Chris Shields is desperate to end Dundalk's long campaign on a high by lifting the inaugural Unite the Union Champions Cup.

The Lilywhites were beaten by Shamrock Rovers on penalties in last Sunday's FAI Cup, which Shields missed because of suspension.

The Premier Division and EA Sports Cup winners wrap up what has nonetheless been a terrific campaign with a two-legged cross-border showdown against Premiership champions Linfield.

The first leg takes place at Windsor Park tomorrow, before the return leg at Oriel Park on Monday. The winners will receive €50,000 prize money with the runners-up pocketing €25,000.

"It's great to see a return of the cross-border competition," said captain Shields.

"I was always a big fan of the Setanta Sports Cup and the players love to play in it.

"It's an added rivalry to see who comes out top from both leagues and I think it's a great initiative to bring something back like this. Long may it continue.

Linfield boss David Healy

"I can only speak from our dressing room but our lads are really looking forward to it and it's definitely captured the supporters' imagination as well. I'm sure we'll be well backed heading up to Belfast and it gives us the chance to lift the trophy in our own ground as well, with the second leg back at Oriel."

Linfield had a highly impressive run in the Europa League qualifiers in the summer, missing out on the group stages by a whisker when they went out against Qarabag on away goals. 

"Linfield have done really well over the past year and I was up there when they beat Qarabag in the Europa League (first leg)," added Shields.

"They were brilliant that night and they did something we couldn't do so it's going to be a really tough game."

Watch Dundalk v Linfield, Monday 11 November, live on RTÉ2 and the RTÉ Player from 7pm