Welcome back to Dundalk for August 2025. August will always be a big month for us as we strive to qualify for the UCL, and keep on taking the £13M that that generates 🙂
Firstly, start of the month admin.
Dundalker Matty Burrows comes second in the IPD Player of the Month for Derry City
I get Manager of the Month. We have £23.5M in the bank. I am an A+ with the board 🙂
Dynamics are Very Good, Very Good, Excellent
Looking pretty dire for Cobh & Longford with 11 games left.
PLAYER ARRIVING (END OF SEASON)
Zech Medley will arrive for £325k for 3 years as a start centre-back, replacing Ray Moore (Hopefully). He is currently an 83 with our scouts, 4* CA/PA. A steal.
Our U19’s beat Athlone 5-2, goals from new-boy STC Dom Halford, a brace from David Behrenbeck and a brace from 17yo STC Richie O’Sullivan.
3rd August 2025 – Derry City (H) – Irish Premier Division
FT Dundalk 2 (Connolly 22, Ngoy 25) Derry City 0 Att 4,477 (202 Away)
Derry went out of the Europa Conference League in mid week and are 3 points back from Shamrock in 4th. We have a trip to Poland in just 3 days so will have a rotated team. Will be a tough one. It’s a quiet start. But we take the lead in the 22nd minute, Brian Connolly with the sliding finish after a bit of a schmozzle – Joe Holloway with the free kick, Colm McShane with the initial header, which came off the face of the post, Brian slides in and stabs it in from less than a yard. It’s a set piece nightmare for Derry – 2-0 just 3 minutes later, Nathan Ngoy with a powerful header from a Joe Holloway corner. Great play from the lads. The rest of the half is pretty quiet – we go in 2-0 to the good. The second half is really quiet too. Derry have the ball in the net in the 74th minute, but Morrow was well offside. It finished 2-0. Good win.
European doldrums for 3 of the 4 teams that played midweek! 9 games clear, 11 games left. We could win the league this month!!!
Right, we travel to Warsaw (1,150 miles) soon for the game on Wednesday. First though there is the playoff draw, in which we are seeded!! Only Slavia Prague have more Coefficient points in the draw. Dinamo are playing Dynamo Kyiv… It’s fated, isn’t it…
Interesting one! PAOK. Only had the Greek Superleague turned on for one season but they won it. They haven’t started their season yet though. Tough to go straight in to a playoff. They have a 34 yo James Rodriguez in their ranks and their star striker is ex-Arsenal Chuba Akpom… They didn’t have any European Football last season, fell in the Playoff to Anderlecht in 23/24, Failed to qualify for the Conference league stage in 22/23 but got to the Conference League knockouts in 21/22. I’d consider us favourites, but let’s get past Legia first!
I’ve extended contracts for our best players. Tommy Collins now with us until the end of 2028 (£2.8k/wk) & Big Col the same (£2k/wk)
PLAYER LEAVING (LOAN)
Wanted Jamie McGrath gone for a while as he was a malcontent – TNS can have him until the end of the season for nothing. Never know, he may want to buy him…
We’ve had a scout report for Legia – I’d put them as similar in strength to us.
Nathan Ngoy & Brian Connolly made the IPD Team of the Week.
6th August 2025 – Legia (POL) (A) – UCL 3rd Qual Round 1st Leg
Legia have started off with 7 wins from 7 games this season… Let’s put a big Dundalk-sized dent in that.
FT Legia 0 Dundalk 1 (Collins 14) Att 27,942 (26 Away)
Legia going with the old 4-2-3-1 Wide. Positive. Will take a draw. We get a couple of highlights early. They look dangerous though. We take the lead however in the 14th minute, Tommy Collins with his 33rd of the season! Nicely tucked past the keeper after an outrageous first-time pass by Duffy from a cross-field Jenks ball… Big-game players. They have an American newgen called Willy Wight – Quality 🙂 End-to-end near the end of the half, both teams looking most dangerous on the break. Exciting to watch. 1-0 at the break. Really quiet for the start of the second half after the flurry of activity at the end of the 1st. We are still getting the better chances as we enter the final 20. Last 5. Stoppages. Collins hits the bar with a header from a Duffy corner. So close. It’s all over. I’ll take that every day!! 1-0 Dundalk.
