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.
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.
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