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Posts Tagged ‘Galway United Football Club’

A trip to Saint Patricks Athletic F.C (Inchicore) versus Galway United F.C, as League of Ireland football returns to Dublin for a new season

Every second week before the Euro

Nice to be back really.

I remember as a child being taken to see Saint Patricks Athletic in a stadium you could only describe as electric. The camac standing area directly opposite the stand would be a red, white and yellow explosion of colour, and a flare in the shed and deafening roar awaited that first goal in that game. The 90s were brilliant times for the domestic game, not just in Inchicore but on the Northside too, were local football could draw in considerable crowds and at least a handful of your classmates got it. Unlike the ‘Who are yis’ in the class we had chosen our teams purely on the grounds of geography and as such were all (literally) singing from the one sheet. We, quite literally, meant we. Us and our next door neighbours.

Still, a hard rain fell on the League of Ireland. A really hard rain. A flood even. The old man would still take us to home matches and car trips to Drogheda, north of the liffey and suburbs of Wicklow, but the religious nature of going stopped. You go from missing a few games to missing half a season. I’m incredibly grateful there’s a younger Fallon to catch the bug and get us back down.

Anyway, to say Saint Patricks Athletic had a woeful season last year would be an understatement on par with ‘the economy is looking a bit shakey’.

Back from under the stairs for a new season

Getting into the ground a bit late I hear the sound of a trumpet. A fucking trumpet. A quick glance and it’s coming from the Galway United away supporters. A small but loyal band of followers, and mainly youngsters, you can take it some of these lads left the schoolyard a bit early to travel up, just as some of the young lads down the far end of the crowd would for a trip to Cork or Belfast. There’s a passion there that doesn’t come across well on the telly.

“United, we love you, we love you…
and where you go we’ll follow, we’ll follow, we’ll follow….”

I’m too busy looking at the one man trumpet show to see the build up to the goal that puts Pats in the lead. Then it happens. The home support lights up.

I spot four good sized large tifo flags, a flare in the middle of it, and a few hundred fans going mad like Pats had won the league, not just scored the first goal of their first League match.

It’s not until half-time rolls around that you realise what a community thing the league is in Ireland. I’ve heard and seen the same at Dalymount, Turners Cross, that kip in Drumcondra and other stadiums. Your man who is emigrating to America next Monday (“No sorry folks, it’s Tuesday. He’s leaving on Tuesday. Good luck to him”) gets a mention over the P.A, the Palmerstown and Clondalkin under 12s come on the pitch and have a kick around, a bucket goes around for the local old folks and whatever else. The club is at the heart of the community, and the youngsters scoffing the (bloody awful) hotdogs into themselves now will hopefully be the ones bringing their kids here down the line.

Coming soon to a Dublin shed near you.

When the whistle goes, and Pats take the 2 goals and 3 points away from this one, the shed (where the away support are based) erupts into one last defiant chant: “United! United!”

They’ve travelled across the country for this. When the matches fall that way, a similar sized band will do the same in reverse. I feel terrible for falling out of the habit, but after tonight- I reckon I’m hooked again. The odd trip down last year isn’t good enough, you’d wonder why you’d miss a game….

Bohemian F .C (Phibsboro) fans make a point about corporate football to Red Bull Salzburg

Will the game grow in this city? I don’t know to be honest. There’s no way I can see a return to the glory days, but at the same time shenanigans on the otherside of the pond have shown British football up as the emotional wasteland that it is.

You can Love United, Hate Glazer as much as you want, but you’ll never love United in the way that lad on the trumpet loves United.

The United he shares a home with.

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