Francis Blackwood: Irish Luck

reubomad

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Francis Blackwood: Irish Luck



To add to the immersion say the next bit in a Irish accent.

As a boy I liked football. As a teenager I loved footall. As a man I adored football. They say the Irish are good at only rugby, potatoes and alcohol. And I'd agree with them but talent grows in the unlikliness of places.

My name is Francis Samuel Blackwood. Irish born. Irish bred. I was born in a hamlet north of Cork in 1978. There I took my first steps, said my first words and kicked my first ball. By the age of 11, Munster (a big Irish rugby side) brought me into their accademy after seeing me play rugby for my local team. I had all the qualities of a good defensive rugby player. Tall, strong and fast, and it wasn't long before I was the best fly-half in the accademy. I could kick a ball from miles off and it would still go in between the posts. I was great.

Unfortunately all good things come to a end and I was cruelly a victim of jealousy. There were two boys in my team, who had seen the way I could kick a ball and they saw the way the coaches looked at me. In 1993 I was seriously beaten up outside my house. It was bad. It wasn't long before I got the news I had been dreading. "You will never play rugby competitively again."

I was devastated and mortified, the game which I loved had cruelly betrayed me. Rugby had turned on me. The boys were caught, expelled from Munster, fined and made to do community work, it was satisfying but I still thought justice had not been served.

It was 1994 and I was 16 years old. Without a hobby and I was scarred for life... literally, I went for job interviews but no-one would take me on due to facial scarring caused by the beat-up. In my free time I would take a ball down to the park and I would kick it in between the two rugby posts, just because I couldn't play rugby competitively that didn't mean I couldn't play it what so ever.

I gained more power in my legs and feet due to my constant kicking practice at the park and one day I was approached by a scruffy dressed man with a bobble hat. He had been watching me kick the ball and he was impressed. I knew immediatly what he was going to ask me.

"Sorry my friend, before you ask I can't play rugby, I've had a injury which has stopped me from playing it competitively a-"

"Wait let me stop you there I'm not here for rugby"

"Well then what? Have you came to look at the Phantom Of The Opera?"

"No mate, nothing like that I am a football scout, my name is Harry O'Donnell. I'm from Shamrock Rovers, heard of them?"

"Aye, I have but you haven't even seen me play football and I doubt I'd be able to play football if I can't play rugby"

"Firstly you're fithteen and you have a better foot on you than most of Shamrock's first team, you have potential and I am here to scout for 'potential' and as for your other statement, come with me to have a medical I'm sure you'll be alright."

And thus my career in football begun.




I just want to say, thanks for the quick support on my Christopher Lee story, but I ended up playing in advance and I was going to post a new update but I accidently quit the game without saving and lost all my progress and that really killed my enthusiasm and will to update the story, so after a short break I am back with another story, I will am using
LFCMarshall's FM15 Transfer Update, which basically has all the most recent transfers and staf movements on there; including league positions from the 2014/15 season. I definitely recommend it. Also this may be slightly similar to CantGetEnoughOfJelavic's story but I can assure you it wil be different.

 
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DreamTempest

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Great start and good luck. I've just started an irish career too with the intent of raising irish football to the next level. ( I chose Bohemians though :D )
 

reubomad

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The Star In Shamrock



I went to the Shamrock with determination and enthusiasm, I had a chance. O'Donnell led me into the Tallaght Stadium, and it wasn't long before I was put through some tests to identify my strengths and weaknesses, it wasn't long before the coaches found a position that best suited my skills and my health: Goalkeeping.

The physios thought that I was alright to be a goalkeeper, as it doesn't involve too much running and stamina. So here I was, in a totally different sport, in a totally different city and in a totally different academy. As a boy me and my dad were only into rugby, we would often check Cork City's results and whereabouts on the table but apart from that it was all about rugby. My dad said he was proud that I found a new sport and I was in Shamrock Rovers' academy but he still made his disappointment clear, he was mostly disappointed that I didn't make it at Munster and also that I was in Shamrock's academy not Cork's.

In 1998 I made my début for the first team at the age of 20. I had a good début and the fans were pleased that another young player was breaking into the first team. That season I made 6 appearances for the first team, which is unusual as a goalkeeper, Shamrock came fourth in the league and Dundalk F.C. won the league. 'Shamrock in shambles' was what the papers were saying, Shamrock were in decline; having not won the league for five years. That is like Man Utd coming fifth... oh wait.

