World Cup 2026 – #FM20 OS8 C2 S4 – Part 77 – Dundalk – June 2026

World Cup 2026 – Hosted by Canada, the USA and Mexico

Welcome back to an odd month – these happen every even-numbered year in Ireland with the season running February to October.

Just Derry in the league (Without Michael Duffy, who will be in the Irish training camp) and Drogheda in the Leinster Final. We will put a few friendlies in as well. First up the monthly admin.

Big Col gets the IPD player of the month, with Michael Duffy 3rd.

Neil Hanna 2nd in the goal of the month for his 1st free kick versus Cork, Steven O’Malley with his cracker against Shamrock in the 2nd league game versus them in May.

I get the Manager of the Month – my first this season.

We have £42.4M in the bank – our transfer budget is now £22M (Which we can never use).

I’m an A with the board, dynamics are Very Good, Very Good, Excellent (A few players moaning about playing time)

Three of the lads made the IPD team of the week – Freddy, Geoff and Michael.

And Michael played 22 minutes in Ireland’s 0-0 friendly draw with Australia.

5th June 2026 – Derry City (H) – Irish Premier Division

FT Dundalk 4 (Collins 34, 80, Jenkinson 63, Hillman 90) Derry City 2 (Shipley pen 48, Miskelly 69) Att 3,956 (187 Away)

Our last League game for a month – hopefully we can dispatch a good Derry side who currently sit 4th. They lost 3-1 to Waterford last time out so I expect them to be up for this one. A quiet start, with Derry looking dangerous going forwards. We take the lead in the 34th minute, Tommy Collins getting back in the goals, a fine headert from an O’Malley cross. 1-0 at the break, very tight. Derry get a debatable penalty at the start of the 2nd half… Ngoy with a slide tackle. Shipley puts it away. Moore hits the post with a header soon after. Jenks pops up with a worldie to but us back in front (He and Hanna came on at Half Time for Dallas and Knight) – a nigh-on 30 yarder, stayed the same height all the way in. But we captulate again, this time on the break. 2-2, 69th minute, Miskelly with the final finish. What the fuck is going on with this team at them moment! However we go back into the lead with 10 left, a fine move ending with Hanna playing a gorgeous through-ball for Tommy Collins to stroke home. Now, hold the fucking lead!!! We make it 4 just before the boards come out for stoppages – Hillman with a blaster, arrowed across the keeper. 4-2. Better. And that’s how it finished.

Cork & Shamrock play out an entertaining 2-2 draw, Shamrock now 4th as both Derry and St. Pat’s (3-0 at home to Shelbourne, playing the last hour of the game with 9 men and only capitulating in the final 5 minutes) lose. Waterford drop points at home to 9th placed Finn Harps meaning we go into the World Cup break 13 points clear.

Michael Duffy has had more minutes for Ireland – 17 this time in a 2-2 friendly draw versus Uruguay.

Our U19’s beat St. Pat’s 1-0 – Left Winger Brian Smith with the goal.

Jenks & Tommy Collins made the IPD Team of the Week.

10th June 2026 – Friendly – FT Dundalk 10 (Foulkes 1, 7, 14, 45+1, O’Halloran 10, O’Leary pen 24, Kelly 34, McGarvey 54, 65, Holloway 63) Monaghan Cavan 0 Att 1,268 (6 Away)

A good run-out, Tim Foulkes with 4.

I’ve tied Neil Hanna to Dundalk until the end of the decade – he’s going to be a star.

Our U19’s beat Sligo 7-1 – goals from Jamie Forde, and two hat-tricks – Brian Smith & David Behrenbeck.

And we’ve had all the European coefficient stories come up (15th June):

Most improved League 🙂

Dundalk are now a top-32 side in Europe 🙂 Up 12 places.

We start the UCL in Mid-July next season (27/28) now, in the 2nd Qual Round – that’s 2 games saved from next season. I was hoping that was for this season but forgot we are always a season in-hand with those coefficient changes. All things being equal we will be 14th for the 28/29 season – we need to outscore Scotland by 1.525 points this season to go 13th. We’ve outscored them in the last 2 seasons, 2.425 in 24/25 but only by 0.8 points last season. 14th and 13th give the same places – 2nd has a best placed UCL qually slot, we would have a Europa place and 2 Conference league, so 1 extra place. Shamrock, Derry & St. Pat’s need to pull their fingers out this European campaign!

We’ve had the UCL 1st round draw.

We have drawn Valletta of Malta – Games 8th and 15th of July.

And in the 2nd Qual Round we will play…

Either TNS of Wales or Zrinjski of Bosnia & Herzegovina. Ties on 22nd and 29th July. Jamie McGrath is currently at TNS.

