The Dermot Keely Column

A few days after the Best League in the World kicked off, I have to say first what a great feeling it was to be alive to watch a League of Ireland match on TV. The match itself and the coverage of it was top class, so too the amount of time given the game and League of Ireland in general.

This should be the standard that we want to achieve each week. Why can we not Friday night soccer every Friday night of the season? What are the obstacles to one game a week being televised? Surely the FAI can negotiate a deal with RTE to promote our League?

The game itself was a great advertisement for the league, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Dundalk against a surprisingly resilient Sligo Rovers. Not what I expected from a team managed by Liam Buckley.

Despite the veil of secrecy thrown over the opening of the 2 leagues the attendances were really good. I think there is a feeling that this year the duopoly of Cork/Dundalk will end. Supporters of St. Pat’s, Shamrock Rovers, Waterford all feel they have a chance this year. This is good for the league and for supporters starved of success in recent years. Let’s hope they are right. A truly competitive league, it’s what we all want.

Just a mention about the poor performance of the Referee. While nobody wants to see players sent off or booked unnecessarily, rules are rules. How the keeper did not get a yellow card is beyond comprehension and two other Sligo Rovers players were lucky to stay on the pitch.

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