This is the wider public’s first chance to see Kenny’s new side in action and he is hoping that everybody connected with the club uses the opportunity to show just how far the club have come since the dark days of last season.
“This is a great chance to show the country not just what the team is about, but what Dundalk Football Club is about. We have a new team, new owners and we want people to see what a passionate club we are.
“Historically, TV matches have hindered the crowd but I would hope that we would have good support behind us on Friday night. The fans have been magnificent, home and away, since I’ve come here and we want to make Dundalk FC synonymous with a passionate crowd.”
Kenny’s side go into the game looking for their first home win of the season but he insists it will not be easy against a Rebels side who he sees pushing for European qualification come the end of the season.
“Cork City have a formidable squad with a number of seasoned professionals and I’d fully expect them to be pushing for a European spot.
“Gerry Spain (Dundalk’s assistant manager) went to watch them against Shelbourne last Friday and we will watch them in the Setanta Cup semi-final against Shamrock Rovers so we’ll be fully aware of what they can do. What we have to do is believe that we can win the game.”
Belief is certainly high in the Dundalk camp at the minute. Last Friday night’s victory over Bohemians means the Lilywhites sit in 4th place after nine games.
“We have been playing very well in the past few weeks”, said Kenny. “Over the past decade, teams like Bohemians, St Patrick’s Athletic and Shelbourne have won league championships so for us to go and beat teams like that in their own yard shows that we are not to be taken lightly.
“The pleasing aspect is that everybody has made a contribution”, he added. “All of our midfielders have scored. Kurtis Byrne, Vinny Faherty and Tiarnan Mulvenna have all been amongst the goals in our last three or four games and Pat Hoban showed when he came on in Dalymount Park that he is probably the best equipped to lead the line.
“We maybe don’t have star names such as the likes of Jason Byrne and Mark Quigley who were here in the past. We were in a different market but what we do have is real competition for places.”
John Dillon will miss Friday night’s game through suspension but Kurtis Byrne, who was a substitute in the win over Bohemians, has been declared fit after a thigh strain.
Kenny also revealed that Chris Shields is set for a spell on the sidelines with a recurrence of the knee injury that he picked up in pre-season.
The former Bray Wanderers player broke down during a training session in Bellurgan last week and will see a specialist in the next week to assess the damage.