We go again – #FM20 OS8 C2 S4 – Part 80 – Dundalk – September 2026

We go back to Amsterdam

Welcome back to Dundalk for September 2026 – we start our 4th UCL Group Stage Campaign in a row 🙂

We also have the FAI Cup Quarters, the League Cup Final and (currently) 4 league games.

Vetle Dahl’s cracker versus Athlone Town came 2nd in the IPD Goal of the Month. We have £54.3M in the bank now, which is the highest to date, I’m an A with the board, Dynamics are Very Good/Excellent/Excellent.

We’ve had the first internationals of the break – Lithuanian U21 Rimvydas Romanovas playing in their 3-1 loss to Switzerland. Geoffrey Mpande played in Denmark U21’s 3-0 win over Romania, Jonny Devlin played in USA U23’s 2-2 draw with Argentina, Tommy Carlin played in N. Ireland U21’s 4-0 win over Gibraltar, Evan Donovan played in Ireland U21’s 3-0 loss to Bosnia & Herzegovina and lastly Paul Markey (GK) played in Ireland U19’s 4-1 loss to Spain, getting a 4.9 and subbed after 58 minutes… Going to be honest, I’d not heard of him before his call-up…

And we’ve had some senior caps – David Dallas, Tommy Collins, Setvie Moore & Colin McGarvey all played in Northern Ireland’s 0-0 draw with Georgia, and Neco Williams got his first senior minutes in Wales’ 3-0 loss to The Netherlands.

A couple more youth internationals played – Jim Collins and Evan O’Donovan played in Ireland U21’s 7-0 win over Armenia, Jim getting 2 goals on his first U21 cap, and at the opposite end of the scale Rimvydas Romanovas played in Lithuania U21’s 11-0 loss to Denmark. And in Senior internationals we had 5 players playing for N. ireland in their 4-1 win over Liechtenstein; David Dallas (8.3), Matty Burrows, Tommy Collins, Stevie Moore and Big Colin McGarvey (9.5, Hat-Trick) 🙂

Athlone keep themselves just out of reach of the bottom 2 currently with a point against bottom-club Finn Harps. Time running out for the bottom 2.

Our U19’s beat St. Mary’s 4-0 – goals from Tommy Carlin and a hat-trick from Barry O’Leary.

Alex Rubarth has been doing well for Rakow in the Ekstraklasa – he’s 5 games away from 50 appearances for them, triggering a £50k payment to us.

12th September 2026 – Cork City (H) – FAI Cup Quarter Final

FT Dundalk 4 (Collins 11, 75, Burrows 30, 80) Cork City 0 Att 4,500 (300 Away)

These games against Cork tend to be more difficult than they should be – With Ajax in 3 days this is a rotated team as per what will be happening until the end of the League campaign. Cork have won 8 of their last 10 games, plus beat Scottish Championship side Inverness CT on pens in the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Cup 3rd Round, and will face Dunfermline in the 4th Round. Waterford are also in the competition, beating Solihull Moors of the Vanarama National League 2-0. They face Celtic Reserves next up. We take the lead in the 11th minute – Tommy Collins with a fine header from a McShane cross, a really nice team goal. And we go 2-0 up in the 30th minute – Burrows with the tap in after Taylor, having nicked the ball on the half-way line, strode in on goal unchallenged and has his shot parried straight in Matty’s path. “A devastating Counter Attack from Dundalk”. 2-0 at Half Time, a very quiet half apart from the goals. Cork not offering too much up in the 2nd half, and it’s 3-0 in the 75th minute, McShane and Collins combining again, Collins getting up above the Cork defender to head home. Burrows gets his second 5 minutes later to make it 4-0 – a gorgeous team goal, one-touch passes before Jenks slips Matty in to fire home. Beautiful movement. Both the forwards looking for hat-tricks. And we get a penalty in the 87th minute – Duffy brought down by Bardell. Collins to take… Saved by Ryan… It finishes 4-0. We progress.

