St Patrick's Athletic's first team squad departed for Iceland today in advance of Thursday's UEFA Europa League 1st Qualifying Round with ÍBV in Iceland.
Saints' captain Conor Kenna is recovering well from his long term knee injury but is still not ready to return to action. As a result the defender was not registered for this stage of the competition.
Otherwise Pete Mahon travelled with a full squad though Stephen Bradley, Dave Mulcahy and top scorer Danny North are all nursing injuries.
The players trained in Celbridge last night and speaking from Dublin airport Pete Mahon told STPATSFC.COM that they will be given some rest on arrival:
“We had a tough training session last night and with the travelling and logistics of it we've decided not to train this evening.
“The players will have a swim and a sauna to help their recovery this evening and then we'll train tomorrow evening at 6 before the game on Thursday.”
Mahon has conceded that it has been difficult to get information on their opponents but he is sure that preparation will not be an obstacle to progressing in the competition.
“It's been very difficult logistically to get everything organised particularly when the draw was only last week but things have worked out well.
“We're going a little bit into the unknown at the moment but by training tomorrow night we'll have a good idea what we'll be up against.
“We've managed to arrange a meeting with a contact this evening who knows a bit about ÍBV and we'll watch a few DVDs to give us an idea on how they'll approach the game.
“Brian Kerr has helped us out with getting some information about them and I'll make sure we're as best prepared for the game as we can be.”
While the Saints have enjoyed some memorable nights of European football over recent seasons it will be Mahon's first European venture as St Pats' boss and he is looking forward to the challenge.
“I'm looking forward to it big time and most of all I'm hoping for a good result.
“The important thing is to keep the tie alive in the first leg and get back to Richmond, get a big crowd in hopefully progress to the next round.”
The game between ÍB Vestmannaeyja and St Patrick's Athletic takes place at Vodafonevöllurinn, Hlídarendi, Reykjavik on Thursday, 30th June 2011 with a kick off of 6 pm local time (7pm Irish).
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