O'Brien drops to non-league
JUST FIVE years after he played for Ireland in European Championship qualifiers against Germany and the Czech Republic, Alan O'Brien has dropped down to the non-league scene by joining Conference side Gateshead.
O'Brien, now 26, was a Newcastle United player when he was pitched into the senior Ireland squad by Steve Staunton in 2006, winning caps against Holland, Germany, Cyprus, Czech Republic and Bolivia.
But O'Brien struggled to impose himself at club level, spending time with Hibernians, Swindon and Yeovil and he's now hooked up with Gateshead.
"O'Brien is a player who I have tried to bring to the club in the past so I am delighted to finally get him on board," said manager Ian Bogie. "He has experience of playing in both England and Scotland and will give us pace out wide on the left. As a player who spent his formative years at Newcastle United he is familiar with the area and will further strengthen our squad."
Daryl open to Ipswich stay
FORMER Ireland cap Daryl Murphy admits he'd like to make his loan move from Celtic to Ipswich Town a permanent deal.
Murphy, 28, joined Ipswich on a season-long loan deal but has another full season left on his contract with Celtic "I've really enjoyed my time here," Murphy said. "I'm here until the end of the season, that was the agreement. Whatever happens after that we'll see. I've still got another year at Celtic."
Kirby returns to Longford
VETERAN winger Alan Kirby has returned to Longford Town for a second spell with the midlanders.
Kirby joined Longford from home-town club Waterford United in 2001 and won two FA Cup medals with Town, before spending time with St Patrick's Athletic, Sporting Fingal and Sligo Rovers. He made 29 league appearances for Sligo last season and also won an FAI Cup but now Longford boss Tony Cousins has lured the 33-year-old back to Flancare Park.
-- BY AIDAN FITZMAURICE