Qarabag get a really good draw away at Salzburg. And KA also get a great draw at home to HJK. Some tight matches.
We have a League Cup Semi before the home leg – Shamrock at Tallaght. So we will be playing at the Tallaght twice in 4 days. Nice 🙂
Stevie Moore signs until the end of 2028 – £2.7k/wk.
Ray Moore goes to Hull for £400k. Annoyed but better him gone than causing ructions. Scout has him at a 66. He’s getting £11.75k/wk in the Championship (19th currently).
Limerick doing really well in their 1st season up in the IPD with another win. Thinking Longford might be done with 10 games left. They need 3 wins to just get up to Cobh. Waterford have snuck up to 3rd!!!
Our U19’s beat Evergreen 6-0 – goals from 18yo MC Sean Brennan, Brian Stapleton, Dom Halford and a hat-trick from David Behrenbeck. Thinking he may be close to the 1st team…
10th August 2025 – Shamrock Rovers (A) – League Cup Semi Final
FT Shamrock Rovers 0 Dundalk 2 (Kelly 7, 68) Att 6,187 (999 Away)
Shamrock surprisingly sit 4th in the IPD currently, but come into this on the back of a 0-0 draw versus a Scottish Premiership Dundee Utd side. St. Pat’s beat Univ. Craiova 2-1 in the other Irish-involved Conference League 3rd Qual Round 1st Leg. We’ve done a decent bit of rotation. Would be nice to get to another domestic final but that £20M+ is far more important than anything. 4-4-2 v 4-4-2, man for man. Think Shamrock have rotated too. We take the lead in the 7th minute, a great goal by Jordan Kelly after turning his defender, the shot tucked inside the left post. Assist pass from Neil Hanna. Shamrock are looking tired pretty early, and have already lost a player to injury. Well on top, 1-0 at the break. A quiet 2nd half until Jordan makes it 2, a powerful strike from 15 yards, final pass from Brian Connolly. Good to see Jordan scoring, that’s only his 14th of the season. Shamrock have their first shot of the game in the 89th minute! It finished 2-0 – professionally done. £8.5k for the win.
St. Pat’s pulling away a bit in 2nd with 10 games left. Cobh win the battle at the bottom, pretty much consigning Longford to First Division football next season.
And we will be playing Derry City in the League Cup Final. Matty Burrows popping up with the goal to clinch their passage to Oriel Park (Think we are hosting it) on the 20th September.
13th August 2025 – Legia (POL) (H – Tallaght Stadium) – UCL Champions 3rd Qual Round 2nd Leg
FT Dundalk 3 (Jenkinson 5, McGarvey 20, Duffy 45+3) Legia 0 Att 8,000 (233 Away) Dundalk wins 4-0 on Aggregate
Legia come into the game on the back of a 1-0 win versus Wisla Plock in the Ekstraklasa, the previously mentioned American newgen Willy Wight with the goal. Just need to play our normal game. Legia’s away kit very similar to our away kit. We go 1-0 up in the 5th minute after an open start – Jenks popping up with a rare back=post header from an O’Malley free kick from wide on the right. Great start lads!! And it’s 2-0 on the night, 3-0 on aggregate in the 20th minute, Big-Game McGarvey with a wonderful header from another O’Malley set-piece, a little bit closer to the byline than his first assist. Dundalk well on top, they don’t like being harried for every ball. Their attacking players are looking pretty tired already. And we make it 3-0 on the night just over 2 minutes into stoppages at the end of the first half, a hat-trick of headers, this one from open play, Michael Duffy heading in a Freddy Barton cross at the back post. Unfortunately it looks like Steven O’Malley has a poorly foot – will get him off for Connolly at the break. We go in 3(4)-0(0) to the good. The 2nd half passes by pretty quickly, Legia not really giving much, Lillywhites happy to take a break. We win 3-0, 4-0 on aggregate. Very professional work lads!
