FyffesOfficial Sponsor
Dundalk Credit Union Statsports

Perth Happy as Dundalk Continue Plans for Restart

First Team News
// 6 Jul 2020

Dundalk will step up their preparations for the resumption of the 2020 league season with a behind closed doors friendly against Derry City at Oriel Park on Friday afternoon.

The game is the first of a number of friendlies that Lilywhites boss Vinny Perth has lined up to ensure his side are in peak condition for the restart with Bohemians also due to visit Oriel on Tuesday week.

“We hope to add games beyond that but that’s all that we have confirmed at the minute,” said Perth. “It’s not that common to play teams in your own league but we feel it will be good preparation for Europe.”

Nathan Oduwa in action against Cameron Dummigan in Fridays 11 v11 training game. Photo: Ben McShane/Sportsfile

The Lilywhites squad took part in an 11 v 11 training game on Friday which saw the Dundalk manager use 25 players and he said he was happy with the quality and intensity on display.

“It was their first time playing with each other in almost four months and it was a great workout, really good. We mixed the teams up. We trained really hard last week so for them to get through 60 minutes was really good.

“There’s a lot of things we need to work on. We created some chances but there’s definitely room for improvement and that’s what you want from these games.”

Josh Gatt and Stefan Colovic leave the pitch after Friday’s 11 v11 training game. Photo: Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Friday’s game offered new boys Nathan Oduwa, Josh Gatt and Stefan Colovic another opportunity to get to know their teammates and Perth was pleased with their contribution.

Colovic found the net with a fine curling effort that was disallowed for offside in the first half and he combined brilliantly with Sean Gannon for the only goal of the game with two minutes to play when Lido Lotefa stabbed home from close-range.

“We need to see Stefan playing out wide a bit more,” said Perth. “On Friday we played him a bit narrower and he was very impressive. He linked up really well with Sean Gannon for the goal and those kinds of combinations will get better as we move on.”

U19 defender Andrew Quinn started in Fridays 11 v11 training game. Photo: Ben McShane/Sportsfile

John Mountney also continued his return from injury with a strong display while U19 centre-back Andrew Quinn deputised for Sean Hoare who, along with Patrick McEleney, sat the game out with a knock.

“It was John’s first game in a long, long time,” said Perth. “There was a bit of rustiness there but he got through it and it was the same with Sean Murray. I also thought Andrew looked like he belongs in the group, which is good. We have players coming through the system which is important.

“It was our first game back after four weeks of training,” he added. “Normally, we’d play a game before that but we just need to be careful. You can see around the world that when football came back a lot of injuries were picked up.

“We have a couple of niggles ourselves but that’s part and parcel of things and we still have a good bit of time before the season starts. Most of the heavy lifting is done. It’s just about improving combinations and things like that now.”