Doran blasts June schedule

by Karl Graham

RIVERVALLEY Rangers start the most important period of their season this weekend severely understrength this weekend ahead of two huge games against Sheriff YC.
They meet in the Nivea Cup final at the AUL Complex on Sunday before facing a tie to decide whether they stay in Premier A two days later.
Manager Stephen Doran told GazetteSport his players are looking forward to ending on a possible high but says that it comes amid wider concerns.
“It is a nice way to finish the season off, getting to a cup final, especially with it being the biggest one the AUL have. It will be an exciting day, no doubt about it.
“We are looking forward to testing ourselves against the best junior outfit in the country and our players will be absolutely ready for it.
“We’ve had a massively frustrating year with injuries and we are fighting against it again. We have players injured and players on summer holidays. It’s that time of the year and you don’t expect to be still playing now.”
Doran’s side have waited three weeks to play the final. To add to the frustration, Rivervalley are due to play their final league game just two days later.
“It’s a bit of short-sightedness from the AUL. They’ve been caught out and we’re to suffer for it because we’ve had to wait around. We haven’t played a game since May 20. Then – in their wisdom again – they have put us in to play the final game of the season against Sheriff two days later. Professional footballers don’t even have that quick of a turnaround.”
Rivervalley have met with the AUL in a bid to sort out the problem but their concerns have seemingly fallen on deaf ears.
“We went in and had a chat with them and told them we couldn’t play anymore games after June 7, saying that we literally do not have a squad but they didn’t heed that advice.”
Rivervalley’s final league game isn’t a meaningless one either as they need three points to avoid relegation.
“We currently have eight players available. I asked the AUL do you want me to bring out third and fourth team players to play Sheriff and their response was we don’t actually care who you bring out.
“We started the season with three games in eight days after us asking to start the league a week later because we had so many injuries after playing in the Tommy Clements Cup – which the AUL asked us to play in. We picked up so many injuries because we were playing three games in a week in that.
“It’s a frustration that is massively shared amongst the teams in the league.
“There is a level of frustration but what can we do – we’re only little old Rivervalley,” Doran concluded.

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