WE ARE STAYING UP
Following our emphatic 0-3 away win against Drogheda Utd, our status in the top flight is assured for an other season. Early and late strikes by Gary Shaw as well as a very late Stephen Rice goal gave us all three points and 6th place in the table. Who would have ever predicted that we'd pick up seven points from a possible nine in the last three games and as well as that score seven goals, six of them away to Cork and Drogheda.
Amazing it was our third win against the Drogs this season and they must be sick of the sight of us. Very early on, we beat them on penalties in the EA Cup and then back in April we beat them 0-3, the same score line as on Friday night. They may have the best keeper in the league but that didn't seem to matter to De Town. Also on both occasions, due to a lack of discipline, they had a man red carded.
Full credit to the travelling support and K. S Burke, the booking manager, who never lost faith, to Fitzy our poster boy and to Pauro who kept the social media ticking over. All teams in all codes talk about the power of the supporters and certainly we were never found lacking at away venues.
Many people talk about the recent, long spell of good weather shortening the winter, well for the hard core followers of the red and black, the recent run of good results culminating with us sitting in 6th in the table, will certainly shorten the dark, long winter nights ahead. Yea, sing it out and sing it loud, We Are Staying Up....
FINAL HOME GAME V DERRY
This Friday night sees our final game of the season against Derry City, kick off 7.45 which will be the same for all matches. Hopefully we'll see a huge crowd turn out to the City Calling Stadium for what is a celebration of our remaining in the Premier Division. If we win or draw, we stay in 6th,otherwise our hosts will leap frog us. But no matter what happens, 7th is the worst case scenario.
No doubt, Section O will have some celebrations planned which should add to the atmosphere of celebration. We may have no silverware to parade but pride in what's a super achievement should be enough. Be there and enjoy the occasion.
CAR BOOT SALE
A huge and sincere thank you to all who helped at our October Bank Holiday car boot sale. This is our last one of the season and overall, they've been a massive success which have significantly helped the Club's finances.
Tony Cousins, his management team and the entire squad deserve the highest of praise for this incredible achievement of securing our place at the top table of Irish soccer. Despite being in the top flight nationally, soccer remains a minority sport in Longford. It's very easy to forget that we've been just promoted and were many people's choice for automatic relegation. We should also remember that our squad are only part timers working off a much lower budget than the other clubs. An other important point to remember is that of all clubs, we have to rely on support for the smallest population base. Every single other club is based in a city or large town. When all of those considerations are taken into account, what Tony and his team have achieved is truly super.
We can also boast of a fantastic team of dedicated volunteers who work tirelessly right throughout a long and sometimes torturous season. Long before kick off, the large volunteer team is hard at work. Every other week, the City Calling Stadium is in tip top condition, something which doesn't happen by magic. There's a small army of stewards, ticket sellers, programme makers and sellers, turn stile operators, there's the club shop and the Clubhouse staff, the medical teams and that's not all. Even on non match days, lotto tickets have to be sold, buses booked and sorted, then the car boot sales take an other small army of volunteers. And still there's a thousand other jobs that have to be done by some un-named and un-acknowledged volunteer.
Those not involved say it's only a game but it's more than just a game. It's pride and passion, it's a sense of place and part of what we are. And you know, De Town staying up has been a genuinely super achievement . This season has been acknowledged as being the toughest yet in which to survive. Last season, 25 points would have been sufficient for survival; not this season. If we sound proud, you're correct, we are proud, very proud. From the manager and players right down to the occasion volunteer helper, we've all player our part in keeping De Town in the top flight. And it's a great feeling. C'mon De Town.
AWARDS NIGHT AND CLUB SHOP
The clocks have gone back, we've only one game left and suddenly everyone is asking us about the Red and Black Ball and awards night as well as the Club shop. There has been no announcement yet from the club itself regarding these but hopefully we'll be hearing very soon. The Supporters' Club will be drawing up a short list for the Player of the Season award and also a list for the goal of the season award. But obviously this can't be done until after our game against Derry City. Then as soon as we're told about the shop and the end of season night out, we'll let you know at once.
Best wishes and a speedy recovery to Bobby Stocks who has been sorely missed these last few weeks....and thanks to Longford GAA for their tweet of congratulations, indeed thanks to all who sent their best wishes to us for maintaining our status quo, sometimes we forget that Longford folk globally keep a watchful eye on proceedings.