Supporters Club Notes

Supporters’ Club Notes (14/08/2017)

Mon Aug 14th 2017

MAGNIFICENT CUP WIN

The 4-2 winning scoreline could never sum up a truly memorable and magnificent win over a fully professional Sligo Rovers outfit. This was a night of high drama, passion, total commitment, fantastic skill, a David v Goliath tie where David emerges victorious against all the odds.

Sligo travelled with high expectations of exorcising the ghost of 1969 when then too, an unfancied Town side rocked Sligo. The crowds were not as great as ’69 but back we only knew of one sky and that was of the natural kind. Neither TV nor Sky was a threat to real football back in those days.

Three bus loads of travelling support were expected but never materialised. They’re seemingly having their own problems up the N4. But the Rovers fans who did travel were rocked by an early Karl Chambers goal and even when the visitors did manage to recover and sneak ahead 2-1, It was a team that never played with any real confidence. This was mirrored by their strangely subdued following.

We had gone ahead against Shels and they came back to defeat us 3-1 but Saturday night was totally different. Section O had risen from the ashes and were making themselves heard. The stand crowd was nosier than ever and on the field, each and every player was playing his heart out. We were more direct and showed a hunger that un nerved the highly paid visitors. Jack Brady was outstanding in goals and pulled off a series of top drawer saves. But even if Peter Hopkins got the Man of the Match award, every player who graced the pitch on Saturday night did so with distinction.

With just minutes remaining, Sam Verdon, scored a fabulous equaliser which sent the already vocal home crowd wild with delirium. Most thought an away replay was on the cards but like Finn Harps v Bohs the previous night, we were treated to extra time. It was exactly right for us since we had the momentum, the hunger, passion and belief boiling through the veins. The optimism was duly rewarded with two more superbly taken goals by Peter Hopkins and Kealan Dillon.

This time the visiting supporters didn’t burn their flags after the game, most had already left in disgust. But this was more about us than them.

We’ve waiting a long, long time for an uplifting victory and on Saturday night we thoroughly enjoyed it. Even most Sligo Rovers fans acknowledged our superiority and wished us well. These past two seasons have been dull and grey but Saturday night blazed bright in amazingly bright technicolour. The stand rocked, Section O rocked again and that infectious feeling seeped down the players and the entire squad. As the game drew to a close, the entire bench was bursting at the seams waiting to erupt in a crescendo of unbridled joy. If the players themselves are still smiling, they’re entitled to. Remember we had come off a string of defeats, we’re third from bottom in the lower division and yet we managed to outplay a team which seemingly costs a million euro a year.

For us, the night was priceless and with no apologies for being OTT.

You can find Tiernan Dolan’s photos from the night on our Facebook page.

ATHLONE AT HOME

On this Saturday night we welcome Athlone Town to the City Calling Stadium with a 7.30pm kick off time. Athlone arrive after their heart warming 5-0 Cup victory and like ourselves will be quietly delighted with themselves. We can’t be over confident or cocky but if we can reproduce last Saturday night’s passion and skill, then we should do well. It’s always a big IF.

Our support base continues to improve and it was great seeing many supporters make the return trip last Saturday. John Moloney, Dr Mel Gorman and Alan Kirby were just some of those we welcomed back to the fold. But we’d dearly love to see many, many more more experience the unique atmosphere of real players, playing with real passion and under a real sky.

NOEL AND ZARA

Young Zara Finnegan Eddiouani, one of our youngest Supporters’ Club members was on hand to present Noel Haverty with his merited trophy for being the July Player of the Month. Zara handed over the trophy before kick off in the Cup game but before doing so, made sure to tell Noel that he was her and her Granny’s favourite Town player. It was a special moment for both Zara and Noel. Any wonder then, that she quipped afterwards that “it’s much better than watching stuff on the telly”.

THANKS AGAIN

On Saturday night, we had a significant number of old reliables away on holidays or otherwise unavoidably occupied. It was the same for the car boot sale. However and somehow, volunteers came forward to help out and made a huge difference. It turned out that we were able to cope in all sections. A sincere thanks to all who helped out and please do feel free to volunteer again.

TOP PROGRAMME

Fair play to James Donnelly and Marty Stapleton for producing an excellent cup match programme. The only problem was that it sold out very quickly which, in turn, ensures that in time it’ll become a valuable collectors’ item. So don’t dare throw it away. It was also great seeing Padraig Stapleton back home from London for the game. Though based in Brexit land, Padraig updates and uploads a huge amount of material to our social media platforms which are increasingly important for the club. Between the two lads, we’re getting a reputation of being one of the most and best clicked clubs in the country. Thanks again, lads.

