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Monday 18 December 2017

Dundalk's Oriel Park gets all clear to host Champions League football

Dundalk players celebrate winning their first League of Ireland title in 19 years
Dundalk players celebrate winning their first League of Ireland title in 19 years

DUNDALK have been boosted with the news that their Oriel Park home has been given the all-clear to host Champions League football next season.

The Lilywhites had been allowed to play their Europa League games at Oriel last season but there was some concern that the artificial pitch would not be passed for the qualifying rounds of the Champions League next summer.

But the club were yesterday informed that Oriel had passed the UEFA Level 2 test and the ground would be permitted to host Champions League games, at least in the first and second qualifying rounds.

Dundalk last played in the Champions League/European Cup back in 1991 - despite winning the league in 1995 they had to compete in the UEFA Cup - but Stephen Kenny’s side will head into Europe next summer with confidence high following their stunning win away to Hajduk Split in the Europa League last summer, Hajduk narrowly going through 3-2 on aggregate.

Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny is still in the market for a centre-forward to replace 20-goal man Pat Hoban, although the side trounced UCD 6-1 in their last pre-season friendly.

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