The League of Ireland returned with a bang last week, as Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers played out a cracker in front of a full house at Dalymount and a national audience live on RTÉ.
The levels of enthusiasm surrounding the first round of games was always going to be difficult to maintain, but on Friday evening there were numbers to suggest that interest is growing.
Given the fact that a large proportion of the current Ireland national team made their way up through the ranks via the League of Ireland, casual football fans and those who pay closer attention to the Premier League may be beginning to have their interests peaked by the domestic game here.
Last night, reigning champions Cork City played in front of a bumper crowd at Turner’s Cross for their first home game of the season. 6,443 packed into the stadium to see last year’s double-winners beat Waterford 2-0, and a tribute was paid to the late Liam Miller before kick-off.
6,443 at Turners Cross tonight.
That would’ve been the third highest attended match in LOI last year.
For further perspective, 100 yards down the road, Munster turned out 8,008.
Hugely positive signs. #LOI
— The Opel Jersey (@TheOpelJersey) February 23, 2018
Meanwhile, there was a clash of two genuine title-contenders in Tallaght, as Shamrock Rovers entertained Dundalk. Rovers took to the field in front of an even bigger crowd than at the sold-out Dalymount last week, as fans turned out in numbers to support the Hoops, with reports of over 4,000 in attendance.
— Keith Fahey (@Keith_Fahey) February 24, 2018
It may be relative, but even the 1,200 at the Carlisle Grounds to see Bray Wanderers host St Pat’s was a significant gathering for the Seagulls.
Big queues at ticket office at Carlisle Grounds.
— Vincent P Kirwan (@vinknn) February 23, 2018
Numbers speak for themselves, and the increased attendances make for positive reading for the League of Ireland. Long may it continue.
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