Dundalk traveled to Belarus back in July to face BATE Borisov in the first stage of Champions League qualifying. They faced a formidable task. Borisov have mixed it with the big boys for quite a few years and the League of Ireland champs, once again put in a good old fashioned 'spirited display' to go out fighting. Much like Drogheda United width of a post defeat to Dynamo Kiev in 2008, it was a taste of what might have been and what might yet be.
But there'll always be one classic that we remember as the fore-runner to every glorious Irish defeat in Europe.
Shelbourne mixed it with the big boys back in 2004 upon reaching the third phase of qualifying. They defeated FC Reykjavik and then spectacularly turned over Croation kingpins Hadjuk Split.
After 135 minutes of football, they were 0-0 with Deportivo La Coruna, before the dam burst in the second half. The story of the campaign and so much else is covered in Eoin Brennan's fantastic documentary on Ollie Byrne (the section on the 2004 European run is particularly stirring).
Here is the side that faced Deportivo in the second leg that August night...
The Aberystwyth born goalkeeper left Cardiff City for Dundalk in 1997 and played exclusively for League of Ireland clubs from them on.
Twice Soccer Writers goalkeeper of the year, he was the man between the sticks for the entirety of Shelbourne's golden era in the first half of the 2000s.
He left the club after the great crash of 2006.
Went on to play for Bray Wanderers, Sporting Fingal and Drogheda United afterwards.
Retired from the game in 2011 and currently works as goalkeeping coach with the League champions, Dundalk.
One of the most decorated players in the history of the League, Heary won seven in total across spells at Shelbourne and Bohemians, the bulk of them won with the former.
In terms of individual accolades, he also won the Player of the Year in 2001-02.
After an impressive period as Bohemians manager, Heary was handed the Sligo Rovers job at the start of last season. After a poor start to the season, Heary was sacked in June in somewhat acrimonious circumstances.
Another Welshman, Harris was signed by Bohs in 1999 and never left the League until retirement. He joined Shelbourne at the start of the 2003 season and stayed for four success years until the end of the 2006 season.
Since 2011, he has worked as a professional fitness trainer in Dublin.
Born in Liverpool, Rogers played for host of clubs in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland before joining Shelbourne in 2003. It was by far the most stable period in his career, as he stayed, like many other Shels players, until the end of 2006.
Famed for scoring the stunning opener against Split in the previous round.
After playing for many more clubs across the island, he retired in 2012. He works as a manager and academy director at Duleek FC and runs soccer camps.
Dundalk born, Crawley captained his home town team to a surprise FAI Cup win in 2002. Like so many others of that era, his team at Shels lasting from 2003/03 until the title winning 2006 season.
He returned to Dundalk before re-signing for Shels in 2009.
After retiring, he returned to play GAA for Sean O'Mahonys in Dundalk.
Began with Longford Town before signing for Shelbourne at the start of the 2002 season. He won three League titles and stayed until 2009.
He worked as an architect for a fair portion of his football career, and then proceeded to work as a software developer. Now works as an 'Engineer Lead' with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, a multinational educational publisher as well as giving his weekly thoughts on the League for Off The Ball.
N'do played for a host of clubs in Africa and France before being picked up by St. Pat's in 2003. He joined Shelbourne before the start of the 2004 season. He set up the second goal in the victory over Split, when he had the option of taking the ball into the corner.
He was named PFAI Player of the Year for the successful but traumatic 2006 season. Later played over 100 games for Sligo Rovers in the early 2010s.
Having previously moved into coaching with Sligo, he made a bit of a splash recently when he came out of retirement to pull on his boots for Achill Rovers.
Often forced to sit on the bench during Shelbourne's glory days, he nonetheless started the away match in Deportivo. He won the PFAI Young Player of the Year in 2002-03 season (in which the League was won by Bohemians, rather than Shelbourne). He left Shelbourne after the club hit the wall in 2006.
He's doing rather well for himself now.
Pushing 30 when he was part of Shelbourne's European run, Moore had just returned to Dublin after playing for over a decade in England, largely for Middlesbrough.
He was the only player who had been capped for Ireland at the time, having earned 8 caps back when Mick McCarthy was still finding his feet as Ireland manager in 1996. Weso would only earn his first international cap in 2008.
In December 2013, he was appointed as youth team coach at Carlisle United during Graham Kavanagh's spell as manager. He's still there working as the Academy Manager.
Born in Clonmel, Cahill won five League titles with three different clubs, Shelbourne (2003, 2004, 2006), Drogheda United (2007) and Shamrock Rovers (2010). He was a mainstay on the left wing during the famous European run.
Currently works as a player executive with the PFAI, dealing with contractual disputes, education and player welfare.
Byrne is the all-time top League of Ireland goalscorer in the Champions League with five goals and the only man to top the League scoring charts four years running. Those being the years he played with Shelbourne, 2003 - 2006.
Along with Hoolahan, he is the only member of the team still playing. He is still attempting to overhaul Brendan Bradley's all-time League of Ireland goalscoring record having moved to UCD from Bray during the off-season.
Despite playing his youth football with Rangers, Crawford avoided being booed in Lansdowne Road (possibly because he never played internationally against Ireland). He began his senior career with Bohemians in the early 90s, winning the Young Player of the year award in the 1993-94 season.
He joined Shels in 2000 and stayed until early 2007 after the collapse occurred. Thereafter, left for Sporting Fingal. In the Deportivo game, he was brought on around the hour mark for Wes Hoolahan.
Holds dual nationality between Ireland and the US, having been born in Chicago.
— Maurice Frazer (@m0frazer) March 29, 2013