O'Driscoll is sacked as Bristol City boss
FORMER Ireland international Sean O'Driscoll has been sacked by League One strugglers Bristol City.
The 56-year-old lost his job after a return of just two wins in 18 games this season. He won three senior caps under Eoin Hand in 1982.
"We have given the situation as much time as we could to improve but have become increasingly concerned about the club's league position and have decided that a change of head coach will give the club the best possible chance of improving this," vice chairman Jon Lansdown wrote in an email to supporters.
The Robins currenty have Irish players Greg Cunningham, Derrick Williams and Brendan Moloney on the books while Donegal lad Stephen McLaughlin is on loan from Nottingham Forest and only last week the club had Christopher Forrester on trial from St Patrick's Athletic.
CAULFIELD BLASTS ROVERS
AS CORK City await a possible offer from Championship side Blackburn Rovers for their talented youngster Danny Morrissey, City boss John Caulfield has accused rivals Shamrock Rovers of offering "stupid money" to his players.
A number of Cork players have been transfer targets since the end of the season as Daryl Horgan was on trial with Torquay United while Danny Morrissey spent a week at Blackburn, and he made a big impression on manager Gary Bowyer, Morrissey scoring four goals in a behind-closed-doors friendly.
Blackburn are considering an offer for Morrissey but the concern for new manager Caulfield is the competition from rivals in Ireland.
"I would be confident that most of the players would be Cork City players next season. The logic is, two of them have been offered big deals by Shamrock Rovers, and they're throwing stupid money at them. I've told them that if they want to play with us that this is the place to play and that their transfer to England isn't going to happen at this stage for two of them," said Caulfield.
"Even though they're still hanging on and their agents are still hanging on that they might get a phone call or they might get this or that, being honest with you their deals are more or less gone.
"In fact there was no deals anyway, they were only going on trial, and they're still hoping for that magic phone call to come out of the blue and I would be 99% sure that that call is not going to come anymore.
"The problem is they have got offers from Dublin, particularly Rovers. Pats have put in offers for one or two of them as well, and they've upset them a little bit."
IRELAND SLIP TO 67TH IN WORLD
IRELAND have slipped even further in the FIFA rankings, the Republic now rated as 67th in the world, an all-time low for the national side.
That's a drop of seven places on the previous listing in the rankings and the fall comes despite positive results for Ireland against Latvia (3-0) and Poland (0-0) under new boss Martin O'Neill. Ireland started 2013 in 41st place but a string of dismal results in the World Cup qualifiers caused the Republic to drop even further.
Northern Ireland remain in 90th place, England are 13th, and Scotland are up two places to 33.
DROGS RE-SIGN SCHLINGERMANN
DROGHEDA United have snapped up another talent ahead of the new season as keeper Micheal Schlingermann has agreed a new deal.
The Mayo native fought off competition from Gabriel Sava to establish himself as first choice at Drogheda last season and new manager Robbie Horgan has persuaded him to stay on for another season.
"I had a fantastic season in Drogheda in 2013 and it feels right to continue my career here. I am really happy with the professional set-up that Robbie is putting in place. Dermot O'Neill is known throughout the league as one of the top goalkeeping coaches and I feel privileged that I will be mentored by him next season," said Schlingermann.
Drogheda have also re-signed Cathal Brady from last season's squad.
- AIDAN FITZMAURICE