No real shocks – FC Kobenhavn come back well from a 2-1 1st leg deficit to defeat Feyenoord. Also we are guaranteed European league-based football throughout the autumn and early winter. Lets make it UCL by beating PAOK!
Moneybags Athlone Town next up in the FAI Cup 1st Round before we travel to Salonika for the UCL Champions Playoff 1st Leg 🙂
Checking in on the progress of the other Irish teams still in European competition. Shamrock are out of the Conference League, losing 3-0 at Tannadice versus Dundee Utd. St. Pat’s are also out, 4-3 on aggregate after losing 3-1 on the night to Univ. Craiova. Need to see if I can strengthen these teams somehow, we need the Coefficient points as a nation. It’s up to us!
FAI Cup 1st Round results – Shelbourne need 120 minutes to beat non-league Salthill. Waterford win the all-IPD tie, Barry O’Leary with the winning goal.
16th August 2025 – Athlone Town (H) – FAI Cup 1st Round
FT Dundalk 5 (Carlin 12, Connolly 42, 69, Stevie Moore 73, 85) Athlone Town 1 (O’Rourke 62) Att 2,550 (42 Away)
Athlone top the First Division by 1 point with 6 games left. They’ve continued to splash the cash and are looking to build an IPD team. Hoping for a professional performance from the lads today. And we take the lead in the 12th minute. A defensive mistake by Athlone allows Jordan to get the ball, he slips through Tommy Carlin who does really well to get some space, stroking the ball home inside the right upright. Pretty quiet until the 42nd minute, when Brian Connolly volleys home emphatically at the far post after a gorgeous cross from Colm McShane. 2-0 Dundalk at the break. Athlone get a goal back in the 62nd minute, O’Rourke with a good finish across Mpande. Athlone down to 10 soon after, Greer with a 2nd Yellow. And a few minutes after that we go 3-1 up, Connolly with his 2nd, a back post header from a cross from David Behrenbeck on debut. 4-1 four minutes after the 3rd, Stevie Moore heading home, through Keeper Swann’s hands, from a Behrenbeck deep free kick. And the 5th is identical, except Swann didn’t get near this one. behrenbeck with a hat-trick of assists on debut 🙂 It finishes 5-1. A good result from the boys.
No shocks today. £19.5k in the pot.
More FAI Cup games on the Sunday – Cork City needing 120 minutes to beat non-league Letterkenny, Tim Foulkes on the scoresheet for Shamrock Rovers, Matty Burrows with a brace for Derry and the only shock, if you can call it that – Cabinteely (7th in the First Division) knocked out by non-league Mervue Utd. Just had a look at the First division table again – Galway are 8th and Drogheda 9th!!! And Sligo are a point away from the playoffs in 5th. If Cobh end up going down I definitely want to have them as a junior affiliate so we can try and get them back up straight away.
Our U19’s beat Drogheda 6-0 – goals from 18yo STC Tommy Coffey, 17yo DR Shaun Costello and 4 from 17yo winger Jamie Forde.
Had a PAOK scouting assessment – Their best player by CA is Chuba Akpom – 75 rated by the scouts. Decent players if unremarkable. They also happen to have Panathinaikos in the game between the two legs, their first league game of the season.
We’ve had the FAI Cup 2nd Round draw…
Away to Shelbourne. All the big boys kept apart, Ours is the only all-IPD tie.
19th August 2025 – PAOK (GRE) (A) – UCL Champions Playoff 1st Leg
We make the 1,650 mile journey to Salonika to play a PAOK side that hasn’t yet started their season. Hopefully cohesion and form will out this evening.
