Group of Death – PearceyPlays #FM20 OS7 C2 S3 – Part 69 – Dundalk – September 2025

Yes, Barcelona, Dortmund and Lazio…

Welcome back to Co. Louth for a September that see us play Barcelona & Lazio, whilst trying to win a league Cup and (hopefully) being crowned League Champions.

Yep, will be interesting and (possibly) messy. Talking about Messi, where is he now…

Manager of Deportivo – 15th in the Segunda Division. Of course.

First up some start of month news – We don’t play until 15th September due to the International break.

Vetle Dahl is Norwegian OBOS-ligaen (2nd tier) Player of the Month for August 🙂

We have £36.4M in the bank 🙂

We’ve had the FAI Quarter Final draw.

We host one of the 2 First Division teams left, Galway Utd, currently 8th. That is our next game.

I’m an A+ with the board (I’d bloody hope so) and the dynamics are Very Good, Excellent, Excellent.

A few of the kids had international games.Evan O’Donovan did well in Ireland U21’s 2-0 loss to England, and Tommy Carlin, Neil Hanna & Aidan Hamilton all played in N. Ireland U21’s 4-0 loss to The Netherlands.

Jamie Forde got a few minutes for Ireland in their 1-1 draw with Greece. Lastly Michael Duffy and Jason Knight got sub minutes in Ireland’s 4-1 win over the Faroe Islands.

My Technical Director has gotten us an U19’s Data Analyst apparently 🙂

We have some Irish participation in the Scottish Tunnocks Caramel Wafer Cup – 3rd Round, Waterford lost 1-0 to Raith, Cork beat Morecambe (Vanarama National in 2025) 3-0. Funnily both the McCabe’s (Sam & Chris) were sent off in those games…

More international games for the kids – Jamie Forde with more minutes for Ireland U19’s in their 1-1 draw versus Scotland. Joe Holloway had a few minutes for Ireland U21 in their 3-0 win versus Bosnia, and Tommy Carlin, Neil Hanna and Aidan Hamilton played in N. Ireland U21’s 1-0 win over Gibraltar.

And we’ve had some senior action – Michael Duffy and Jason Knight with a few minutes in Ireland’s 2-1 win over Scotland, and Stevie Moore, Colin McGarvey and Tommy Collins played in N. Ireland’s 2-1 win over Lithuania – McGarvey with a goal.

A bore-draw in the IPD. Dundalk’s Sam McCabe MotM for Waterford.

Our U19’s beat Longford 9-1, goals from 19yo MC Sean Brennan, 17yo MC Adam Kelly, a hat-trick from Tommy Carlin (33 goals in 14 non-competitive matches) & 4 from Dom Halford (10 goals in 6).

14th September 2025 – Galway Utd (H) – FAI Cup Quarter Final

FT Dundalk 10 (Rooney o.g. 10, McShane 18, Behrenbeck 21, 27, 72, Duffy 25, Holloway 58, O’Malley 65, Kelly 71, 79) Galway 0 Att 2,668 (164 Away)

Galway sit 7th now in the First Division with 4 games to play. Athlone are 4 points clear at the top. A few highlights for Dundalk early. It’s an unfortunate opener though. 1-0 Dundalk, 10th minute, Rooney with an own goal, a corner from Duffy evading everyone, hitting Rooney and it trickled in. Galway getting a bit of attacking ball. It’s 2-0 in the 18th minute, Colm Mcshane with a back-post header from a Holloway free kick out wide. David Behrenbeck gets a tap-in for #3 in the 21st minute after a Jordan Kelly shot was saved into his path. All Dundalk. Duffy makes it 4 in the 25th minute – a nice looping header from a Williams cross. And Behrenbeck gets his 2nd just 2 minutes later – the same as his first except this was a parried Jordan Kelly header from a Duffy corner. 5-0 at the break. Galway down to 10 in the 53rd minute, O’Grady with a (harsh) 2nd yellow. Joe Holloway makes it 6 with a smart finish from a McShane break, his pass to Joe’s feet. We have the ball in the Galway net again within a minute, but Jordan Kelly was offside. Just. Steven O’Malley comes on and grabs himself a gola, ghosting pas a defender and slamming it in. 7-0. And Jordan gets a goal, 98-0, 71st minute, a volley parried in by the Keeper, a McShane cross playing as an IW on the left. David Behrenbeck gets his hat-trick a minute later, a nice easy finish following superb work again by McShane. It’s 10-0 with 11 minutes left, Pulis-ball bastardry, Colm McShane again with a 60-yard ping that Jordan Kelly controls, strolls in on goal and scores. Could be 11 or 12 at this rate. Clinical and merciless. Craddock in the Galway goal on a 4.7. They keep it to 10 though, game over.

