It has been a tough week to be a Dundalk fan.
Our league campaign ended and we had to hand our trophy over to Cork. However, all Lilywhites had come to terms with that eventuality some six months ago.
Most of us began the last week in positive mood. Our new look side finally gelled after the devastating loss of three of our best and closed a twenty point gap to seven.
While after losing their most influential player, a little complacency with Cork seemed to turn into a full-scale wobble and their point’s haul of the season’s second half would have seen them finish just above the three relegated sides.
Therefore, we were full of confidence going into the cup final.
However, as the team prepared, probably the most impressive of our signings, Niclas Vemmelund, decided it would be a good time to announce he was leaving.
Combine this news with the growing rumours that others were set to depart and the mood dampened.
Still, this is something we have grown accustomed to at this club.
Cork also seemed set to lose a host of their talent.
Including the immensely impressive Karl Sheppard who was definitely on his way to Oriel. (A rumour I first heard even before Maguire left Leeside.) Next season will undoubtedly be our year.
So how has it come to fruition that at the end of the week I am afraid to flick through Facebook in case I discover Cork have signed Neymar or Messi.
They have followed their cup victory with new signings and re-signing of players, including one Karl Sheppard.
The situation reminded me of Wayne Rooney some years ago; he decided he needed a few extra thousand a week so put in a transfer request. Before long, a shiny new contract appeared for the Liverpudlian.
The great Alex Ferguson was outsmarted.
Was there a similar game played on Stephen Kenny?
Obviously, in Sheppard’s case it was not about greed, just stability.
Did allowing the entire country to believe he was leaving the champions help him land a 2-year deal?
The ‘ever-humble’ Mark McNulty took great pride in declaring how easy it was in goading Kenny into a reaction this week.
Some have claimed Kenny tried and desperately failed in mind tricks of his own in hinting that Sheppard was on his way to Oriel in a pre-match press conference.
Now every Dundalk fan is left confused about what happened.
We are facing into another winter of losing the players we have grown to love and hoping Cork City leave a few decent players for the rest of us.
The latest news is of an American consortium interested in investing in the club and building a new Oriel Park.
I refuse to get my hopes up again. I will believe it when I see it.
Also to finish, well done Cork on a great season!