FT PAOK 1 (Nuno Santos 45) Dundalk 1 (McGarvey 27) Att 27,291 (23 Away)
We are unbeaten since Roma away in April – 31 matches. Let’s keep it that way. Had the silly bugged comments in the Tunnel interview (PAOK best defence, lowest scorers – They haven’t played yet!!). They look pretty useful going forward. We should be 1-0 up in the 17th minute, Collins slipped in by Duffy, his shot superbly saved. We do take the lead however in the 27th minute – defensive cohesion not there as Big Col gets acres after a fine O’Malley pass, his shot parried into the net by the PAOK Keeper Tiago Sa. They look tired… They’ve not even started their league season yet, how can they be tired? But they equalise just before half time, Nuno Santos with a decent shot through a crowded box. 1-1 at the break – they already have 5 players booked. Pretty quiet in the first 15, though they do look dangerous going forward. We’ve had chances – Tommy Collins has dropped off form a bit. Tight as we go into the last 10. Into stoppages. It finishes 1-1 – We take the Away goal back to Tallaght Stadium. Apart from Roma they are the best team we’ve played this season. Let’s see how well they travel.
FC Kobenhavn with a fine win in Monaco. Young Boys do a smash-and-grab in Zagreb, goals in the 86th and 92nd minutes. We have Waterford in 3 days before the return leg, 5 days after that.
Salzburg drew 0-0 with HJK in the final UCL Playoff 1st leg tie on Wednesday.
22nd August 2025 – Waterford (A) – Irish Premier Division
FT Waterford x (Hughes 65) Dundalk x (Behrenbeck 23, Duffy 37, Kelly 50, 66, 77) Att 1,590 (244 Away)
Waterford currently sit 3rd by 2 goals over Shamrock. They play St. Pat’s today so all to play for. We are rotated, but Duffy & Ngoy play as they are suspended from the PAOK game for yellows. Steve Seddon is back in the squad after his layoff for a Sports Hernia. I’ve noticed they have Glen Rea playing at centre-back! He’s on £450/wk now. Was on £3.5k/wk with us! A tight game early on but we take the lead in the 23rd minute – David Behrenbeck with his first goal for Dundalk, a fine header from a deep Joe Holloway free kick. 2-0 in the 37th, another header, this time Duffy from a McShane cross, across Connor in the Waterford net. 2-0 at the break. Jordan Kelly gets his 15th of the season 5 minutes into the 2nd half, a good 1-on-1 finish after being slipped through by Neil Hanna. Nathan Ngoy gifts Waterford a goal after hanging onto the ball for too long, hitting the ball straight at Hughes, he gets the ball back and has a tap-in. We reply from the kickoff highlight. 4-1, Kelly with his second at the second time of asking, following being laid in by Behrenbeck. And he gets his hat-trick in the 77th minute – a fine header over the keeper from sub Steve Seddon’s majestic cross. Real quality. It finishes 5-1. A great result.
Shamrock take back control of their destiny with a fine 3-0 win at St. Pat’s Cobh win a relegation 6-pointer versus Shelbourne – they are now just 3 points back on Shelbourne. We are 27 points ahead of St. Pat’s, they have 27 to play for. We are 28 points clear of Shamrock with 30 to play for. We’ve definitely qualified for the Conference League in the 26/27 season now 🙂
Right, the biggie in 5 days. £20M+ for the winner!
Our U19’s beat Ballinsloe 12-0 in a friendly. Goals from Aidan Hamilton, Dan Kelly, Three braces (Stapleton, Martin Kenny & Carlin), and 4 from Dom Halford.
A couple of IPD games – Shamrock winning a cracker versus Waterford, Dundalker Tim Foulkes with the winner in the 92nd minute after Shamrock were 3-0 down with 24 minutes left!
Six of the lads made the IPD Team of the Week.
Salzburg are the first team to qualify for the UCL Groups, beating HJK 1-0 in Finland.
Six of the lads called up for International duty for the September internationals.
