Dundalk FC are gearing up for an exciting friendly against an XI from UEFA Champions League holders Chelsea at Oriel Park next Tuesday evening, 14th August (kick-off 7pm).
The game will be the first time the Lilywhites have entertained foreign opposition in a friendly since the visit of nine-time La Liga winners Atlético Madrid three years ago.
Indeed, Oriel Park is no stranger to European giants, having entertained the likes of Liverpool, Celtic, Ajax, Porto, PSV Eindhoven, Tottenham Hotspur, Red Star Belgrade and more recently Levski Sofia in UEFA competition.
Chelsea were last season crowned European champions and also won the English FA Cup, and the London Blues are set to travel to Ireland with a youthful squad but one that contains exciting prospects.
Among those is England U19 international defender Todd Kane, who was part of the first-team squad that flew to Munich for the UEFA Champions League final in May while he was also part of the summer tour of the United States.
The versatile Nathan Ake, who captained the Netherlands to U17 European Championship glory in May, and Billy Clifford, who has seen first-team action, are also set to travel.
It promises to be a real treat for the Dundalk footballing public and people of the North East. Tickets have been keenly priced for the game, making it very affordable for all.
“We are delighted to be welcoming a team with the stature of Chelsea. We have been promoting the game for the last 6-8 weeks so we’re hoping for a big turnout,” said Dundalk FC General Manager Paul Johnston.
“There has been very big interest from around the country, with ticket sales linked to Belfast, Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Waterford, Galway, Mayo, Cavan and right around the country.
“Many of those areas have Chelsea Supporter Clubs and they have bought tickets in numbers, with some Supporter Clubs buying over 50 tickets for the game.
“The Premier League is big business and places like Bray, Waterford, Dublin, Cork and Longford have all staged these kind of matches recently and have had crowds of up to 6,000 turning up to watch.
“Dundalk is very much a football town and we hope for a great turnout for the match.”