- Saturday February 25th, 2023 @ 10:00
The Saint (Vol 35 #2)
We extend a very warm welcome to Richmond Park, especially to the players, officials and supporters of Shelbourne FC.
Our visitors fielded no fewer than 5 ex-Pats in their opener last week, so there will be many familiar faces on show.
Last week's season opener was a brilliant evening by the Camac, with close to 5,000 supporters packed into the stadium to see how we would measure up against many pundits' choice to be this year's champions.
Derry showed their quality, particularly in the first half, and deserved their one goal advantage at the break although the goal benefitted from several lucky breaks along the way.
The second half was quite a different story and ended in a series of onslaughts on the Derry goal which yielded a deserved equaliser and saw the visitors hanging on desperately in injury time.
It was an encouraging start to our season but we need to build on it tonight to prove that we too are going to be contenders.
Physical copies of the programme are available from the club or you can read the digital version here
I want to compliment the FAI on a brilliant innovation this season.
Shortly after getting home from last week's match I was able to watch highlights of all the evening's Premier Division games on the FAI's Youtube channel. Watching on my TV, it was just like having a Match of the Day, but without the tedious and repetitive analysis.
I can see this becoming a Friday night routine for many of us, so well done to all to all involved in getting the highlights edited so quickly.
Unfortunately, however, I have to send brickbats in the direction of the Irish Times.
In a week when so many newspapers gave excellent coverage to the opening night of the domestic season, the "paper of record" chose not even to mention it - not a single word. No season preview, no preview of any fixture. Worse still, the following day's print edition carried a report of only one game.
The fact that it was an extensive and excellent report of our own game doesn't mitigate the slight on the league as a whole. I would like to think that this was an unintended oversight as the paper has previously had a good track record in covering the domestic game.
After tonight we hit the road for two tough fixtures against the sides with whom we battled for European qualification last year, Dundalk and Sligo, followed quickly by two huge Dublin derbies at home to Bohemians and away to Shamrock Rovers.
By March 17, exactly four weeks after the season opener, we'll have played all the teams that are expected to be in the shake-up for top four places. You need to hit the ground running in a league as competitive as ours. Let's hope we do!