The roars of the crowd of 37,126 FAI Extra.ie Cup final are silenced, the case of winning and losing has been resolved.
All that’s left to do is clinch the individual honors for the 2021 SSE Airtricity League season before the annual manager and player merry-go-round accelerates.
The first tonight is the PFAI, followed by the Soccer Writers’ Ireland next Friday – these latest awards will be held remotely for the second year in a row due to COVID-19.
So how did it go for your team?
Did they exceed expectations, meet them or fail to meet expectations?
It’s time to Extra.ie to take a cold look at those who stood up to the plate, and those who got stuck in the stands.
While we are at it, we will be proposing an alternative team of the year to the one selected by the PFAI.
Under the able leadership of Stephen Bradley, the Hoops set the standard and defended their title flawlessly with a record-breaking 16-point margin of victory in a 36-game season.
The arrival of Danny Mandroiu ensured a spread of goals, Dylan Watts has taken off, while the return of Jack Byrne makes him the team to beat in 2022 when an extended European run will be the next challenge.
St. Patrick’s Day athletics
Fittingly, the only team to go after the Rovers in the League have enjoyed rich compensation in the FAI Extra.ie Cup last Sunday.
A first trophy as head coach from Stephen O’Donnell ensured a return to European football, but could not prevent speculation about his departure to Dundalk, which rocked the heads of Richmond Park.
With many short-term contracts in their ranks, the Cup final eleven may no longer play together.
Bit O’Red had a mid-season swing to claim third place and another bite in the Europa Conference League, where they didn’t like it in Iceland.
In their day they were a game for anyone, but the league rewards consistency, which was Sligo’s Achilles heel.
In addition, most of their big names are on board for next season. Irish Under-19 forward Johnny Kenny will do even better.
City of Derry
The Brandywell’s star actor was Ruaidhri Higgins who arrived in his firefighter’s uniform, put out the flames and oversaw a rebuild which was completed with a Euro qualification.
Signings of Patrick McEleney, Michael Duffy and Will Patching, among others, indicate Derry’s intention to be serious players in 2022, assuming they don’t get stuck in the blocks like last season.
For all of their big Euro nights, their Player of the Month awards and the support armada in the FAI Cup final, Bohs found himself without a trophy or lucrative ticket to the Euro competition.
And this will squeak as they had their hands to claim both.
Keith Long must be feeling like Sisyphus as he seeks to push the boulder up to Dalymount Hill. It will be all the more steep if Georgie Kelly leaves.
Few saw the car crash happen even after the front row players were cleared to leave for rival clubs.
Dundalk has been amber all season, except for a brief spike in Europe. Their form in the league was chronic and it took a late hurray to avoid relegation play-offs.
Not many people have bemoaned the departure of the owners of Peak6 and there could be more pain to come.
The pursuit of Stephen O’Donnell as head coach is the first step in the healing process.
Tim Clancy turned Drogheda into a competitive unit and there was a sniff of a Euro spot until the last week or two, while Mark Doyle’s 13 league goals left him third in the league. stake of snipers.
Clancy replaced Stephen O’Donnell at Pat’s with Kevin Doherty from No 2 to Boyne.
Keeping Drogheda’s locker room intact might not be so easy for Doherty.
Whenever their new stadium finally opens, statues are expected to be erected for Patsy McGowan and Ollie Horgan.
Just as McGowan managed to pull the strings of his beloved harps, Horgan, a piano lover, composed his own music in eight years at the helm.
Horgan made sure Harps had room to maneuver ahead of a 5-0 loss to Longford on the final day and secured Premier Division status for a fourth consecutive year.
The Blues managed to shoot each other in both feet as they crashed out of the top flight under strange circumstances.
Not beating Longford in their penultimate game was as costly as calling for Marc Bircham’s sacking ahead of the play-off loss to UCD.
Covid issues didn’t help either, but there was enough quality in the ranks to stay put.
Can Waterford bounce back right away? Hmm.
Town of Longford
The Midlanders won their first game but only managed to win one more and were destined for relegation before the mid-season break.
Daire Doyle duly paid the price, but in many games Longford was organized and competitive, but lacked an advantage. How they could have done with a goalscorer.
No one expected them to stay standing, but they should have done better.
Extra.ie Alternative Team of the Year
JAROS (SAINT PAT’S); GRACE (SHAMROCK R), DESMOND (ST PAT’S), MAHON (SLIGO R); BENSON (ST PAT’S), WATTS (SHAMROCK R), BOLGER (SLIGO R), DUFFY (DUNDALK); KENNY (SLIGO R), MANDROIU (SHAMROCK R), TIERNEY (BOHS).