17 May 2022

Boyle aiming for a return trip to the Aviva

Lilywhites face Derry City in the semi-final

Boyle aiming for a return trip to the Aviva

Derry City’s Nathan Boyle is crowded out by Chris Shields and Andy Boyle of Dundalk. Picture: Ciaran Culligan

With European football placed on the back burner until the meeting with Zenit St Petersburg on October 20, Dundalk centre-back Andy Boyle is now aiming to book a place in this year’s FAI Cup final at The Aviva Stadium.

Dundalk, who won the cup last year, host Derry City in the first of Sunday’s semi-finals and Boyle said that retaining the trophy is high on his wishlist.

“We want a piece of it all and we want to win every game,” he said. “Derry are a good side and we’ll give them the respect they deserve but, listen, the Aviva is where you want to play.

“You target that day out at the start of the season, in front of 25,000-30,000 people and it’s a great day out for players and their families.

“The league is the priority because we want to be in the Champions League but Sunday is our immediate concern because we all want to be back in the Aviva in early November and try and defend our trophy.”

Turning his attention back to Thursday night’s win over Maccabi Tel Aviv, Boyle felt that Dundalk were full value for their 1-0 win thanks to Ciaran Kilduff’s goal.

“We knew at the start of the game that it would be difficult because Maccabi are a very good side, full of internationals but I thought we were brilliant on the night.

“We passed the ball well and limited them to two or three chances and I thought we could have been two of three ahead going in at half-time.

“We kept kept plugging away and that’s become a real trait of this team over the last three years,” he continued. “We always believe there is a result there for the taking and we never give up in that pursuit.”

The result moved Dundalk into second place in Group D and Boyle said that qualification to the Last 32 was now a definite target.

“Ah look, who knows, there’s a long way to go yet but we’ve put ourselves in a position where we might have a chance. Had you said we’d have four points after two games, most people would have laughed.

“We’ve done nothing yet,” he warned. “We’ve got a few points in the Europa League but we want to be in the FAI Cup final and we want to win the league. We want a slice of everything that’s going.”

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