Apart from the annoying midges, Saturday night last was a perfect night for football. With a 7.45pm kick off, instead of our usual 7.30pm almost everyone was in the City Calling Stadium on time for a change. Despite there being nothing much at stake, the players gave it their all. It ended with a 1-0 win, courtesy of a Sully header, which left us in fifth place.
For a final game of the campaign though, it had an excellent atmosphere no doubt aided by the born again Section O and a group of new comers to the City Calling Stadium as well as a growing youth attendance. Just like the previous week in Waterford, local lad Aodh Dervin put in an outstanding performance who somehow managed to cover every blade of grass. It was a good night too for young Nenagh based keeper Jack Brady who brought off yet another flying save from a free kick.
As usual, we thought we deserved a few more goals but at least we left the 2017 stage with a victory and if the Republic could manage the same against Wales on Monday night, we'd all be happy – irrespective of the midges.
Fair play to our over worked chairperson Avril Gilchriest and Carmel Daly who worked together to make a very special night for about 20 residents of the Direct Provision Hostel, Richmond Street. A bus was provided to bring the lads to and from the game. From the moment of alighting the bus, they helped create a terrific upbeat atmosphere in the City Calling Stadium. It certainly didn't take them too long to learn “C'mon De Town” as they continuously roared and cheered every positive move made by the men in red and black. Some Direct Provision people based in Mayo were on national radio complaining about lack of things to do, so it was heartening to see LTFC take the initiative to do something practical and worthwhile for them. Once again, it's encouraging to see De Town take a lead in local social issues.
Following the win over Wexford, it was straight back into town to the aptly floodlit Longford Arms Hotel for the end of season Awards Night. Although organised in a relatively short period of time, everything was in ship shape order. We had more awards than usual but Midland Trophies, Ballymahon rose to the occasion as per usual. It was obvious that a lot of work had gone into creating the red and black theme and even though, more than anticipated turned up, under the watchful eye of Orlagh Reynolds, everything went like clockwork. Tony Ghee was our competent MC for the occasion and no better man. Sincere thanks for all who made the night such a sweet success and to the speech makers for keeping their words short and sweet. Sweetness all round !
THE AWARD RECEIPIENTS
In the U17 section, Goal of the Season was won by Evan O'Connor, Players' Player of the Season was Patrick O'Sullivan while Player of the Season was Dragos Mamaliga.
Goal of the Season in the U19 section was Josh Madigan while Daniel O'Donovan won the Player of the Season.
In the senior section, Player of the Month for September was Dean Zambra while Young Player of the Season was Tristan Noack-Hofmann. There was a specially commissioned trophy for our triple hat trick scorer Davy O'Sullivan and another special edition for retiree player Noel Haverty. Goal of the season was won by Peter Hopkins with Player of the Season being awarded to Daniel O'Reilly.
Photos of all the winners are on our Club and Supporters' Club Facebook pages and on LTFC.ie
Sincere congratulations to all the award winners. All the trophies were provided by the Supporters' Club.
The season may be over but the Supporters' Club doesn't take any break. We have our bank holiday Car Boot Sale fast approaching. It's the final one of the season but as usual, we could do with a few more volunteers. There are strong rumours circulating that we'll be hosting two under age Internationals next month, so we'll be on duty for them too. And then we always strive to have some fundraising towards the end of December (it's too early to mention the actual time yet!)
It's been a long, topsy turvy season. We started optimistically but quickly floundered, however we did manage to steady things and finished off the season with a renewed sense of optimism. It was encouraging to see (and hear) Section O rise from the ashes as well as to see many youth teams occupy the half time slot and double jobbing as effective ball boys and girls. Overall we have a terrific amount of youngsters now attending games on a regular basis which is great to see.
The Clubhouse experienced a very successful season and at this stage, it's hard to believe that it wasn't always there. Special mention must go to our industrious Clubhouse manager, Brendan Finnegan who does extra duty for the underage games as well as all the senior ones. This extra duty has made a significant addition to our finances.
The Supporters' Club continue to do its best to support the Club but we certainly could do with a few more signings for next season.
Nothing happens by magic so please feel free to join the magicians who make it happen.