Dundalk manager Vinny Perth said there needs to be a change in perception within the League of Ireland when it comes to bringing in foreign players.
The Tallaght native was speaking to Jamie Moore from Off The Ball ahead of Dundalk's Europa League qualifier against Slovan Bratislava in Tallaght stadium tomorrow night.
The Dundalk manager said there needs to be a shift in the way League of Ireland teams think about foreign players.
“I know people speak about financial rewards and does it benefit other clubs? I think it’s bigger than that now.
“I think as a league our perception has to grow we have to be a bigger league. I read Brian Kerr’s comments about bringing foreign players into our game.
“When he was at St.Pats, they certainly didn’t do that when they had the opportunity, but it’s not as easy that," he said.
Irish teams have had mixed results in the qualifying stages in recent years with Dundalk being the last team to qualify for the group stages of the Europa League back in 2016.
Perth thinks the league needs to grow to be able to attract more players into the league.
“The reason it’s not easy is that we have a perception issue and we need to grow in Europe.
“You know we spent €150,000 on a flight to Azerbaijan, so the European money is very quickly diluted," the Dundalk coach said.
In his eyes, the way to grow the league is by more people going to the games and showing their support - which he has done himself.
“What we need to do is grow as a league in Europe - that is why I was here supporting Shamrock Rovers, and I was in Richmond Park supporting St.Pats.
“As a league, we have to get better in Europe, we have to build our perception and the knock-on effect is that players outside the league will be more willing to come in and improve our standards."
Dundalk are 1-0 down going into the second leg against Slovan Bratislava and they will need to score at least two without conceding to progress.
Perth thinks his team have more than enough to produce something special.
“Irish football needs a good news story - we’ve had enough bad ones over the last year so I hope we get big support here.
“I believe there is a great moment and I believe there’s a great night for this group. I think this is the best squad we’ve ever had," he said.