From beginning to end, farce was amateurish

The East Fife players go through their warm up knowing the game won't kick off. Pic Kenny Mackay.
The East Fife players go through their warm up knowing the game won't kick off. Pic Kenny Mackay.

East Fife’s Irn-Bru Cup quarter final would have been settled on a hired 3G surface in Ireland if Bohemians had their way.

The Irish side tried to tempt the Methil men into playing the game at a ground elsewhere in the country in the hours following Saturday’s postponement.

East Fife manager Darren Young, though, was having none of it, and instead boarded his squad back on the plane to Scotland.

It was a move which paid off, with the League of Ireland side withdrawing from the tournament on Monday afternoon.

Young reckons the whole debacle should never have been allowed to happen in the first place.

He said: “We had no idea that the game could be off until we got to the ground and the pitch was brick hard.

“They’d taken no precautions.

“It’s amateurish.

“There was no way the game was going to be on but we got the players stripped and ready like we should do.

“There was someone there from the FAI and the chairman was phoning over to Scotland to see what we could do.”

Bohemians had suggested the synthetic surfaces at Abbotstown, a GAA national games development centre in Dublin and Oriel Park, home of Dundalk, to play the game.

“They were trying to book a pitch somewhere else for us to play but I wasn’t having that,” said Young.

“We had 400 fans with us; how were they all supposed to get to there?”

The game, of course, was scheduled to be played in November but had to be put on hold due to the League of Ireland season finishing.

But The East Fife boss says his side, and the fans of the club, shouldn’t have been forced into the farcical position they were in.

“What if an Irish team is involved in the Champions League or Europa League over winter? How do they play the games then?” said the manager.

“It’s great to be in the semi-final, we’d have rather won the game, but it should have been played three months ago.”