Anthony McIntyre 🎥 Local soccer in Ireland is on the up. 


That much seemed evident from the 600 viewers who turned up to watch Underdrogs at the TLT on a cold and icy Friday evening. I went along with my match day companion Paddy. It was well worth the tenner spent on the ticket. Value for money every which way. While we had a couple of pints in the venue bar, I successfully coaxed him to join me in the traditional hip flask ritual! He drives to games so never has the opportunity to imbibe, unless it is a cup final in Dublin which, last year, we journeyed to by train, neither of us candidates that day for passing a breathalyser. Not by a country mile.

For Christmas my wife gave me a Drogs hat and scarf which I was only too eager to wear. On the way out a woman with a Derry accent commented that I wouldn't happen to be a Drogheda supporter. It was an echo of what Kevin Keegan said to me at the Helix a few weeks ago when along with Paddy and Andrew, I stepped up to have my photo taken with the best player ever to turn out for the Anfield side. Decked out in Liverpool FC regalia the former European Footballer of the Year said it wasn't hard to know what team I supported! I sort of wear my sporting heart on my sleeve.

The short film directed by Conor McGuinness and Sean Matthews is about the recent history of Drogheda United, its woes and its wins, its fans and its future. Two years of hard work went into making the film, with over one hundred interviews conducted along the route. Prior to the showing, the packed out venue was treated to an onstage discussion, the speakers being coach Kevin Doherty, team captain Gary Deegan, and new signings, Frantz Pierrot and Jack Keaney. David Sheehan, the LMFM broadcaster, functioning more as an interlocuter than interviewer, was ideal for managing the exchange.

Featuring a few times in front of the camera was local councillor Joanna Byrne. It was pleasing to see her get the recognition for the effort she has put in to promoting the team. Her 'family bleed claret and blue.'  She had taken her first steps as a toddler on the pitch and even regaled the audience with tales of  going to games with various boyfriends. I have also stood on vigils for Gaza with her over the years, so have an affinity.

The film also gave a lot of time to local volunteers with the club which underscored one of the central themes being projected by the directors - Drogheda United is embedded within the community. While in need of a new stadium the current location, Weaver Park, speaks volumes about its place within the community. Easily accessible even to those walking to the game, it is a comfortable ten minutes by foot from the town centre. The theme music for the film also had a local character, being the work of local musician, composer and producer, Breifne Holohan.

Much of the footage focused on life behind the scenes in Drogs' second and third seasons back in the Premier division. On top of that the audience was treated to some of the great goals the Drogs had scored over the years.

Those who follow the Drogs will be familiar with Gary Deegan, still going strong at 36 and a firm favourite amongst young fans in particular who rally to have a selfie taken with him when the opportunity presents itself. Despite the years being in a constant tug of war with the fitness levels, which ultimately only the years can win, the captain still very much enjoys being a soccer player. Jack Keaney told the story of a brush with Gary Deegan while playing against him once for either Sligo or UCD in which he called him a granda! No doubt, the big centre back learned not to teach his granda how to suck eggs. 

A great night which saw the proceeds going to the Gary Kelly Cancer Support Centre. Unlike some of the games we have attended when the result went the wrong way, none came away disappointed. 
 
Follow on Twitter @AnthonyMcIntyre.

Underdrogs

Anthony McIntyre 🎥 Local soccer in Ireland is on the up. 


That much seemed evident from the 600 viewers who turned up to watch Underdrogs at the TLT on a cold and icy Friday evening. I went along with my match day companion Paddy. It was well worth the tenner spent on the ticket. Value for money every which way. While we had a couple of pints in the venue bar, I successfully coaxed him to join me in the traditional hip flask ritual! He drives to games so never has the opportunity to imbibe, unless it is a cup final in Dublin which, last year, we journeyed to by train, neither of us candidates that day for passing a breathalyser. Not by a country mile.

For Christmas my wife gave me a Drogs hat and scarf which I was only too eager to wear. On the way out a woman with a Derry accent commented that I wouldn't happen to be a Drogheda supporter. It was an echo of what Kevin Keegan said to me at the Helix a few weeks ago when along with Paddy and Andrew, I stepped up to have my photo taken with the best player ever to turn out for the Anfield side. Decked out in Liverpool FC regalia the former European Footballer of the Year said it wasn't hard to know what team I supported! I sort of wear my sporting heart on my sleeve.

The short film directed by Conor McGuinness and Sean Matthews is about the recent history of Drogheda United, its woes and its wins, its fans and its future. Two years of hard work went into making the film, with over one hundred interviews conducted along the route. Prior to the showing, the packed out venue was treated to an onstage discussion, the speakers being coach Kevin Doherty, team captain Gary Deegan, and new signings, Frantz Pierrot and Jack Keaney. David Sheehan, the LMFM broadcaster, functioning more as an interlocuter than interviewer, was ideal for managing the exchange.

Featuring a few times in front of the camera was local councillor Joanna Byrne. It was pleasing to see her get the recognition for the effort she has put in to promoting the team. Her 'family bleed claret and blue.'  She had taken her first steps as a toddler on the pitch and even regaled the audience with tales of  going to games with various boyfriends. I have also stood on vigils for Gaza with her over the years, so have an affinity.

The film also gave a lot of time to local volunteers with the club which underscored one of the central themes being projected by the directors - Drogheda United is embedded within the community. While in need of a new stadium the current location, Weaver Park, speaks volumes about its place within the community. Easily accessible even to those walking to the game, it is a comfortable ten minutes by foot from the town centre. The theme music for the film also had a local character, being the work of local musician, composer and producer, Breifne Holohan.

Much of the footage focused on life behind the scenes in Drogs' second and third seasons back in the Premier division. On top of that the audience was treated to some of the great goals the Drogs had scored over the years.

Those who follow the Drogs will be familiar with Gary Deegan, still going strong at 36 and a firm favourite amongst young fans in particular who rally to have a selfie taken with him when the opportunity presents itself. Despite the years being in a constant tug of war with the fitness levels, which ultimately only the years can win, the captain still very much enjoys being a soccer player. Jack Keaney told the story of a brush with Gary Deegan while playing against him once for either Sligo or UCD in which he called him a granda! No doubt, the big centre back learned not to teach his granda how to suck eggs. 

A great night which saw the proceeds going to the Gary Kelly Cancer Support Centre. Unlike some of the games we have attended when the result went the wrong way, none came away disappointed. 
 
Follow on Twitter @AnthonyMcIntyre.

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