Supporters’ Club Notes (06/08/17)

Sun Aug 6th 2017

SUNK IN COBH

Despite two losses in our previous two games, expectations were reasonably high for the merry bunch of hardcore supporters who made the long, long trip to Cobh on Saturday last. Cobh needed a win to keep in touch with Waterford who had dropped points the previous night. For De Town, Jack Brady started in goals with Dean Zambra taking the captain’s armband and Alan Keogh making his debut. Davy O’Sullivan was on the bench after a long injury enforced absence. Despite plenty of possession, it was the hosts who broke the deadlock with a cracking free kick from 17 year old Cian Leonard just before the 30 minute mark.

We once again dominated possession in the second half and forced 8 corners but, sadly, no real attempt on goal. Cobh were relying on the counter attack and sure enough it worked for them as they secured their precious three points with their second goal from Murphy.

The facts speak loudest. We were the only team in the first division last weekend not to score or to get a point. The result leaves us in 6th or third from bottom. The only way is up.

ROVERS RETURN

This Saturday night, August 12th we welcome Premier side Sligo Rovers to the City Calling Stadium for the First Round of the Daily Mail FAI Cup. The game will be a welcome change for both clubs who are currently struggling with their respective league form. Sligo Rovers are second from bottom and along with Galway and Drogheda rest uncomfortably in the relegation zone. Should all three join us, it will lessen the countrywide appeal of domestic soccer in Ireland. But that’s for an other day.

Manager Neale Fenn is appealing to the people of Longford town and county to come out in numbers to support our own and hopefully there will be a right good crowd getting behind the team from the kick off. Certainly Sligo will be bringing a large and vocal support as they view this game as an easy way to get back to winning ways and instil some lost confidence.

Older supporters will remember our famous Cup victory when we defeated a highly rated Sligo Rovers 2-0 at the Greyhound Stadium back in 1969. The only bit o’red seen then were the flames as irate Sligo fans burned their flags in disgust at being beaten by lowly Longford.

But of course we look on this 2017 fixture as a way to getting back to winning ways also. We know we’re playing some decent football and have some skilful, hard working players and despite our lowly position we certainly can cause an upset. One young female supporter came up with what she calls her winning game plan for Neale Fenn “put Cowan in centre forward, he’s bound to win a penalty and then when we score, just park the bus. Simple. Bring in on!”

If only it was that simple. Of course we’d love a win but we’d also love to see a massive local crowd turn up to support sport locally. So, if you haven’t been to the City Calling Stadium for a while, make this this your return visit. You’re guaranteed all the romance of the Cup in terrific surroundings. Sure what else would you be doing on a Saturday night.

JOHNNY REMEMBERS

Johnny Nevin has penned an evocative piece for the Cup match programme. In other words, pick up the programme as soon as you enter the grounds because they’re sure to be collectors’ items in the very near future. Ask Marty. Johnny Nevin is someone associated with Longford Town FC for longer than most can remember. But his first ever game was that famous Cup win over Sligo Rovers . Because of the hype leading up to that game, Johnny and a gang of his friends decided that the entrance fee was too high. So they hatched a plan to gain free entrance with an undercover approach from the canal. Despite their military style planning (gleaned from war comics), the boys’ efforts were spotted which resulted in a wild dash back along the canal to try to get in the legitimate way before kick off. Johnny made it and has hardly missed a game since that first one almost 40 years ago.

SPECIAL THANKS

In a week when almost 100,000 Irish soccer fans paid to watch Manchester and Liverpool play friendly matches at the Aviva and Jose Mourinho was quoted as saying “220 million for Neymar is not expensive”, some Longford Town supporters were standing for hours on the streets of Longford town begging for loose change. Last weekend was the annual street collection for De Town and despite the ever generous support, we probably couldn’t afford to buy boot laces for Neymar. But we’ll soldier on regardless and continue to support sport locally. A real genuine and special thank you to all the people who gave up their valuable free time on a bank holiday weekend and a huge and sincere thank you to all those who contributed in whatever way. Also a big thank you to the crew who were bright and early for the bank holiday Car Boot Sale (these notes are written prior to that event). Again, a huge thank you – you know who you are.

