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The Dublin Dons
I came across a story from over 20 years ago about the controversy between south London team Wimbledon moving cities to north of London in Milton Keynes ,which as is well noted caused quite the out roar at the time, but what I didn't realize is that one of the proposed locations for the new team to be moved to was Dublin. This move would have created a team called the Dublin Dons, becoming the first Irish team to compete in the English leagues.
A consortium led by Irish football legend Eamon Dunphy tried to buy the team and make the move happen but ultimately they were unsuccessful.
This struck me as an interesting idea because I've noticed the phenomenon of Irish young players being plucked from Ireland in their youth because there is no solid and competitive teams locally to give them the opportunities for growth.
So I thought if there was a team for Irish players to go to, it would change how Irish players develop entirely as they'd be able develop at one club, rather than being scattered across the English leagues after going over to England, going to trial after trial.
Also included in this deal of moving the Dons to Dublin was an agreement to pay the League of Ireland clubs a payoff of €5 million approx. and a €127 million project of a 50,000 seater stadium, located where shopping centre Liffey Valley exists today, as well as a provision of a number of football schools of excellence around Ireland.
I decided to try to make this team in Football Manager 2022, trying to imagine how a team in Ireland would exist in the modern game.
I have replaced MK Dons and completely overwritten their history with the new team Dublin Dons.
I'm still working out some kinks with the file but I will release it soon.
This sounds pretty cool as the potential for the fanbase must be huge? Given it'd be the whole of Ireland!
I think it would be widely supported in Ireland because in Ireland people absolutely love the premier league so an Irish team represented in the divisions would practically have the whole nation behind it every week.
There is also the international aspect of people of Irish diaspora cheering for the Irish side.