The 2005 Four Nations Kicks-Off On Tuesday

By Owain Johns - May 24 2005
The 2005 Four Nations Kicks-Off On Tuesday We preview the Non-League Four Nations tournament which kicks-off in Ireland on Tuesday afternoon. The other nations involved are England, Scotland and holders Wales...



Wales will be looking to retain their Four Nations title and win it for the third time in four years when they do battle with England, Ireland and Scotland over on the Emerald Isle.


The semi-pro side run by Andy Beattie and John Relish will kick-off their defence of the championship when they face Scotland in a repeat of last seasons opening fixture at St. Colman’s Park in Cork on Tuesday (3.00pm). They face the England National Game XI side at Mardyke two days later and complete the tournament with a match against the hosts at Turners Cross on Saturday.


Wales’ 16-man squad consists of a number of ex-league players such as goalkeepers Tony Pennock and Tony Roberts, Damon Searle, Chris Todd and former full-international Darren Barnard – now playing his football in the Conference with Aldershot Town. Goal machines Marc Lloyd-Williams and Graham Evans, who have hit the back of the net on a countless number of times in the Welsh Premier over the past couple of seasons, will lead the Welsh attack in Ireland.


Of the sixteen in the squad only five of the players will represent teams that compete in the Welsh Premier League - including player of the year Steve Evans - with the other ten representing sides from the Conference National, Conference South and Southern Premier. The joint-management team of Beattie and Relish have also included five un-capped players in Barnard, Darren Jones, Owain Tudor Jones, Chris Holloway and Aberystwyth Town captain Bari Morgan, who was called up to replace Dagenham & Redbridge striker Chris Moore.




Tuesday May 24th, 2005

versus Scotland @ St. Colman’s Park, Cork – kick-off 3.00pm


Thursday May 26th, 2005

versus England @ Mardyke, Cork – kick-off 7.45pm


Saturday May 28th, 2005

versus Ireland @ Turners Cross, Cork – kick-off 3.00pm




Goalkeepers: Tony Pennock (Carmarthen), Tony Roberts (Dagenham & Redbridge).

Defenders: Damon Searle (Forest Green), Steve Evans (TNS), Darren Barnard (Aldershot), Darren Jones (Newport), Chris Todd (Exeter), Matthew Coupe (Bath).

Midfielders: Nathan Davies (Newport), Owain Tudor Jones (Bangor), Gethin Jones & Chris Holloway (both Merthyr), Chris Giles (Aldershot), Bari Morgan (Aberystwyth).

Forwards: Marc Lloyd-Williams (TNS), Graham Evans (Caersws).





Ireland host the competition for the first time and will be looking for improvements from their previous outings in the competition. The host nation also have the advantage of their players only being a couple of weeks into their league season, with players from the other three nations having completed their campaigns in the past couple of weeks.


The most senior player in the squad at just 25 years old is goalkeeper Ciaran Kelly, while striker Shane Long is the youngest at only 18.


Last season’s Eircom League champions Shelbourne have only two representatives in the 16-man squad; defender Stephan Brennan and midfielder David Tyrell have both recently joined the club but weren’t a part of the Shelbourne side that advanced to the 3rd qualifying round of the Champions League, beating KR Reykjavik of Iceland and HNK Hajduk Split of Croatia before losing 3-0 on aggregate to Spanish giants Deportivo la Coruña.


Summer football in Ireland has had its positive effects both on and off the pitch, with attendances increasing and the level of football vastly improving. Shelbourne’s exploits in Europe a fine of example of the switch to the summer game from the standard August to May season.


Ireland kick-off the tournament against England at Turners Cross on Tuesday (7.45pm).




Tuesday May 24th, 2005

versus England @ Turners Cross, Cork – kick-off 7.45pm


Thursday May 26th, 2005

versus Scotland @ St. Colman’s Park, Cork – kick-off 7.45pm


Saturday May 28th, 2005

versus Wales @ Turner’s Cross, Cork – kick-off 3.00pm




Goalkeepers: Ciaran Kelly (Galway), Mark McNulty (Cork).

Defenders: Stephen Brennan (Shelbourne), Brian Gannon (UCD), Shane Guthrie (Cork), Mark McChrystal (Derry), Kevin Murray (Cork), Derek Tyrell (Drogheda).