CLUBHOUSE VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

With almost all of the regular Clubhouse volunteer staff unavailable for this Saturday’s night game, we urgently need some extra hands. Otherwise we’ll be swamped under a mountain of tea pots and biscuit bars. If you can help out at half time, please give Brendan Finnegan a call on 087 9949995. The pay is zero but you’ll be rewarded in sporting heaven.

PLAYER OF THE MONTH

Congratulations to Noel Haverty on being the Supporters’ Club Player of the Month for July. Noel will be presented with his well merited trophy by Zara Finnegan Eddiouani before the game on Saturday night.

CONDOLENCES

The Supporters’ Club would like to extend its sincere sympathy to Mary Mc Kenna and family on the untimely death of her husband Stephen last week. We would also like to extend our condolences to the Civil Defence team, of which Stephen was a valued member. The genial giant was often on duty with the Civil Defence team at the City Calling Stadium and he’ll be greatly missed. May he rest in peace.


Supporters’ Club Notes (31/07/2017)

Mon Jul 31st 2017

ROUGH JUSTICE

A perfect rainbow arched beautifully above the City Calling Stadium on Saturday night last but there was no crock of gold at the end for De Town. Although expectations were high before the game as a very good crowd made its way into the stadium, Lady Luck deserted us very quickly. Our influential captain Kevin O’Connor injured himself in the warm up, which wasn’t the best of omens. However, after just ten minutes the ever improving Tristan Noack-Hofmann put us one up with a powerful header and most supporters expected us to push on for a comfortable win. It was Tristan’s second goal in two games. But the direct opposite was to unfold. First the hard working Noel Haverty had to leave the field injured and then following some sloppy play, Shels found an equaliser.

The second half got worse when Daniel O’Reilly received his marching orders (only our second but the second in two games). But as the game progressed, Shels’ robustness went unchecked as they bullied their way to an unpredicted 3-1 win.

We played some lovely flowing football at times, with Sam Verdon getting in some sublime passing. However, hearts are still in the mouth with some of our passing in the danger zones. It was great to see an increase in attendance which is also boosting the recent 50/50 draw. Congrats to Ursula on her fabulous pic of the perfect rainbow. The crock of gold remains elusive, alas.

COBH AWAY

On this Saturday night we make the long trip south to play Cobh Ramblers at St Colman’s Park which has a 7.15pm kick off time. Cobh have been doing very nicely again this season yet will probably finish runners up again. The new FAI system certainly is helping affairs in the First Division either for Cobh or the bunch behind them. It has also sent relegation tremors rippling through the ranks of Sligo and Galway. Cobh, I suppose like Finn Harps, are currently punching way above their station and are making great progress on all fronts. Last week end Cobh U19s beat a highly rated Cork City outfit. So whatever else, the Cobh lads won’t be lacking for confidence on Saturday night but then again, pride always comes before a fall. Safe travelling to all those heading south.

CAR BOOT SALE

This August Bank Holiday Monday, August 7th, sees our final Car Boot Sale of the summer season at the City Calling Stadium car park. So far again this year, they have proved to be a fantastic success and the finances gained have helped the club in a host of different ways. People now travel from the four corners of Ireland to be in attendance and the earlier you’re there, the better. Although, unconfirmed at the time of writing, there may be a huge volume of traffic on the road as Mayo and Roscommon fans head to Dublin for a replay match. So if that is the case, please do take extra care on the road to the Car Boot Sale and especially if you have to cross the road. The car boot sale starts very early and concludes at 3pm. By buying, selling or simply attending, you’re helping to support sport locally.

CUP GAME V SLIGO

Although, unconfirmed at the time of writing, it looks like we’ll be playing Sligo Rovers on Saturday week in the FAI Cup with a 7.30pm kick off time. At the moment, Sligo Rovers are fighting for their lives in the top flight and one wonders how they’ll view this Cup tie. They had a great crowd for the visit of Dundalk last week and if they can over come St Pat’s in their clash, then tails will be high. But the Cup has its own special tales and this upcoming N4 Cup tie is set to be a mouth watering prospect.

PLAYER OF THE MONTH

The Player of the Month recipient is Noel Haverty. Once again, there were a number of worthy contenders but few can argue with Noel’s work rate, skill and passion which have plain for all to see (and admire). The presentation will be made before the next home game by a member of the Supporters’ Club. That draw is set to take place later today and we’ll let you know next week who the lucky person is.

