herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

'Dinamo thought we were a pub side'

St Patrick’s Athletic midfielder Keith Treacy is focused on helping his side secure another round of Europa League football when they face Belarusian outfit Dinamo Minsk at Richmond Park tonight.
St Patrick’s Athletic midfielder Keith Treacy is focused on helping his side secure another round of Europa League football when they face Belarusian outfit Dinamo Minsk at Richmond Park tonight.

Experienced in Premier League and international terms but a relative rookie when it comes to European club football, Keith Treacy is enjoying his Europa League run with St Patrick's Athletic this summer.

And the former Ireland cap believes that more progress in Europe with the Saints will provide him with another batch of stories to entertain his children with once he's hung up his boots.

Dinamo Minsk, a club with a European pedigree which has seen them make the group stages of the Europa League for the last two seasons and an annual budget of €2million which dwarfs that of the opposition, come to Dublin this evening to face the Saints, advantage on the side of the Dublin club who hold an away goal form the first leg, a 1-1 draw in Minsk.

A likely date with Serbian side Vojvodina is the prize in the next round and former Blackburn man Treacy, now back living on his home patch of Sheriff Street after a decade in England, is dreaming of progression.

"I would love to get through another round in Europe," says Treacy, who joined the Saints from Drogheda United at the start of this season.

"I don't think you really look back at your CV and your achievements until you are finished playing but it would be great for the club and the fans to get through and it would be nice to be able to tell the kids in a few years that I played in the St Pats team which knocked Dinamo Minsk out of Europe.

"Hopefully we can get through and it's not beyond the realms of possibility that we can get through to the group stages," added Treacy, savouring his début season in Europe at the tail end of a career which saw him play in the English top flight and also win senior caps.

"European football has come late in my career, this is my first European campaign and I am 27," Treacy told The Herald.

"But I treat it as a game of football, whether that's in the Premier League or in the Europa League against a team from Belarus. It's a simple game made complicated by people around it, so I will go out and try to enjoy it tonight. I will enjoy tonight, once the result is right. If we go out tonight I know it will be a bad week for me."

Dinamo certainly plan to make this a bad week for the opposition, as they were so upset by that 1-1 draw at home to Pat's last week that they sacked their manager, so their director of football, former USSR international Sergei Borozovski, will manage the side tonight.

The stern-looking 60-year-old has a strong pedigree in the game and was one of the few footballers from Belarus chosen to play for the USSR (he won 21 caps between 1981-85). Having coached club sides in six of the former Soviet states he's picked up a thing or two but faces a big challenge in keeping Dinamo in Europe.

Treacy reckons that Dinamo took St Pat's for granted in the first leg and expects a different kind of battle this evening.

"I think tonight will be a different game," says Treacy. "In the away leg, we dropped off, played two in front of the back four where it had been just me in that role in recent games. We got bodies in the way and made it difficult for them.

"We surprised them, more than they surprised us as they let us play out, I could see the expression on their faces and I think they had thought we were a pub team and they would thrash us.

"But I don't think they will be as confident as they hoped they'd be coming here, as we have the away goal. If we can keep it tight and make it edgy, we'll see what happens."

St Pat's v Dinamo Minsk (Richmond Park, Inchicore, KO 7.45pm)

Promoted articles

Entertainment News