Shelbourne FC is gearing up to face LGBTQ+ inclusive football club Dublin Devils in the fifth annual Pride Cup match. The game will take place at 2PM on Saturday, June 18 in Shels’ home stadium Tolka Park, and entrance is free.
The League of Ireland club is set to field a team featuring members of the current coaching staff and former players. The squad list boasts legends like former Republic of Ireland internationals Damien Duff, Joey O’Brien, Alan Quinn, and Seana Cooke, alongside Mark Rutherford, David McAllister, Paul Skinner, Oscar Brennan and others.
Dublin Devils are fresh off competing in the UK Gay Football Supporters’ Network (GFSN) Cup, having become the first Irish team to make it to the final. They narrowly lost out on penalties to Village Manchester, who raised the trophy in Tolka Park.
The 2022 Pride Cup match will be the fifth time that the teams have faced off since the inaugural event in 2017. In addition, because of Covid, it will be the first time in two years that it has been able to take place in front of fans. Since its conception, the occasion has grown in popularity, and the game serves as a celebration of equality and diversity in football and it represents the spirit of Pride month.
— Shelbourne FC (@shelsfc) June 14, 2022
Speaking on the game, Shelbourne FC Community Officer John McGouran who himself is a gay man, said: “We’re very excited to host the Pride Cup once more this year and hope that the event continues our push for inclusivity in football. The Red Together Programme has built a brilliant network of people interested in extending the principles of inclusion in football through the Club and we would like to issue the message once more that everyone is welcome at Tolka Park and Shelbourne FC.
“With more coverage recently around LGBT+ professionals in football, it is important that we build on these positive impacts and allow the game to be open to all,” he continued.
“We can’t wait to welcome the Dublin Devils again to Tolka Park on Saturday and all who wish to attend.”
Dublin Devils chair, John Coary, added: “The Pride Cup is not only an annual reminder of the strong relationship which we have built with Shelbourne FC and of the on-going support which they have provided to both our Club and to Dublin’s LGBT+ community, but is also an important showcase to highlight how important LGBT+ inclusion in football in Ireland is.”
This weekend we’ll be playing a Shelbourne XI team in the Pride Cup, Saturday 18 June at 2pm in Tolka Park. This match is part of the “Shels in the Community” initiative and is an official Dublin Pride event. Come along & support!@shelsfc @IrishLife #redstogether #dublinpride pic.twitter.com/lEExKPtiaW
— Dublin Devils FC ⚽ (@DublinDevilsFC) June 14, 2022
He continued: “There is a real feeling of optimism that football is finally turning a corner when it comes to LGBT+ inclusion and we hope that this year’s Pride Cup can build on that feeling of optimism and inclusion.
“As a club we are delighted to have the opportunity to take the field again against some of Shelbourne FC’s true legends and are looking forward to a great day in Tolka Park.”
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