Supporters Club Notes

Supporters’ Club Notes (23/09/2018)

Sun Sep 23rd 2018

OVER AND OUT

Well, despite a spirited second half fight back to draw 2-2 with newly promoted UCD, our season came to an end on Saturday night. Under a bright moon, on a chilly evening, it looked like the Students were going to run riot. But it was De Town who played the superior football in the second half with Dillon netting twice to draw us level. Indeed, but for poor referring decisions, we could have finished the season with a win.

What was heart warming on a chilly night was the reaction of supporters and the team after the final whistle. It was lovely to see the team acknowledge the supporters and vice versa.

Over a long season, we’ve had some superb results and of course we had banana skin slippages too. But as the Charles Buchan Football Monthly used to say “Support your club in good times and bad”.

Roll on the 2019 season.

LONG, LONG ROCKY ROAD

If there had been a sporting miracle and if we had qualified for the play offs, consider the long road that would have faced us. We’d have to play Shels twice and then face Finn Harps twice. Now if we were still standing after those tough four encounters, we’d be up against Limerick or maybe Sligo for a few more games. While winning all those games would generate huge excitement, the financial outlay for the extra month could have been crippling. So next season, it’d be much handier if we just won the division and leave the rocky road of play offs to the others.

UCD’S ROAD AHEAD

The handful of UCD supporters were happy enough bunch on Saturday night. They were certainly happy not to have lost their last league game . Next up for the Students is the daunting task of facing Dundalk in the Cup. But for their little band of supporters they weren’t looking on the tie or their move up to the big time as being particularly daunting. They said that they’ve no intention of spending extra money that they don’t have. For the past two seasons, they’ve stuck with their policy of having no “outsiders” in their squad. In other words, all of the squad are scholarship students and that will remain their policy. Because they play Colleges football, they play during the winter months too. The team which won the First Division have been together now for three years, more or less. That’s a situation foreign to most ordinary clubs. We wish them the best of luck next season but maybe our paths will cross at the end of the 2019 season.

SUPERB SUPPORT

One thing from the 2018 season, that stands out for this scribbler is the superb standard of support given to the team all season. Part of the reason, is the style of football, the quality of goals and some excellent victories, especially away from home. Credit must also go to the management and how they’ve interacted with the supporters and the community, generally. An other pleasing aspect was the positive contribution made by Section O as well as the die hard regulars scattered around the ground and who occupy the exact same seats, game after game. Throw in the dedicated Supporters’ Club and our efficient and friendly ground staff/stewards into the mix and it all adds up. This season, the social media aspect of promoting the Club has gone up many notches, which in turn helps our ever growing young support base. We may not have won the league but, I think we’ve won many new, young supporters and held on to our golden oldies too. So we must be doing something right.

 

ELSEWHERE

I fully realise that we are blowing our trumpet in the above piece. But when you cast your eye around other nearby clubs, we’re doing OK. Galway, a city club, with a massive potential finished a good distance behind us on the points scale. Sligo Rovers will probably remain in the top flight but their set up costs a small fortune and many of their fan base can’t wait for the end of the season. And Athlone’s sad troubles are too well documented already. So that just leaves Finn Harps and they have an unwelcome break before they go to battle again. Derry City are hardly in our area but after Brexit they won’t even be in the EU, so what’s their future? Grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Anyway, we have Seamus Murray keeping our grass nice and lush and well maintained.

SOME GOOD NEWS

And so, we’ll finish with some good news for lovers of the beautiful game locally. Later on, we’ll conform details of our Gala Awards Night. But at long last, our wonderful facilities at the City Calling Stadium will be used on an international scale. Although the final dates have yet to be confirmed, we will be hosting three U19 competitive internationals in November. The Republic of Ireland will face the Faroe Islands, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Holland and our new score board should be up and ticking over by then. The season may be over but our sporting life lives on.

C’mon de Town.

Pictures by Tiernan Dolan

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Longford Town Supporters’ Club Notes (11/09/2018)

Tue Sep 11th 2018

SPIN ‘N SPAN

Whatever about the result, the staging of the FAI Quarter Finals last Friday, was a huge success for everyone associated with Longford Town FC. Self praise, they say, is no praise but it might be the only praise we’ll get.

