Dundalk Players ‘Buzzing’ As UEFA Confirm European Dates
Dundalk manager Vinny Perth says that his players have already been bitten by the European bug after UEFA confirmed that the Lilywhites will be in Champions League action on August 18th or 19th.
The dates were confirmed at a UEFA Executive Committee press conference on Wednesday afternoon where it was also announced that the qualifying rounds will be played over one leg with the first team drawn out of the hat given home advantage.
And speaking on the latest episode of ‘Inside Oriel’ on Thursday morning, Perth said that there was a real sense of enthusiasm amongst his players now that they had a concrete date to plan towards.
“Europe is massive for us and coming in this morning there was a huge buzz around the group now that we have clarity and a goal to get after,” he said.
Perth said that he was looking into the possibility of playing friendly games against Irish, English, Scottish or Northern Irish sides to prepare his players for the one-legged tie.
“We could do with some competitive football,” he said. “I’ve spoken to a couple of the European clubs already and discussed the possibility of playing some friendlies if we don’t have league games. I think it’s important that we look after each other.
“I know everybody is looking at the Premiership but the likes of League One, League Two and the Scottish clubs will all be back soon and if travel plans are lifted, that could also be a possibility,” he added.
The Lilywhites boss also spoke about the possible resumption of the League of Ireland and said that Dundalk, and the other clubs in favour of a comeback, needed to be fully aware of what was on offer.
“We have to know exactly what we might be coming back to,” he said. “If we come back for 13 games, there has to be a competitive edge to them. There has to be relegation. If not, what’s the point in having European spots for clubs?
“League of Ireland history tells you that some clubs will use this opportunity to fill their bank accounts and go again in January.
“We need to make sure that there isn’t a club saying they’ll play their U19 team because they can’t get relegated. Then it’s a matter of who scores the most against them to decide a league title or a European place.”