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Dublin: 2°C Wednesday 14 April 2021

'I think it’s a joke we’re not playing. By all accounts, Waterford wanted the game on'

Shamrock Rovers boss Stephen Bradley has expressed his frustration at the postponement of an upcoming fixture.

Stephen Bradley (file pic).
Stephen Bradley (file pic).
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

SHAMROCK ROVERS BOSS Stephen Bradley has expressed his frustration at the decision to postpone an upcoming fixture with Waterford.

The Hoops had been due to face Alan Reynolds’ men on Friday, but the FAI announced last week that the game would be one of six moved to a later date.

Two Waterford players, Zach Elbouzedi and Aaron Drinan, had been due to miss the match owing to their involvement in the Toulon Tournament with the Ireland U21s.

Fifa rules state that a fixture can be called off if two or more of a club’s players have international commitments. 

However, Bradley suggested Waterford were more than happy to play irrespective of their absentees, and could barely contain his frustration at the situation.

Earlier in the season, the Hoops opted to play their game with Finn Harps, despite missing Jack Byrne and Trevor Clarke on account of international call-ups, and Bradley is unhappy that they cannot repeat that choice again.

“I think it’s a joke we’re not playing,” he said. “By all accounts, Waterford wanted the game on.

I was speaking to Alan [Reynolds]. They wanted the game to go ahead for the gate. Now it’s going to be on a Monday, thrown in somewhere.

“It’s not a problem for us, but we just want to play games. It’s madness.”

Asked if it is something the league should look at next year to avoid similar scenarios, Bradley responded: “My point is it should have been looked at this year. Toulon is a great tournament. Should we go to it? Yeah. But we can’t have six games off because of it.”

Stephen Kenny’s 22-man squad contains seven League of Ireland players in total, but Bradley believes they should have refrained from picking domestic footballers.

It should have been English-based players. The fact is we’re in the middle of the season. These games are going to be thrown in now and we’ve got Europe or FAI Cup. It looks like we’ll probably play Waterford in Waterford on a Monday. I don’t know who makes these decisions.

“When it’s a proper international week, why not play like we did last time, because the players deserve to be in the squads.

“This isn’t a proper international week that the players have to go. I don’t think it’s good enough.

“The problem is: where does the Waterford game go now? If you look at the schedule, there’s not a lot of room for it. With Europe and the FAI Cup to come and the League Cup still there, where does the game get put in? It could be late August before we play. It’s very frustrating.”

Gavan Casey is joined by Ryan Bailey and Andy Dunne to look ahead to Saturday’s Pro14 final, look at whether Joey Carbery’s move has paid off and Jack Conan talks about how his body is holding up.:

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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Paul Fennessy

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