DFC | Rogers looking forward to renewing rivalries with Rosenborg

Goalkeeper faced Norwegian champions with Sligo Rovers in 2014

Dundalk FC goalkeeper Gary Rogers

Dundalk FC goalkeeper Gary Rogers is looking forward to renewing rivalries with some old foes when the Lilywhites lock horns with Rosenborg in the Champions League Second Qualifying Round.

Rogers was part of the Sligo Rovers team that met the Norwegian kingpins in the Europa League second qualifying round back in 2014.

Goals from Alan Keane — a title winner with Dundalk FC last year — and Danny North gave the League of Ireland club a historic 2–1 win in the first leg in Trondheim.

And when North put John Coleman’s side 1–0 up in the return leg at The Showgrounds, it looked like a shock was on the cards. Rosenborg, however, hit three goals without reply to go through 4–3 on aggregate.

Four of the current Rosenborg squad, defenders Tore Reginiussen and Jorgen Skjelvik, attacker Pal Andre Helland and midfielder Mike Jensen, were all involved in those matches against the Bit O’Red.

Their current coach is Kare Ingebrigtsen, who was appointed head coach on July 21st, 2014. His first game in charge came three days later, the 3–1 win over Rogers and co.

“It’s funny how you come across teams again,” said Rogers. “This will be my second time playing Rosenborg and Steve Williams, our goalkeeping coach, played against them for Shelbourne back in 200 when I was there.
“It’s going to be a difficult tie but as an unseeded team that was always going to be the case. From our point of view, Rosenborg aren’t drastically better than the likes of BATE Borisov and Legia Warsaw and we feel we’re capable of going through.”

Dundalk FC will have home advantage for the first-leg before travelling to Trondheim a week later for the return game at the 21,000 all-seater Lerkandal Stadium.

A crowd of 15,974 watched Rosenborg’s last home league game against Stromsgodset two weeks ago but there were less than 3,000 in attendance when Sligo caused that upset less than three years ago.

“It’s a fantastic ground but it will be interesting to see what sort of crowd they get in for the game against us,” said Rogers.
“When they played against Shels they were a top European team. They had that incredible run in Norway and took it into Europe. They’re not quite as powerful as they once were but we’ll still have to make sure we’re ready.”

One of the keys to Dundalk FC’s hopes of making progress is their ability to shut down Danish striker, Niclas Bendtner.

The former Arsenal man made the move to Norway earlier this year but Rogers is confident that Dundalk FC’s own ‘Great Dane’, Niclas Vemmelund can keep him quiet.

“It will be great for Nico to take on one of his fellow countrymen,” said Rogers, “and we’ll definitely have to keep a close eye on Bendtner.
“I haven’t been keeping a close eye on his career since he left Arsenal and I doubt he’s been looking at mine but he obviously has quality and we’ll all have to do our homework on him.”
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