We made a perfect start to the 2016 season with a well merited 0-2 win away to newly promoted Wexford Youths down in Ferrycarrig. There was a certain amount of understandable nervousness before the game; our previous two friendlies had ended in defeat and our list of pre season injuries seemed to grow by the week. But an early strike by man of the match Kevin O'Connor and a late one by Josh O'Hanlon shortened the long journey home, though a few of our wealthier supporters opted to stay overnight in the south east. A good start is half the battle as Robert Farrell put it. It was a right good game with Wexford putting us under plenty of pressure but thankfully we stood firm and disciplined to hold the hosts scoreless. On a different note, full marks to Ian Maher who had the squad looking very sharp in their new bright gear. Maybe that's why RTE showed Kevin O'Connor's goal on the Friday's six o clock news or maybe because it was the very first goal scored in the league. Either way, well done to the entire squad and the great travelling support.
JOIN US NOW
We'd like to see as many people join the Supporters' Club as soon as possible, whether at the Monday night game against Drumcondra or the Friday night clash against St Pats. And when joining , don't forget to fill out the league prediction to be in with a chance to win €100. Envelopes will be available in the Clubhouse and if interested, please try to get your envelope before the game as during half time can be a bit hectic. Apart from the free chance to win €100, you'll also have a chance of presenting the monthly player award and you'll have the chance too, of being a player sponsor. And there's more to come, so please do join us at the Supporters' Club.
CAR BOOT SALE
We kick off our Car Boot Sale season on next Thursday, St Patrick's day. The Car Boot Sale starts early, very early and the final whistle goes at 3pm. For the last number of seasons, this event has gone from strength to strength and has proved very important for Club funding. When we first started our Car Boot Sales, a few volunteers could run the show. Not any more. It has become too big for just the same few volunteers. Which is a roundabout way of saying that we could do with more help, either during or after the event when all the litter has to be collected. There are many different ways of supporting De Town and this way is equally as important as shouting your head off during a game. Give Liam Healion a shout, he's standing by now to take your call of a helping hand.
ST PATS ON FRIDAY
We play Cork down there on Monday March 14th so that's why we entertain St Pats this Friday at the CCS with an 8pm kick off. Last season, we had to travel to play Cork on a Monday night also, so it's bewildering that the authorities couldn't do a reverse this time round. In plain local language, it's simply not fair. Anyway, we nee to focus on St Pats first because, for sure, they'll be well focused on us. The Inchicore outfit were among those tipped to do extremely well this season so they'll be smarting from their home defeat to Galway last week and will be mad keen to get points on board. It'll be a much tougher game than our opener and we'll just have to raise our standard if we're to start our home campaign with a win. Cork followers expect their side to win the league this season and so will be rubbing their hands with glee on Monday night. But we surprised them before down there and we can again. But first things first, we need a large local crowd out on Friday night to get behind the team from start to finish.
The first round of games certainly threw up a few surprises. With 4,000 present at Finn Park for the north west derby v Derry City , it must have been some atmosphere. It was hard to imagine that Harps would repeat their magnificent play off heroics against Limerick but the small Donegal town took all three points off the mighty Derry City in what was probably the biggest shock of the opening round. Meanwhile Galway also shot down mighty opposition when they came from behind to beat St Pats . Many of the Saints support left early but this scribbler wasn't too surprised having witnessed the Tribesmen hammer us at home. To me, Galway should be the surprise packet this season. Dundalk beat Bray but I doubt if Dundalk will have it all their own way this time round. Shamrock Rovers beat the high spending Sligo which gives the rest of us small spenders some hope. Gary Shaw sat that game out which must have been an unusual experience for the former Town man. Meanwhile, our tormentor from his Waterford days, Sean Maguire scored two classy goals against Bohs in Cork's first home win.
Every note writer in the land seems to find some connection with the 1916 Rising. For us in De Town, that looked like mission impossible since the Club wasn't founded till 1924. But our old rivals Athlone had a game during Easter week 1916 against the other, less famous red and black, Bohemians. Because of the fighting back in Dublin, the visiting Bohemian side couldn't make it back to the capital until the next Wednesday because the trains were cancelled. And then when they did get back, horror of horrors, they had to walk home as the trams weren't running.
Anyway, what's the link with Longford ? Well, our local Irish Rail employee and Town committee member Paddy Donnelly informs us that a steam train will be puffing its way through Longford this Sunday sometime around 1.20pm en route to Carrick. It'll be making the return journey in the late afternoon. Bohs travelled down the country to play Athlone by steam train in Easter week 1916 but I'm sure St Pats will have a flashy, comfortable coach this Friday, but should its wheels come off, they can always return to Inchicore on the auld steam train on Sunday.
Some folk head to Achill island or the Aran islands to say they were overseas for a break. Well, no such skimming for our webmaster, Padraig Stapleton who is currently taking a well deserved overseas break. But it's not Tory island or even the Isle of Man for our intrepid adventurer. Instead, he's taking in the sights and maybe a few games down in Argentina. And Johnny, our treasurer, thought he was flying high when heading to Liverpool recently. I suppose our chairman Kevin Carberry will now be thinking of flying off to Cuba.