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LOI Central

#LOICentral is a podcast with opinion, analysis and interviews on all the latest happenings in the League of Ireland, hosted by Johnny Ward & Dan McDonnell

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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LOI WEEKLY S03 EP39 - Stephen Bradley & Stephen McPhail

After ending Shamrock Rovers 32 year wait in the FAI Cup, we were joined by their manager Stephen Bradley & the clubs sporting director Stephen McPhail in studio to give their accounts on how it all unfolded. As well as discussing the game, tactics & regrouping after Dundalk’s last second equalizer, ‘Bradser’ discussed how he once hated football as a teenager, how he knew he wanted to coach from a young age & how his career path is similar to one Jack Byrne. McPhail talked about how LOI clubs must back themselves at the negotiating table & also expressed his distrain for the idea that Ireland doesn’t have the players to play attractive football. The lads also wrap up the playoffs, as well as look ahead to Dundalk FC’s Unite the Union Champions Cup tie with Linfield FC.

1hr 30mins

6 Nov 2019

Rank #1

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LOI WEEKLY S03 EP25 - European Special from Baku

This week's pod comes to you 5000km from home as Dan and Johnny are in Baku ahead of Dundalk's big Champions League tie with Qarabag tomorrow. The lads talk local customs, travelling & Ringsend matters with Sean Gannon and Daniel Kelly. Local journalist Oqtay Atayev gives us the Azerbaijani perspective on the game and two of Dundalk's local press contingent - Adrian Taaffe and James Rogers - give us their take on the match. We also discuss anthem whistling, cosy airport chats and also preview Shamrock Rovers' big tie with Apollon Limassol.

55mins

30 Jul 2019

Rank #2

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LOI WEEKLY S03 EP15 with Jack Byrne, Gary Cronin & Julian Canny

With Dan away on International duty, Johnny was in studio to mind the house. Dan did dial in from the Ireland camp in Portugal as the league season enters the halfway stage. Bray Wanderers boss Gary Cronin, fresh from the win over Galway, comes into studio while the man with 'BOSS' on his t-shirt, Jack Byrne, lives up to the moniker. In a packed show, betting expert Julian Canny comes in to discuss extremely worrying gambling trends in the First Division. And Jack also weighs in about the twist and turns of his career and puts the issue to bed as to what his best position is.

1hr 9mins

22 May 2019

Rank #3

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LOI WEEKLY S03 EP22 with Mark Rossiter, Edmunds Novickis & Declan Carey

European week has arrived and Mark Rossiter joins the lads to run through the games and take us on an entertaining journey back through the highs and lows of his own career - from the compassion of Mick McCarthy at Sunderland to the unique approach of Stephen Kenny at Dundalk and the business life he was developing on the side. Latvian journalist Edmunds Novickis gives us the rundown on volatile Riga FC ahead of their Irish date while Cork City chairman Declan Carey gives us the state of play on Leeside after a turbulent spell. And we also find time to discuss the merits of whiskey, steak and Supermarket Sweep.

1hr 20mins

9 Jul 2019

Rank #4

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LOI WEEKLY S03 EP16 with Brian Gartland & Dante Leverock

It's a union of central defenders this week as Dundalk's multiple league winner Brian Gartland comes into the studio, joined on Skype by Bermuda captain and Sligo Rovers fans' favourite Dante Leverock, who is slowly recovering from a painful trip to Dalymount Park last Friday. Dante tells us about life in Sligo, his plans to help Bermuda create history in Costa Rica next month, and how his girlfriend's wedding planning service could help his team-mates. Gartland talks title battles and European memories, and discusses Niall Quinn's plans – and his own ideas – about the future of the league.

1hr 18mins

29 May 2019

Rank #5

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LOI WEEKLY S03 EP40 - Vinny Perth & David Parkhouse

Emotional times here at LOI Weekly HQ as it’s the concluding episode of season three, with an appropriately high-profile guest to close out our 40th episode of 2019. Dundalk head coach Vinny Perth joins us in studio for an in-depth chat about a trophy filled season, European lessons and disappointments & a cheeky hint about upcoming developments both on and off the park. He also reveals what episode of the pod he turned off after listening for just ten minutes. We also have Johnny's exclusive and surprisingly intimate chat with PFAI team of the year member & Derry City striker David Parkhouse (and his girlfriend). The off-season officially begins in 90 minutes time.

