‘We will rise again.’
Lisburn Distillery’s loyal supporters have suffered another major heartbreak - the latest in a long line over recent seasons.
They are faced with relegation to the third tier of the NIFL pyramid and, reacting to the news on the popular Irish League Supporters website, the fans were determined to ensure their club halt their slide.
“As Distillery supporters we’ve seen it coming all season,” said dee07. “It’s been a tough number of years for us.
“The glory days are gone for now but we can and will rise again Once a Whitesman, always a Whitesman.”
Reacting on Facebook, Glenn Smith called for the club to drop ‘Lisburn’ from its name and go back to the traditional ‘Distillery FC’ while Keith Stevenson said the way forward is to leave Ballyskeagh to ‘seek funding for pitch/ground in Lisburn’ in order to attract a bigger support.
Another fan on ILS, under the guise of Spiritof71 (the last year the club won the Irish Cup), said he or she can only hope ‘this is as bad as it gets for the Whites.”
“For all the club’s famous (and troubled) history, it’s a very black day for the Whites,” said the fan.
“We can but hope to make our stay in the new Intermediate League a short one but it won’t be easy to come straight back up. If it was simply a case of having one bad season, we could be more hopeful but our slide down the league(s) is well documented.
“Some outside the club or those who have drifted away will point fingers and make their own conclusions. There are many who haven’t been seen at a game since the CIS Cup final and wouldn’t put a penny into the coffers to help see the club survive and plenty who have a ‘soft spot’ or ‘always look out for the results’ but wouldn’t come to a match on a Saturday if you picked them up and drove them to Ballyskeagh.
“The club needs leadership and needs a clear plan to make our way back, the club needs to pull together and appreciate the work that so many do around the place to keep the club going.
“Many of us are tired and frustrated at where we find ourselves and need a new lease of life, energy and a big morale boost. Let’s hope the new season brings with it some new optimism.”
Spiritof71 also uncovered some ‘grim’ statistics, which indicate that in Distillery’s three seasons in Championship One, they have won only 18 of 71 games, a win percentage of just over 25 per cent.
Perhaps it’s little wonder then that itsallwhite says a new approach is required:
“My fear would be that by trying to consolidate our position like the last three seasons we will eventually drop out of champ two as well. The club needs a plan and a vision of how to move forward.”
ed_white added: “Agree fully the club needs a plan and vision to move forward but these become worthless unless there are people prepared to work to ensure they become reality, time that all of us stood up to the plate. United we stand.”
The club and fans will certainly need to be united as Distillery’s future looks far from a quick fix. You can even have your say at the next supporters’ forum, due to be held at the club on Monday 4th April at 7.45pm.