SSE Airtricity League Premier Division

FANZONE | Alan Gray: Dundalk FC winning in Tallaght is 'up there with one of the best feelings in football'

SSE Airtricity League Premier Division

Alan Gray

Reporter:

Alan Gray

Email:

sport@dundalkdemocrat.ie

FANZONE | Alan Gray: Dundalk FC winning in Tallaght is 'up there with one of the best feelings in football'

Cathal and Donal Sweeney with Alan Gray (middle) supporting Dundalk FC. (Pic: Ciarán Culligan)

HOW LONG ARE YOU A SUPPORTER?
I started supporting Dundalk around 1975. I had a couple of very strong influences in my Dad, Owen Gray, being a supporter and my late Granddad, Paddy McAlester, who was a very prominent board member at that time.

FIRST MEMORY OF THE CLUB
1977 FAI Cup final in Dalymount vs Limerick.

STAND OR SHED?
Stand in my youth, shed for around 15 years and back to the stand as an old man!

CUP OR LEAGUE?
League. Although ’Cup matches and finals are always jovial, the bread and butter is the league. Even more so now with the added riches of the Champions League.

FAVOURITE CURRENT PLAYER?
Chris Shields. He just seems to always be in the right place at the right time. Chris has improved year on year to become our most important player.

ALL-TIME FAVOURITE PLAYER?
Tough choice between Tom McNulty, Tommy McConville, Martin Lawlor and Jimmy Dainty. Three fantastic servants of our club and one of the most exciting players ever to grace Oriel in Dainty. I’ll go for Tom McNulty, who had it all. Tough, hard-tackling and could come up with a few important goals when needed, league winners in 1991 and 1995. The fact that he is godfather to my eldest son, Niall, probably helps to tip the scale in his favour.

OPPOSITION PLAYER YOU ADMIRE?
Seán McLoughlin from Cork. A young lad with a fantastic future in the game. Greg Bolger and Bastien Hery are also up there.

BIGGEST RIVALRY?
Shamrock Rovers. Although current rivalry is with Cork, Rovers will always be the one for me. The feeling coming out of Tallaght after defeating them is up there with one of the best feelings in football.

OTHER TEAM YOU LIKE TO SEE DOING WELL?
Always had a soft spot for Derry and Sligo. The Sligo team of 2012 was one of the most entertaining teams in recent League of Ireland years apart from ourselves.

GAME OF THE KENNY ERA?
Has to be BATE Borisov in Tallaght. An amazing night and without a doubt the greatest achievement of any Irish club in Europe. Goosebumps even recalling that evening!

ALL-TIME DUNDALK XI?
Alan O’Neill, Tommy McConville, Paddy Dunning, Dermot Keely, Jimmy Dainty, Tom McNulty, Richie Towell (below), Barry Kehoe, Terry Eviston, Turlough O’Connor, Dessie Gorman.

SEASON PREDICTION
I think we’ll win the league by three-plus points, ahead of Rovers and Cork.

CLICK HERE FOR LAST WEEK'S FANZONE WITH ALLAN MATHEWS