1hr 32mins

13 Nov 2019

Rank #6

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LOI WEEKLY S03 EP14 with Kieran Foley

We went a different direction by going Stateside this week with ex LOI all-rounder Kieran Foley, who has made his way in the business world and was central to the growth of the Caribbean Cricket League, outlining his vision for football in Ireland. He is part of Niall Quinn’s group that is plotting a new vision. We also review and preview the latest games with more than a nod to Pat Mustard

57mins

16 May 2019

Rank #7

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LOI Weekly S03 E37 - Stephen McGuinness, Sean Gannon, Daniel Mandroiu & Stephen O'Donnell

It’s the PFAI awards special with Stephen McGuinness in studio to reveal the identity of the Premier Division team of the year and the player of the year shortlists. Nominees Sean Gannon and Dano Mandroiu are in studio and we also hear from St Pat’s boss Stephen O’Donnell

1hr 6mins

23 Oct 2019

Rank #8

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LOI WEEKLY S03 EP17 with Oscar Brennan

LOI WEEKLY S03 EP17 with Oscar BrennanIt's a quiet time in the League of Ireland Premier Division, with games cancelled due to Toulon, but Oscar Brennan comes in to discuss the First Division with his new club Shelbourne now top after beating Longford on Friday. Oscar has some strong views on coaching standards in Ireland at all levels, while he reveals his new part-time job, which does in-fact involve craft beer. The lads have some thoughts on Shane Ross, the Sports Minister's forum last Friday and some of the reactions to Niall Quinn's propositions. We also talk Ireland about a great start in Toulon & about the upcoming trip to Denmark.

45mins

5 Jun 2019

Rank #9

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LOI WEEKLY S03 EP24 with Shane Keegan, John Sullivan & Will Clarke.

Episode 24 is here and as Johnny takes his monthly holiday, Dan is joined in studio by former Galway manager Shane Keegan and has his say on the Baku or Ballybrit debate. LOI stalwart John Sullivan was also in studio with St.Josephs Boys & Bray Wanderers Academy Director Will Clarke to discuss the U19’s success in Armenia, the skills of Tom Mohan and the impact that coaching philosophies and LOI structures will have on Irish football’s future. We also look ahead to a big week in Europe.

1hr 17mins

23 Jul 2019

Rank #10

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LOI WEEKLY S03 EP30 - Collie O’Neill & Ger O’Brien

Former UCD boss Collie O’Neill & St Pat’s Director of Football Ger O’Brien joined the lads in studio to discuss the recent upheaval that has affected both of them. Collie expands on the reasons behind his departure from UCD and discussed where the club stands going forward. Ger outlines his position at St Pat’s after Harry Kenny’s abrupt exit and Stephen O’Donnell’s arrival.

1hr 10mins

4 Sep 2019

Rank #11

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LOI WEEKLY S04 EP01 with Paul Corry

We’re back, and this time it’s visual. Season 4 is here in full colour on Eir Sport and YouTube but the audio experience lives on too with Paul Corry joining Dan and Johnny to preview the 2020 season. Who wins the league? What about the people running it? What has Nigel Farage done for it? We cover that and more on this week’s show.

39mins

12 Feb 2020

Rank #12

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LOI WEEKLY S04 EP03 with Johnny Dunleavy

It's week three and friend of the show Johnny Dunleavy returns to studio to discuss a tough start to the season for Sligo Rovers, the sudden decline of his old club Cork City and the ups and downs of the League of Ireland and Las Vegas. We touch on some of the big issues of the week; Shamrock Rovers v Dundalk, grass v astroturf and fan owned models v private investment. And there's the obligatory Cheltenham references too.

41mins

26 Feb 2020

Rank #13

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LOI WEEKLY S03 EP19 with Paul Corry and Euro draw reaction

We're quick off the block this week in reaction to the Champions League and Europa League draws, with Paul Corry – who curiously never played European football – coming in to chat about the draws and reaction to the Bohs-Rovers game over the weekend. As well as discussing that man Mandroiu, Corry discusses how life is going post-footballl but this show is mainly about the European action ahead. We talk to Ruaidhri Higgins on skype and get reaction from Stephen Bradley, John Cotter and Harry Kenny.

