By Dermot Keely (@keelysbar)
What a joke! Dundalk played a quarter final of Ireland’s major Cup Competition, the Extra.ie FAI Cup, in Waterford on a Monday night with less than 1,000 people attending.
Why? I hear you ask. The answer – because the tie had to be re-arranged to allow Waterford pay Hearts Colts on Friday. What a joke. What a way to treat the League’s most prestigious competition. How can the FAI Cup be treated with so little respect. I am sure the sponsors of the Cup were not best pleased. But hey, it’s run by our glorious FAI it has to be a joke. I’m sure John Delaney is in his garden laughing his socks off as the FAI lurch from one farce to another. The only good thing about it is that Dundalk won.
This leaves Shamrock Rovers, Dundalk and Sligo Rovers through to the semi-finals, to be joined by the winner of Crumlin Utd v Bohs. Again, due to the ‘magnificent’ work of the FAI the draw will be live at 8.30am on RADIO. The most prestigious Cup competition – I don’t think so!
It’s potentially a great weekend ahead for Shelbourne in the First Division. Surely the time has come for them to claim a place in the Premier Division. Hopefully they will win the match against the Drogs and clinch the title. I’ll be glued to the phone looking at their results. I know to my cost the feeling of Last Match Blues. To all the people travelling, get behind the team and enjoy the game, if that is possible.
I see that RTE, our national broadcaster, are now showing a few League of Ireland matches as the season draws to a close. Well, Whoopee!! and thanks for that. I don’t know what they have been doing since May. I understand that the League of Ireland is a niche sport. I also understand that it does not compete with GAA or Rugby, as far as viewing figures are concerned, but Soccer is still the biggest sport played in Ireland and is a market that can be tapped into. Again, it is up to the FAI to negotiate a deal that includes the LOI when they do a deal for the International team. But will it happen? You tell me!
What a debut at International level for Jack Byrne. A fantastic performance and he showed what a LOI player is capable of. He looked completely comfortable playing in the National Team.
Congratulations also to Stephen Kenny on his brilliant start to the U21 Euro qualifiers, showing that the LOI can produce top class Managers as well as top class players.