DECLAN DEVINE isn’t convinced Dundalk can emulate Derry City’s historic 1989 treble winning season and hopes the Candy Stripes can play their part in spoiling the party for the ambitious Lilywhites.
Prior to Friday night’s dramatic FAI Cup loss at the hands of Dundalk in the final minutes of extra-time, Derry had two chances to stop the Co. Louth side from marching towards a domestic ‘treble’ on the 30th anniversary of Jim McLaughlin’s all-conquering team’s unprecedented success.
While Derry are out of the FAI Cup and Dundalk face Waterford in the last 16 of the competition, Devine reckons Shamrock Rovers and Bohemians can still stop Vinny Perth’s troops in their tracks.
And he’s determined to retain the EA Sports Cup on home soil when the two teams re-engage in battle on September 14th on Foyleside.
Derry have shown they can match last season’s league and cup double winners in a one-off contest and he will have taken huge confidence from Friday night’s performance.
“There’s a lot of football to be played yet,” said Devine when asked his view on Dundalk’s treble bid. “I’m sure Shamrock Rovers will have something to say about that.
“I’m sure Bohemians will have something to say about that. We certainly will have something to say about that when the League Cup final comes around."
Of course Alan Reynolds' Waterford will hope they can stop Dundalk in their tracks when they arrive at the RSC for the FAI Cup quarter-finals.
“But let’s not underestimate how good Dundalk are," added Devine. "They’re a fantastic side with fantastic individual players. When you’re able to bring Patrick McEleney and Georgie Kelly on, two people who have served this club well in the past, that shows you how strong they are.
“I remember Stephen Kenny saying trebles were for darts. If Dundalk go on and win the treble, fair play to them. Ultimately what we have to do is win at Waterford and that’s our next goal.
“We’ve got to go to the RSC next which will be a very difficult game. We will have a couple of suspensions but we’ll be able to bring David Parkhouse back after his suspension.
“We’ll suck it up and make sure we’re ready for Waterford on Friday.”