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Dublin: 14 °C Wednesday 16 April, 2014

Buckley calls for level playing field over Shamrock Rovers ‘B’ team

The Hoops have been permitted to field a reserve team in the First Division and the Saints boss claims it is an unfair advantage.

Buckley was speaking at Richmond Park earlier this week.
Buckley was speaking at Richmond Park earlier this week.
Image: INPHO/Donall Farmer

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC manager Liam Buckley is disappointed at the FAI’s decision to allow Shamrock Rovers to field a second team in the Airtricity League First Division for the upcoming season.

The Hoops were granted permission to enter a reserve side in the second tier after Mervue United and Salthill Devon were both withdrawn from the league.

While they won’t be eligible to win promotion to the Premier Division, it will allow Rovers to give youngsters valuable experience in League of Ireland football.

Saints boss Liam Buckley admits that the move is a step in the right direction, but has criticised the FAI for not discussing it with all the clubs.

“We’re all at a disadvantage,” Buckley said. “It’s disappointing from a Pat’s perspective that we haven’t been all given the same opportunity here.

“I would have preferred to have been offered the opportunity that Shamrock Rovers had.

“I’m not sure where the rules for this came in between Shamrock Rovers and the league as opposed to all the clubs having a say in how this is being constructed.

If we had known we might have considered putting a team in the First Division. Last year when we did make one or two enquiries on it, they were rebuffed.

“For it to happen this year the way that it is just a little bit disappointing.

“We’re trying to grow our league and make it better but it needs to be an open discussion,” he added. “When you’re doing something as dramatic as that, it needs to be open to all of the clubs.

“Putting a team in the First Division is the best way to move forward but I think everybody should have been brought into the loop to make sure it is fair across the board.

Quotes courtesy of FM 104′s Darren Cleary

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