The attendance at Athlone on Friday was a little short of 2,200 and it certainly added to the atmosphere. Pipe bands, clowns (including Roddy Collins), streakers – all of these added to the normal fare to make this a very enjoyable night out for the home fans.
But the sad part is that Athlone suffer from the same malaise that we do – long before you’re too far into the “Where were you when you were shite?” refrain you have to change the words to read “Where were you even a few months ago?” We played Athlone at Lissywoolen on the 24th May and there was about 150 people in the ground. No drums; no smoke flares; no pitch invasion – just 150 diehards interested in watching a game of football. Roll on to 27th September and the world and their wife were there – what in God’s name did they come for if it wasn’t the football? The Irish love of a party always intrigues me.