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Tomorrow sees Bohs first home League game of the season, and to coin a phrase, all has changed, changed utterly. We’re lucky to have a team on the pitch, never mind a team who, despite their youth, fight like lions for possession and give it their all as seen over the last couple of weeks in the Setanta Cup and our first League game against Derry. I don’t think anyone can be disappointed with the effort put in so far.

But, to the point. Tomorrow evening, at six o’clock or so, I’ll make the journey up North Circular Road. Coming to Mountjoy Prison or there-abouts, I’ll see the beacons in the distance that are the floodlights of Dalymount Park. And then I’ll start to get the jitters. They signify the start of something, generally a night of beer, shouting my head off, beer, football, camaraderie, beer, shouting my head off again and a sense of ‘home.’ They signify everything I love about this League, a feeling those who follow a foreign team might get if they were to make their yearly trip to Old Trafford or Anfield every week instead. But they don’t, and won’t ever feel it the same way. Its a feeling of pride/ despair/ love/ heartbreak/ joy/ pain. (Insert where appropriate.)

Anyways, the reason for this post. Yesterday, the seventh of March was the fiftieth anniversary of the installation of floodlights at Dalymount Park. One of the most striking features of the Phibsboro and indeed the North Dublin skyline has been around for a full half century. How old they are is anyone’s guess when you think the pylons themselves came from Arsenal second hand, and they were guest opposition on the event of their unveiling. Below is a scan of the programme cover from that night, shame I can’t find the match report.

So, for half a century, the phrase “just follow the floodlights” has been used when directing visitors to Dalymount. For half a century, people have been feeling that same feeling I do when I’m walking up the NCR on a Friday night. I can’t wait for it tomorrow, that feeling never grows old. This isn’t the end, and we told you so. Come on Bohs.

Cheers to Giofóg from thebohs.com messageboard’s Da  for uploading the scan, and Dotsy for the picture above.

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“The revolution will inevitably awaken in the British working class the deepest passions which have been diverted along artificial channels with the aid of football.” Leon Trotsky.

A couple of weeks back, I got the oppurtunity to interview Gabriel Kuhn of PM Press, and author of “Soccer versus the State.” Anyone on here knows our views when it comes to football, keep it local, keep it real and forget about your barstool; a lot of that is covered in the interview. Not initially done for here, it was DFallon who suggested I put it up.  If you’ve an interest in football, history and politics, read on.

Notorious Boo Boys

1) Football comes in for much negative criticism from the left, mainly criticisms similar to Trotsky’s above, deriding it as cathartic and a distraction. Yet in recent years, we’ve seen iconic events like the “Football Revolution” in Iran, the Greek riots following the death of Alexandros Grigoropoulos (where Panathanaikos fans fought against the police side by side with Anarchists) and the Al-Ahly Ultras in Egypt and their apparent hand in revolution there. How influential has football been in Rebellions and amongst the rebellious throughout history?

Football has been attracting the masses around the world for over a century. Where masses gather, the powerful lose control – unless we’re talking about orchestrated mass gatherings, which are characteristic of fascist and authoritarian regimes. But this doesn’t really work with football, since it is hard to orchestrate a football game. Football is too unpredictable.

Authoritarian regimes have always used the prestige that derives from football victories for political purposes, but they have had a hard time to use football as a general propaganda tool. The Nazis abandoned national encounters altogether after an embarrassing loss to Sweden in Berlin in 1942. And it is not only the game that is unpredictable. So are football crowds. You never know which direction their desires might take. There is always a potential for rebellion – unfortunately, there is also always a potential for reactionary celebrations of the status quo. Neither football nor football fans are rebellious per se. We have radical supporters, we have fascist supporters; we have football teams that spur nationalism, we have football teams that spur international solidarity. At the right moments, the rebellious side comes through, as in the examples you mentioned and in many others: long before the current uprising in Libya, the terraces of Libyan football stadiums turned into spaces of dissent whenever Gadaffi-favoured teams were playing; in the 1980s, Polish workers made regular use of football stadiums to express support for the then illegal trade union Solidarność; in fact, the very first steps to regulate the game of football in the early 19th century was caused by regular antiauthoritarian riots in connection with the inter-village football games at the time.

