Why do Irish footballers leave Ireland to play elsewhere? What motivates them to leave their homeland? What are their experiences like outside of Ireland?
Dr. Conor Curran’s latest work, Irish Soccer Migrants: A Social and Cultural History, is a fascinating analysis on Irish footballers and their work abroad. It’s easily the most definitive read on Irish football, tracing the career of Irish-born players across England, Europe, and the United States. It covers a massive period of time from 1888 to 2010. There’s a focus on
The book has plenty of depth at 450 pages, a text loaded with plenty of great photographs and tons of statistics and tables. Almost 100 pages comes from notes and a bibliography, a clear indication of the massive research done by Curran in the process. This title covers the Irish game from a plethora of angles, discussing scouting networks, geography, youth coaching, professional leagues, and international play. You’ll also hear about the influence of Gaelic football and the Troubles on player migration.
Positives are quite obvious when you see the diversity of the post-playing careers for Irish pros, but concerns are raised with the decline of Irish (and British homegrowns I might add) players in top-flight leagues in England. Another trouble area could be that of future football migrants.
Like The Irish Soccer Split by Cormac Moore, this title is an offering from Cork University Press. The publisher seems to have the pulse of the Irish football enthusiast, producing great work at every step. Even though it has an academic and intellectual vibe, this is a text that can enjoyed by many football fans and supporters. We certainly did, thought it was an excellent read in every possible regard.