YOUNG HUMANS

Dan Beya, U19 player and senior squad member, was featured over the week end on the Facebook page ‘Humans of Longford’ and it certainly made for interesting reading. The popular young lad has come a long way in every sense of the word since being born in the Congo. His ambition besides being a forensic scientist is to play for Ireland. And why not. His post certainly was popular all over Longford and indeed the world with over 21,000 views in two days and over 460 likes.

Other young humans excelling, were the young players from Gaels United and their visitors CCS Dunshaughlin who provided efficient ball boys and also provided the half time entertainment. Full credit to our own players who helped them out and to Caroline Maher, Jimmy Dermody and of course Avril Gilchriest, all of whom have put in a massive effort.

MEDIA EXPANSION

Our social media platforms are expanding at a heady pace. While the website and Facebook page are well established, our Twitter account is also now extremely popular. More recently the Supporters’ Club has set up its won Facebook page and continues to grow and expand. But our most recent foray into social media is Longford Town FC TV on YouTube which has some recent highlights. In the near future, some older footage will be uploaded for those who like a bit of history and reliving some magical past moments. It’s great to see another young lad, James Donnelly as match programme editor. The last front cover was a particular gem.


Supporters’ Club Notes (24/07/17)

Mon Jul 24th 2017

GOOD AWAY WIN

Wexford is never an easy place to get a result but we came away with all three valuable points.

The hosts started brightly enough on a dark evening with Sam Verdon making his debut for De Town. With the visitors playing a high square defensive line, Town netminder Paul Skinner was forced into some hair raising excursions to claim through balls, one from the feet of Wexford’s Dobbs. Skinner was forced into some last ditch kicked clearances too, the last of which spiralled away for a corner and he showed real calm when chesting an overhit backpass for another.

Don Cowan was his usual speedy self though he managed to stray offside three times, including once when the ball ended up in the Wexford net. But a sizzling right hand cross out foxed the home keeper with new boy Verdon steaming in to register a brave header as he collided with the far post. Scoring on your debut was a lovely feeling for both player and elated manager. With just five minutes into the second half  Jake Kelly fired in a precision corner form the right. The ball was cleared but only as far as Tristan who fired it to the back of the net from the edge of the box. Most thought that would wrap up the drama but a  couple of more incidents were to follow. Skinner was beaten by a long range shot to make things just a touch nervy. But the most peculiar incident was when a Wexford sub  brought down Kealan Dillon with a rash tackle and, which resulted in him landing on top of the hapless Dillon. Dillon naturally pushed the offending player off him as they both lay sprawled on the pitch. After awarding a free to De Town, the ref then flashed a red card at poor Kealan.

But, in reality the visitors were much superior at this stage  and weren’t tested despite despite their numerical inferiority. In summary on a dark summery night, we could and maybe should have won by more but the  three points were all that mattered.

SHELS AT HOME

This Saturday night we welcome Shelbourne to the City Calling Stadium with the usual 7.30pm kick off. Shels were surprisingly beaten by Wexford two weeks ago and again last week by Cabinteely with an added time goal. So, we can expect a bit of fight back from Shels. At the moment we sit in fourth place  on 28 points ahead of Cabinteely on goal difference but with Shels just one behind on 26 points. So a win for our visitors would allow them to leapfrog us. However, we’re playing with a different brand of football under Neale Fenn and confidence seems to be on the rise, so with  home advantage and good local support,  hopefully we can maintain our winning ways.

CONDOLENCES

The Supporters’ Club would like to extend its sincere sympathy to Cody Mulhall on the recent and sudden death of his father, Cathal Mulhall. We also extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Damola Adetosoye on his recent tragic death at such a young age. Damola played many times at the City Calling Stadium and was a very promising and gifted young talent. May they both rest in peace.

DRONE FOOTAGE

Anyone who has viewed the recent drone footage of the City Calling Stadium on our website has to have been impressed. Judging by the amount of likes and shares, that is certainly the case. An other thing that strikes home about the marvellous footage is the quality of our facilities. What other club , rural or urban have all seater stadium with a superb car park along an national roadway. Hopefully those in charge of international youth affairs in the FAI will throw their eye on the drone footage and award us some sort of international underage game. As they say nowadays, it’s a no brainer. Well done to Eoin Comerford on his camera skills ; greatly appreciated.

CAR BOOT SALE

With time ticking on, we’re now well into the last week  of July. For some that means holidays in sunnier climes for others it means that the August car boot sale is drawing ever nearer. For this August bank holiday car boot sale, we really do need more volunteers as some of the reliable  volunteers    will be on  well deserved breaks. Give Liam Healion a shout if you can help in any way. Monday August 7th is the date for the Car Boot Sale which also sees a full moon thrown in for free.

