The first Irish national to score in the new Lansdowne Road? Dave Mulcahy. A nice goal against Manchester United, and no doubt a mantlepiece photograph for decades to come.
Saint Patrick’s Athletic played in the last soccer match in Lansdowne before renovation, so how fitting one of our own would be the first Irish player to pop one in. Sure Jonny Evans got one for United (You know, that team everyone was cheering for….) before Mulcahy, but he’s from ‘up there’.
Whatever you make of the poxy Calcio Moderno, or modern game, there is no denying the mess the Football Association of Ireland made of it tonight. Was that fixture designed to promote the Irish domestic game? Did they not consider the fact that before earlier this week, many of these lads have never played together? For the second time in a week, a Dave Mulcahy goal felt more like a victory in itself.
In another pretty meaningless friendly only last month, Bohs managed to beat a strong Aston Villa side at Dalymount Park. Without ringing up Sherlock Holmes, one can presume the fact Bohemian F.C are an actual football team themselves and not a selection of players from the four corners of the country helped in that one. This might have been a pre-season for Manchester United, granted- but League of Ireland fans know only too well we’re more than halfway through a season.
Hopefully one moment of skill or two from a domestic player tonight will lure a family to their local club this weekend. It was quite sad to hear the usual ‘is the League a pile of crap’ debate open up on Adrian Kennedy tonight. Even a small portion of the money that leaves this country weekly at Dublin Airport to travel to football abroad, if directed into the domestic game, would have a huge effect. It’s the financial instability of Irish football more than anything that holds the game back. Why are clubs with mass community support and history like Derry City F.C kicking a football around the First Division? Money my friends, money.
Can the FAI really complain about the Celtic/Manchester United/Sunderland (Or eh…never mind that one) leanings of most of the nation’s youth, when the way to promote the domestic game is to send a mix-match of domestic players out to be slaughtered? There is absolutely nothing wrong with supporting any of those teams, the SPL and EPL are both entertaining, but no doubt tonight should have been about Irish football.
Roll on Friday, when three points are at stake again. I just hope our lads aren’t too tired.