How optimistic can Dundalk be about causing a stir in the Europa League group stages?

Mark McCadden of The Star chats to Oisin and Dan on the Newstalk Airtricity League Podcast

BY Raf Diallo 16:05 Wednesday 24 August 2016, 16:05 24 Aug 2016

Dundalk players thank fans after the Legia game ©INPHO/FotoOlimpik/Tomasz Jastrzebowski

Much will depend on the type of group their drawn into but given how they fared in the Champions League qualifying rounds, Dundalk can give many teams a game in the Europa League group stages.

The UEFA competition provides the fall-back option after missing out on the Champions League group stages at the hands of Legia Warsaw on Tuesday night.

Back in 2011, Shamrock Rovers became the first League of Ireland club to reach the group stages of Europe's second club competition and finished bottom of a pool featuring Tottenham, PAOK and Rubin Kazan. 

Dundalk will be in Pot 4 when the group draw is made on Friday, August 26th which means a tough draw is likely, especially when big clubs like Manchester United, Inter Milan, Athletic Bilbao and Roma are in the higher pots.

Speaking to Newstalk's Airtricity League Podcast, Mark McCadden of The Irish Daily Star says: "Just looking at what is likely to be the seedings and you could pick out a group where they could get Manchester United, Feyenoord as third seeds and you could get Fenerbahce or Genk - the team that saw off Cork City - as second seeds so yeah, it's incredibly tough.

"But they've done it against BATE Borisov and they've done it again against Legia Warsaw where they've raised their game and they've shown both the discipline to stifle superior opponents packed with international players and then the ability to create chances of their own.

"I'd certainly be looking at this campaign and thinking, while Shamrock Rovers got into the group stages five years ago and that was a great achievement, they lost their six games. I'd certainly be looking at this Dundalk side and thinking they could pick up a couple of points and bring it on even further."

Listen to the full chat with Mark on the podcast player or on iTunes:

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