I soon became a Shamrock regular, gaining the nickname of 'gladiator' mainly down to my scarring and the number of clean sheets I was keeping. In 2004 I was sold to Q.P.R in England for £800K after a 8 year association with Shamrock. Shamrock shockingly hadn't won the league in ten years. Q.P.R were in the Championship and were managed by Ian Holloway. In the team were some players still talked about today like Gareth Ainsworth and Danny Shittu. We came eleventh that season.



The next season I was abysmal in the league, we came 21st in the league and narrowly missed out on relegation. Ian Holloway was sacked. The club was in financial turmoil. The chairman was attacked at gunpoint and a young youth prospect was murdered. It was a terrible year for me and Q.P.R. Gary Waddock took over from Holloway mid way through the season and he was terrible.

​The following season we came 18th and Waddock was sacked in mid September - hardly suprising, though he remained as assisstant. John Gregory took over and didn't do a much better job, we were only saved by the goals of Dexter Blackstock.

The next season started terribly, another youth prospct killed and a terrible start to the season, yet again the 'Gladiator' was blamed. John Gregory was sacked in October - hardly suprising. Luigi De Canio took over and we didn't do well, we came 14th but again only down to Blackstock and luck, well that's my opinion.

In 2008 I became thirty and I was bought by Galatasaray for £1.6 million, that season Blackstock was disposed of aswell as he joined fellow championship side Nottingham Forest. My first season at Turkey was alright, as the team came fifth, though I have to admit the size of the stadium and the competitive fans did put enormous pressure on me and at points I was shaky.

The next season Dutch legend Frank Rijkaard took over, and I barely featured all season. That season the team came third in the league. I was pretty angry, I was bought last season for quite a lot of money, but I wasn't being featured... strange.

I was released the following season.

After a year out of the game I was picked up by former club Shamrock, the recent champions of Ireland. They were looking for a new keeper and I fitted the bill. In the 2011/12 season I featured in every game. We won the league that year, my first silverware!



The next season we came fourth disapointiningly. Stephen Kenny - the manager showed his support for me and I was almost selected for Ireland's Euro squad for the summer of 2012. Cruelly I was left out, that was my only chance to represent my country internationally out of the window.

I was 35 this season and we came fifth. Though where we came didn't really matter as that season I helped with the reserves and I went on a coaching course where I got some coaching badges, and more importantly this was my last season in football. At 35 I didn't think I could carry on. I had a big send off on the final day of the season, which was sweet.

In 2014 I worked as a coach in Shamrock's reserves. I was often complimented for my disipline and encouragement. That year Shamrock didn't win the title... again and pressure was building on manager Pat Fenlon, and there was speculation that his job was insecure...






 
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reubomad

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Hi guys, I just want too say I might not be updating this, this week as I have two theatre productions.
So that means I am away most nights this week. Thanks again.
 

reubomad

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View attachment 906076

Pat Fenlon Sacked at Shamrock!
[HR][/HR]


Shamrock Rovers manager Pat Fenlon has been sacked by chairman Jonathan Roche, after only four months in charge. This is thought to be because of disagreements with the board and Fenlon's failure to keep up Shamrock's title hopes.

Fenlon has yet to speak on the sacking but the club announced that 'the relationship between the board and Pat was no longer working" and "we are sorry to the fans for this unfortunate circumstance but we are looking for a new manager as soon as possible.

Early odds are being placed on Owen Heary of Sligo Rovers and unemployed former Peterborough manager Darren Ferguson, with a outside contender being Shamrock's goalkeeping coach Francis Blackood, who is a fan favourite and has some valuable coaching badges.


 

reubomad

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View attachment 244930Francis Blackwood: New Shamrock Manager[HR][/HR]


Former Shamrock goalkeeper Francis Blackwood, 36 has became the new Shamrock manager. The veteran goalkeeper, who made 134 appearances for Shamrock in a five year period. Known for his big build and commanding presence in goal, pundits are wondering whether the 'Gladiator' can transmit his determination and command on the pitch to the dressing room.

