Youths attendance showed major rise
Wexford Youths enjoyed a significant increase in their average home attendance during the title-winning Division 1 season.
Crowds at Ferrycarrig Park rose by a whopping 62%, with the figure boosted significantly by the 1,000-plus fans who turned out for the last two games in particular when Shane Keegan's side firstly won the league outright, and then received the trophy.
Finn Harps, who also ended up gaining promotion via the play-off route, boasted the sole higher figure than Youths in Division 1 with 77%, while Cobh Ramblers rose by 44% despite a below-par showing.
Premier Division crowds increased by 9.8%, with an overall 6.9% boost for league attendances when both Premier and First Divisions were taken into consideration. The highest rises in the top flight were for Limerick who still ended up making the drop (48%), Longford Town (31%) and Galway United (28%).
In other news, Youths will be pleased to learn that all clubs are to collect in the region of €11,000 under a new partnership with the FAI and Austrian company Trackchamp which involves all games being streamed live to overseas markets.
There was a further boost over the weekend when star striker Danny Furlong, whose one-year contract expired in October, signed on the dotted line again for the club's first season in the top flight. Furlong was recently named the First Division player of the year and also won the Youths' corresponding internal award, while Ryan Delaney was the club's choice of young player of the year.
Unfortunately, there was heartbreak for another man who played such a big part in Youths' title win in another code on Sunday. Paul Cahillane had a golden chance to force extra-time for his home club Portlaoise in the AIB Leinster Club Senior football championship final against Ballyboden St. Enda's in O'Connor Park, Tullamore, when he stepped up to take a late free.
However, his left-footed effort from the hands close to goal veered high to the left and wide of the posts, leaving the Dubs to hang on and earn an All-Ireland semi-final spot against Clonmel Commercials or Tir Chonaill Gaels from London.