- Tuesday June 28th, 2016 @ 9:45
European Football Returns To Inchicore Tonight
European Football returns to Inchicore TONIGHT as St Patrick's Athletic welcome AS Jeunesse Esch of Luxembourg to Richmond Park for the first leg of their First Qualifying Round First Leg UEFA Europa League tie.
The Saints will be hoping to record a win tonight in order to take an advantage into next week's second leg in Luxembourg as they look to progress through a round of Europe for a tenth time, a record for League of Ireland clubs.
Speaking to stpatsfc.com ahead of tonight's first leg, Saints' manager Liam Buckley outlined the pre-match preparations in facing AS Jeunesse Esch, a side which finished fourth in the national league of Luxembourg last season.
"We've done quite a bit of homework on Jeunesse. It will be a reasonably tight game and I'm sure they'll believe that if they can come here and get a draw that it would leave them in a great position. From our end though, we'll be looking to take the initiative in the tie and look to get a lead to take over there next week."
In team news, the Saints remain without goalkeeper Conor O'Malley (thigh) and midfielder Jack Bayly (hamstring) through injury, though Republic of Ireland international Keith Treacy should be back in contention after returning from injury.
Having played in European competition with both Sporting Fingal in the past and in several games to date with the Saints, winger Conan Byrne is one of the most experienced players in the club's ranks heading into Tuesday's game.
Off the back of making a 150th club appearance in last Friday's defeat to Dundalk, Byrne pointed out that the mixture of youth and experience in the Saints' ranks could be advantageous in the Europa League.
"I know a lot of lads have left, but a lot of us have European experience, the likes of myself, Brendan Clarke, Ger O'Brien and Christy Fagan, we've been around the block," said Byrne.
"The lads we've brought in have played in Europe at other clubs, Mark Timlin, David Cawley and sure we've got Keith Treacy in too and he's got the international experience there to help, and the Dennehys from Cork. We have the experience there, we've played together now for a good few months, so that shouldn't be a problem at all I don't think."
"It's a European tie so it'll be a tough game, there'll be no easy games in Europe. The lads have done a bit of homework on them and we think we'll know what to expect from them. We'll just have to go out and play our own game, that's the most important thing, try not to concentrate on them too much. Just focus on ourselves and hopefully get a good result."
Tickets for the game are available to purchase at club offices, with tickets to be available for purchase at the ground – all supporters however are advised to purchase in advance to avoid any queues before kick-off.