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McEleney: It’s A Worrying Time

First Team News
// 12 Jun 2020

Patrick McEleney admits it is a worrying time for players after the latest round of talks aimed at restarting the SSE Airtricity League came to nothing.

The FAI met with the National League Executive Committee on Thursday while further discussions are planned with league clubs today.

“It’s a tricky time,” said McEleney. “It’s been tough on players because there’s been a lot of speculation and we obviously read and listen to things.

“I don’t really know the situation is at other clubs but the country needs the League of Ireland to get back as soon as possible because it’s a big part of people’s lives.”

For McEleney and his teammates, it is also their livelihoods that are at stake.

“Exactly,” he nodded. “I’m 27 and that would be a year taken off my career. The financial stuff is obviously a big part too and you worry about your family. Something has to be done.”

As it stands, the League of Ireland is the only summer run season that has yet to agree on a comeback date. If a solution can’t be reached, McEleney believes the consequences could be seriously damaging to the league’s profile amongst the general public.

“It just looks like we’re settling for mediocrity. That mindset needs to change,” he said. “When you look around Europe and see how far on things are, and then you look at us…we’re absolutely miles off which is really disappointing and frustrating.

“People need to accelerate things. It obviously has to be safe to return, and everyone gets that, but people really need to get together, talk about the other issues and get things moving.”

Picture: Ciaran Culligan