Dundalk FC boss Vinny Perth hopes to have a couple of friendlies lined up for next month later this week.
Following Government confirmation that team sports can resume from Monday June 29th, the 43-year-old has been busy organising a schedule ahead of the club’s Champions League qualifier in mid-August and, hopefully, the return of the SSE Airtricity League on July 31st.
While nothing is, as yet, set in stone, Perth said it would be his hope to play in the region of 10 games before the club went into battle in the Champions League on August 18th or 19th.
“We have a couple very close to happening,” he said of the friendly games.
“We are looking at whether we can play teams in our league. That’s not the norm but for Europe we’ve got to play teams at the highest level we can get so we will look to play teams within our own league.
“I’ve spoken to a lot of managers and they’re open to it as well. It’s something we probably have to do.”
Perth said it was his preference to have a game every Friday in July.
“I don’t have dates set in stone at the moment but we’ll probably play friendlies most of July on a Friday night so at least we get back into that rhythm.
“There will be the odd midweek one but most Friday nights is what we’re looking at.”
The manager also refused to rule out the prospect of facing clubs from the UK.
“It is an option,” he said, “particularly with Scottish clubs.
“They’re back training so they’re looking for friendlies now.
“Again, I’ve spoken to a couple of clubs over there and there is an openness to the idea. Whether that means we go over there or they come over here, it’s early still for that decision to be made but over the next week I’d like to have a couple of them organised.”
He also said that the club were hopeful of having the league back in some format by July 31st.
“That’s a target date that we’re working towards so at least we’re prepared for it.
“In the last seven years we’ve never been found wanting from a fitness point of view going into Europe and that’s predominantly down to being well prepared from having a summer season. We’ve lost that advantage now so we’ve got to get up to speed as quickly as we can,” he said.