Dundalk will spend most of the month of September on their travels after being drawn away to Finn Harps in the quarter-finals of the Extra.ie FAI Cup.
The draw, which was made by former Lilywhites goalkeeper – and five-time cup winner – Gary Rogers on RTE’s Game On on Tuesday evening, was made up of five Premier Division clubs, two First Division teams and non-league Maynooth University Town.
“I’m really looking forward to the tie,” said Dundalk head coach Vinny Perth. “Being in the hat is the most important thing, and although we have probably ended up with the toughest draw, we are only two wins away from the Aviva Stadium and three away from European football for next season and that has to be the goal for everyone at the club.”
A date and kick-off time have yet to be confirmed for the fixture in Ballybofey but all of the last eight ties are scheduled to take place on the week ending September 19th.
It leaves Dundalk with a gruelling schedule of six games in just 28 days, with five of them on the road. The club’s only home match this month takes place on Friday, September 24th when Sligo Rovers come to Oriel Park.
The cup quarter-final will be played on the same week that Dundalk travel to Sligo for a rearranged league fixture and Perth voiced his frustration that the FAI could not find an alternative date for the game at The Showgrounds.
“The FAI Cup is the holy grail of domestic football and with that in mind, you do have to question the lack of foresight from the league’s administration asking us to travel to Sligo three days before we play an FAI Cup quarter-final.
“I’m sure they could have consulted with the club and worked with us to come up with a better date for the fixture. We’re very disappointed with that decision and I think decisions like that undermine the value of the FAI Cup.
“We have a difficult period ahead, away to Waterford, Longford, Sligo and Finn Harps in the league, as well as the cup, and I think that should have been taken into account but we will just have to get on with it and look forward to the challenge ahead.
“It’s a big month for the club,” he added. “There is a lot of positive stuff going on in the background and hopefully we will have some good news to report over the coming days and weeks ahead.
“I would ask everyone to continue to support us and understand that we are heading into a difficult period so as much positivity around the club would be greatly appreciated, starting with a difficult away game in Waterford on Friday.”
Extra.ie FAI Senior Cup quarter-final draw
UCD v Waterford
St Patrick’s Athletic v Wexford
Finn Harps v Dundalk
Bohemian v Maynooth University Town