Sunday 24 September 2017

Celtic 'glamour' has no appeal for Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny

Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny, left, celebrates with David McMillan after the UEFA Champions League Third Qualifying Round 2nd Leg match between Dundalk and BATE Borisov at Tallaght Stadium in Tallaght, Co. Dublin. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile
Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny, left, celebrates with David McMillan after the UEFA Champions League Third Qualifying Round 2nd Leg match between Dundalk and BATE Borisov at Tallaght Stadium in Tallaght, Co. Dublin. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny has stressed that he has no interest in a 'glamour' Champions League tie with a draw that offers a route to the group stages the only priority.

They last night learned that their possible opponents in the final play-off round are APOEL Nicosia, Viktoria Plzen, Red Bull Salzburg, Legia Warsaw and Celtic, with an injury-time penalty putting the latter through.

The Louth club expect to confirm the venue for their home game before tomorrow's draw as they would be expected to turn up in Switzerland with plans in place.

Tallaght and the Aviva Stadium are the only possible options and the hierarchy are assessing the feasibility of each venue. But the decision could be taken out of their hands if necessary upgrades in Tallaght cannot be completed in time.

On the flip side, renting out the Aviva would be a considerable six-figure expense with Dundalk seeking clarity on the full cost. They would have to use the national stadium if they were successful in making the Champions League.

Kenny has admitted that he would love the opportunity to sell out the Aviva but, while a clash with Celtic could make that vision realistic, he is not sure if the hype that would come with landing Brendan Rodgers' side ties in with their goal.

"I'd love to see a full Aviva Stadium but in relation to getting Celtic or anything like that, we're not really interested in some kind of glamour draw," said Kenny last night. "What we want is the best opportunity to qualify.

"I'm not interested in getting a name just to be part of some occasion. We're going to be part of plenty of occasions anyway because we've got a minimum eight European games regardless. We want to be part of the group stages of the Champions League."

Irish Independent

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