Blackwood is known to Irish as a loyal subject of Shamrock Rovers but elsewhere he has a different reputation. In England he is known as the loyal goalkeeper who stook with Q.P.R through thick and thin. In Turkey he is known as the goalkeeper who could have been great, but failed to break into Galatasaray's first team. Though none could deny his leadership and determination.

The Hoops will be hoping on a better finish than last years fourth place. As of yet, no changes have been made to the backroom staff, will there be some interesting transfers, that remains to be seen.

 

reubomad

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Transfers and Pre-Season



Pleased with business here. My team lacked real striking quality, so I have added five strikers/midfielders (versatile) to the team. I got a bit carried away but at least I have cover.

Marlon Harewood - A blast from the past, he is 35 now but he still has real striking quality for this league, he will start for us.



Isaiah Brown - A future star? That remains to be seen but the Chelsea youngster will start and he will add flair and quality to the team.



Dominic Knowles
- Back-up here, he has quality but not enough to walk into the first team yet. He is on loan from Burton and I hope he can provide when given the chance.



Jerome Binnom-Williams
- A young Crystal Palace left-back with lots of raw talent that needs to be tamed, and I hope we get the best out of him.



Devante Cole - This young striker joins us from Premier League team Man City, he has bags of quality and I hope his bright potential shines off at us. he will probably start.



Graham Burke - This ex Aston Villa striker joins us permanently for free, and he's the only Irish signing of the window. it is yet to be seen if he will be a success.



Pre-Season



Two draws. nothing to be concerned about to be honest. The tactic needed to gel. One was a scoreless draw against a bad Irish side, whilst the other was a 1-1 draw against a respectable Danish side.

 

reubomad

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Shamrock VS Crusaders

Selanta Sports Cup

First Round, First Leg




We started off the season with a cup game against Northern Irish side Crusaders, who finished third in their league last year. The first round of the Setanta Cup is played over two legs, and we have got the advantage.

It may have looked comfortable, but it wasn't. Actually it was one of the most bizarre games I have played. The first ten minutes were semi-dull, but then it all got a bit chaotic. Isaiah Brown bursted into the opposition penalty area and was bundled down. Penalty. Fair enough. Keith Fahey scores. Alright. Ten minutes later Conor Kenna was brought down. Another Penalty. Maybe not. Keith Fahey scores. Ten minutes later they get a penalty. Wait what!? They score. 2-1.

The second half began with me taking of Marlon Harewood and Devante Cole and I took on Dominic Knowles and Graham Burke. Five minutes later Knowles scores a cheeky goal, restoring our two goal lead. Crusader's striker ran past all my defenders and scored a good goal 20 minutes later. When everything looked like it was going wrong Burke, the second substitute scored a good close range effort.

Keith Fahey got man of the match.
 
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reubomad

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Q.P.R have just removed Chris Ramsey from the position of head coach. No manager has yet been confirmed.

Don't worry I'm not leaving just yet, just thought that was quite interesting about my former club.

 

reubomad

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Crusaders VS Shamrock

Selanta Sports Cup

First Round, Second Leg





The second leg was really the same as the first leg, except less penalties. It was tense at points but in the end we won comfortably on aggregate, this lets us progress to the quarter finals

I came into this match with some confidence, it was 4-2 on aggregate and Crusaders aren't the strongest team in the world. In the 3rd minute I was proved wrong, Kristian Braniff (don't know why it says Munster on the report) of Crusaders controlled a cheeky through lob and scored with relative ease, though it was a missed interception that led to the goal. 1-0. 3-4 aggregate. It took 30 minutes to get back intothe game with Keith Fahey scoring a close but powerful finish. 1-1. 3-5 aggregate. End of the half. Tense. Shouldn't have underestimated them.

The second half began much like the second half of the other game. We got a goal as soon as half started. Some excellent passing and counter-attacking football led to Dominic Knowles getting on the end of the ball and he scored a good clean finish. 1-2. 3-6 aggregate. Relief. Again it went a bit wrong. In the 80th minute Noel Hume of Crusaders scored a rebound effort after powerful shot was loosely saved by the keeper. 2-2. 4-6 aggregate. The tension is back. But then a moment of magic occured. Devante Cole. I had recently brought him on as a substitute. In the 86th minute he scored with a cheeky pea roller to extend our lead and put the game beyond doubt. 2-3. 4-7 aggregate. But he wasn't done there... In the 91st minute he got on the end of a Marlon Harewood cross courtesy of a defensive error and he got his second goal of the game. 2-4. 4-8 aggregate. Phew!

