Thanks to Dave Lee for the heads up on this one. (A very rough looking) George Best has called for the football associations north adn south to take a deep breath and join forces to put together a world class soccer team. Meanwhile, Lawrie Sanchez prepares for the England match on Saturday.The irrepressible Iain Dowie reckons Northern Ireland has a chance:
Latvia’s miraculous qualification for Euro 2004 is a model for the likes of Northern Ireland. ‘Absolutely,’ enthuses Dowie. ‘There’s no question we can get to the finals of a tournament, although it’s a difficult task and I do think Lawrie Sanchez needs a better group of players. This [qualifying] group is very good for us because of the massive interest it is generating in Northern Ireland. I never got the chance to play against England and people tell me they are going to turn part of Manchester into a corner of Belfast on the weekend. Hopefully the buzz can re-establish some passion and enthusiasm and boost the finances to help improve future generations.’
So would he consider taking the Northern Ireland post one day? ‘It is a very difficult job, but what would be attractive is the idea of being able to shape the football set-up from top to bottom, to create the environment to be able to make a difference,’ he says.
For a fan’s eye view, check out Our Wee Country.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty