St Patrick’s Athletic boss John McDonnell will be banking on the knowledge of others to discover the strength of their Uefa Cup Qualifying opponents, JFK Olimps.
The Super Saints will travel to Riga to face their Latvian opponents on July 17th, but they will be aiming to know all about them before that crunch First Round Qualifying match.
McDonnell has revealed that he will be speaking to Bohemians manager Pat Fenlon, who brings his team over to the same city this weekend for an Intertoto Cup Second Round encounter.
Another person that he will look to gather information on the LMT Virsliga side from is Paul Ashworth, who manages Skonto Riga FC and completed the Pro Licence course with McDonnell last year.
“I think the draw was a lot tougher for us last year when we got Odense as they were probably the hardest team in the actual section we were picked from,” McDonnell told eircomloi.ie.
“Bohemians are over there this weekend to play FK Riga, so I will speak to Pat (Fenlon) with regard to that. Right now, I’m just trying to gather as much information about them as possible.
“One of the guys, Paul Ashworth, that I did my Pro Licence course with also has a connection with the teams in Riga, so I will be speaking to him at some stage. He would be able to give me a good run down on them.
“I’m sure Pat can help out with the logistics of getting to the place and other things like that. But Paul should be able to give me more details on what type of football they play and what we should expect.”
McDonnell reckons that the fact they will be playing the first leg away from home is something to be enthused about as it means they can snatch an early advantage in the tie.
“I think it is an advantage starting the game with an away tie as you can go over there and get a couple of goals,” said McDonnell.
“If you can score in these away legs, they count as double on the away goals rule and that would give us a great chance of bringing something back to our place.
“At the moment, I think we are playing better away from home than we are at Richmond Park so that could be a blessing in disguise for us.”