There's a real stretch in the evenings, the daffodils are starting to peep and there's the faintest hint that the winter is behind us. All of this means different things to different people but to readers of these notes, it just means one thing....the 2014 season is about to kick off, the long wait is almost over.
This Friday night we head west to Galway to face the challenge of Galway FC, a new club replacing Mervue and Salthill Devon with the game being played in the stadium once used by Galway Utd. Galway have massive ambitions and expect to be promoted in this, their first season. They've had a most impressive pre season and according to Longfordians based in the city of the tribes, there's a real buzz over there about their opening night.
But the westerners won't have it all their own way. Tony Cousins has been extremely busy during the winter and has made some really exciting additions to the squad as well as holding on to most of our best from last season.
Friday night's game is massive for both clubs despite it being just the first.
Section O have been brilliant during the winter and certainly no time was spent in hibernation. Towards the end of last season, they really proved to be the 12th man and hopefully, like the team itself, they can push on and improve even further. The tweeting, Facebook and web page are top class and they've certainly “kept her lit “ during the dark, dull boring winter nights.
We all know it's going to be a long season and it's going to be as tough as it is long. The standard this season is going to be sky high and with high spending, well supported city teams like Shelbourne, Shamrock Rovers B, Waterford and Galway the likes of ourselves, Finn Harps, Wexford Youths and Cobh will have our work cut out.
It's a recurring shame that our division is so sadly neglected by the national media but it's their loss. Hopefully many of those thousands who came out to City Calling Stadium as the season came to a dramatic close last season, will be sitting on the edge of their seats again shortly for our forst home game. Let the games begin....C'mon De Town.
A SPECIAL VISITOR
The President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins will a very special guest at the game against Galway on this Friday night. It will be an historic night on many fronts, Galway FC's first game and the first time a President of the country will attend a First Division game. Michael D. has already attended many international socer games and has been present at a fair few games in the Perier Division and of course was at Richmond Park on Sunday last for the President's Cup.
Last season, we invited the President to a game against western opposition at City Calling Stadium but he was unable to attend. So Friday night is a sort of compromise...he'll see De Town but in his native Galway. Before he was elected to be Ireland's first citizen, Michael D Higgins was of course president of Galway Utd.
Longford Town Supporters' Club hope to mark Friday night's historic occasion by presenting the President with a LTFC club tie.
As mentioned above, last season we invited Michael D Higgins to the CCS. This season might see Roy Keane out the Strokestown Road if accepts an invite when we entertain Cobh at home. Keano played many moons ago at Abbeycartron and shortly after that game left these shores to play with Forest. One wonders if Longford Auld Fellas has any photos from that game ! With Martin O'Neill promising that the international senior management would be visiting grounds in the domestic league, why not us.
BUS TO GALWAY
Section O are organising a bus to the game in Galway and as soon as they announced it, seats were being quickly snapped up. If you're interested give Kieran a call at once on 083 1670304. Don't ring Liam, he has already booked his seat with Section O !
This coming Saturday sees yet another birthday for one of our most informed and dedicated supporters, Robert Farrell. Like all of us supporting De Town has kept him feeling young at heart despite many heart stopping moments. Happy Birthday Robert.
CAR BOOT SALE
St Patrick's Day is just round the corner which means shamrock to some, parades to others but for a growing amount of people it means our first Car Boot Sale of the season. For a number of years now, our Car Boot Sales have been increasing in popularity with people travelling from all four corners of the land for the bargains. We have probably the best set up in the land and this is reflected in the growing demand for stall spaces. If you haven't attended one yet, St Patrick's Day is your chance. From 10am -3pm the car park at City Calling Stadium will be rocking but do come early to bag the best bargains.
The Supporters' Club would like to offer its sincere condolences to Johnny Nevin , Club Treasurer, and all the family on the recent , sad death of his mother. May she rest in peace.