It's been a fairly up and down year on the park, but i have to say I've loved every minute of my season as a Boh fans. All in all, I managed to get along to 26 games out of a possible 44. I was disappointed not to make it to at least one of the long distance away trips, but for one reason or another it just didn't happen. Nevertheless, it's definitely something i want to do next season. Who knows, perhaps I'll even make an overseas trip to see us play in the Inter-Toto Cup (call me a pessimist, but something tells me i might have to be quick with that one!)
As the season has gone on i have got to know quite a few other fans and there is now a decent little group of us who troop along to the matches together and coax each other out even when the rain is hitting the window or the sun makes other activities seem more appealing. It looks like I'll be sticking about in Dublin for a good while yet so it looks many more Friday nights will be spent in Dalymount over the next few years.
For my last post I've decided to a brief look back at some of the highlights and low-lights from over the course of the last 12 months. Here goes...
Best Game? It could only really be one... the first home game against Shamrock Rovers. We played crap for 80-odd minutes, but two late goals grabbed all three points. It was freezing cold in the Shed that night, but still it was the best atmosphere in Dalymount all season and i left that night with an idea of just how special a club Bohs are and how great the Bohs v Rovers derby is.
Best Away Trip? The 1-0 victory away to Drogheda in the FAI Cup was good, but I'm going to go for a less obvious one... the pre-season friendly against Kildare County way back in February. There's something pretty special about going to a game on a Saturday afternoon - a rare thing in Irish football - and although this was just a pre-season game it turned into a great day out. It was my first chance to see the 13 or so new players in action and it was also my maiden away voyage as a Bohs fan. I'm looking forward to getting to a few more next season too.
Worst Away Trip? I generally enjoyed them all, but the first away trip to Bray Wanderers sticks in the mind for all the wrong reasons. It was early March and the biting wind that slammed in to the uncovered stand that the Bohs fans were housed in almost froze me stiff. There wasn't much to warm me up either as Bohs turned in one of their worst performances of the whole season and lost the game 1-0. It was a long train-ride home.
Best Opposition Fans? It's often difficult to hear the away fans in Dalymount as they get stuck over on the Connaught End, but the title goes to Cork City on the night of the FAI Cup semi final. The game was live on RTE, yet a good few hundred of them still made the long trip to Dublin and they were absolutely superb the whole night. It was pretty sickening having to listen to them gloat, but credit where credit's due... the best by some distance.
Worst Opposition Support? I'm going to go for St Pat's. I've been along to Richmond Park a few times and stood amongst them and the only word i can think of to describe it is horrible. They are to football supporting what Ronan Keating is to rock'n'roll. Rubbish.
Funniest Moment? My funniest moment is probably also my most embarrassing one. Having met the lads in the pub before the Sunderland game in July we were walking round to Dalymount and as i began to hand out the tickets I realised that instead of bringing my ticket, I'd brought the Ticketmaster receipt. I dashed home to get it and soaking in sweat I sprinted into the Jodi just in time to hear the half time whistle blow! Needless to say that incident still gets brought up after a few beers!
Best Thing About Being A Bohs Fan? Few feelings in life can beat walking home after a game after your team has just won. It's even sweeter here in Dublin when the majority of people that you walk past look at you as though you have two heads and just don't have a clue how satisfying watching your local team can be.
Worst Thing About Being A Bohs Fan? Alot of the Bohs fans get on the player's backs during games far too easily. Negativity around Dalymount seems to be something of an epidemic.
Favourite Player? It's a toss-up between Dessie Byrne and Darren Mansaram, but I'm going to go for Dessie. He's a loose cannon, but he has what that square headed bloke on the X-Factor refers to as the likability factor. That and he used to play for Carlisle United, one of my local sides growing up.
Most Infuriating Player? John Paul Kelly. The type of player who my old man would say 'needs a good kick up the arse'. At times he can mesmerise the opposition and drag the whole crowd to their feet, but unfortunately he just doesn't do it enough. 'Joxer' undoubtedly has the talent to go on and do well at a higher level but it seems to me that he needs to grow up and start delivering on a regular basis.
Favourite Bohs Song? "Whooooa Black Darren"
Plans For Next Season? Same again... get to as many games as i can. Oh, and to get to at least one away trip in either Cork, Galway, Sligo or Derry. I wouldn't mind getting out to see a few more Premier and First Division games too.
Plans For The Blog? I haven't really decided what to do yet. Other commitments (and a lazy streak!) meant that i struggled to keep it updated at times, but the site has had just over 3,000 hits so hopefully at least a few people have enjoyed reading my ramblings. I enjoy writing about Bohs though so maybe I'll keep it going in some capacity.
Anyway, I'll leave it at that. The scarf has been put away for the winter and i'll now hit the the 'Publish' button for the last time. Thanks for reading and I'll see you at the games next season!
Yours in Bohs!