All as expected except Derry taken to a replay by Cork. My biggest win of the save so far, and Dundalk’s as well. £39k for the win.

A little team by the name of Barcelona next… Hoping to keep it respectable. We’ve had the FAI Cup Semi Final draw…

St. Pat’s away. Tough one. October now a 10-game month.

More IPD games without us. Waterford still buzzing around the European spots, even though they’ve played 3 games more. Got an affinity with Waterford, after living there IRL for 2 years.

We’ve had the bookies feelings on our game with Barca – they are only 6/4 on (Dundalk 7/2) – surprises me.

The first UCL matches of the season – Lyon taking Real close, Galatasaray beating Porto possibly the only shock of the evening.

17th September 2025 – Barcelona (SPA) (H- Tallaght Stadium) – UCL Group E Matchday 1

FT Dundalk 2 (O’Malley 56, McGarvey 90+1) Barcelona 4 (De Ligt 13, Gouiri 26, 77, Alaba pen 35) Att 8,000 (4,000 Away)

Barcelona sit top of La Liga after 4 games – they and Bilbao 4 P4 W4. Young Boys get a point at home to Ajax in the 17:55 games. Let’s start the Group of Death! We are without Jenks for Yellows. No newgens in the Barca side, a 34yo Griezmann is up top in a 4-1-2-3 DM Wide. Barca have the ball in the net in the 3rd minute, but Gouiri was 3 yards off. A Tommy Collins header skims the bar in the 10th minute from a Duffy corner. Set Pieces separate the big teams from the not so big. Barca 1-0, 13th minute, De Ligt with a header from a Christian Eriksen free kick. We’ve had 5 shots to their 1! Almost identical goal for Barca’s 2nd, Gouiri with the header this time. Fucking OP Set Pieces. And then penalty Barca, a shove from McGarvey – Whatever. 3-0, Alaba, 3 set-pieces. 3-0 at the break, relatively close apart from the set pieces. We get a goal back in the 56th minute, a lovely team move, Astler, on for Seddon, with a beautiful cross and O’Malley heads in unmarked at the back post. Better after the hairdryer at half time. Gouiri makes it 4-1 in the 77th minute, missed tackles allowing him through for an easy goal. We get a 2nd in the first minute of stoppage time – Another Astler cross, this time Big Col with the header. And he gets himself sent off for a lunge 2 minute later. Idiot, Not even got Get Stuck in on or anything. It finishes 4-2. Apart from the set pieces that wasn’t too bad.

Will be interesting to see how Dortmund and Lazio do against Barca. League Cup Final next up in just 3 days.

Our League Cup Final Opponents Derry get through to the FAI Cup Semis after beating Cork on pens – they are our opponents in the League Cup Final, so will have 30 minutes more in their legs than us.

Got a news article that the Barca game was a gate receipt record as well, £210k. Will take a look next season to see if a stadium expansion makes sense.

Amazingly our U19’s beat Barcelona U19’s 3-1!! 18yo STC Tommy Coffey with a goal and ex-Man Utd STC Dom Halford with a brace.