The day after the Cork game Derry & St. Pat’s join us in the FAI Cup semis, bur Shamrock & Limerick will need a replay to decide their tie.

We’ve had a scout report on Ajax – it’s not as strong as they have been in the past. Plus they are only 2nd in the Eredivisie, having lost to VVV Venlo and drawn with N.E.C.

We’ve had the FAI Cup Semi Final Draw.

Away to the winners of Shamrock & Limerick.

Our U19’s drew 1-1 with Ajax – Neill Cunningham with the goal.

15th September 2026 – Ajax (NED) (A) – UCL Group D Matchday 1

FT Ajax 3 (Johannesson 14, Nijland 47, de Jong 90+5) Dundalk 0 Att 59,567 (194 Away)

A bit of a free hit this evening – we don’t expect points away but we know we can cause upsets. Ajax have a 30yo leroy Sane on the left wing – scouts have him as a 66. Ajax on the front foot early and they take the lead in the 14th minute – Johannesson with a header from a free kick, yep, bloody set pieces with the big teams are a killer. Just set piece after set piece, and Ajax get a penalty for a “push” just before the break – McGarvey on Mejbri. Bullshit. O’MALLEY SAVES 🙂 lovely, down to his left. 1-0 Ajax at the break. 2-0 just after, Nijland with a tap-in. We should have been 2-1 in the 71st minute – Tommy Collins missing a 1-on-1. With the last kick of the game Ajax make it 3-0 – de Jong with a back-post header from another fucking set piece. It finished 3-0.

Looks like it will be Schalke & us fighting for 3rd. A good point for Young Boys versus Dortmund. Just 48 hours until our next game – Waterford in the League before a 3rd game in just under 5 days – Limerick in the League Cup Final.

Cork go back into 2nd with a good win over Shelbourne.

Celtic get a point in Moscow and Arsenal get all the points in Munich. No other great shocks.

We will be playing Shamrock in the FAI Cup Semi Final as they beat Limerick on Penalties.

17th September 2026 – Waterford(A) – Irish Premier Division

FT Waterford 0 Dundalk 5 (Burrows 13, 43, 60, McShane 20, Jenkinson 23) Att 1,616 (258 Away)

Waterford sit 4th currently in the IPD, and haven’t been on a great run. Their last game was 12 days ago so they will be fresh. But they are without our 3 loanees. A quiet first 10, Waterford pressing us hard but we go 1-0 up – Matty Burrows with a scorcher after a good move and a blocked McShane shot. McShane gets his goal in the 20th minute – an odd one though, his shot from a Burrows nod down squirms past the Waterford Keeper. And it’s 3-0 not long after – Jenks with a beautiful 30 yard Direct Free Kick. 3-0 Dundalk. And Matty Burrows makes it 4-0 just before the break, another gorgeous finish after being laid in by Jenks. 4-0 at Half Time. And within 8 minutes of the second half Waterford are down to 10 – Horgan with a straight Red for a 2-footed lunge on Connolly. Matty Burrows gets his hat-trick on the hour – an easy finish after another Jenkinson assist slipping him in unchallenged. It finishes 5-0.

17 points clear, Cork have 24 to play for. Limerick next up in 2 days for the League Cup Final.

Cork win the battle for 2nd versus Derry, ex-Dundalk player Kevin Noakes with the winning goal.Athone maintain a 6 point gap to the relegation places with a point versus Shelbourne.

Shamrock potentially missing out on European football next season – they lose their 11th game of the season. Still 8 games for them to get into the spots but their form doesn’t suggest they will. And they’ve sacked their manager of 4 years Alan Reynolds.

