As usual quite a few football offerings will adorn the shelves for the Christmas market this year with two particular publications having already caught the eyes of Derry City supporters.
The first, “Just Follow The Floodlights,” written by Waterford sports journalist, Brian Kennedy, is a complete guide to League of Ireland football, covering every team performing in both the Airtricty Premier and First Divisions.
Indeed, the author also reflects back on those clubs no longer in existence at senior level, such as Drumcondra, St. James’ Gate and Thurles Town among others.
Having spent the 2011 season travelling the highways and byways of the football circuit in Ireland, Kennedy, takes in a home match at all venues and pens his reflections on the club involved, its supporters and, indeed, what it has to offer.
And in terms of his visit to the Brandywell, the author has not only offered his views on the visit of Shamrock Rovers back in July, but he also gives a consise history of the “Candy Stripes” since the club’s foundation back in 1928.
Using photographs from the past, including the visit or Benfica in September 1989 including a photograph of Portugese legend, Eusebio, making a draw in the centre of the pitch with local Development Committee members, Danny Wade and Robert Scott.
Kennedy also has interviews with former players and managers such as Jim McLauglin, Paul Doolin, Felix Healy, Gavin Dykes, Peter Hutton and current Brandywell boss, Stephen Kenny.
An interesting read and, indeed, a handy reference, “Just Follow The Floodlights” also visits Finn Park, Ballybofey, and also covers the Finn Harps’ affairs comprehensively having taken in the match against Waterford United in June.
“Just Follow The Floodlights” is published by Liffey Press and is available at Breslin’s Newsagents, Strand Road Derry.
Official Book of the
Meanwhile, the second offering is Sean Ryan’s “Official Book of the FAI Cup” and, again, Derry City’s involvement in that competition is extensively covered.
City have won the FAI Cup on four occasions but, possibly, none was more sweet than their victory in 2002 when they shocked cup specialists and favourites, Shamrock Rovers. The story of how the little details helped achieve that triumph are recorded in the book which is published by Liberties Press and also available locally.
“Derry, coming out of a financial crisis, didn’t spare on the little details; Shamrock Rovers, on the verge of a crisis, treated it as just another game - and paid the price!” writes Ryan. “Derry’s manager, Kevin McMahon, had learned from the master, Jim McLaughlin, how to handle players before a Cup final. ‘We took it very seriously. Blazers, shirts and ties for the players, and we stayed in a hotel the night before. We did it properly. It was very noticeable because we had told our players how they should behave, and then Rovers came in very casual, blasé, they were favourites, and that helped us a little bit.’”
The inside story from all of Derry’s Cup triumphs and their near-misses are included in the book.