Dundalk XI v Tommy Mac XI
All Dundalk Supporters are encouraged to support Saturday’s fundraising match between Dundalk FC XI and the Tommy McConville Selection. The game in Oriel kicks off at 6pm (admission €5). The Enda McGuill Suite will open at 2.45pm. All Pints €3.70: All Spirits €3.20: All Soft Drinks €2.00. After the Charity Match D.J. Baz provides entertainment.
(Photograph above shows Nicolle Kellegher presenting a sponsorship cheque to Tommy McConville. (L-R): Stefan McKevitt (Muirhevna Mor FC), Nicolle Kellegher (Isle De France – Match Sponsors), Stephen Kenny, Tommy McConville and Peter Cherrie.
“We’ll use it as a preparation game. It should be a great community occasion. I think that it’s important that Dundalk Football Club has a link with all of the local clubs. We want young kids with these clubs to grow up hoping to play for Dundalk. Whether it’s Quay Celtic, Bellurgan or Muirhevna Mor – they should aspire to play for Dundalk.”
With players like David Ward, Stefan McKevitt and Andrew Duffy in the Tommy McConville line-up, Dundalk will be up against a number of former players on Saturday afternoon: “A lot of the players in Tommy’s team will have been involved in the club at some level over the years. I’m sure they will want to do well in this game. From our point of view, we respect all the clubs in the town and we are glad to have a game like this. Last year there was a 0-0 draw last season so we expect a serious game that will help us with our preparation for the season ahead.”
Dundalk were due to travel North to play Dungannon Swifts in a friendly on Tuesday bight but the match was called off due to a water-logged pitch. With gaining match-fitness a key at this point of pre-season, Dundalk were fortunate to be able to quickly arrange a training match against the Irish Army team at the last minute. “It went very well” Kenny reflected after the match. “I was delighted. We were supposed to play in Dungannon tonight but the match was called off very late last night. It was just a coincidence that the Irish Forces team were in Dundalk today and we were able to play a training match against them. I’m grateful to them. It was a good training exercise and including a goal of the season contender from Patrick Hoban! “
Dundalk, incidentally, won the practice match 6-2 with goals two goals from Patrick Hoban, two from Kurtis Byrne and a goal apiece from Eoghan Osborne and John Sullivan.
Next up for Dundalk is the challenge match against the Tommy McConville XI on Saturday and Kenny expressed his happiness with how pre-season is continuing: “With three games in a week the key is to minimise injuries. We lost Tiarnan on Friday. John Dillon had an x-ray on his shins but he is fine. Chris Shields had a knock on his knee but that will clear up shortly. Tiarnan is the only one that will be out for a few weeks. It’s positive at this point that the players are beginning to come out of their shell. I noticed it tonight with the likes of Kurtis Byrne – but everybody is doing well”.