1hr 5mins

18 Jun 2019

Rank #14

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LOI WEEKLY S03 EP32 - Luke Byrne, Ian Morris, Tommy Barrett & Alan Reynolds

Luke Byrne joins us, not quite fresh from promotion celebrations but happy to reflect on a morale boosting year at Shelbourne. We also hear from his manager Ian Morris and check  in on two other bosses experiencing a different range of emotions right now - Limerick’s Tommy Barrett and Waterford’s Alan Reynolds. Cup draws, cup wins and the now customary Galway tangent also feature on the show.

1hr 9mins

18 Sep 2019

Rank #15

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LOI WEEKLY S03 EP23 with Aidan Fitzmaurice, Stephen McGuinness, Emma Connaughton & Robbie Benson

The second week of Europe is here and as usual that means Dan is somewhere else on the continent, this week its Latvia and from their capital Riga, Dan gives his thoughts as well chatting to Robbie Benson (in a busy Dublin Airport) about what lies ahead for Dundalk on Wednesday. With Dan away Aidan Fitzmaurice is back in the hot seat with Johnny to delve into the other 3 teams in Europe’s chances of progression on Thursday as well as the pros and cons of an All Island League. While PFAI General Secretary Stephen McGuinness & newly appointed Player Development Manager Emma Connaughton joined us in studio to discuss a new role within the association swell as some potential positive momentum within Irish football.

1hr 24mins

16 Jul 2019

Rank #16

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LOI WEEKLY S03 EP10 with Shane Supple, Gary Rogers & Kevin Deery

It has been a momentous few days for Irish football and Dan takes a quick break from the madness to recap on what has been going on with the FAI and what is likely to happen in the near future as the game begins to ready itself for a life post-John Delaney. Our star guests are Dundalk goalkeeper Gary Rogers and ex-goalkeeper Shane Supple, both of the PFAI, with Gary the first guest ever on the show to bring his thesis in with him. All four discuss thoughts on the FAI's turbulent few weeks, the future and an exciting title league campaign so far. Johnny also spoke to Derry City Assistant Kevin Deery after they defeated St.Pats in Inchicore on Monday evening to go 2nd in the League Table.

1hr 4mins

17 Apr 2019

Rank #17

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LOI WEEKLY S04 EP02 with Shane Supple

It’s week two and safe pair of hands Shane Supple joins the lads to review an opening weekend that was low on goals but high on talking points. We talk Brian Murphy, the derby debacle, overseas recruits, Cork concerns and First Division predictions. Send us your thoughts and we might even read them out.

40mins

19 Feb 2020

Rank #18

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S03 EP38 - FAI Cup Final Preview

It's FAI Cup final fever in the House of Eir as Dan and Johnny discuss at length their predictions and aspirations for Sunday's decider. Dan hears from Dundalk's Dan Cleary and Shamrock Rovers' Sean Kavanagh before we throw open the Whatsapp lines to a collection of regular guests from across the season who send in their predictions for the big game. Managers, ex-players and current players all give their two cents. Who needs Twink and Logan when you've got Derek Pender and Neal Horgan? This finally trails off into a debate about the most famous LOI personality, Johnny Logan or President Michael D Higgins…It’s a good debate & an even better pod.

1hr 12mins

31 Oct 2019

Rank #19

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LOI WEEKLY S03 EP34 - Lee Desmond, Pat Devlin & Ronan Finn

1985 Ahoy! Bus pass carrying Pat Devlin cranks the podcast DeLorean up to 88mph and revisits the roots of all evil in the upside down world of Opel sponsored candlelit stadia. The big number 5 from Donaghmede, Lee Desmond, lights his own candle for the under performing Saints and the 'signing on' generation of pre Brexit, post Delaney semi pros. Johnnys taxi drivers go back to Milltown and Dan ends up on page 3. It really is 1985, so put this cassette in your walkman and just press feckin' PLAY

1hr 4mins

3 Oct 2019

Rank #20