This Friday night we face Waterford Utd away in the RSC at 7.45pm. The margin between the two teams couldn't be tighter with the Town on 50 points, whereas Waterford have just one less, on 49 points. So, you don't have to be a brilliant mathematician to work out how important this game will be. In the event of a play off involving both teams, whoever is tops will have the second round game at home. So it looks like this may not be our last trip to the distant south east.
The Blues kicked off their season with a pasting from near neighbours Wexford Youths, but have since come good. No matter how their season ends, they certainly can hold their heads high, having beaten Limerick every time. Indeed the last time they beat them in Limerick, the Limerick supporters booed their own team off the pitch. We've traditionally done well against Waterford but this encounter is going to be a real tough one. What we have in our favour is our excellent away form, where we remain unbeaten on the road all season . Hopefully we can at least hold that record, if not nick a win. After Waterford we're home twice, first to SD Galway and our final home game is against Limerick before we head to Donegal to face in form Finn Harps. But all of that is in the distant future, first up we must face and overcome the daunting challenge of Waterford in their own back yard. No one said, it'd be easy, but if it was, there'd be no craic...or heart tremors !
Some might prefer to drive down to Waterford but if we have enough takers by Wednesday night, the Supporters Club will be organising transport. Give Liam a call on 087 614 1926 to secure your seat.
The Friday trip to Waterford is probably our longest away trip. For some, it hasn't the sweetest of memories. If you can imagine spending the entire trip on a rickety small bar stool with no back to arrive home at 4am to collect your car where you had it parked at what was once the Fountain Blue. Then imagine looking at the sorry state of your car with all four wheels stolen and left on blocks. And worst of all, this is a true story. Be careful where you park your car this time round.
And of you are driving down, here are two different routes. According to the wizard that's AA Routeplanner, taking the traditional route of Portlaoise-Durrow-Kilkenny ( nd now the M9), the journey length is 138.8 miles which will cost €34.08 in petrol and take 3 hours 8 minutes. Then if you're young and love driving the new roads, you can head via the M4, turn left and travel via Clane,Sallins and Naas before taking the M8/9. That route is 155.3 miles and will set you back €38.13 in petrol and take 3 hours 18 minutes off your life. Either way, it's a long haul trip and with the soaring price of petrol, you'd best bring your picnic to cut down on costs!!
And with the daylight shortening, all of the above means, you'd be mad to drive, so get in touch with Liam Healion as soon as possible and enjoy the trip.
With the league drawing to a close, you'd think the powers that be would have next season already well mapped out. However such is not the case In fact there are all sorts of rumours doing the rounds as regards the set up for 2013. One is that there will be a play off to replace just the last placed Premier side, which results in a lopsided top division. Another says there will be only one league with just one team from Galway, which sounds sensible. And yet another story line suggests a First Division with only seven teams which, as well as being financial suicide, would be utter madness. Whatever the outcome, Mervue won't want to be traveling to Derry City in a hurry again following their 7-1 hammering up in the Cup up there. And mentioning the Cup, fair play to Alan Mathews whose side Shels had a great 2-1 win against Shamrock Rovers and now appears to be heading for yet another Cup Final.
Many Town supporters will feel some sympathy for Stephen Kenny who was recently sacked from his post as manager of Shamrock Rovers. Stephen of course was like a god when here in Longford and many golden oldies still whisper his names in hushed and revered tones. Stephen thought the powers that be out in Tallaght might leave me at the helm until the end of the season, but other clubs aren't as big hearted as we are.He's had a long and windy road in his career to date...Longford-Bohs-Derry-Scotland-Derry- Shamrock Rovers. Every other code seems to bring out a small library of books outlining the trails and tribulations of players and managers. There's a gap still in the domestic league and a memoir from the pen of Kenny aka god, would make for some very interesting reading.
And being on the subject of books, last year, there was the publication of Follow the Floodlights which was about all the the clubs in the domestic league and which gave us some terrific publicity.
Well though on a different subject, Red Legs is a recently published book which highlights the past exploits of Michael Greene, Edgeworthstown, Sean Dowler, Legan and Patrick Monahan, Longford. There are also many stories about Longford Town Supporters' Club member, Michael Tighe, Annaly Park. It's the story of growing in the 50s and 60s in Edgeworthstown and later UN service in the Congo. Red Legs was written by John Greene, London,whose father was from Edgeworthstown and it published by Scotforth Books. Next time you see Michael Tighe running round the Mall, you can ask him to explain his “Tiger” nickname.
Followers of Man Utd will have noticed that Reserves Football in 2012/2013 has been replaced by the new Barclay Under 21 Premier Lague. Manager Warren Joyce looks to keep the same philosophy despite the format change. In their glossy magazine he noted that their pre-season was a stern test. So take a bow lads, you really did put it up to the mighty Red Devils when they played us in the Friendly on that terribly wet night.
Every one in the Supporters' Club and in supporters' clubs all over the country would like to wish a very happy birthday to Martin/Marty Stapleton. Marty had yet another birthday on Tuesday 18th September. No doubt Section O had gallons of champagne on tap and may even have composed a new chant in honour of their esteemed and popular leader. Happy Birthday Marty, the living legend of LTFC.