17th June 2026 – Friendly – FT Dundalk 4 (Collins 26, 44, Carlin 48, 84) Limerick F.C. 0 Att 1,288 (35 Away)

A decent showing, though Limerick played with 10 men for 88 minutes…

We’ve had a Youth Preview – lets see if the Millions of Pounds pumped into the Youth Setup is paying dividends…

Probably not, but if we get a decent player come out of this a each ‘level’ (GK, Defence, Midfield, Attack) then I’ll be well pleased.

The Data Analysis Facilities have been upgraded – Now Average 🙂 🙂 🙂

Our U19’s beat Monaghan Cavan 7-0 and secure a playoff spot – All Seven goals from that man David Behrenbeck 🙂 🙂 🙂 He now has a 10 in this match and in the last training session as well!!

Ireland beat Honduras 2-1 in front of 79,000 in Washington DC in their second group game of the World Cup – Michael Duffy getting 10 minutes at the end. This sends them through to the second round after losing their first game 2-1 to Brazil.

PLAYERS LEAVING

23yo Freddy Barton goes to Sheff Utd (Championship, 9th last season) for Half a Mil (Cost us £86k). Still a scout report 74, Freddy wasn’t as good at CWB as Neco Williams, and was kicking off about game time. A decent sale.

23yo Nathan Ngoy goes to Thun (5th in the Swiss Super League last season) for £1.1M (He cost £1.5M so a slight loss overall). He was 3rd of 4 really good centre-backs at the club and was also not happy about playing time. He’s currently a 76 scout rated player. A bit sad about this one but we need to thin the squad out a wee bit.

22nd June 2026 – Friendly – FT Dundalk 10 (Foulkes 2, Carlin 9, 39, Burrows 12, McShane 60, O’Leary 70, 74, 86, McGarvey 81, 84) Clover Utd 0 Att 1,280 (8 Away)

Another nice run-out, Barry O’Leary with a hat-trick.

The Second Round games of the World Cup have started

No real shocks so far – Ireland have a toughie coming up versus Argentina in Philadelphia.

A massive result for Ireland – 2-0 winners over an Argentina side containing UCL winner Lautaro Martinez. sub Armstrong Oko-Flex and Michael Obafemi invoking memories of Jack’s boys in 1990 and 1994. They face Ivory Coast in the 3rd Round. This is the only real shock of the 2nd round with 4 games left. As such our first game of July, versus Waterford, has been rescheduled due to Ireland’s continuing participation. Our next game after the Leinster Senior Cup Final will be the UCL 1st Round 1st Leg versus Valletta at Oriel Park.

Conor O’Malley is now back in Full-Time Training 🙂

26th June 2026 – Drogheda Utd (A) – Leinster Senior Cup Final

FT Drogheda Utd 0 Dundalk 7 (Connolly 10, O’Malley 15, Behrenbeck 16. McGarvey 24, Jenkinson pen 34, Dallas 52, Collins 71) Att 5,400 (2,830 Away)

We play Drogheda this evening at their gaff (United Park) in the Leinster Final. We have a very good side out as our next competitive game isn’t for 13 days. A quiet start, but we take the lead in th 10th minute, both wingers combining, O’Malley with the cross, Connolly with the back-post header. 1-0 Dundalk. And it’s 2-0 a few minutes later, O’Malley the scorer this time, a back-post volley from a whipped Seddon cross. Great start! Kickoff Highlight… and it’s a long one… 3-0, Behrenbeck with the final finish after a deflection or two. We’re all over them. 4-0, 24th minute, McGarvey with a tap-in after everybody misses an O’Malley corner. This could be a cricket score. Penalty Dundalk, 34th minute, Connolly tripped by O’Reilly. Jenks to take… 5-0. Nice penalty, tucked inside the left-hand post. 5-0 at the break. Number 6 is another David Dallas banger, a 30 yarder after a cut back by Connolly. Triple Subbage. And Tommy Collins misses the easiest header I’ve ever seen – unmarked, no Keeper, 3 yards, over… He does get a goal though, 71st minute, a near post flick from an Astler cross. 7-0. That’s how it finished. Another bit of silverware 🙂

You do you Sean 🙂 🙂 🙂

Geoffrey Astler out for 10 days with a pulled back… He’s becoming a bit of a sicknote. Ryan Corrigan back soon from loan thankfully.

Now 3rd in the Irish Hall of Fame – That’s my 4th Leinster Senior Cup Win 🙂

The transfer window is now open, and on day 1 U19 player Stephen Doyle has gone to Bray on a Free.

Ireland lose 2-0 to Ivory Coast in the 3rd Round of the World Cup. A chance to get to the Quarter Finals missed. Not often you get perfectly opposite flags playing each other as well 🙂

And with that June 2026 ends.

July sees the start of our European tour for a 4th season. See you soon.

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