19th September 2026 – Limerick F.C. (N – Oriel Park) – League Cup Final

FT Limerick F.C. 0 Dundalk 4 (McGarvey 15, 79, Behrenbeck 58, Jenkinson 82) Att 4,500 (2,250 Away)

First plays Ninth in the league Cup Final today – should be pretty easy… Limerick start with some tire legs already. Big-Game McGarvey makes it 1-0 in the 15th minute, finishing well after a majestic Jake Taylor ball over the top. Quite a quiet game after that point – 1-0 at the break. We end up making it 2-0 in the 58th minute – Dave Behrenbeck with a nice finish after a long ball by Stevie Moore and a flick-on by Big Col. Really fluid play. And Big Col puts the game to bed in the 79th minute with a tap-in after Dave Behrenbeck’s shot was parried. Jenks comes on and gets the 4th, another Direct Free Kick, 25 yards this time :). It finishes 4-0 – Another trophy 🙂

We’ve got just 3 days before our next game – First versus Second as we play Cork.

Our U19’s beat Derry 4-1 – goals from Sean Brennan, Jamie Forde and a brace from Dean Connor (Non-Player)

Waterford struggling to get over the line for European places – a 0-0 versus bottom team Finn Harps means they are just 3 points ahead of St. Pat’s having played a game more.

Nine of the lads made the IPD Team of the Week.

22nd September 2026 – Cork City (A) – Irish Premier Division

FT Cork City 0 Dundalk 2 (Collins 37, Connolly 53) Att 4,741 (182 Away)

A win this evening means we will be 17 points clear and Cork will only have 18 to play for. They are in good form, but we did beat them 4-0 in the FAI Cup 10 days ago… Pretty tight early on, and then Graham Knox goes and gets a straight Red for a 2-footed lunge. 18 minutes gone… It takes the same minutes again for us to take the lead, Tommy Collins first to the header from a McShane cross. 1-0 at the break. We go 2-0 up in the 53rd minute, Connolly with the back post header from a Jenkinson wide Free Kick. Pretty quiet for the rest of the game. We win 2-0.

The fight for 2nd stays as it is as Derry also lose, and the fight for the last European spot looks like it will go down to the wire. Athlone now 9 points clear of the Relegation places. We have Limerick next in the League, a Win will seal my 4th IPD Title and Dundalk’s Ninth in a row.

It’s Youth Intake time…

Maybe one 4* Potential MC who knows DL…

Our Youth Candidates lost 4-3 to the U19’s – Stapleton, Foulkes, Ryan and Carlin with the goals for the U19’s, Kieran Bennett, Neil Walsh & Craig Coyle with the goals for the Candidates.

25th September 2026 – Limerick F.C. (A) – Irish Premier Division

FT Limerick F.C. 1 (Rea 66) Dundalk 3 (Duffy 27, McGarvey 28, Holloway 52) Att 1,596 (204 Away)

Win today and we secure the Title with 8 games left. There’s a bit of nervyness early on, but an old head puts us 1-0 up in the 28th minute. Michael Duffy heads home a Jenks cross for his 22nd goal of the season from ML. Kick-Off Highlight… 2-0 🙂 A horrible touch from the Keeper from a back-pass hands Big Col a tap-in 🙂 That was 10 seconds after the restart! Jenks has a potential hand injury… As he’s not a Keeper he stays on until the break at least. And we go in 2-0 up. Joe Holloway comes on for Jenks, and within 7 minutes he score a 25-yard banger. 3-0, assist pass from David Dallas. Ex- Dundalker Glen Rea gets a goal back in the 66th minute, scrambling in a deep Free Kick after a header down was not dealt with by O’Malley. Time runs down. And it’s over, another League title 🙂

League Champions 2026 – Dundalk

Four draws in the rest of the games – Waterford and St. Pat’s level on points, Shamrock 3 points back in 6th. Cork in pole position in 2nd. We have Finn Harps in 3 days before Schalke at the RDS just 48 hours after that. 4 games in 7 days coming up before a short international break.

Initial budget for next season is £500k/wk and a Transfer Kitty of £31.2M 🙂 I doubt we will ever get past £150k/wk.

Just need 1 more League title to join Stephen Kenny (Now Ireland U21 Manager!) on 5. I’ve just taken a look and I’m now a club Legend 🙂 My Reputation is now at 75% – Very Good – Current england Manager Dean Smith(!) has the same,

Our U19’s beat Bohemians 5-0 – goals from Darragh Murphy, Craig Coyle and a hat-trick from Gary Pender.

