Bohemians unhappy with Airtricity Premier Division schedule after Europa League tie

Participation in Europa League qualifiers has brought with it logistical problems for the Gypsies, who feel they are not getting the help they need from the FAI
Bohemians manager Aaron Callaghan believes that the FAI is not assisting clubs involved in European action and putting players at risk of injury as a result of the domestic schedule.

The Gypsies face a busy few weeks, with four games in the space of 10 days, thanks to their involvement in the Europa League. Bohs were held to a scoreless draw on Thursday by Thor Akureyri but before jetting off to Iceland for the second leg, Callaghan’s side must travel down to Cork for a Sunday evening clash with City at Turner’s Cross.

The Dalymount Park side will return to Dublin in the early hours of Friday morning after the game in Iceland but after requesting to put their league tie with UCD back until Monday June 14 the FAI turned down the request and have scheduled the game for Sunday at 15.00 BST, a situation which Callaghan blasts as 'ludicrous'.

"I am a little bit disappointed with the FAI's reaction to the timescales. We asked them to move the UCD game to a Monday and we got permission from UCD to do that to give us an extra 24 hours of recovery, but it was turned down,” Callaghan told the Irish Independent.

"I just cannot understand why we cannot get an extra night's recovery. It just doesn't make any sense.

"To travel down to Cork in between two really important European games for this club, not just for the players' development but also for the club financially, is absolutely ludicrous. I can't get my head around it," the Bohemians manager concluded.

The effects of Thursday’s encounter with Thor are there for all to see with Callaghan likely to make several changes for the game with Cork. Captain Owen Heary, Luke Byrne and midfielder Dave Mulcahy all picked up knocks and are doubtful.

Given the financial situation of many of the clubs in the Premier Division, the financial rewards of playing in Europe are huge and Callaghan admitted that progression for Bohemians would be massive for the club’s finances.

"It is worth an extra €100,000 which is a huge investment for this club going forward and for us not to get the right protocols, I'm gobsmacked," he said.

"Everybody knows the situation we're in. Everybody knows how tough we have had it in relation to budgets, etc. We have an opportunity and if we can beat them...

"It is also a huge financial gain for this club and that can help us going forward."