South of the Border
It takes longer to get to Drumahoe or Limavady than it does to get to Tolka Park,
As Portadown’s title chase foundered with a whimper at Warden Street many Ports
yet to hear the scribes and various knockers of the newly founded Setanta Cup you’d
fans were left dumb struck by the lack of passion and responsibility shown by our
think we were going to play in the Amazon. For an island so small as this one it seems
players. While the goading of players by officials and the referee’s blatant refusal to be
surreal that 2 leagues only exist but never, until now, interact. Years have passed
fair is condemnable, it’s no excuse for a dreadful display from Portadown.
without a genuine clash between sides from the north and south; the last meaningful
meeting was possibly the 1981-82 European Cup game between Linfield and Dundalk.
Many fans have focused a lot of their anger towards Gary Hamilton. I for one believe
that Hamilton can’t carry the can on his own; many players didn’t produce the needful
that day. While Arkins continues to prove what an asset he is to the club Gary must be
Since that game there has been major changes on and off the pitch. No longer do
wondering about his next move in a chess game which could easily see his exit from
Irish League sides progress as freely as they once did in European ties, in fact when
Portadown FC if some fans have their way.
gaining a draw at home often gets major headlines. The one-time whipping boys of
the Eircom League have catapulted themselves into a much more streamline
One camp in particular seem to be engaged in a whispering campaign against
organisation with the ability to produce professional sides that produce results in
Hamilton and his renown off-field activities while the opposing camp see Hamilton’s
Europe. Comparing their set-up to the Irish league leads to much laughter and then
actions outside of P.F.C. as of no concern to us fans.
deep depression once realisation sets in.
What I believe is that Gary Hamilton has the disposition to be the most clinical finisher
currently playing in Irish League Football on his day. Problem being is that he can’t
The social changes, especially in Northern Ireland, over recent years has led to a
seem to raise his game for certain matches and this inevitably brings questions regarding
reduction in the tension that would normally be associated with these sorts of
matches. Whilst no one has come up with the miracle cure for the 6 counties, it hasn’t
returned to dark days of the Troubles. That much we’re grateful.
It’s been suggested by some that the manager must pay attention in helping Gary to
gain confidence and commitment to every game. He isn’t a child. It’s up to the
The newly formed trophy not only allows the 2 leagues to come together but the
manager to give the team inspiration and hope that individuals can live up to the jobs
financial carrot for the winners is probably something than no side, north or south,
they’ve been given. Hamilton came off the bench at home to Bangor in the Irish Cup to
could turn down. The huge bonus of 100k euro to a club like ours cannot be
settle the tie and then gave a Healy type salute to the bench in an act of seeming
underestimated, especially in today’s climate of ever decreasing crowds. The fact
defiance. He was then involved in a ‘spat’ with McFall the following Saturday where he
being due to the dreadful promotion of the IL as a product and the ever easy
was heard to argue with McFall. I have tried to take this as a positive. I am trying to
accessibility to Premiership matches in England and Scotland. Funnily enough the
see this as a player who is desperate to play. With Marc McCann’s current form being so
winners fee for the Setanta Cup was similar to that offered by UEFA to clubs like
energetic and purposeful it’s hard to question big Ronnie’s decisions to keep Hamilton
ourselves and Shelbourne as a compensation for creating the money machine that is
more readily known as the Champions League. More often than not the UEFA
compensation money has been nowhere near the originally proposed amount.
So what is the real reason for Gary’s indifferent form this season? Many have
questioned his attitude and lifestyle, but are these really much different from other
To make matters worse, UEFA have continuously refused to zone off the qualifying
seasons? We must remember that Gary was suffering from a prolonged injury for a
rounds of the CL and the UEFA Cup. More often than not Irish League clubs end up
great part of the season. From memory he has 10 league goals and 6 came against
drawing FC Army Club from Kazakhstan which nearly bankrupts them just trying to get
Omagh, in 1 game – not good on the face of it! I hope that Gary can prove me right, I
think he will get over this dip in form and go to score freely once he’s given the chance.
I believe that if he’s given a chance against the East Belfast Yaps in the Irish Cup Semi-
The lifeline that the Setanta Cup has created cannot be denied both in a financial
Final he will take it with both hands, and what have we been crying for for years? An
and sporting perspective. The interest drummed up for these up and coming games
Irish Cup semi final or final victory over the team from referee’s HQ.
against Shels and Cork has been phenomenal. Hopefully it’s not a one-off from the
sponsors so that the competition may grow into an annual event. No one is expecting
Being a good player doesn’t make anyone ‘a great’ and neither does a few Northern
a fully formed all-Ireland league from this competition, nor may some want one. But
Ireland caps. What makes players great is a level of commitment that sees medals and
lets hope the extra competition, and as expected, harder opposition will possibly
adoration of fans. He doesn’t even have to love the club like us fans – but produce the
toughen up the likes of ourselves in our own competitions, and god forbid give us a
goods at the business end of the park. Gary is still working his way there and if he
shows the same level of enthusiasm as we know he can, when he’s up for it, I am
confident he will make it onto the roll of honour of great footballers to play at Shamrock
Park. -T J
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Welcome back to BRTD for the 1st issue in long many day, as they say out the
Armagh Road. So far back we can’t remember, but then again, when you’ve
imbibed as much alcohol as we have, it’s no bloody wonder.
Many will know that we have a presence on the internet and with regular reports on
matches and some interesting articles every now and again it’s the perfect place to
spend a couple of minutes if you’re too tired surfing for porn.
You can find us at Although we don’t have a PO Box we can be
contacted by email and would love to hear from anyone except people selling herbal
Viagra and those Nigerians with business proposals.
Any Shels fan that manages to get their hands on this publication of monumental
proportions will find our site is a mine of information for away fans travelling to
Shamrock Park for the return leg. If we get a positive response we may wel be doing another freezine soon and who
knows we may manage to get off our collective hairy asses and do a proper fanzine.
Q: How does Roy McCreadie change a lighbulb?
A: He holds it in the air, and the whole world revolves around him.
IFA announce security measures for Irish Cup Semi-Final
Q: Why do people take an instant dislike to Linfield fans?
Q: What’s the difference between Roy Coyle and God?
A: God doesn’t think he’s Roy Coyle.
Q: Why do Glenavon fans plant potatoes round the edge of Moanview Park?
A: So they have something to lift at the end of the season.
Two blokes were walking through a Flanders cemetery when they chanced upon a
tombstone that read: “Here lies Sammy Jamsie, a good man and a Glentoran fan.” So one of them asks the other: “When the hell did they start burying two people in
We hear Kenny Shiels is taking his Ballymena players to Blackpool in the summer –
apparently they wanted to know what it was like to ride on an open-top bus!?!
They say that hooliganism and sectarianism
are bad, but personally – I think Chris
Walker is the totally unacceptable face of
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