28th September 2026 – Finn Harps (H) – Irish Premier Division

FT Dundalk 5 (O’Halloran 2, Collins 37, pen 53, Hanna 40, McShane 56) Finn Harps 0 Att 4,437 (189 Away)

We play Schalke in the UCL in just 48 hours so we have a rotated team out here this evening in our first game at Home since winning the League. And the kids only take 90 seconds to take the lead – BBM Gerry O’Halloran heading in a Neil Hanna Free Kick. Lovely start. All Dundalk early on. Tommy Carlin comes off in the 19th minute – potential foot injury – Tommy Collins on. And Mr. Collins gets in on the act, 2-0, 37th minute, almost identical to the O’Halloran goal. Three minutes late its 3-0, a cracker of a volley into the roof of the net from Neil Hanna, after a head-back by Collins after a fine team move. Penalty Dundalk, 53rd minute, Collins goes down like a sack of spuds, pushed by Hevey. he takes it himself… 4-0, nicely placed. Colm McShane makes it 5 in the 56th minute – a nice header from an Astler cross. Finn Harps have some good moments after the 5th, but the game fades away. We win 5-0. A nice title celebration 🙂

Cork looking good for 2nd after a great win at Tallaght Stadium – Shamrock have 5 matches (1 against us) to somehow get up to 4th and get European Football next season. Waterford only draw versus Limerick so St. Pat’s now have their fate in their own hands in pursuit of 4th.

Schalke next up in less than 48 hours in our last game of the month – a huge game if we want European Knockout Football in the new year.

Geoff Astler out again – this time for up to 2 weeks with a gashed upper leg (Must have been near the end of the game as I didn’t get any notifications of it). And Tommy Carlin out for a month with sprained ankle ligaments.

Nine of the lads made the IPD Team of the Week.

We’ve had a scout report for Schalke (Currently 4th in the Bundesliga, with the loss versus Roma the only one this season so far) – they are pretty decent…

Tuesday-night UCL Football sees no real shocks, though Atletico Madrid somehow get a point versus Man Utd even though they played the last 29 minutes with 9 men.

30th September 2026 – Schalke 04 (GER) (H – R.D.S) – UCL Group D Matchday 2

FT Dundalk 2 (Duffy 47, McGarvey 88) Schalke 04 1 (Daramy 84) Att 12,000 (6,000 Away)

A win would be amazing, but even a draw keeps us equal and is worth about £750k. A quiet first 30. Schalke have the ball in the net in the 31st minute, but Ansah was offside.We’ve had a couple of good chances – Behrenbeck having a snap shot well saved, McGarvey should have done better from a 1-on-1. 0-0 at the break. And it’s absolute scenes just 100 seconds into the 2nd half as we take the lead! A lovely counter, O’Malley finally crossing to the back post for Duffy to finish beautifully on the volley, Ozan Kabak playing everyone onside :). Kickoff Highlight… Schalke head wide. Amd they are pushing, pushing, pushing. Big Col has 2 good chances to put us 2-0 up, the 2nd just inches wide. That will bite us I think. And sSchalke score in the 69th minute, Kabak from a nod-down, but he’s offside as well! Time ticking down… But Schalke equalise – 1-1, 84th minute, Daramy with a great drive. Bollocks. And that only lasts for 4 minutes. 2-1. DUNDALK 🙂 Big Col McGarvey finishing a great move, ball sprayed around, Tommy Collins with the final pass, McGarvey with the tap-in. 5 minutes stoppages. AND WE HOLD ON!! A huge win, 2-1 Dundalk. And another £2.3M into the pot 🙂

Roma smash Ajax, which is worrying, and Club Brugge get a great point versus Real. And Inter get a 96th minute winner versus Leipzig.

That’s that for the month – Apart from Ajax it’s a great one.

A 9-game month, including a 9-day break meaning 7 games in 17 days… Obviously The League is won but I want to win every game 🙂 See you soon.

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