More IPD games – Shamrock and St. Pat’s with good wins. Cobh with another crucial point, now less than a win behind Shelbourne.

20th September 2025 – Derry City (N – Oriel Park) – League Cup Final

FT Dundalk 2 (Kelly 32, McShane ) Derry City 0 Att 4,500 (2,250 Away)

A decent Derry side come to Dundalk looking to stop us winning another piece of Silverware. I’m trusting the second-string lads in the main that got us here, plus Jenks as he didn’t play in midweek. They have a few players short on condition. It’s a quiet start. We take the lead in the 32nd minute, Jordan Kelly finishing well following a beautiful 50-yard over-the-top ball by Holloway. Pulis-ball. Great movement by Kelly to get the space. Derry under the cosh as we get towards half time, but it’s just 1-0 Dundalk at the break. It’s a quiet second half too. Maybe game-over? Colm McShane, 2-0, a banger of a volley from an Astler cross. And yes, it’s all over. More silverware 🙂 £25k for the win, £22.5k paid out in bonuses, 28 medals awarded.

A couple of league games next up, Cork City away in 3 days, Limerick at Home 3 days after that.

Our U19’s beat Freebooters 9-0 in a friendly – goals from Aidan Hamilton, Brian Stapleton, Dom Halford, 2 from Jake Taylor (Just back from injury) and 4 for Dan Kelly.

St. Pat’s slip up in their quest for 2nd place, Dundalker Jim Collins with the goal for Limerick.

Youth Intake. Brian Smith on the left wing has potential. Apart from that it’s slim pickings.

23rd September 2025 – Cork City (A) – Irish Premier Division

FT Cork City 1 (Madsen 58) Dundalk 1 (Duffy 23) Att 3,629 (146 Away)

Cork start the day in 6th, 10 points behind Derry in 5th but on the same points as Limerick in 7th, 12 points clear of Shelbourne in 8th. So a straight Munster fight for 6th place. If we win we will be 25 points ahead of Shamrock, they have 24 points to play for. So we would win the League. We have a strong team out. Let’s do this. A decent start from the lads, Ryan in the Cork goal keeping it 0-0. We do take the lead in the 23rd minute however, a fine Duffy header from an O’Malley cross. We continue to press but Ryan is keeping them in it. 1-0 at the break. Cork equalise in the 58th minute, Madsen with the header, looking pretty offside TBH. Cork down to 10 soon after, O’Connor (Think he’s been sent off against us once already this season) for a second yellow. But we can’t brealk them down. It finishes 1-1, really quite poor.

23 points ahead, 24 to play for. We play Limerick at ours in 3 days, a win secures the title. Matty Burrows with another goal for Derry as they move back to 4th, a game in hand over St. Pat’s.

Our U19’s beat the Youth Candidates just 2-1, goals from Aidan Hamilton and Tommy Coffey for the U19’s, AML Kevin McCann for the Youth Candidates. We will be keeping 6 of the youngsters.

26th September 2025 – Limerick F.C. (H) – Irish Premier Division

FT Dundalk 4 (Behrenbeck 11, Carlin 67, 72, pen 81) Limerick F.C. 0 Att 3,580 (158 Away)

A better result required this evening – let’s tie this league title up. A decent enough start and we take the lead in the 11th minute, youngsters Astler and Behrenbeck combining, David with a near post header from Geoff’s cross. We continue to press afterwards but are just lacking that bit of quality. We go in just 1-0 up, even though we’ve had 10 shots on target. We make it 2 in the 67th minute. Tommy Carlin, just on for Kelly with a good shot that sneaks in after being parried by O’Shaughnessy. Headed assist from Connolly. And Tommy Carlin makes it 3-0 in the 72nd minute, heading home a McShane cross after Colm broke really quickly. We now knows MR really well. 78th minute, Dylan Hand sent off for a straight Red. 81st minute, penalty Dundalk, Connolly pushed by McHugh. Carlin for his hat-trick… 4-0 🙂 It’s all over, we pick the title up in the pouring Louth rain.

