HOPES BLOWN AWAY
Our game away down in Wexford saw our hopes blown away on a breezy evening. Some said it was an eight pointer, others a six pointer but at the final whistle with no points, the sign posts seem to point to the dreaded first division. Following some fairly decent displays of late, hopes were reasonably high of the start of a fightback. But Wexford are also fighting for their top flight status and had reduced prices in an effort to boost their attendance. At least, it meant that the few travelling supporters could also benefit with a few extra euro in their pockets. But when the hosts went ahead through a sweet goal from a free kick on 34 minutes, our task looked remote and tougher still. One nil behind always provides some hope but in stoppage time things just got worse. Town keeper Coulter was shown red and the resultant spot kick made it two nil for the happy hosts and made the trip home for us considerably longer. It seems that we’ve managed to pick up more red cards than points this season, which, if accurate is a record we’d prefer not to have.
Eight points adrift at the foot of the table now, and 10 off safety, on this poor showing it looks like our hopes have been blown away.
CORK, CORK, CORK
With all due respect to Cork, we don’t really want to see too much of them but it looks like we have no choice in the matter. This Saturday at 7.30 it’s the Cup at home, then on Friday 26th we play them down in Cork (remember the score last time, 6-0). Last season we beat them down there 2-3 which saw our remarkable recovery take shape. By the way, the league game on Friday 26th is live on RTE 2 with a 7.45pm kick off. And, if perchance, we draw with Cork at home in the Cup, the replay will be in Cork on Monday 29th August. Is it any wonder it’s said that August can be a wicked month. So let’s hope we beat them at home this Saturday and repeat the dose in the league. That’d quell the rebels and raise our flagging spirits for sure.
The day after our 2-0 defeat to Wexford, it was announced that our manager,Tony Cousins had resigned. It was an announcement that didn’t get too much attention in the national sports media because of all that was happening in Rio and even at home.
Managing a football team must be one of the most difficult jobs. Almost every step and every decision taken is under public scrutiny. And of course the most vocal of the the public are all experts with deeply held convictions. Some though have little or no experience of management. But that’s all part of the sport. Sometimes when things aren’t going your way, it must be the loneliest spot in the stadium; in front of you the players are letting you down while behind you, your own supporters are voicing their anger and frustration. It must be like being caught in no man’s land with friend and foe both firing at you.
Tony Cousins has been the longest serving manager in the league , having served 7 years with De Town. His tenure was certainly a perfect example of a roller coaster. He had us on the brink of promotion, then finally achieved the holy grail and now it looks like we’re heading back down again. We’ve had some bad days but we must always remember that there were some great days too. Sitting adrift at the bottom, it’s easy to forget the good days.
Some supporters dismiss his post match interviews as being overflowing with age old, lame excuses but a long litany of bad injuries, dreadful refereeing decisions and a wheelbarrow load of red cards didn’t help his cause. Personally, I think the loss of Stephen Rice this season was particularly significant. But there are as many reasons and opinions as there are blades of grass.
Very few people know what it’s like to be in Tony Cousins’ boots. For seven long years he has done his best for the club and despite being in the public eye, we can all be sure that he worked assiduously behind the scenes and away from the limelight. Only he and his family will ever know the sacrifices he made for the red and black.
Personally and behalf of the Supporters’ Club, I’d like to thank Tony for all his hard work, dedication and commitment, on and off the pitch, in the public eye and away from it. Management is largely a thankless and lonely job but we’d like to say a sincere THANK YOU Tony and wish you all the best in the future.