Belfast Telegraph

Blues fans must travel to Dundalk in bus convoy

 

Reunited: Linfield’s Jamie Mulgrew takes on Dundalk’s Daniel Kearns in the old Setanta Cup
Reunited: Linfield’s Jamie Mulgrew takes on Dundalk’s Daniel Kearns in the old Setanta Cup
Dale Taylor

By Graham Luney

Linfield last night disclosed strict travel and security arrangements for their Unite the Union Champions Cup second leg clash at Oriel Park on Monday, November 11 (7.05pm).

At a time when fresh plans for an All Ireland League are being debated, some fans will be surprised at the arrangements finalised for the all ticket fixture.

All Linfield supporters attending the game must arrive by coach which will depart from the Boulevard shopping centre in Banbridge after approximately 5.30pm.

And supporters clubs intending to attend this game by their own bus must join this convoy with their bus, without exception.

Blues members are allowed to purchase tickets and, depending on availability, sale of remaining tickets will commence to season ticket holders.

Match tickets are priced £14 for adult and £9 for concession.

In a statement issued last night, Linfield added: "Secretaries of supporters clubs running buses must notify office@linfieldfc.com of their intention and in due course with the full list of members/season ticket holders travelling to this game with them.

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"Police representatives will board each bus in Banbridge and buses and individuals on the bus will only be allowed to leave with the authority of the police.

"Individual supporters attending this game must travel by club arranged coach from the Boulevard shopping centre. There will be no private cars in the convoy.

"As always, Linfield FC will rely on the patience and co-operation of our loyal supporters, as the club manages this sale of limited availability tickets in accordance with the club's normal priority sale protocol."

Match tickets will first go on sale to members only from the Linfield office today from 1pm to 6pm.

Some fans may be disappointed at the strict travel arrangements but Linfield will state that supporter safety for this high profile fixture is paramount.

Speaking at the launch of the Cup game, Blues chairman Roy McGivern says it's a fixture which has generated big interest.

"I'm really looking forward it," he said. "We loved the Setanta Cup and have great memories from winning it.

"Dundalk have been an excellent side and set the benchmark on the island.

"They wanted to see us doing well and as they played Qarabag earlier in the summer, they were very helpful to us for our European campaign.

"There's a great relationship between the clubs and while it will be a tough challenge, we will treat it like a European game.

"I can remember our great win over Shelbourne when we brought 1,000 fans down on a Saturday evening. It's a big prize to say you're all Ireland champions.

"The price of success is moving a few games to a later date, and the Dungannon one needs re-arranging. I think it's great for football."

Meanwhile, Linfield's two exciting teenagers Dale Taylor and Charlie Allen didn't feature in last night's League Cup game against Cliftonville but McGivern maintains the Blues are passionate about improving their production line.

Taylor and Allen's late entrance as substitutes inspired a stirring comeback from the Blues in the County Antrim Shield tie at home to Cliftonville as they drew level at 2-2 having been two goals down before losing on penalties.

Allen has been hitting the headlines all year with a host of clubs across the water chasing him but it was Taylor who shone brighter against the Reds, scoring a super goal in the 81st minute prior to Kirk Millar's outstanding free-kick.

Trai Hume (17) was on the bench last night and the impact of the rising stars sends a message to young players that they can thrive in the Windsor Park environment.

"Charlie made his debut at the end of last season at Coleraine and set up a goal," added McGivern.

"Dale scored against Cliftonville and it's fantastic to see two 15-year-olds play for Linfield in a senior game. They just weren't on for a run out, they changed the game and were highly influential. We have a number of good young players coming through.

"There is huge interest in Charlie and he's had trials at several clubs. Linfield will get a development fee but I'd prefer the young lads to stay with us for a few years and progress like Paul Smyth and Gavin Whyte until he left Crusaders but that's not always possible. We have a great Academy."

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