Rennie Looking Forward to Another Busy Week
Dundalk assistant manager Alan Reynolds is looking forward to another week of intense preparation ahead of the SSE Airtricity League restart against St Patrick’s Athletic on July 31st.
After friendlies against Derry City, Bohemians and Drogheda United in the space of seven days, the Lilywhites play host to Athlone Town and Longford Town on Monday and Tuesday night respectively and Reynolds said both games would give the coaching staff an opportunity to carry out some fine-tuning ahead of the real thing on Friday week.
“Last week was a really good one for us,” said Reynolds. “A lot of fellas got minutes under their belt and you saw the likes of John Mountney, who hasn’t played in a while, starting against Drogheda.
“It was important for the likes of John to get those games in and bar the lads who have niggles, the whole squad came through last week without picking up any knocks.
“Some of them are more ready than others but they’re all itching to get going,” he added. “We have a couple of games this week against Athlone and Longford and after that, we’ll be ready to go.
“We’ve been back almost six or seven weeks now and at this stage, the players just want competitive action. Everyone is chomping at the bit.”
Daniel Cleary scored the only goal in the 1-0 win over Drogheda United but it was the performance of Nathan Oduwa that caught the eye of the small group of officials and volunteers who were present.
“In fairness to Drogheda, they came to get a result which is a lot better than a team coming here and just trying to sit off,” said Reynolds. “It made for a good contest.
“Nathan was very exciting,” he added. “There’s a great culture here. That’s driven by the senior players that have been here a while and it’s something I’ve noticed. They’re not resting on their laurels.
“All of them want to keep pushing and winning trophies and anyone who comes into the group, be that Nathan, Will Patching or Stefan Colovic, they all fall into that mindset and that is important.”
After arriving at Oriel Park a month ago, the former Waterford boss has quickly settled into his new surroundings but he will soon be reacquainted with his old club after Dundalk were drawn against the Blues in the first round of the FAI Cup.
Ironically, the draw was made by a man he knows very, very well; Irish U21 manager Jim Crawford will be assisted by Reynolds when the international campaign begins in the autumn and was also a part of Reynolds’ backroom staff at the RSC.
“I was half expecting that draw,” smiled Reynolds, “especially when I saw it was Jim who was doing it! We’ll have Waterford twice in the space of four days but all we are focussed on at the minute is the St Pat’s game on Friday week.”
Reynolds will combine his duties at Oriel Park alongside his number two role with the U21s and he feels that the move will benefit both parties.
“It’s something I spoke to Vinny about,” he said, “and anything that I pick up with the U21s, I can use here at Dundalk.
“There’s a lot of good players with the U21s and I’m looking forward to working with John O’Shea and Jim Crawford. They’ve done a lot of work with that group and, hopefully, I can add something to it.”