Crumlin United manager Martin Loughran: 'We got the home draw and we should be able to play in our venue'Mon, Aug 21 2017
Crumlin United manager Martin Loughran told the extratime.ie Sportscast the club is determined to hold their FAI Cup second round tie with Dundalk at their home ground in Pearse Park.
The club are under pressure to cede home advantage in the tie as Pearse Park is not deemed up to scratch for holding a second round tie despite similar grounds hosting games in Round One.
The Leinster Senior League heavyweights provided one of the results of the first round when they won 2-1 away at First Division Wexford as keeper Michael Quinn saved two penalties.
And manager Martin Loughran renewed his appeal to the FAI – who have the final say on where fixtures are held – to allow them to bring their facilities up to code in time to host the champions.
“We want to have it down here in our place,” Loughran told extratime.ie's Sportscast, which will go live on Monday morning.
“We're having a few problems with it at the moment but hopefully we'll sort it out in the next 24 hours and we'll get a venue and a day.
“Hopefully we can sort it out with Dundalk and the FAI and get it played down here in one of our venues.”
Bluebell United have already seen their efforts to keep their all-Dublin tie with Cabinteely frustrated, with the nominal home tie moved to Cabo's Stradbrook Park.
With the likely destination another re-fix for Oriel Park in Dundalk – as happened at the same stage last year – it means Crumlin could be denied a unique chance to market the club in their local area.
“From our end, it's the magic of the Cup. Dundalk, probably the best team in the country, coming to town. It would be great for the area.
“The area gets enough bad publicity with other stuff going on, so we feel this would help us to promote the area in a good way. Hopefully the powers that be will help us along the way.”
Crumlin have previously held 'home' ties at Richmond Park, the home of their League of Ireland partner club St Patrick's Athletic, but that's unlikely to be an option this time around.
And Loughran explains that even that would be less than ideal, not just because Pats have two home games the same weekend but because Pearse Park can be equipped to host the tie at short notice.
“We feel our place is suitable. They're saying it's not.
“We're saying, well there's other matches that've been played in venues similar to us the week before last with Pats going to Paddy's Hill in Portmarnock and Galway going to Killester, and Drogheda went to Evergreen and played on an astro pitch.
“We're willing to put in place everything that needs to be put in place at this stage of the game, and it'd be great for the area and it would be great for us as a club to stage a game of that size.
“We got the home draw and we should be able to play in our venue.”
Perhaps the most compelling argument for Crumlin hosting the game is not just that similar grounds hosted games without a problem two weeks earlier, but that it will help the club improve the facilities long-term.
“In every walk of life there's room for improvement. Whether it's Crumlin or Dundalk or Cork or Galway, everyone wants to strive to improve, but everyone should be given help to improve.
“And us getting this game in our facility would help us get more sponsorship, highlight the area, highlight the Cup for being the magic of the Cup – what it should be. That's our point.
“I can understand Dundalk not wanting to come to our facility, but I'm sure lots of teams didn't fancy going to Dundalk last year when the pitch wasn't the best.
“And to be fair to them they've put a lot of money into it and replaced it.”
Listen to Crumlin United manager Martin Loughran explain why Pearse Park should host the FAI Cup clash with Dundalk on the extratime.ie Sportcast later today.