Wednesday 17 January 2018

Dundalk draw Rosenborg and Celtic face a possible trip to Belfast on July 12 in the Champions League

Dundalk’s Ciaran Kilduff celebrates scoring the winner against Maccaibi Tel Aviv in the Europa League group stages last season
Dundalk’s Ciaran Kilduff celebrates scoring the winner against Maccaibi Tel Aviv in the Europa League group stages last season Newsdesk Newsdesk

Dundalk have been drawn against Norweigan champions Rosenborg in the second qualifying round of the Champions League after the draw was conducted in Nyon this morning.

Stephen Kenny's men will have home advantage in the first leg of their encounter.

Dundalk gleaned €7m for their European run last season which saw them qualify for the Europa League group stages and yielded a draw with AZ Alkmaar in Holland and victory over Maccaibi Tel Aviv at Tallaght Stadium.

Stephen Kenny's men has lost a lot of the key men to their unprecedented success in 2016 and they currently trail Cork City by 18 points in the Airtricity League Premier Division.

Brendan Rodgers' Scottish treble winners Celtic, who could have been drawn against Dundalk, will face the winners of Northern Ireland champions Linfield and San Marino side La Fiorita.

Should Linfield emerge victorious from the first round, they will host Celtic on either July 11 or 12.

The game could provide a headache for authorities in Belfast with the game due to coincide with the large Orange Order parades on the 'Twelfth' and the 'Eleventh Night' on July 11, when large bonfires are lit in Protestant unionist neighbourhoods in Northern Ireland.

It remains to be seen how any issues could be resolved.

New Celtic winger Jonny Hayes is looking forward to his club's ties but does not believe the extra spice involved in a potential showdown with Linfield will worry the Hoops too much.

The Republic of Ireland international said: "It's going to be a tough game in Europe. I've got a little bit of experience playing there with Aberdeen where we maybe took our foot off the gas and almost got punished.

"Every game is tough so regardless of who we play or where we play, they will look forward to playing Celtic and probably raise their game a little bit.

"I'm just happy I've got a chance to finally pull this top on as it could be my first competitive game. Regardless of the opposition I can't wait to get started. If the first competitive game is in Ireland, I'll look forward to it.

"I've never really thought about stuff off the park. Fans treat games differently from players. We have to approach every game the same."


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