Another weekend goes and we’re less than 2 weeks away from the opening kick off of the season against Rovers. After overcoming our Louth neighbours on Thursday night, highlights here, we played Longford Town on Saturday evening at Flancare Park. I always remembered the trips to Longford when they were in the Premier, always a good laugh and a good day out. The cup semi-final of 2004 was a particularly great day even though the result in the end didn’t fall our way after the replay. The pre-match boozer was always an eventful one and we always had a laugh with the locals with no trouble at all.
Flancare Park on the other hand was always a pain in arse ground to get to and be in. It’s a decent ground but in the middle of nowhere, not walkable and barely even driveable! Also it’s always too open and always miserable up there. I’m sure if I was at a game basking in glorious sunshine and warmth I’d have a different view but unfortunately it’s not a ground that I looked forward to visiting. Also the stewards were a bit funny about fans waving flags up there, as they wouldn’t let anyone in with a flag unless the poles were taken away? But again this is the usual League of Ireland mentality that you see throughout the country with jumped up club rules and stewards!
So seeing as not many people were at the game, I’ve no match report to go by however I’ll do a brief run down on who was playing and comments from the DUFC Facebook page. We drew 1-1, with Prendergast giving us the lead but Longford getting back on level terms not too long after. Mick brought a small squad of 14 to the midlands on Saturday evening, giving some players a rest and also being affected by injuries to others. The team started the game as follows, Sava, Grimes, Breen, McNally, Prendergast, Hand, M. O’Brien, Mark Scannell, Marshall, Fabio, Hynes.
According to the reports, we seemed to play well however the pitch didn’t help matters and so free flowing football wasn’t on display too often. Both teams seemed to cancel each other out with a lot of work done in midfield in pressuring each other. We had a Scottish lad on trial in the centre of midfield, Mark Scannell. I’ve tried to find some info on him but he doesn’t seem to be on the radar so I’ve no idea who he is. He seemed to have impressived the people who were there with the club reporting on Facebook that “Mark Scannell is having an impressive trial so far. He looks comfortable in the middle. He is controlling the pitch and picking some great passes.” Could he be the new Darren Beasley, god I hope so! Anyway it’ll be interesting to see how that develops over the next week or so. And on another positive note the enigma that is Jack Flynn finally played a game for us! He came on and apparently did alright so will hopefully we can finally see the player, who has kept the medical jobs at United Park safe for the past year, that he actually is!
Our pre-season unbeaten run now stretches to 2 games with Limerick up next at United Park on Saturday. Limerick are the new money spenders of the league attracting big names (By League of Ireland standards) as Joe Gamble, Denis Behan and even Stephen Bradley down to the banks of the Shannon. Even last week there was talk that they were going to take 2 players from CSKA Moscow on loan, crazy times! Limerick played Cork City at the weekend and drew 2-2, so they will definitely pose the toughest test of pre-season and will be the perfect game before going into the opener against Rovers.
Injury news is that Crowley will probably be out for a few weeks with his nasty injury that he picked up against Craptown. Mulvenna is out for 6 weeks, not sure with what but that’s a blow for the attacking side of things. We’ve also lost Gannon who got injured in the warm up and so with the suspensions that we have for the Rovers game our midfield will be down to the bare bones. Hopefully this Scannell guy is good enough to be signed and fill the void left by the others.
That’s my lot for today. I’ll try and get some others to post some of their own thoughts during the week as you’re all probably getting bored of me now!