The Dundalk FC Futsal team will be the special guests at Thursday night’s game with Sligo Rovers at Oriel Park following their wonderful achievement at the inaugural League of Ireland Down Syndrome Futsal Festival in Gormanston at the weekend.

The Lilywhites team won all three of their group games, and their semi-final with Sligo Rovers, before finishing a brilliant tournament as runners-up to Finn Harps.

Dundalk were one of seven League of Ireland clubs to take part in the tournament along with Shelbourne, Cork City, Harps, Wexford FC, Bohemians and Sligo Rovers.

With Gormanston native, and former Dundalk midfielder Greg Sloggett watching on, the Lilywhites were pooled into group one alongside Bohemians, Wexford and Cork City and they topped the section with a 100% record.

A brilliant hat-trick from David O’Hare and goals from Kevin Trainer, Jamie Linden and Conor McGuinness (2) got Dundalk off to a flying start with a 7-2 win over Bohemians in their first outing.

They followed that up with a 5-2 win over Wexford; goals from Michéal McCloy and a brace apiece from Jonathan Evans and Jamie Linden, before they secured their place in the knockout stages with a 2-1 win over Cork City, with Trainer scoring both goals. 

That set up a semi-final showdown with Sligo Rovers and they made light work of the Bit o’Red with Trainer helping himself to a stunning hat-trick while David O Hare (2) and Michéal McCloy also hit the net in a 6-1 win. Hopefully, it’s a sign of what is to come on Thursday night!

Dundalk FC’s Jamie Linden in action against Finn Harps in the final of the FAI League of Ireland Down Syndrome Futsal Festival. Photo by Tyler Miller/Sportsfile

Group two winners Finn Harps were Dundalk’s opponents in the final and although the Lilywhites gave it their all and played some spectacular football, an excellent Harps side ran out 5-1 winners. Jamie Linden scored the Dundalk goal, finding the corner from close to the halfway line! 

This was a fantastic achievement by the Dundalk FC Futsal team, and their proud coaches, Aoife Burns, Luke Murphy and Noah Linden.

The squad was only formed back in April as part of a fantastic collaborative initiative between the FAI Football For All programme and League of Ireland clubs to provide male and female players aged 16 and over with Down Syndrome with the opportunity to line out for their local clubs.

All seven of the teams that were involved on Sunday displayed brilliant talent throughout the games and everyone is looking forward to the next tournament that is scheduled to take place in September.

Training for the Dundalk FC Futsal team takes place every Monday night from 6pm-7pm at Oriel Park and new players are always welcome. If you would like to get involved contact