Football does have the cathartic and distracting dimensions that many leftists deride, no doubt. But it also has a subversive dimension. The challenge for radical football-loving activists is to fuel the latter.
(more…)

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Its not too often you get posts on here lauding non-LOI football. If anything, the content of our football related articles are overtly critical (and rightly so) of a nation of barstoolers who do their best to ignore teams on their own island. Whoso could begrudge the three of us so for having an interest in a foreign team, not across the narrow strip of water that divides us from “the mainland” but across the expanse of Europe to Hamburg and their “second” team, St. Pauli.

The thing is with St. Pauli, you aren’t just lending your support to an adopted team that have nothing got to to with you. You are adopting a code of beliefs. St. Pauli stand for everything we on CHTM! stand for – We are vehemently anti-sexist, anti-racist and anti-fascist. If you haven’t gotten that from our posts hither to now well… now you know. Two out of the three of us have made it to games this season and have made some great contacts and friends across there, some closer than others and for different reasons.

Dont expect this madness, just something close.

So, with us having good friends in the St. Pauli Supporters Club, Dublin, we have found out that their youth team is partaking in an invitational tournament at the bequest of Kevin’s Boys, programme as follows:

VENUE:  ST KEVINS BOYS CLUB, SHANOWEN ROAD, DUBLIN 9

FRIDAY APRIL 22nd

11.00am           Group 1                       St Kevins Boys Club      v   Brondby  I F
12.30pm          Group 2                       West Bromwich Albion  v  St Pauli
5.00pm            Group 1                       Brondby I F                     Sunderland  AFC
6.30pm            Group 2                       St Pauli                              v  Arsenal F C

SATURDAY APRIL 23rd  

11.00am           Group 1                       St Kevins Boys Club       v        Sunderland AFC
12.30pm          Group 2                       Arsenal F C                     v       West Bromwich Albion
5.00pm            Semi Final                    Winner Group 1              v     Runner Up Group 2
6.30pm            Semi Final                    Winner Group 2              v    Runner Up Group 1

SUNDAY APRIL 24th  

11.00am           5th & 6th Place Play Off                3rd place Group 1   v  3rd place Group 2
12.30pm          3rd & 4th Place Play Off            Beaten semi finalists 1 v Beaten semi finalists 2
1.45pm            Exhibition game by St Kevins Boys Under 6 Development Squad (15 mins)

TOURNAMENT FINAL

KICK OFF 2.15pm.

PRESENTATION OF TROPHIES

The plan is for us to make it out to the WBA vs. St. Pauli game on Friday morning, as myself and DFallon are heading off to (albeit) separate LOI games Friday afternoon, him to Derry, myself to Sligo and JayCarax off to the Good Friday Wicklow Wander.

Don’t forget though, before all that madness, there is the monthly Sounds of Resistance gig in O’Byrnes on Capel / Bolton Street that you can most likely find the three of us at; look for the lads in the corner sipping Guinness and looking shifty.

Come to this!

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Excitement has been building up in the CHTM! extended family over the last week; not just amongst the League of Ireland affecionados but amongst a few others who have not yet made the pilgrimage to Dalymount on derby day. A couple of them will be popping their LOI cherry, while some more are returning after long absences; such is the draw of Dublin’s El Classico.
 
The last time I wrote about this particular fixture was during last season’s title run-in, one post praying for a victory and then another celebrating a hard fought win with a sore head. A new season, and everything / nothing has changed, depending on how you look at it. Rovers have arguably the best squad in the League, while Bohs hopes this season rest on the shoulders of youngsters like Flood and Fagan. A big ask for a young squad, but their performances this season have put the smile back on a few faces- they’ve been giving it socks each game, something you expect from a Bohs side, but didn’t always get last season.