Midfielders: Gerry Gill (Derry), Ray Lally (Cork), Paul Malone (Shamrock Rovers), Darren O’Brien (UCD), David Tyrell (Shelbourne).

Forwards: Mark Leech (Drogheda), Shane Long (Cork), Jamie Nolan (Limerick), Roy O’Donovan (Cork), Conor Sammon (UCD).





Apart from Wales, the English side are the only other nation to have won the competition, after they pipped Wales to the title back in 2003. Paul Fairclough’s side boasts a number of quality players ahead of the tournament and could prove to be tough opponents for the other three competitors.


They include four players from the Barnet side that were runaway leaders of the Conference last term also seven players that took part in the Conference play-offs – one each from Aldershot, Stevenage and Carlisle (surprisingly) plus four from runners-up Hereford United.


Other good players that have been included are: Andrew Taylor – who was a member of the Exeter side that held Manchester United to a 0-0 draw in the FA Cup at Old Trafford; DJ Campbell – the 41-goal Yeading striker was a main part of the ‘The Warren’ club’s side that won the Ryman League Premier Division title and impressed in the FA Cup run which was brought to an end by Newcastle United at the third round stage; the Grays Athletic duo of Mitchell Cole and Dennis Oli - a former QPR striker that started the season with brief spells at Swansea City and Cambridge United in League 2 – helped ‘The Blues’ to the Conference South title in which they finished 23 points clear of second-placed Cambridge City, and also to FA Trophy success last weekend when they defeated Hucknall Town on penalties at Villa Park.


Hosts Ireland will provide the opening opposition for England at Turners Cross on Tuesday (7.45pm).




Tuesday May 24th, 2005

versus Ireland @ Turners Cross, Cork – kick-off 7.45pm


Thursday May 26th, 2005

versus Wales @ Mardyke, Cork – kick-off 7.45pm


Saturday May 28th, 2005

versus Scotland @ Middleton FC – kick-off 3.00pm




Goalkeepers: Nikki Bull (Aldershot), Matt Glennon (Carlisle).

Defenders: Simon King & Ismail Yakabu (both Barnet), Stephen Haslam (Halifax), Mark Robinson & Simon Travis (both Hereford), Kieran Charnock (Northwich Victoria).

Midfielders: Dean Sinclair & Nicky Bailey (both Barnet), Andrew Taylor (Exeter), Mitchell Cole (Grays), Craig Stanley (Hereford), Scott Kerr (Scarborough).

Forwards: DJ Campbell (Yeading), Adam Stansfield (Hereford), Dennis Oli (Grays), Anthony Elding (Stevenage).





The Scottish side are probably the weakest side of the competition with all 18 of their players playing their trade in either the Highland League or the East of Scotland League.


Surprisingly the champions of both these leagues only have one representative in the squad; champions of the Highland League Huntly will only be represented by goalkeeper Scott Anderson while Spartans, winners of the East of Scotland League, only have striker Iain Thomson in the travelling party.


Aberdeenshire club Fraserburgh - who finished third in last seasons Highland League - have three players in the squad, more than the other twelve clubs represented in the Scottish team.


Like Ireland, the Scottish will be looking for an improvement on the other competitions where they have failed to make a major impact.


The Scots face holders Wales in their opening fixture on Tuesday at St. Colman's Park (3.00pm).




Tuesday May 24th, 2005

versus Wales @ St. Colman’s Park, Cork – kick-off 3.00pm


Thursday May 26th, 2005

versus Ireland @ St. Colman’s Park, Cork – kick-off 7.45pm


Saturday May 28th, 2005

versus England @ Middleton FC – kick-off 3.00pm




Scott Anderson (Huntly), Robert Brown (Deveronvale), John Coutts (Buckie Thistle), Daniel Gerrard (Edinburgh Uni.), Martin Gunn (Wick Academy), Martin Johnston (Cove Rangers), Neil Main & Derek Milne (both Fraserburgh), Ryan McGurk (Whitehill Welfare), Stuart McKay & Neil McLean (both Inverurie Loco Works), Gary McMenamin (Annan Ath.), Kristopher Niddrie (Keith), Alexander Ridgers (Clachnacuddin), Kevin Souter (Buckie Thistle), Barrie Stephen (Keith), Michael Stephen (Fraserburgh), Iain Thompson (Spartans).