“It’s an opportunity for the players to cement their place as one of the best teams”- Perth

By Stephen Leonard

DUNDALK manager Vinny Perth sees Sunday’s FAI Cup Final as the chance for his players to copper-fasten their place among the greatest sides ever in the League of Ireland.

The Lilywhites are on the verge of emulating the achievements of the famous Derry City outfit of 1989 who became the first team in the league to bag a domestic treble.

Dundalk captain Brian Gartland right and Patrick Hoban celebrate with the SSE Airtricity League trophy compressor

Brian Gartland, right, and Patrick Hoban lift the Airtricity League trophy

Now some 30 years later, Perth’s men are on the brink of doing the same having already cruised to their fifth Premier Division title in six seasons and beaten Derry on penalties in the EA Sports Cup decider.

“There’s an opportunity for the players to cement their place as one of the best teams in the history of the League of Ireland” Tallaght man Perth told The Echo.

“Only one team has won the treble and that was more than 30 years ago, so there’s that chance for us to be one of the all-time great teams.

“The past seven years have been really big for us, and this would really put the icing on all of that.

“We’re prepared and really looking forward to it. It’s the showcase game of the season and family and friends love it.

“I’m from Tallaght and I know there’ll be plenty of people to remind me of the result if we lose on Sunday, but there’ll be a lot of people from Tallaght who’ll be supporting me at the final” he pointed out.

Despite a couple of recent defeats on the road against Bohemians and Cork City after the title had been secured, Perth is happy with his side’s form coming into the final, the champions having been presented with the trophy after their 4-0 demolition of St Patrick’s Athletic at Oriel Park on Friday.

“We finished the season strong. We had tried out a few new bits and pieces with the players.

“At one stage we were 17 points clear and we finished 11 ahead so we’re in confident mode. We’ve had a brilliant season.

“We won 4-0 on the night [against Pat’s] and we got to lift the trophy, so, for us, the pressure is off. Our goal was to win the league and we did that, so we’ll enjoy the [cup final] day.

“We have been decimated by injuries over the season. It’s been a difficult season for us in that regards, but in training this evening, everyone was able to train so there’s that drive to be in the squad and the team. The cup final has really kept us going” he stressed.

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