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Roddy in call for All-Ireland league

By Stuart McKinley

Published 08/12/2006

Jim Roddy is continuing to champion and all-Ireland league after the three biggest football clubs in Northern Ireland were drawn together in the same Setanta Sports Cup group for the second years in succession.

The Derry City chief executive has been at the forefront of calls for the Carnegie Premier League and the eircom League to join together for some time and as a club, the Brandywell outfit are very much behind such a venture. The Candystripes met Linfield and Glentoran home and away in last season's competition and the three sides will meet again in an exciting group, which also includes cup holders Drogheda United.

"It is ironic that we will be playing Linfield and Glentoran again, but great for football in Ireland and Northern Ireland in particular," said Roddy.

"The games last season in the Setanta Cup and the friendlies against the two clubs the season before that showed that football wants to move on. Sport in general and football in particular is a microcosm of what is happening in Northern Ireland at present and we will be looking forward to welcoming Linfield and Glentoran to the Brandywell again and look forward to two great spectacles."

And Roddy would love to bring the Blues and Glens plus the other top teams in the Carnegie Premier League to the Brandywell on an annual basis.

"We need to do the right thing for Irish football and the right thing to do in my opinion is to create a single league and put resources into making the stadia attractive for people to come to," said Roddy.

"There are 16 senior clubs in Northern Ireland and 22 in the eircom League which is too many on and island of this size.

"If we streamline that then the quality of the product on offer becomes better."

Roddy also stated that he is unsure when a new manager will be appointed, with Pat Fenlon still the favourite for the job in succession to Stephen Kenny.

Belfast Telegraph

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