Thursday 29 September 2016

'Money wasn't even discussed' - Stephen Kenny claims Dundalk's €7m payday wasn't a distraction

Published 03/08/2016 | 10:55

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

Dundalk have just plundered the biggest payday in the history of the League of Ireland but Lilywhite boss Stephen Kenny has confirmed that money wasn't on the radar of his players and staff.

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Dundalk's historic 3-0 triumph over BATE Borisov is expected to earn the Louth club a €7m windfall, dwarfing anything any other Irish club has gleaned from their European exploits.

Speaking to Morning Ireland on RTE Radio One today, Kenny revealed that prizemoney was never an issue in his team's preparations.

"People may find it hard to believe but money wasn't even discussed once within the team," he said.

"The main motivation for us, for me it's a lifetime ambition to qualify for the group stage of European football and it's the culmination of a lot of work and for all of the staff and players it has been an ambition for the last couple of years to try and achieve that.

"Now that we're here and we have a chance to get into the Champions League, we must believe we can actually try and get there."

Soaked to the skin, Kenny was an emotional figure after the game and immediately climbed into the stands at Tallaght Stadium  to celebrate with his family.

"I just went to my family. It was an incredible feeling," he added.

Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny with his two sons, Eoin, left, age 10, and Fionn, age 12, prior to 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 with his two sons, Eoin, left, age 10, and Fionn, age 12, prior to 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

"When the third goal went in... if you could freeze that moment for the rest of your life, because it was just sheer joy.

"It was an incredible feeling when Robbie Benson broke from midfield and showed the composure to finish on his weaker right foot.

Watch all three goals below:

"To  win 3-0 was just phenomenal. I thought the players were really, really brilliant and courageous in the ways they played and they reaped the reward."

Dundalk will enter the drum for the Champions League playoff round on Friday and regardless of the opposition, Kenny wants the home leg to be played at the Aviva Stadium.

"There's no place in the Louth region where you can play. It's not my decision, it's for people behind the scenes in the club," he said.

"I'd like to play at the Aviva Stadium and fill it but it depends on a lot of things.

"We'll play anywhere, we've had that attitude and our away form has been exceptional over the past few seasons."

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