Friday, 19 September 2008

We're off to Dublin in the green

The notion of a ‘Celtic nations’ tournament has been knocked about for a while. In the absence of any English enthusiasm to resurrect the old Home International Championship, it has been left to Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Republic to push ahead with plans of their own.

Concrete detail is only now beginning to emerge. The Four Associations Tournament will first be played in Dublin in 2011. It will comprise a league format, with 2 games taking place in February and a further four in May.

The competition certainly sounds like a great idea in theory. Rather than national teams participating in three anaemic friendlies, full blooded derby matches will offer players and spectators a much more challenging, rewarding experience.

In recent years Northern Ireland fans have enjoyed travelling to matches in Cardiff, Manchester and Glasgow. In addition Windsor Park has hosted two home matches versus Wales and a memorable victory against England.

Tickets for the Croke Park tourney are likely to be in great demand. On the last occasion the original Ireland team visited Dublin, we returned to Belfast with a win. Hopefully in three years time we can bring back three victories.

7 comments:

Ignited said...

I think it will be a good old tournament - although it is a shame England do not seem up for it.

It will certainly be competitive!

CW said...

So they've finally come up with a name for the tournament! I suppose the Four Associations is the least controversial, although a bit of a mouthful. But less of a mouthful than the Hiberno-Caledonian-Cambrian Cup I suppose. If it's successful it could always be expanded if the Isle of Man and Channel Islands could be persuaded to take a leaf out of the Faeroe Islands' books and set up their own teams ;-). Or better still expand it to a north Atlantic isles competition adn include Iceland and (by virtue of Greenland) Denmark!

Seamus said...

It probably won't be played at Croke Park. Lansdowne Road will be finished by that stage, so they will be played there.

Johnny Guitar said...

I'm glad the other four associations have decided to press on with this competition. If the English FA thinks they're too good to play ball with the Taffs, the Paddys and the Jocks then so be it. The name though… the Four Associations Tournament? Bit on the bland side. As for Croke Park, will the Republic still be playing there in 2011?

Johnny Guitar said...

Ignore my last question as Seamus appears to have answered it before I asked it!

Chekov said...

Yes. I overlooked that fact.

Hernandez said...

Wonder where we'll be playing ourselves in 2011? They'll probably still be wrangling over the Maze. Look forward to going down to the new Landsdowne and ripping it apart ;-)