27th August 2025 – PAOK (GRE) (H- Tallaght Stadium) – UCL Champions Playoff 2nd leg
FT Dundalk 3 (McGarvey 33, Collins 45+1, O’Malley 71) PAOK 2 (Plata 23, 58) Att 7,054 (327 Away) – Dundalk wins 4-3 on Aggregate
Welcome to Fortress Tallaght 🙂 PAOK beat Panathinaikos 2-0 on Sunday so this will be tough. Hope the AI hasn’t done any rotation. Nervous. 0-0 will do but lets just win it, shall we! And we go 1-0 down in the 23rd minute. Definitely looked offside, Plata scoring from a tight angle. Fuck it, we’re going to have to win now. And we get back in it, 1-1, 33rd minute, Big Col McGarvey with another header from an O’Malley corner. Big game players. Come on lads!!! Looks like Tiago Sa made a hash of it. And today we make their half-time team talk a bit more difficult! 2-1 Dundalk, Collins with a beautiful header on the run, cross from O’Malley. 34th of the season. Great response! We go in 2-1 up at the break. 55 gone, Freddy Barton off with a bruised ankle, Williams on. I think Seddon needs to come off as well, Plata leaves him for dead and makes it 2-2. Fuck. But the boys won’t give up! 3-2 Dundalk, 71st minute, O’Malley with a back-post header from a Connolly dinked cross. COME ON LADS!!!! We are getting chances to put this to bed as we enter the final 10. Tiago Sa is keeping them in it. BBM Taylor injured with 5 left – Thankfully I’ve still go t a sub – Knight coming on. Another foot injury. Six minutes of stoppages… We have bossed the stats, how in fuck can they still be in with a shout? 15 seconds left, PAOK’s Krafth gets his marching orders for a second yellow. Take your time with the free kick lads!! IT’S ALL OVER!!! We go through 4-3 on aggreagte 🙂 🙂 🙂 Would be surprised if they don’t do well in the Europa League.
Monaco turn their 3-2 deficit around to consign FC Kobenhavn to the Europa League. Will be interesting to see what pot we are in for the Group draw. £13M into the old bank account 🙂 £36.8M balance.
Jake Taylor is out for a month with a twisted ankle. Not ideal. Freddy Barton has a bruised Ankle – a couple of days.
Six more international call-ups.
And to the Champions League Draw. We are in Pot 4 🙁 Top of Pot 4, but Pot 4 nonetheless.
Nothing easy here. Maybe D, F, or H might allow a Europa League qualification?
Bugger. A point in this group would be amazing. Still, good experience for the lads, what with going to the Camp Nou and all that 🙂 We welcome Barcelone to Tallaght Stadium in our first game in the Group.
We’ve had the first set of FAL Cup games in the 2nd Round. Derry took 120 minutes tand a Penalty to beat Sligo but in the tie of the day Galway knock out Waterford 4-3, having been 3-2 down 2 minutes into stoppage time.
30th August 2025 – Shelbourne (A) – FAI Cup 2nd Round
FT Shelbourne 0 Dundalk 4 (McGarvey 17, 77, O’Malley 24, Collins 35) Att 860 (461 Away)
Shelbourne sit 8th in the IPD and face a battle to avoid the relegation playoff with Cobh hot on their tail. So today should be a bit of light cup relief for them. As the lads are going on their international break after this game we are fielding a strong side. Old friend Bosun Lawal starts in midfield for Shelbourne. A decent enough start. We take the lead in the 17th minute, Big Colin bundling the ball over the line after Tommy Collins’s header rattled the crossbar. His 17th of the season. Steven O’Malley makes it 2 in the 24th – arriving into the box to (almost) half-volley a shot into the top-right bins from a Collins cross. Great goal. Collins gets #35 of the season in the 35th minute (After McGarvey got his 17th of the season in the 17th minute…), a close-ranger header from an O’Malley cross. 3-0 at the break. All quiet in the 2nd half – first highlight in the 66th minute. McGarvey makes it 4 in the 77th minute, a fine header from a Geoffrey Astler cross. McGarvey caught offside for his hat-trick – if he’d have left it Duffy would have scored… It finishes 4-0. A professional job. £29.3k in the bank.
All as expected.
That’s that for this months games.
Really proud of the guys for qualifying for the UCL for the 3rd year in a row – Beating a team like PAOK over 2 legs was a madness. We still have 10 league games to play – With 3 rounds left in the FAI Cup we will most probably be playing 10 games in October.
Last bits for the month – Our U19’s beath Finn Harps 4-3, goals from 15yo non-player Alan Fenlon and a hat-trick from Tommy Carlin.
See you next time for A League Cup Final plus Barcelona playing at Tallaght Stadium and a trip to Rome to play Lazio. See you soon.