If you're feeling shame on account of your ignorance of the League of Ireland (possibly after this piece last week) and wish to access the soul of the game here, we have sketched twelve handy phrases which will help you blend in at a League of Ireland ground.
The League needs a strong (insert name of club which League needs to be strong)
Usually said in reference to Galway, Cork, Derry or Shamrock Rovers. It is a rather doubtful prognostication. In fact, the league got stronger when big-name Drumcondra (exactly the type of club of whom this is said) left the league in the 1970s.
A great advertisement for the League
Said after any moderately good or very good game that was televised. Friday's game was the ultimate 'good advertisement for the League'
(Insert mercurial local hero) would have made it in England if it wasn’t for the drink
No doubt this is true for a select handful of lads but for most, they were never going to “make it”
The term of abuse reserved for an Irish supporter of the Premier League.
We go week in week out
This one is broadly true although there are no doubt a great deal of fair-weather League of Ireland fans too. The 2003 FAI Cup Final, in addition to being a great triumph for Longford Town, also represented the first ever game for a small number of their supporters.
Someone from Rochdale would probably support Rochdale
A neat argument which is employed to the pull the rug from under the barstoolers. Darlington are another club often invoked in this argument.
Crowds were HUUUUGE in the 1950s and 60s
No they weren’t. Big games could pull in decent crowds but look at grounds like the Showgrounds in Sligo, Richmond Park and even Oriel Park. Where did they fit all these thousands in?
(Insert flavour of the month) should be in the Ireland squad
99% of lads who have been promoted in this fashion in the last 25 years were rightfully ignored by Irish managers. Until the 1% can prove themselves against full time opposition, they’ll never be taken seriously by the management teams.
You can't pause it and go for a cup of tea
This rather ignores the fact that Irish people were watching English football before Sky Plus arrived but it's a handy term of abuse.
If Messi or Ronaldo had’ve scored that goal (scored by LOI lad) we’d be drooling
We’re currently drooling about Kealon Dillon. We’ve drooled about Greg Bolger, Chris Forrester and Colin Healy and more in the last year. If anything the brilliance of Messi and Ronaldo is underplayed because they do it all the time.
When people who don't go to League of Ireland games are asked to explain themselves, they usually instance these things called 'facilities'. Facilities, innit.
My Dad used to cycle to Milltown... (breaks down*)
In tears here...