FM20 Domination Achievement now gotten 🙂 27 medals given out (So far). And that’s 8 league titles in a row now for Dundalk. Tim Foulkes scores for Shamrock as they win well. St. Pat’s win to keep Derry, who Draw, at bay. One game left this month – Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico, where we play for the 3rd time this save (Roma twice).

Initial Budgets set – £250k/wk and £17.1M transfer budget. We spend £80k/week 🙂

Our U19’s beat Bohemians 8-1, goals from left back Dominic Kiene, MC David Robinson, a hat-trick from Dom Halford and a hat-trick from youth candidate Gary Murphy.

More IPD games. Shamrock look to be in control in 2nd now. Cobh have 2 games in hand now over Shelbourne – can they get 3 points to go above them?

And Our U19’s beat Lazio U20’s 4-2!!! Goals from Tommy Carlin and a hat-trick from David Behrenbeck!!

We have 6 of the lads in the IPD team of the week.

30th September 2025 – Lazio (ITA) – (A) – UCL Group E Matchday 2

FT Lazio 2 (Alcacer 70, Suleimanov 75) Dundalk 3 (O’Malley 24, Jenkinson 44, McShane 45) Att 53,790 (44 Away)

Lazio sit 10th in Serie A after an inauspicious start to the season – W2 D2 L2. However they did beat Dortmund 3-2 in germany so we know we are rank outsiders for this game. Big Colin sits this out after his idiotic sending off versus Barca, so Colm McShane will play as a DLF in his place. Lazio using the OP 4-2-3-1 Wide as used by most of the big teams. Danger from a succession of set pieces early – do I change to Stay On Feet from neutral? Lazio on top by shots but we take the lead!! 24th minute, O’Malley from a tight angle after a horror-show from Lazio, a clearance right back into the middle of the pitch, McShane ends up getting it and he slips O’Malley in. One of those where the Keeper should just come and get it. Lazio with a few chances, Dundalk with a few after the goal. And we go 2-0 up in the Stadio Olimpico!! Jenks with a stunning DFK from 30 yards 🙂 Kickoff Highlight (Think we all know what this means…) – FUCKING 3-0 LADS!!!!!! Lazio give the ball away, we move it up the pitch efficiently, ball though from Duffy, Collins hauled down on the edge but the ref plays advantage, everybody stops except for Colm McShane, who runs through to score another one where the Keeper should have claimed to score from 6 yards. 3-0 Dundalk!!!! Madness. 3-0 at the break, 3 shots on target 🙂 I know this isn’t over yet though. Forty-four Dundalk fans in Rome this evening – they are having a party 🙂 And Conor O’Malley is pulling some good saves off early in the 2nd half. They get a goal back in the 70th minute, Alcacer with a tap-in, really unlucky, one of those slide tackles that goes straight to the opponent. Dropping back to a 4-1-4-1. 3-2, 75th minute, Right-back gone missing, Suleimanov with an easy goal. FFS. COME ON LADS!!! Gone Defensive as they go Very Attacking. 5 minutes of stoppages. BUT WE HOLD ON!! 3-2 DUNDALK!! A massive win away to a team that beat Dortmund at theirs!!!

Second on games versus 🙂 Dortmund get a really good point at the Camp Nou. Celtic also on the board with a 3-1 versus Genk. Aaron Wan-Bissaka scoring for PSG as they beat Liverpool at Anfield (Seems to be a trend…) £2.3M in the pot 🙂 Balance now stands at £38.5M.

What a way to round off a month!!!

A League Cup Final victory, IPD title and 3 points in Rome 🙂 A bit of a madness. October is full-on. 3 games in 4 days to start including a FAI Cup Semi Final (Think there is an international break in there somewhere as well) followed by another 3 games in 4 days stretch of IPD games. Will be using the youngsters, which is always good. See you next time for more Lillywhite action 🙂

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