Managers united on All Island plans

Larne boss Tiernan Lynch feels an All Island League would benefit the country in the long term.
Larne boss Tiernan Lynch feels an All Island League would benefit the country in the long term.
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While most managers, players and officials from both League of Ireland and Irish League clubs are rightfully in favour of an All Island League, they all also want more details on the proposal.

Former Republic of Ireland manager Brian Kerr is part of Kieran Lucid’s All Island League led group, which could reinvigorate Irish football, but could it really become a reality?

Waterford boss Alan Reynolds.

Waterford boss Alan Reynolds.

For Waterford manager Alan Reynolds and Larne boss Tiernan Lynch they believe it would help the game throughout both sides of the border.

"I would be in favour of it because I think something needs to happens in the league," insisted Reynolds.

"I would like to see us try something because at times it has gone stale, so I think the Irish League teams playing teams from League of Ireland could rejuvenate and ignite something in the league and that's the way I see it.

"Look I might be wrong, but I think something has to change. Yes how many teams enter from the North and the South I'm not sure of but I think we need to try something to give things a lift again.

"I'm not sure what will happen with European spots and stuff like that, but I would like to see the likes of Linfield, Crusaders and Cliftonville playing against teams down here."

For Lynch, who's Inver Park side have really hit the headlines in recent years since Purplebricks millionaire owner Kenny Bruce decided to take over the club and ploughed millions of pounds into his home town club, also feels that a possible All Island League would be great for the next generation of players throughout the country.

“I like the idea of it but I don’t know a huge amount about it," he remarked. "Why wouldn’t you want another level of professionalism in our game.

"The Irish League is definitely on the up, I don’t think there’s any doubt about that, the European success has helped with that.

"I genuinely think if there was more money put into the league, more publicity, the crowds would go up and more clubs could become full-time which would bring a better brand of football and give the younger generation a pathway into professional football and benefit the game across Ireland."