Devante Cole got man of the match.



Who have we got next?




Well I don't know how good Derry are but this is the only fully Southern Irish clash in the cup. This will be my first big clash as manager of Shamrock, even if the league hasn't started yet. This sure will be interesting.

Edit: Devante Cole is Andy Cole's son, and I had no idea!
 
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reubomad

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The Start Of SSE Airtricity League

Shamrock Vs Sligo



The time has come for the dawn of a new season. And my first season in charge of Shamrock, my goal is not to get sacked... obviously and win the league. Not that hard. Right? The first game of the season is at home against Sligo Rovers the ground is buzzing, and I got a few 'Gladiator' chants as I walked into the dug out.



The Teams



I have set out my strongest pre-season side, and I'm going out attacking from the off with the very popular three striker formation. Three loanees up front, who are all capable of making a difference.

The Game



Well that was a anti-climax. Promised so much but ended boringly. We dominated, but they got a goal early on in the first half and that ended up being the winner. It was a boring game. Though Sligo are tough opponents, we are favourites to win the title this season. Our front three were useless today. It has to be said.

Raffaele Cretaro of Sligo Rovers got man of the match after he scored the winner on the 16th minute.

 
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reubomad

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Shamrock VS Derry

Setlanta Sports Cup

Quarter Finals, First Leg




Back to winning ways against Derry, a fellow Southern Irish Side in the Setlanta Cup Quarter Finals. We have set ourselves up for the semi finals after this game, we just have to maintain and add to our lead in the next leg. We got two goals early on and we never looked like conceding, I'm happy with this home advantage.

Devante Cole got both goals for us, scoring two in four minutes unfortunately he got injured towards the end of the match but he didn't get any serious injury so he'll be back for the next game. He got man of the match. He now has four goals in this competition.


 
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reubomad

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Shamrock VS Limerick

SSE Airtricity League

13/03/15



A crazy seven minutes made this game. Of course it may look like dominance and and we got a goal through Graham Burke on the 5th minute after some good passing build up play. The match was always in control but we couldn't score a second goal that was until Danny North turned the style on.

Danny North, striker. He was here when I joined. He recently complained about not enough first team football. I wouldn't have his attitude so I put him on the transfer list like he asked. In this game however I wanted to give him a chance. He got an assist for the first goal and in the 74th minute he got a goal of his own. And it was very well taken indeed. Two minutes later he got another one. This one was even better. A power shot. The last game came through veteran striker mighty Marlon Harewood with a tap in under the goalkeeper.

In the end Danny North got man of the match, and he deserved it. Shame he wants to leave.


 
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reubomad

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Derry VS Shamrock

Setlanta Sports Cup

Quarter Finals, Second Leg



Well we've just learnt the meaning of complacency and karma. We got destroyed. I thought we'd coast through to the semi's but the players didn't turn up. It was disgraceful. Everyone was terrible.

Josh Daniels of Derry got man of the match...


 

reubomad

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Derry VS Shamrock

SSE Airtricity League

21/03/15



What a surprise! We're against Derry! Luckily this time we won, which makes me wonder; why couldn't we win earlier in the week? Who knows. At least we got the victory.

Derry kicked off the scoring with Paddy McEleney getting a goal early on, not a surprise there. Though it didn't take long (eight minutes in fact) for Keith Fahey to score a power shot in the top corner. Twenty minutes later, Devante Cole doubled our lead with a precise header. Phew! Just before half time ended Isaiah Brown got his first goal for the club... finally to make us go 1-3 up. One minute later Derry were awarded a penalty. McEleney steps up... miss! End of half.

Ten minutes into the second half Derry's Cillian Morrison bypassed our shaky defence and scored a good individual goal. We were having none of that. Especially Isaiah Brown. Brown got another goal four minutes after the Morrison's goal. It was well taken. Nothing else of note happened in the second half. Full Time. 2-4.

Keith Fahey got man of the match, though it was close between him and Devante Cole and I personally think he should have won MOTM. What the game says goes though as Fahey won it.

 
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reubomad

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I know it's quite early but do you guys like the match updates or would you rather have a monthly update.
 
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