Be there

Crowds this season are up, with Sligo and Derry drawing the guts of two and a half thousand a game and Rovers getting their usual “full house.” One thousand tickets have gone to them for this game, and I expect a crammed Jodi Stand for Bohs. With Rovers in the shed, the proximity of both sets of fans is going to make for one hell of a game. While the pull of this game is understandable, hopefully those making their trip to Dalymount for the first time, or for the first time in a while, realise that football in this country isn’t going to survive unless there are heads coming through those gates week in, week out. (A few quid spent in the bar or the club shop wouldn’t go astray either…) What should be a tight, and tense affair may go some way to attracting people back. My heart is already in my mouth, and I truly can’t wait to get up to Dalymount on Friday. Derby day is always special, lets hope this one is no different.

Come on Bohs.

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Bohs versus Rovers. Arguably the most talked about fixture in the League of Ireland calender; Dublin’s El Classico comes but four times a year. While this is a huge fixture, not least for fans of both teams, there is one game that outshines even this and one we don’t experience too often any more. (Some might say) its the original Dublin Derby, Bohs versus Shels. So, when I saw today’s draw for the EA Sports cup threw up this clash, I let out an unmanly yelp of delight. Shelbourne’s demise has been well documented, as have Bohs current woes. After our defeat to Welsh side TNS last year, St. Pats fans held up a banner calling us “The Next Shels.” And to be honest, they weren’t wrong. But thats a post for another day.

It's in the game

There isn’t anything too glorious about the League Cup. Simon O’Gorman on extratime.ie summed it up well with the below:

This is the true magic of the League Cup. It operates in such rarified air, moves in such exclusive circles, that should you choose to become a part of it you might just be handed a starring role. Perhaps you will be the fan that some player recognises at a later date, “Isn’t that the nutter that was at the Carlow game?”

While it may not be glorious, it is romantic. DFallon wrote a great piece for the Bohs / Glenville Rovers clash in the same competition last year, and we’ve already had our first “giantkilling” as Galway United crashed out on Monday to Cockhill Celtic. A lot of people talk about “the romance of the cup” across the water but rarely pay heed to the one on their doorsteps. Not suprising I suppose when the average person on the street would struggle to name the ten teams in the top division in their own country but could spout off Spurs first team at the bat of an eyelid. But we do have romance here too, Cockhill Rovers have shown that and have been rewarded with a home draw against Sligo Rovers. Me though? I just can’t wait to get back out to Tolka.

Is it though?

EA Sports Cup second round draw:

Pool 1: Limerick v Tralee Dynamos or Waterford United; Wexford Youths v Cork City.

Pool 2: Cockhill Celtic v Sligo Rovers; Derry City v Mervue United.

Pool 3: Drogheda United v UCD; St Patrick’s Athletic v Shamrock Rovers.

Pool 4: Monaghan United v Dundalk; Shelbourne v Bohemians

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My one true love...

Fair play to you Dotsy, original is available in bloody massive format here… It is unbelievable how much I love spending time in this stand.

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In an article way back in April, when the IMF was still a bogey man the government used to terrify the unions, I wrote a quick piece on an auction taking place at the famous Whyte’s on Molesworth Street. On sale at that auction was a 1929/ ’30 Free State League winners medal- won that year by Bohemian FC.

So, when I heard the below picture was on sale at an auction in Dalymount with all proceeds went to Bohemian FC, my ears pricked up. What better way to satisfy three of my favourite things; Bohemians, history and photography than by buying this. I may have paid a little more than I thought I planned to for it but I myself think it was worth every penny.

Words cannot describe how chuffed I am to have this in my possession (click for larger image)

You may not be able to buy a clubs history, but you can hold onto a little bit of it, and thats what I feel like now. I don’t really feel like I own this picture, indeed, when Bohemians iron out this little blip it our history like I’m sure we will, I’ll most likely donate this picture to the club. Or maybe that’s just my optimism, hoping that the torrid time we’re going through is just a blip. But what else do we have to hold onto?

Autograph of J. McCarthy (fourth from left in main picture)

I’ll be getting it framed and mounted in the near future. When I get that done, I’ll check back in here, and give you some history behind a great era in Bohemians history, not unlike the one just passed. A bit of trivia before I go; the shed- like structure in the background are the old dressing rooms. Because of the corrugated iron on the roof, the structure got the nickname “The Hut,” now the name of the pre-game drinking hole in Phibsborough favoured by many a Bohs fan.

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