12 Nov DB Sports Tours Join UP With New Ireland Over-40S Side
IRELAND’S Over-40s footballing legends are gathering together to take on their counterparts from Northern Ireland at Peamount on March 16 – and DB Sports Tours is proud to be sending them on their way.
DB Sports Tours is proud to announce itself as the official tour operator of Ireland’s newest international football team and we are looking forward to a long and successful partnership together.
A who’s who of League of Ireland legends have been assembled by ex-Shamrock Rovers, St Patrick’s Athletic and Leyton Orient midfielder Mark O’Neill for the game in Peamount next Saturday, and they won’t be taking it easy.
The likes of Mark Rutherford, Paul McGee, Brian Morrisroe, Eddie Gormley, Derek Tracey and current Bohemians manager Aaron Callaghan will line out for the PFAI backed team, and O’Neill is hoping for the project to go global, with games against England, Scotland, Wales and Holland in the offing.
O’Neill reckons the game can be a success, and the concept can really take off, saying: “Being the year of The Gathering, I thought it would be great to get the players together, because the majority of them are still playing at a fairly high level and are all still in great shape,” says O’Neill.
“A good friend of mine, Seamus Heath, is involved with the Northern Ireland veterans and Over-40s team. He’s their manager, and he came to me saying that they’d love to play against an Irish team.
“So I got on to Ian Hill, another League of Ireland legend, who works in the FAI and we got the ball rolling.”
“Obviously I plan on playing myself, so Mick Byrne, who needs no introduction to League of Ireland fans, has come on board to help me with the management side of things.
“It really is a team full of League of Ireland legends, so hopefully supporters young and old will come out to support their ‘old’ favourites”.
O’Neill is thinking big with the Irish Over-40s team, so it wasn’t simply a case of getting a team together and playing the match.
“The Irish Daily Star has come on board as official media partner, which is great to help us reach out to as many people as possible.
“Puma are also on board as kit sponsors, and DB Sports Tours will be official tour operators.
“Sean Egan has also come on board with C and S UPVC windows. Sean will be starting at left back!
“We really see this game as potentially being a massive success and then hopefully we can get the series of international friendlies in place.
For those expecting a team of elder statesmen, overweight and unfit, having a kick around in the sun, O’Neill says to think again.
“The Northern Ireland team has been together for three years now and take it very seriously, so we will be doing the same.
“Make no mistake, the lads will be out there to win the game, it really does promise to be a cracker.”
The game takes place on Saturday, March 16 at Peamount FC, Rathcoole, Dublin at 4pm and more information is available on Facebook — ROI over 40s International Squad or Twitter — PFAI over 40s.
IRELAND OVER-40 SQUAD: Tony O Dowd, Goalkeeper, age 42, Ian Hill, right back, age 45, Sean Egan, left back, age 40, Brian Byrne, forward, age 40, Eddie Gormley, age 44, Paul McGee, age 45, Aaron Callaghan, Centre half, age 44, Brian Morrisroe, Left wing, age 40, Graham Doyle, centre half, age 40, Anto Kearney, right wing, age 42, Terry Palmer, centre half, age 40, Mark O Neill, Midfielder, age 40, Aaron Lynch, midfielder, age 42, Greg O Dowd, right wing, age 40, Stephen Cooney, forward, age 43, Stephen Kearney, forward, age 44, Derek Tracey, midfielder, age 42, Mark Rudderford, left wing, age 41.
*Text courtesy of Ireland’s top Amateur soccer supplement Target, in the Irish Daily Star every Tuesday*