50/50 LOTTO

Andy Dardis was over the moon with the first draw of the new 50/50 Lotto. Eoin Fagan, Ballinalee was the first winner and a delighted Eoin picked up a cheque for €600 at half time during the game against Waterford. It’s much simpler to play and half of the earnings go straight to the one winner. So the more people who play the lotto, the bigger the prize. Simple. And so far so good. Well done to Andy and all his promoters and sellers. The second draw was won by  James McGuinness, who picks up a cheque for a very handy €600….winners alright !

CONGRATS

Best wishes to Sinead Keegan, our merchandise manager , on her recent birthday bash. Seemingly the celebrations went well on into the night and only selected photos were allowed to be  published. Club legend Donald Keogh was also celebrating a birthday recently as was one of the league’s top groundsman, our own Seamus Murray. But not too many go to South America to blow out the candles, something our former chairperson Kevin Carberry will be doing this week.

Well done to out two underage teams who had excellent results again this past week end and to Aodh Dervan who was involved with the Irish U19s at Abbotstown  last week.

Congrats too to the Academy organisers who are attracting huge crowds to the City Calling Stadium. For sure, the future of De Town looks secure.

MISSING NOTES

The notes were written and sent out last week but seemingly ended up floating around in cyber space or somewhere in the distant ether. There were no official complaints and no one seemed  to notice. But in the unlikely event that you were concerned for the note writer’s well being, there’s not a loss on him. Just must have pressed the delete button instead of send.

SLIGO IN  THE  CUP

We’ve been drawn at home  against full-time side Sligo Rovers in the FAI Cup at a date to be decided. Sligo haven’t been flying as high as they’d like and judging by social media comments from the north west, this draw against us is about as good as it gets for an away fixture and a large travelling crowd is anticipated. For older members of both clubs, a certain cup tie played back in the 1960s will come to mind. The Bit O’Red were fielding a superb side against lowly Longford at a game played at the Park Road venue. The Sligo supporters travelled in their thousands and even had a special train for the occasion. They were expected to thrash De Town. But sport being sport and not an exact science, the locals were victorious  to the utter disgust of the large and boisterous Sligo following. One memory etched on this Town supporter’s mind was the sight of Sligo flags been burned by Sligo fans. Could history repeat itself? Be there to find out!

SSE Airtricity League First Division

0 - 0
Tolka Park

Shelbourne v Longford Town

1 - 3
City Calling Stadium

Longford Town v Cobh Ramblers

0 - 3
Athlone Town Stadium

Athlone Town v Longford Town

0 - 2
City Calling Stadium

Longford Town v Cabinteely

2 - 0
UCD Bowl

UCD v Longford Town

0 - 0
City Calling Stadium

Longford Town v Waterford

0 - 0
Ferrycarrig Park

Wexford FC v Longford Town

3 - 1
City Calling Stadium

Longford Town v Shelbourne

2 - 0
St. Colman's Park

Cobh Ramblers v Longford Town

3 - 1
City Calling Stadium

Longford Town v Athlone Town

0 - 0
Stradbrook

Cabinteely v Longford Town

0 - 1
City Calling Stadium

Longford Town v UCD

1 - 0
R.S.C.

Waterford v Longford Town

5 - 0
City Calling Stadium

Longford Town v Wexford FC

0 - 0
Tolka Park

Shelbourne v Longford Town

2 - 1
City Calling Stadium

Longford Town v Cobh Ramblers

2 - 2
Athlone Town Stadium

Athlone Town v Longford Town

1 - 0
City Calling Stadium

Longford Town v Cabinteely

0 - 0
UCD Bowl

UCD v Longford Town

0 - 1
City Calling Stadium

Longford Town v Waterford

1 - 2
Ferrycarrig Park

Wexford FC v Longford Town

1 - 3
City Calling Stadium

Longford Town v Shelbourne

2 - 0
St. Colman's Park

Cobh Ramblers v Longford Town

7 - 1
City Calling Stadium

Longford Town v Athlone Town

7:45 pm
Stradbrook

Cabinteely v Longford Town

7:30 pm
City Calling Stadium

Longford Town v UCD

7:45 pm
R.S.C.

Waterford v Longford Town

7:45 pm
City Calling Stadium

Longford Town v Wexford FC

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