The publication of the fixtures for the resumption of the League of Ireland last week gave all us fans some closure on the lockdown-enforced situation we have been enduring since March. It has been a long, dark tunnel but we can finally see some light.
I have to admit that with the release of Bray Wanderers’ remaining fixtures I had to remind myself of how things stood before the suspension of activities [at 51 my short-term memory isn’t what it used to be!]. I remembered being at the victory over Wexford but had forgotten the other games we had played.
My friend the internet enlightened me that we had only played one other game – a defeat to Cabinteely in the first 2020 ‘El DARTico’. Our third league game against Longford was postponed because of the weather, meaning we will have a game in hand on the rest of the division [apart from Longford] when we return.
Friday 31 July sees us host Cobh Ramblers at the Carlisle Grounds in our first game back. I wonder how the pitch and stadium will look; I think it’s the longest-ever absence I have had from it since I first started visiting in the 1970’s as a young boy. Perhaps my absence will be longer still, if I don’t get into the game – the restricted numbers being mentioned mean some sort of lottery system will need to be implemented, and I never had much luck with lotteries.
There will be Andrew Moran and Leigh Kavanagh on display, the duo having moved to Brighton & Hove Albion of the English Premiership. I wish the duo well, this is a great opportunity for them. With our first visitors being Cobh I’m reminded of seeing Roy Keane play for them at the Carlisle before he got the call to England.
There are back-to-back home games on Friday 14 August and Tuesday 18 August against U.C.D. and Shamrock Rovers 2 which I am really looking forward to. Cabinteely versus Bray might be the ‘El DARTico’ but U.C.D. is a long-standing derby and one I always enjoy either in Bray or Belfield. I’ve never seen Shamrock Rovers 2 [well, how could I, they are only a new entity!] so this game will be enjoyable too.
With second to fifth entering the play-offs this must surely be an ambition for Wanderers. Looking at the last four games, which take place in October, we have a difficult run-in. Three of these games are away – against Athlone Town and the reverse fixtures with U.C.D. and Shamrock Rovers 2, with just Galway at home. The shortened nature of the season will mean every point to the end will have to be fought for.
I hope you enjoyed getting the updated fixtures for your club. It’s good to be back!