The pitch looked superb, the stewards were friendly and effective, the Clubhouse volunteers under the guidance of Brendan Finnegan coped admirably with the large crowd, we had a top class match programme and the stadium itself was spotless. Every thing was top class on what was an extremely busy week end for the club. Friday night saw 1,181 click through the turnstiles but the following day Saturday, we hosted an U15 game and then on Sunday we had the international stars of tomorrow in the Ireland v Wales U19 International friendly.

We may have lost the Cup game but we certainly gained many new admirers.

RED OR YELLOW?

One of the main talking talking points after the Cork game was the sending off. No one for a moment would suggest, that we could have won the game if the colour of the card was different.

However, that sending off effectively killed the game. By all accounts, the ref had a yellow card in his hand but the linesman kept calling for a red card to be brandished and the rest is sporting history.

ONWARDS

This Friday is a massive game for De Town. Beat Drogheda in their own back garden and we’re in the play offs. After we beat Sligo, they recovered and have been doing quite well since. Cork were surprisingly beaten at home by Sligo and it was Cork who upped their game afterwards (to our cost). So you don’t need a top class Junior Cert to realise where this is going. We simply have to banish Cork from our minds and concentrate on beating the Drogs. We’ve done it before and we can certainly repeat the dose. Fair play to Kieran Burke in his valiant effort to muster transport and support for this vital game.

BITS AND PIECES

On the subject of buses, those who travelled from Cork maintained that they’d have had 400 extra in the City Calling Stadium if the game had been on our usual Saturday. That’s €4,000 lost. Top marks to Kanes Travel who supplied free buses to and from the game. Fair play too to our other generous sponsors Girasole Pizza and Pasta, Edgeworthstown, Andy Byrnes Pub and of course the Longford Arms Hotel. Great to see all of the Kanes staff at the game too; they were saying Bon Voyage to Rose Kane who was leaving her job to take up a position with the UN in South Sudan. It was nice to see two of our former managers at the game Tony Cousins and Alan Mathews. Donald Keogh though was unfortunately absent due to airline difficulties.

Former player “the Flying Schoolmaster” Paschal Quinn RIP was rightly honoured with a minute’s silence; he’d have been chuffed that the occasion was broadcast nationwide. Seamus Murray was able to avail of the facilities to get an excellent aerial photo of the carpet like pitch; the Height for Hire cherry picker was used. James Donnelly our media manager, was able to rub shoulders with the top RTE media folk and by all accounts, they were mightily impressed with his expertise and passion. The scoreboard wasn’t ready for the night but it’s only a matter of a short time now.

We had 1,181 at the game on Friday. When you consider the population of the town is 10,000, that’s a terrific turnout on a working night. In proportion, that would translate to 20,000 in Cork. Not bad.

FRIENDLY U19 INTERNATIONAL

Sunday saw the stars of the future from Wales and Ireland strut their stuff in an U19 Friendly. Ireland had enough chances to win two games but it was Wales who actually won the game by a single goal to nil. Apart from the score, it was a pity that there weren’t more people present to see tomorrow’s talent on show. One player to catch the eye was Ryan Johansson. Ryan came on as a second half sub and immediately made a huge impression. Although only 17, his future looks bright already. He was born in Luxembourg, his father is Swedish and his mother is from up the road in Mullingar – her name is Christine McCarthy. Although he has featured at underage level for Sweden, his mammy must have influenced him to don the green jersey. He’s now a senior player with Bayern Munich and while on their US tour earlier, he featured against Juventus and Man City. He has also played against PSG. No wonder he’s being called a teenage sensation. And there he was strutting his stuff on a Sunday afternoon out the Strokestown Road. Remember where you saw him first. By the way, in the second of the games, Ireland defeated Wales 2-0 in Galway.

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MORE INTERNATIONALS?

Earlier on in the season, we had a University International game when we hosted Ireland and France at the City Calling Stadium. Then on Sunday we went a step further up the ladder with the friendly. Seemingly all our visiting guests were impressed with our set up which can only be good for the future. Already, there’s word of more than one international qualifying game to be played in Longford. Now surely that’s a massive success for all involved with the club.


LTFC Supporters’ Club Notes (02-09-2018)

Sun Sep 2nd 2018

WHAT A NIGHT!

There have been several memorable nights in the City Calling Stadium and last Saturday night was surely one of the best. We faced Cabinteely in a must win encounter. For sure, the stakes were high and so too was the tension. The weather was perfect, there was a large appreciative crowd and we were served up with a game to savour.

