Home Football English Football Irish Influence Hangs Over Aberdeen & Burnley’s Europa League Clash

Irish Influence Hangs Over Aberdeen & Burnley’s Europa League Clash

While Dundalk welcome AEK Larnaca to Oriel Park for their Europa League second round qualifier on Thursday night, another European match with a distinctly Irish feel is taking place up at Pittodrie.

As a result of their fine performance in the Premier League last season, Burnley are competing in European competition for the first time in fifty years – though they don’t have far to travel with a clash against Scottish Premiership side Aberdeen their reward.

The Premier League side have already confirmed that Robbie Brady will not be involved as he continues to recover from last year’s season-ending injury, but the winger has still travelled to Scotland with Sean Dyche and his squad.

However, there will still be plenty of interest as far as the visitors are concerned with internationals Jeff Hendrick, Stephen Ward, Kevin Long and Jon Walters all set to play a part in the proceedings.

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - APRIL 14: Jeff Hendrick of Burnley arrives at Turf Moor ahead the Premier League match between Burnley and Leicester City at Turf Moor, on April 14th, 2018 in Burnley, United Kingdom (Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images)

Aberdeen, for their part, have infused a greater Irish influence into their squad this summer. Striker Adam Rooney has left in a surprise move to English non-league side Salford City, but the Boys in Green are still well represented in the Dins’ squad.

Midfielder Chris Forrester, a League of Ireland Premier Division winner with St. Patrick’s Athletic in 2013, has moved north after a tough final season at Peterborough United. The 25-year-old was one of the most highly-rated prospects in Irish football at one time, and will be hoping to rediscover his form in the SPFL.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 08: Chris Forrester of Peterborough United in action during The Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Chelsea and Peterborough United at Stamford Bridge on January 8, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Also rocking up at Aberdeen this summer was Irish international midfielder Stephen Gleeson, who joins after his short-term contract at Ipswich came to an end, and Watford defender Tommie Hoban, whose season-long loan deal away from Vicarage Road was confirmed earlier this week.

For both sides, it represents a fantastic chance to progress further in Europe, and for the Irish players involved to get some highly-valued European experience.

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