By Jonny Stapleton
There was no big furore. Not a single Big Ben chime, Jim White scream or Sky Sports reporter being mobbed at club gates, but the League of Ireland transfer window slammed shut at 12am on July 31st.
There was no major last minute news but over the eight week period the majority of Ireland’s leading clubs bolstered their squads in a bid to ensure a strong finish to the season.
The net was cast far and wide with players from Aluminium Hormozgan and Rocket City United (who? Exactly!) joining League of Ireland sides. More established and familiar sounding clubs such as Reading and Newcastle United also sent players back to the LOI, but more interesting for Junior and Intermediate players and their supporters around Ireland was the number of players signed from the amateur leagues.
Many junior players went on trial with Airtricity League clubs including Kilbarrack Utd’s Mark Townley and Donnycarney FC’s Alan Talbot, both of whom played for Bohemians against Bradford City in a friendly at Dalymount Park. Pike Rovers’ John Tierney and Pa Mullins as well as Carew Park’s John Boyle were also in training with Limerick FC.
Fourteen players were rewarded for their outstanding performances in the amateur leagues around Ireland with contracts with professional clubs. With the exposure and coverage The JSP plan to give the aforementioned leagues this coming season we are sure that figure will rise, but for now here is a list of all the amateur players that signed up with top league clubs this transfer window.
- Mark Byrne: Crumlin United
- Anto Murphy: Sheriff YC
- Daniel Byrne: Killbarrack United
- Niall Cooney Crumlin United
- Graham McCarthy: Avondale United
- Ronnie Stanton: College Corinthians
- Robbie Waters: College Corinthians
- Jason Hughes: Ballynanty Rovers
- Glen O’Connor (St. Patrick’s CY)
- Michael Duffy: Ballina Town
- Derek Doyle: Crumlin United
- Lee Murphy: Sheriff YC
- Lee Murtagh: Firhouse Clover
- Phillip Drohan: Tramore AFC