The final 4-1 scoreline will never reflect a game that had more than its fair share of drama and unbelievable skill. With goals in the first half from Karl Chambers and Dylan Mc Glade, it looked like we’d kick on in the remaining half. Despite having a barrow load of chances, we just couldn’t net goal number three . And any thoughts of the visitors lying down were soon dispelled as they started to control the game as they searched with intent of a goal of their own. When they did finally score, Cabinteely continued to pile on the pressure. That in turn piled on the pressure on the supporters’ thumping hearts. When we saw our net bulge for a second time, hearts sank only to be refloated straight away when it was flagged for an offside. And yet, the visitors pressed and pressed as the large crowd edged ever closer to their seat’s edge.

The four minutes of added time seemed to be a travesty of justice. Would we hold out? Could we get to fourth place in the table? Cabinteely, it seemed were determined to rain on any party plans.

But then up stepped our wing wizard Dylan McGlade, Messi of the Midlands, a born again George Best. You’ll have to check out his mesmerising two goal blitz on the club’s social media to appreciate the genius of those wonder goals. They defied words, but he waltzed past defenders, leaving some on the backside as he found the net twice in a matter of seconds.

The stand was already noisy but it erupted into sheer ecstasy with the scoring drama as it unfolded in front of disbelieving eyes. Long after the final whistle had sounded, there were small groups standing round trying to make sense of what they had just witnessed. Was it wizardry or magic or had we witnessed a sporting miracle? Still not sure but it was pure football poetry in glorious colour and all in our own City Calling Stadium. What a fabulous night!

CORK CITY ON FRIDAY NIGHT

Whatever you do, remember it’s a Friday night kick off this week. The powers that be changed our usual night from Saturday for our Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup clash with the current holders, Cork City.

The crowds attending home games have been growing steadily and we expect a bumper crowd clicking through the turnstiles on Friday. Already, there’s talk from the southern capital of a fleet of buses heading to the Midlands. It promises to be a night of live football to be remembered. RTÉ2 are broadcasting the game live but it’d be a shame to sit in front of a TV set when you can experience all the thrills and spills as they unfold in front of you. For our previous Cup game, the staff of Coral Leisure attended the game together and thoroughly enjoyed every second. It’s not every day that Longford features for about 2 hours live on national TV, so we’re hoping that the council and Chamber of Commerce will all row in and support a local sporting event.

Because the game is on Friday evening, the Strokestown Road, will be busier than usual, so please do arrive early. By arriving early, you’ll avoid a long walk and having to stand in line at the turnstiles. Remember, the Clubhouse will be open before the game serving teas, coffees, sandwiches and snacks. And it’s worth remembering that we have the best value of any club in the land.

Cork City suffered a surprise home defeat to Sligo Rovers in the league last week and their manager John Caulfield came in for a lot of local criticism. He’ll be out to reverse that sentiment on Friday night but will also be aware a potential banana skin awaits him.

What we really need is a massive crowd from all over the county to come out and support Longford Town as we aim to reach the semi-final.

PLAYER OF THE MONTH / AUGUST

Before kick off against Cabinteely, three young supporters Harry Fenn, Corey Maher and Joshua Byrne presented the player of the month award for August to Dylan McGlade. As far as can be remembered, this was the first occasion that any player has won the coveted award twice in the same season. It has been a remarkable spell for Dylan who was making headlines for his footballing wizardry and his cheeky Michael D tweets. But the Presidential tweets had no bearing on this award, it was purely for his magnificent contribution during August. Long may it continue.

NOT A CENT

It seems hard to believe but it’s true. The FAI changed our game against Cork City from Saturday to Friday and never even considered giving us a cent of compensation. Remember, all players work full time jobs. They’re not fully professional players like our Cup opponents. So to make the game on Friday night, they must take time off. And as if that’s not bad enough, how much do you think the club receives from RTE for broadcasting the match ? Not a cent. Our facilities will be used, our players will provide almost 2 hours of entertainment for the viewers and we’ll receive nothing, not a cent. Because a bigger crowd than usual is anticipated, we’ll have to have extra stewards, toilets, facilities etc etc. In short this high profile match could end up costing us money. Now in plain language, that’s mad.

