Irish Daily Mirror

Dundalk v Longford Town


Oriel Park 7.45pm


KEITH WARD felt like a rock star as he stepped onto the Aviva Stadium pitch in last year’s FAI Cup final.

The 31-year-old made his first ever appearance in the decider as Bohemians lost on penalties to St Patrick’s Athletic.

Now he is ready to channel that heartache into another bid for glory – this time in the colours of Dundalk.

“Sampling it last year, it was like a concert,” said the attacking midfielder. “It was mad. I was obviously on the bench but, watching the lads walk out, it was some experience and something I always wanted to experience.”

Ward (below) was one of two Bohs players who missed from the spot in the shootout. He continued: “Losing out on penalties, missing the penalty, was hard. But it was a great run. Getting to the Aviva is special.

“Dundalk have had a lot of history there over the last 10 years. It’s a good distractio­n for us and we’d like to get to the final.

“The history here, the players here, we’ve all experience­d it and we’ll be taking it very seriously.”

Dundalk face Longford tonight as they take the first step on the road to this season’s final – and the memories of that cold November day last year won’t be far from Ward’s mind.

He added: “Experienci­ng it, I want to have another day out like that, especially here where I’m enjoying it and there are great lads around the place. I’m absolutely loving it here. I just feel it’s a new lease of life for me.

“As much as I loved my time at Bohs, I had a great five years at the club, I just felt this was another challenge especially as I’m getting older. Stephen O’donnell bringing me here has given me a great opportunit­y, I don’t think other teams were looking at someone like me.”

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 ?? ?? FINAL WOE Bohs keeper James Talbot consoles Ward
FINAL WOE Bohs keeper James Talbot consoles Ward

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