So the launch went well, the website is still working and I haven’t had any major cockups as yet and more importantly it’s all been on time, unlike some of my older fanzine printing attempts! I hope you all like the layout and contents, and again if you have any suggestions for adding to the site then please feel free to add your comments in the comments section below.
For the second ever post of Forzadrogs and seeing as we’re getting very close to the season opener, I thought I’d start with a little review of the past year and what expectations that might bring for the club now. This week also brings the first pre-season friendly of the year, away to Athlone Town and so we’ll have plenty of chances to see whether the Cookie Monster’s new army are ready for the task ahead.
So 2011, a good year it turned out in the end. I mean after 3 years, numerous managers and the constant threat of financial doom we managed to get some stability on and off the field. The club’s board seemed to grow more into the role and a lot of good was done which as a supporter was very pleasing. The reinvention of sorts, of the Claret & Blue club was fantastic and really helped not only give much needed funds to the club but also getting the clubs presence back across the town. A lot of people and businesses were burnt badly by their dealings with DUFC over the past number of years so to take on that challenge and come out of it very positively is a brilliant achievement indeed. Manager wise, we seemed to be a little all over the place and in the end we settled on Mick Cooke. Some may say that Bobby Browne was hard done by and he probably was, but are we complaining now? Sentiment and morals are great to have but as we have seen time and time again, in football both are of no relevance. Football is about succeeding and sometimes you need to take risks to achieve those goals.
So on February 27th Mick Cooke, surprisingly, became our new manager. He had just brought Monaghan to the brink of promotion and his move to an out of sorts Premier Division club with a week to the new season to go was certainly an eye opener. The season began like we thought it would, with defeat after defeat, only to be halted by a fantastic 2-2 home draw with Derry, with us coming back from 2-0 down to claim a point (The only game I can remember pretty well from last year IE. Not being hammered drunk). We were having a torrid time but we were showing heart and a determination to play good football despite the results. Eventually we were going to get our first win and away to Galway it happened on May 26th that we finally did it, fantastico! That seemed to give us plenty of confidence and we managed to pick up points with a few wins, with the one result of note against the crap up the road in Boriel, a 2-1 win there for the first time in 13 years in the league was brilliant, especially as they were all talk about challenging for the title earlier in the season, yeah right!!
By then it was pretty clear on what we had to do to avoid relegation, which luckily for us meant not finishing bottom, we had to stay ahead of Galway who were absolute tosh. Seriously, listening to Sean Connor’s (Who’s off to Zimbabwe now!) interviews on MNS were bizarre to say the least after watching his team not even attempt to play football! I’m glad that they’re gone, there are plenty of other clubs who can replace them who can provide better competition in this league.
Anyway the last part of the season really saw us play some brilliant football and we did get rewarded with some wins and draws against Craptown, Derry away (really unlucky) and beating Pats on the last day of the season. We stayed up and could rejoice at keeping our Premier League status in tact since last getting promoted in 2002.
I think last season was important for us to stay up, despite what others may say, the Premier Division is the only league to be part of in Ireland. If we wanted any hope of the club progressing then we had to stay in the Premier. Now we have our first properly prepared pre-season in years, a manager who had a proven track record in getting the best out of players and a squad who have the chance to do even more this year. I’ll go into our expectations and the players we’ve signed tomorrow but for now, looking back at 2011 and February 27th in particular could prove to be another turning point in the history of this great club.
I really can’t wait for the season to start!!
That’s my two cents for the day, have a good one Drogs and I’ll look forward to any comments that you may have!