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The Irish Times
SPORT Monday, April 5, 1999

Photographs: Allsport.

Celts outclassed in JT Cup QF

A squad of nineteen players turned up at Mitaka for the much anticipated clash with Saude Yokogawa. Every player there was entitled to consider himself a member of the starting eleven and the difficult task of picking the team fell to our wily player coach Joe B who graciously did a "Vialli" and decided to give Murray a run up front.
Murray, looking fit, did a lot of running with Dolan in the early stages of the game and the midfield held its shape well. Growing in confidence the Celts pressed forward and were looking good. Then, against the run of the play, Saude Yokogawa pounced and the Celts found themselves one down.
Undeterred, the lads in hoops pressed on and had some near misses with both Dermody and Murray coming close to tying the game. This was a crucial point in the game and the Celts pushed more and more up front seeking to get an equalizer. This however, left gaps in midfield and in front of the back four and on thirty minutes, Saude Yokogawa were 2 up after that little pygmy bastard dinkied his way in and buried a shot from just inside the penalty box. This goal led to the Celts losing their shape and there was some confusion about our game plan from this point. We in effect lost the game in the next fifteen minutes when Saude scored two more, the fourth coming on the stroke of half-time.
The second half started off well and there was a lot more bite in the tackles. However, we were never able to recover the fluidity which we showed in the first twenty minutes. Now, we were just fighting for our pride and we are pretty good at this. It is has to be said that our chances to score in the second half were few and as the half wore on, Burke knew the game was up and rightly ensured everyone got a game.
This was a disappointing end to a great Cup run. After five wins on the trot, to go out on a 5-0 hiding is hard to take. However, we need to look at how much the squad has improved over the past 12 months and focus our minds on the 1999 Cup run. Consequently, a full turnout will be expected on Wednesday for training.

Exclusive interview with player-coach "Gianluca" Burke.

A pretty pathetic performance from the Kantocelts yesterday... At times we defended in huge numbers with a vigorously pressing game, and in turn we barely mounted a serious attack in the whole match. But basic weaknesses in key areas as well as disappointing performances from several key players conspired to knock us out of the Japan Times Cup 98. Oh yeh and the other team were great!!!!! For some weeks now I've been convinced that with Murray fit we would have an extra option up front, but alas he's round and shite. Photographs have come into my possession that show the little round man has put a few pounds on from head to toe in the last couple of months..... I mentioned basic weaknesses. These appear to come from places such as right full, (Glynn), as he went off during the middle of the first half, because he was "tired". God love him.... We didn't have many opportunities to advance down the wings. And there was hardly any penetration to the byline, and the quality of cross balls was dismal, to put it mildly. So why did we not win? No creativity. At times we seemed to play in slow motion. The opposition were superior to us in all aspects of the game. Structure, Vision, Awareness and ball skills. Every time they went to pass the ball they had two and three options. We expended more energy running after the ball than we did doing anything creative with it. There were times when the ball was played into the middle when we could have used the flanks.... The width of the pitch lads the width of the pitch....... There were times when their keeper got the ball, options were given to him all over the place to recycle the ball faster than we could ever do... Just because we are behind the ball, this does not mean we are "defending". Defending means you pick up a man. Not stand between him and the goal... When attacking options are not been made to the players there will be no passes...... Make space so the player with the ball will have more options.... Before games there should be ten minutes of practice shots at the goal. Everyone seemed to be afraid to have a shot at the goal... Things to note.... If John D. had scored with the header, it would have given us a good lift. If Kitty Barry hadn't let in five goals the score would have been 0-0. The little fucker from S.America should have been sent off for blantly handling the ball. We need more of these games..... We can learn a shit load in hindsight..... And in turn can only get better... A lot of basic things we can easily improve on .... Lets move on and for Gods sake Keep the faith!!!! In Kantodom...
Barry, Glynn, Steele,Ryan, Hanafin, Cumiskey, Dermody, O'Keeffe, Mehigan, Murray,Dolan, Beattie,Mullane, Persson, Phelan, O'Gorman, White, Chanut, Burke

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