Manager Vinny Perth during the NK Celje vs Dundalk UEFA Champions League First Qualifying Round game at Szusza Ferenc Stadion, Hungary. INPHO/ALEKSANDAR DJOROVIC
Vinny Perth has paid the price for Dundalk’s poor start to the season and their exit from the qualifying stages of the champions League last week. Dundalk were beaten 3-0 to Slovenian club Nk Celje at a neutral venue in Hungary last Wednesday; 24 hours later Perth was sacked. The County Louth, who have dominated League of Ireland soccer for the past five seasons, made a poor start to the season and are unlikely to catch leaders Shamrock Rovers at this stage. Basic defensive mistakes at the end of either half cost Dundalk in Hungary and now the manager was told to leave following a meeting with the club’s American owners on Thursday.
Perth had been assistant to fellow Tallaght native Stephen Kenny during Kenny’s successful spell in charge of Dundalk and was promoted to manager when Kenny left to take over as Ireland under-21 manager last year. Dundalk’s only hope of silverware at this stage looks like the FAI Cup; they are away to Cobh Ramblers in the second round of the cup on Sunday next.
Assistant managers John Gill and Alan Reynolds will take temporary charge of the team. There were only three games in the first round of this season’s FAI Cup as no non-League clubs were allowed and that has made it an even 16 clubs in the second round. All of second round games will be played this weekend. On Friday night the action gets under with an all-first division clash in Athlone where Wexford Youth are the visitors. The two big games are on Monday night when Shamrock Rovers, who won the Cup for the 25th time last November, are at home to Cork City in Tallaght Stadium and Bohemians play first division leaders Cabinteely at Dalymount Park.
-- Sean Creedon