STEPHEN KENNY HOPES a second consecutive win in the President’s Cup can set the tone for Dundalk’s season as they attempt to do three-in-a-row in the top flight.
The Lilywhites scored a record number of goals (78) to retain the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division title by an 11-point margain before adding the FAI Cup to clinch the double in 2015.
That unprecedented campaign began with a 2-1 victory against St Patrick’s Athletic in the annual game played in honour of the Irish president and Kenny would take a similar result when they meet Cork City at Turner’s Cross today (2pm).
“We were delighted to win it last year and y,” Kenny said at the league’s launch this weekend.
“Beating St Patrick’s at Oriel Park was a terrific start to the season and it gave us a lift heading into the league.
“We’ve a determination to try and compete for everything and that’s what you have to do.
“But Cork have home advantage and they have signed a lot of players so they will be very strong so I think it will be a big test for us.”
The champions said goodbye to the league’s Player of the Year in Richie Towell in December as the free-scoring midfielder joined Brighton, while Kurtis Byrne has signed for Bohemians and Sean Maguire left for this afternoon’s opponents.
The Louth club have held onto the guts of their squad, however, while adding quality in Patrick Eleney from Derry City and former UCD midfielder Robbie Benson.
“We lost some good players but there has been an element of continuity with just two players coming in, which is important as we don’t need a settling in period for many players,” said Kenny, who added that he is optimistic about the turn-out for the game.
Michael D Higgins has put up this historical trophy and he will attend as he is a great supporter of the league. For us, it should be a big focus.
“The last time Cork played Dundalk there were 25,000 at the match and Turner’s Cross is a great ground so we should be looking at getting a good crowd in there and showcase the league in its opening game.”
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