Dundalk head coach Filippo Giovagnoli remains in the dark as to when his side will be able to play their first fixture of the year.

While the squad returned to full training on Monday, as yet no pre-season matches have been announced ahead of the league’s proposed start date of March 19th.

Speaking to The Argus on Sunday, Giovagnoli said the club was awaiting word from the FAI as to when they were allowed to play games.

He said: “We are working on organising friendlies but the problem is the federation has to tell us when we can play them.

“Yesterday there was a webinar about it and they’re going to communicate with us when we can have friendly games. At the moment the restrictions are Level 5 so I don’t know when we’ll be allowed to play other teams. Maybe we won’t be able to play until the middle of February but I don’t know right now, they have to communicate that. We’ll eventually have a schedule.”

The Italian said he would ideally like to play one game a week in the build up to the start of the season but didn’t know if that would be possible.

“It would be nice to have a friendly once a week so that we get familiar with the practice of train and game, train and game, train and game. I don’t know if this year it’s going to be possible but that was what we were aiming for.

“That would mean about five or six games before the start of the league. That was the idea but I don’t know if we can have that.”

One fixture that was confirmed on Monday was the President’s Cup final against Shamrock Rovers which has been pencilled in for Friday March 12th at Tallaght Stadium with a 7.45pm kick-off.

The fixtures for the season were due for release yesterday (Monday) after the newspaper’s publication but Giovagnoli said he wasn’t too concerned about what they threw up.

“I don’t know, I’m not thinking really about the fixtures,” he said.

“I know we’re going to play and this is important but at the end of the day there are 10 teams so it’s not a big league and we have to play everyone and we have to be strong against everyone. When they come, they come. I don’t think it makes a big difference who we play first,” he said.