Last weekend signalled the beginning of the Irish football season.
One personal priority for me is to attend more Irish league games, having failed to do so over the course of the last 2 seasons.
I have been especially curious to get back into stands, giving the drastic changes in the structure of the FAI, and both Bohemians and Rovers, receiving media praise for their attendance records and the atmosphere generated at their grounds last season.
What an opening game to visit- The Dublin derby- Bohemians vs Shamrock Rovers at Dalymount park.
Needless to say, this was to be an eventful day.
First thing to note, is that I was fortunate to attend the game, given that RTE cancelled their live coverage, as their media area was suitably equipped to tackle storm Dennis.
Despite the conditions, fans were flooding into this game in full voice. There was an air of optimism from both supporters, along with the usual simmering tensions which accompanies this fierce rivalry.
The level of security present, between police on the ground and on horseback is always a surprising feature of these events, and certainly adds edge to the occasion.
Bohemians seem to be nailing it on the fans front. Their game attendances are growing with men, women and children buying into their brand. The game decorated with flags and flares prior to kick-off.
The rickety old stadium in Dalymount was a cauldron of excitement, the historic venue seems to amplify the noise, as the hardcore fans sang and cheered endlessly throughout the event.
Both sides played great football last season, and this game should have provided a high quality brand of football, however Storm Dennis had other plans.
Conditions plagued the players, and the game was destined for a stalemate. Until, 93 minutes in Rovers striker Aaron Greene struck the net. This evoked wild celebrations, with spectators invading the pitch, whole Boh’s fans sat stunned or threatened violence from their stands.
The game came to an end, and it is clear to see the excitement and joy our league can provide to people of all ages. It appears to have so much potential!