IBV Vestmannaeyjar V St Patrick's Athletic

  • Thu, Jun 30, 2011 @ 11:50

St Patrick's Athletic are the first Airtricity League side into European action as they face IBV Vestmannaeyjar in Iceland tonight, kick-off 7pm (Irish time).

Pete Mahon's side trained at the match venue, Hlidareni, Reykjavik, last night ahead of their UEFA Europa League first qualifying round tie.

Conor Kenna's knee injury means he did not travel with the squad, while there are doubts about the fitness of Stephen Bradley, Dave Mulcahy and Danny North.

St Pat's have enjoyed a couple of successful runs in Europe in recent seasons, but Mahon admits they are facing into something of the unknown.

'It's been very difficult logistically to get everything organised, particularly when the draw was only last week, but things have worked out well,' Mahon said this week.

'We're going a little bit into the unknown at the moment but by training . we'll have a good idea what we'll be up against.

'We've managed to arrange a meeting with a contact who knows a bit about IBV 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.'

Tonight will be Mahon's first game in Europe and he is hoping to take a positive result home to Richmond Park for the return leg next week.

'I'm looking forward to it big time and most of all I'm hoping for a good result,' he said.

'The important thing is to keep the tie alive in the first leg and get back to Richmond. Get a big crowd in and hopefully progress to the next round.'

IBV qualified for Europe by finishing third in the Icelandic league last year and currently sit second after eight games of the current season.

The Airtricity League leaders face a side will a strong local presence, including former international striker Tryggvi Gudmundsson.

Also included in their ranks is former Charlton Athletic, Birmingham City and Hull City midfielder Brian Hughes.

IBV last played in European competition in 2005/2006 when they lost to B36 of the Faroe Islands.

Next Fixture

Finn Harps / July 10th @ 7:45pm
Competition: League
Venue: Richmond Park
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