Richie Towell eyes net gains as Dundalk close in on title

As much of what he touches turns to goals, Richie Towell is looking forward to this year just getting better and better — both on and off the field.

Attacking midfielder Towell, yesterday named as the SSE Airtricity/Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland Play of the Month for September, will go gunning for his 22nd league strike of the season as Dundalk look to seal the deal on back-to-back league titles against Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght Stadium this evening.

If not tonight, Stephen Kenny’s champions will still have three more games to deliver an 11th championship.

Only then will the 24-year-old — whose partner Kelly is expecting their first child in eight weeks — give his full attention to their FAI Cup final date with Cork City.

Towell said: “We don’t mind who we play,” said Towell. “I don’t think we’re afraid of Cork, we know we’re the best team in the league and we’re just looking forward to the final now.”

Creating some club history is very much on the agenda first.

Dundalk has never won successive titles, with manager Kenny keen to point out it’s 42 years since a provincial side did so.

“Yes, definitely there’s less pressure on us,” agreed Towell, of the fact that, unlike last year when they had to win the last match against Cork to be crowned champions, they have four games to secure it this season.

“Last year the climax was unbelievable and it was great for the league.”

For his part, Cork boss John Caulfield expects no slacking off between now and the cup final.

Starting at Drogheda United tonight.

“We may make a few changes, but we want to make sure we finish second in the table,” stressed Caulfield.

“The players can see there are places up for grabs, so I expect good performances.”


Tonight’s fixtures

Kick-offs 7.45pm unless stated

SSE Airtricity League Premier Division: Bohemians v St. Patrick’s Athletic, Dalymount Park; Derry City v Bray Wanderers, Brandywell Stadium; Drogheda United v Cork City, United Park; Galway United v Limerick, Eamonn Deacy Park; Shamrock Rovers v Dundalk, Tallaght Stadium, (RTÉ2).

First Division: Athlone Town v Finn Harps, Athlone Town Stadium; UCD v Cabinteely, UCD Bowl; Wexford Youths v Shelbourne, Ferrycarrig Park, 8pm.


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