Jamie Gullan says the “culture in the club” has allowed the many new faces to ease into life at Oriel Park, after a very promising performance secured Dundalk a well- earned point against Shamrock Rovers on opening night.

Gullan, nicknamed ‘Hammer’, marked his debut for the club with a stunning free kick in the first half, as he unleashed an unstoppable strike past Leon Pohls.

That lead goal was cancelled out by Aaron Greene’s header after the break, but it remained a very positive night for Stephen O’Donnell’s fresh side, which included five players making their first league outing.

“We’ve got a lot of new boys that are only in two weeks. We need to settle in quickly and gel together off the pitch to help us on the pitch,” Gullan told dundalkfc.com afterwards.

“To be fair, with the group of boys we’ve got, the staff and the culture in the club, it’s been really easy for everyone to do that. Hopefully, we can build on that tonight and get stronger throughout the season.

“The way the game went, I think a point was fully deserved. We hit the post at 1-0 as well –that could easily have made it two and then you never know what could have happened. Overall, it was a great point.”


On his goal, Jamie added: “I couldn’t have asked for a better start, to be honest, scoring in the first half on your debut. I obviously fancy myself with my free kicks and I knew as soon as it left my foot that I had struck it well, it was just seeing if it went in and thankfully it did. I’m delighted.

“You want to get your first goal as soon as you can and settle yourself in. Thankfully, I’ve done that. I don’t know what happened with my celebration, I just ran as far as I could!”

In first half injury-time, Gullan could have added a second when his next set piece, appearing to be goal bound, went behind off the head of Markus Poom.

“Obviously, I’ll say it was going in!” he smiled. “It was a really good block. I struck it well too. It’s fine margins.”
The 24-year-old was full of praise for the defence that Dundalk put up to hold onto their point despite heavy pressure, in particular goalkeeper George Shelvey, who had only arrived at the club earlier in the week.

“The boys at the back had a lot thrown at them in the second half, especially, and dug in,” Jamie said. “George as well came and claimed a lot of crosses – that takes the pressure off us when a ‘keeper can come out and do that. The boys at the back were brilliant and dealt with everything.”

With a strong Scottish contingent now at Oriel Park, a Scotland flag with the Dundalk FC crest on it appeared in the away end at Tallaght Stadium, Gullan calling it “a nice wee touch” as he praised the travelling supporters.

“It was a great support,” he said. “Thankfully, we’ve given them something to go home happy about. Overall, it’s a good start.”