By Dermot Keely (@keelysbar)
Special Congratulations to Bohemians on qualifying for Europe. I have to admit that Bohs and Dalymount have never been favourites of mine. Not, I hasten to add, through any fault of the club but just bad memories of breaking my leg there and trying to get out on a stretcher! It’s a long story but it’s for another day.
Speaking of Long, what a job Keith Long, Trevor Crolly and the staff have done. It is unfortunate for them that they are competing against a great Dundalk side who continue on relentlessly. If it wasn’t for Stephen Kenny last year and Vinny Perth this year I believe Keith would receive the Manager of the Year award this year. Keith Long however has had an outstanding year with Bohs punching way above their weight. They have put their faith in youth and it has paid off handsomely.
I am also over the moon for one of my football babies, Derek Pender, one of many unsung heroes in the League of Ireland. I had the privilege of managing ‘Detser’ and what a pleasure that was. I never thought back then that he would play for a further decade with Bohs. The game has changed so much but he has adapted his game to suit. Mind you he still likes the odd tackle.
The All-Island League is due up for discussion again this week. I have to admit I am not a big fan of this idea. I believe that we would be far better off fixing our own League. We should, I believe set up an independent body to run and market the League of Ireland. If we got the right people involved I think our league has a bright future. We need to step away from the FAI and run our League, for and on behalf of ourselves. It will be a struggle to get people of the right calibre to do this, we need to concentrate on getting our League up to speed before we contemplate an All-Island League.
I had the pleasure of having dinner with Eoin Hand last night. Had a great night talking all things football and then of course had the pleasure of hearing the great man sing. Needless to say the crowd loved him.