Head Coach Stephen Bradley gave us the team news ahead of the season opener at Waterford on Friday night.
“I think pre-season went well. We were good on the injury front, not too many knocks and that’s the main thing when you come out of pre-season, that you have a fit squad for the first game.
It’s hard to see for people on the outside watching games. You can obviously only judge on what you see but you don’t see what the players have done that day or the day before. Brentford was the first game where we were fresh going into it, we’d had double sessions before all the other games so the players’ legs had been very heavy. I wouldn’t read too much into it and you’d expect games to be like that.
It’s good that Jack Byrne and Aaron McEneff have been in since the first day so they’ve settled in really quickly. Orhan Vojic and Leon Pohls have been with us only the last 8-10 days but the new players have had a lot of time around the group to get to know each other. It’s great to have Trevor Clarke back too, you’d forget that he was missing for all of last year. He’s going to be an important player for us this season.
I think Waterford will be up there again. They’ve invested again in the squad so it’s going to be a really tough game like it was last year but it’s one we’re looking forward to. There was a lot of action in both of our games down there last year and tomorrow will be no different. It’ll be two good teams looking to go and win the game. Our end is sold out and I’m sure Waterford supporters will sell out theirs if it hasn’t been done already so it’ll be a good atmosphere. The first game of the season are always special nights and both teams will be up for it. You always want to win games, the fact that it’s the first one of course we want to win it but we just have to concentrate on our jobs.
Sean Boyd is fine. He came off injured in one of the pre-season friendlies, he went up for a header and landed awkwardly on his foot and thought it was broken. But we got it checked and it was just bad bruising. He’s back training and there’s no other injury concerns in the squad.
We’re not sure if Orhan will get clearance. It’s been sort of a long road officially getting it done because of all the clearances that he needs to go through with the German FA and Wolfsburg. It’s been five or six days since we agreed the deal but we didn’t announce it until Wednesday. We’re hoping now he gets cleared for Waterford.
The off season is too long and the players have worked hard since the start of December. They just want to go and get on the pitch and play for three points. We’re raring to go, the players are chomping at the bit and you could see that against Brentford last week. It’s about keeping them settled until tomorrow and then being ready for what should be a great game.”
The Hoops have sold out their full away ticket allocation, there will be no tickets available at the ground to away fans.