Belfast Telegraph

Belfast team set for Wembley debut at FA Community Shield

'We're the famous Dungoyne FC and we're going to Wembley'

One Belfast football club will grace the most famous pitch in the world this weekend.

Dungoyne FC have been given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to step onto the Wembley turf as they are one of seven teams invited to be part of the team parade during The FA Community Shield 2017 supported by McDonald’s, on Sunday (August 6).

At the hotly anticipated match, players from Dungoyne will form a guard of honour around the pitch as Emirates FA Cup Winners Arsenal prepare to take on Premier League champions Chelsea, in front of an anticipated 80,000 fans. The game kicks-off at 2pm and you can tune into ITV 1 to see if you can catch a glimpse of any of the Dungoyne players.

The Belfast grassroots team were given the opportunity to feature in the parade by local McDonald’s franchisee Des Lamph, who is a close supporter of the club as part of the McDonald’s Club Twinning Programme.

Ian McKee, Coach at Dungoyne FC, said: “The players and club are thrilled to have the chance to walk out onto the pitch at Wembley. Everyone is incredibly excited and can’t wait to see their heroes up close on the day. We are really grateful to McDonald’s and Des Lamph for providing us with this fantastic opportunity and for his ongoing support and dedication to the club.”

The McDonald’s Club Twinning Programme began in 2008 and has already seen over 1,000 grassroots clubs across the country twinned with McDonald’s restaurants. This is just one of the many ways in which McDonald’s supports accredited grassroots clubs through their Community Partnership with The FA, helping to raise the standards of the grassroots game for all.

Grassroots clubs across the country who are twinned with their local McDonald’s restaurants receive support through the provision of kit and equipment, business advice and assistance with hosting community football events.

Des Lamph, who is a loyal supporter of grassroots football in the local area, said: “I’m delighted that Dungoyne FC have the opportunity to take part in the team parade. I can’t wait to see them lined up proudly on the Wembley turf and I hope they all enjoy the day. They are a real community club and deserve this brilliant opportunity, as it’s a fantastic reward for all the hard work they put into grassroots football.”

This year marks the 15th anniversary of McDonald’s UK Community Football programme, which has consistently promoted a ‘football for all’ approach to community football. Together McDonald’s and The FA are helping accredited clubs raise the standards at grassroots level by rewarding thousands of hard-working football volunteers, helping clubs to grow by hosting Community Football Days and providing thousands of kits to accredited clubs.

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