RESPECT

It was lovely to hear the minute’s round of applause on the 19th minute during the Cabinteely match. The applause was asked for by Bohemian FC in memory of their young supporter, Oran Tully who passed away last week. It was a fitting tribute and very pleasing to see and hear the respect afforded him. May he rest in peace.

FRIENDLY INTERNATIONAL ON SUNDAY

Sunday next sees the City Calling Stadium host an U19 International Friendly when the Republic of Ireland take on Wales. Kick off is 3.00pm and it’s a fantastic opportunity to see the talent of tomorrow strut their stuff at our local venue. It’s also a nice feather in the collective hat of all the hard working volunteer crew who, week in, week out, work tirelessly to have our City Calling Stadium looking so good. We’ve always said that we have a top class venue so now it’s pleasing to see that acknowledged by the powers that be in the FAI.

SOCIAL MEDIA GROWTH

Recently all our social media sites have been growing apace. The video highlights of the games have been particularly popular and it was interesting to see someone in RTE share the highlights from our 4-1 win against Cabinteely. Even the lesser Supporters’ Club Facebook site is faring well, having clocked up over 10,000 views in the last 28 days. Keep on clicking and liking.

PASCHAL QUINN RIP

It was with great sadness that we heard of the passing of our local legend Paschal Quinn.

Paschal was a former great player and was current Vice President of the Club. A man of deep learning, knowledge and intelligence he was a former principal teacher in Melview NS. In his later life, with his son and friends he attended as many matches as possible, casting a cold eye on proceedings from behind the goals at the car park end. He loved poetry and Yeats was known to be his absolute favourite. Many time and oft’, he penned some excellent verses himself. His wit was legendary and his stories were much loved when he held court in Clarkes of Dublin Street.

He was a gentle man and a gentleman. And as one acquaintance put it, “it wasn’t for nothing that he was known as The Master”.

We extend our sincere sympathy to Paschal’s family at this sad time.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.


Supporters’ Club Notes (26/08/2018)

Sun Aug 26th 2018

EXCELLENT WIN

It was a grand evening for football and a right good crowd was in the City Calling Stadium on Saturday to witness De Town progress to the next round of the FAI Cup. With so many old familiar faces  back in the crowd, it was like the old times again. The best part of the night was the determined spirit with which the team played. Shels, on numerous occasions tried to play the ball out of defence but were harried non stop. It was an excellent team display from start to finish. With Mick Kelly outstanding once again between the sticks, each Town player in front of him played their part in the uplifting 2-0 win. It looked like  we’d go in on level terms but when Dylan Mc Glade fired home an added time penalty (we don’t get too many), there was a sense that justice was done.

We expected the visitors to emerge with all guns blazing and hoped that a certain former player wouldn’t find the back of our net. But it was the hosts who upped the tempo and took complete control of the game. Daniel O’Reilly smashed home a real cracker to soothe whatever nerves there may have been.

Some visiting supporters said they were happy to be out of the cup so that they could concentrate on promotion. Fake news. They beat us 6-1 in our last game and genuinely expected to beat us, if not by that same margin. If we can maintain the present momentum, we’d be a match for any premier side in the next round.

“Stand up if you’re Longford Town” rang out from the stands in the final minutes. Hopefully, that chant will become  familiar again- just like the old days.

CABINTEELY AT HOME

We have yet another vital game at home this Saturday. Cabinteely are our visitors, with kick off on Saturday September 1st at 7.30. While they may be 12 points between us, that’ll matter for nothing come kick off time. They’ve proved to be tricky opponents before but hopefully we’ll pull a few tricks out of the bag ourselves to keep the pressure on Drogheda. This Friday night, the Drogs face league leaders UCD at home . Hopefully the students can do us a favour up there.

But what we really, really need is a huge and vocal home support on Saturday night. We can only concentrate on our own games and get as many as possible out to support the effort. See you there, on Saturday night.

A BIT OF COVERAGE

You could be forgiven to believe that the FAI Cup is a state secret with its lack of decent coverage in the national media, particularly on our national broadcaster. Thankfully there are a number of social media platforms which are doing a pretty good job. Following our Saturday night win, the dedicated sports forum The 42 had a very good and detailed account of the win. They also included 3 top class photos from the INPHO agency. Contrast that to the 7 seconds on RTE Radio sport.

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