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Pundit Arena League Of Ireland Team Of The Month: August 2017

August in the League of Ireland Premier Division was a bit more scattered than usual as the FAI Cup took up two of its weekends.

Nonetheless, the month saw Limerick dragged down into what has become a very tight race to avoid relegation, while at the top Cork City’s lack of goals has meant that the title celebrations have to be put on ice for the time being.

But which players stood out most in the league last month?

Goalkeeper:

Micheál Schlingermann (Sligo Rovers) A tough choice to start off with. Ciaran Gallagher of Finn Harps had a solid month too but Schlingermann we feel just shaded it. Sligo Rovers haven’t been scoring that many goals lately but they haven’t conceded many either, and the 26-year-old has been a big part of the latter.

Sligo , Ireland - 22 May 2017; Michael Schlingermann of Sligo Rovers in action against Karl Sheppard of Cork City during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Sligo Rovers and Cork City at the Showgrounds in Co. Sligo. (Photo By David Maher/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Defenders:

Shane Griffin (Cork City). Replacing Kevin O’Connor at Cork City was never going to be an easy task, but Griffin has been coping well with the added responsibility. In a defence that has had to be rotated regularly due to injuries, the 23-year-old has been a rare constant since coming into the team and has been putting in assured performances on City’s left.

Brian Gartland (Dundalk). Dundalk conceded just one goal in six games in all competitions in August (the 3-1 FAI Cup win against Crumlin Utd in which Gartland was a sub) and although the defender has been in and out of the team this year, his contribution (including his goal against Limerick) was noteworthy.

Conor Kenna (Bray Wanderers). With Bray’s season on the brink of unraveling this summer, the Seagulls’ defence has played a big part in steadying the ship. Consecutive away clean sheets followed by a 2-1 win against Drogheda have done that to a degree, and Kenna has more than done his part at the back.

Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup First Round, Carlisle Grounds, Bray, Co. Wicklow 12/8/2017 Bray Wanderers vs Cork City Bray's Conor Kenna
INPHO/Ryan Byrne
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Midfielders:

Robbie Benson (Dundalk). Benson hit the goal trail in a big way in August, netting five goals in four games in all competitions. The 25-year-old epitomises the freedom and confidence in which Dundalk are playing right now, and has proven himself to be a vital cog in the Lilywhites machine.

Bastien Héry (Limerick). Although Limerick’s form last month was pretty erratic, Hery was still able to turn in some fine displays in the midfield. The former PSG Academy man looks composed in the centre and could have a big role to play in keeping Limerick up.

Ronan Finn (Shamrock Rovers). Red card against Shelbourne aside, Finn has seemingly finally settled into his role as Shamrock Rovers captain. In a young team desperate to be guided by experienced heads, the former Dundalk midfielder has been filling that role while also turning in performances of the highest order himself.

Kieran Sadlier (Cork City). Sadlier would surely be the first to admit that it has taken him a bit of time to get up to speed with the difference in conditioning at Cork City but he now seems to have settled well on Leeside.

SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, Turner's Cross, Cork 9/7/2017 Cork City vs St. Patrick's Athletic Cork City’s Kieran Sadlier
INPHO/Oisin Keniry
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Forwards:

Gary Shaw (Shamrock Rovers). If one team hates one opponent the most in the Premier Division, it is surely Galway United with Gary Shaw. The ex-Longford Town striker scored his fourth and fifth goals in three games against the Tribesmen last month, completing a late turnaround and giving his side all three points in the process.

Ronan Murray (Galway United). Galway may still be a few points adrift at the bottom of the table, but they’ve given themselves a fighting chance of staying up in the home stretch. Central to that has been Murray, whose brace against Finn Harps helped secure a massive three points.

David McMillan (Dundalk). McMillan has been relatively consistent throughout the season, and scored three goals in all competitions last month to cement his status as one of the best strikers in the division.

SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, Oriel Park, Dundalk, Co. Louth 1/9/2017 Dundalk vs St. Patrick's Athletic Dundalk's David McMillan score's the first goal of the game from the penalty spot
INPHO/Donall Farmer
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In this week’s episode of the Mixer Irish football podcast, we reflect on a disappointing week for the Ireland side, analyse last weekend’s Premier Division results and look ahead to this weekend’s FAI Cup quarter final action.

https://soundcloud.com/punditarenairishfootball/we-review-irelands-world-cup-qualifiers-and-look-ahead-to-the-next-fai-cup-fixtures

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.