President Michael D. Higgins will be on hand this Saturday to present the winning captain with the President’s Cup when the 2019 domestic football season begins this weekend.
This competition, now in its sixth season, has established itself as the traditional curtain raiser for the new season and, once again, similar to recent tradition Cork City will take on Dundalk – this is the fourth consecutive meeting of the two sides in this event.
Last season’s double winners Dundalk will travel to Turner’s Cross this Saturday (kick off 5.30pm) to take on Cork City who finished runners up in the league to the Lilywhites last season – as well as losing the FAI Cup Final to Dundalk.
Speaking at the recent launch of the 2019 President's Cup Final, President Higgins praised both clubs for their success in recent season.
"I think anyone who appreciates football must admire the incredible level Cork City and Dundalk have reached over recent years to be in the final once again," said President Michael D Higgins.
"Stephen Kenny's migration to international football represents a challenge for Dundalk and I wish them well in that respect.
"It's just been wonderful to see the pride that those of us who attend league matches can have when these teams play in Europe, representing Ireland."
The President put his name to the competition in 2014 reflecting his keen interest in the game here (he even has his own extratime.ie profile!).
Before President Higgins took up the highest office in the land, he was President of Galway United Football Club and was a member of the board at the club.
The President was quick to praise the 'active' members of the football community in Ireland ahead of Saturday's game.
"I'm very much a supporter of the active game," said President Michael D Higgins.
"I've always said there is a huge difference in those people who have an active role in their clubs, families and friends who have players coming up through the junior ranks and supporters, to those who just confine themselves to be passive supporters of the game.
"It is going to be a fantastic occasion once again and one I'm very much looking forward to."
Before the game on Leeside, the President will unveil a plaque on Barrack Street in Cork in memory of General Daniel Florence O'Leary (1801 – 1854), who was Aide de Camp to Simón Bolívar during the South American Wars of Independence.
extratime.ie will be at the game in Turner’s Cross to bring you all the action and the post-match reaction.