Gaynor has taken over as manager of Kilkenny City. The Limerickman, who had a brief spell as a player with the club in 1997, succeeds Brendan Rea, who resigned, citing family and business commitments on Tuesday.