Mark Tumilty wasn’t too pleased when he heard the draw for the European Hockey Federation (EHF) Champions Challenge 1 and the venue for the competition.
Next June, Bann will travel approx 60 miles west of Prague to the unknown town of Rakovnik in the Czech Republic.
No Ulster club has ever hosted the European Champions Challenge and it would have been a massive boost for the club to bring the competition to Havelock Park, but that suggestion fell on deaf ears.
As the Banbridge coach said: “We offered to host the competition and that obviously didn’t happen. But from what we have been told, the pitch and facilities are not great.
“I have heard that it has also been marked out for football so that will cause all sorts of problems. But my biggest problem is the timing of the tournament, as it is being played from June 6-9 and that is slap bang in the middle of school exams.
“I am going to have several players doing their A Levels and other guys doing their university exams and they can’t get out of that,” he added.
“So we will be really light numbers-wise. But it is even the logistics of the whole thing, as we will not be able to book flights until the last minute as we don’t know what players are going to be available until the exam time-tables are out and by then the costs will have soared.
“That’s the difference when you qualify for the European Hockey League, it doesn’t cost a penny as they cover everything - flights, accommodation etc. When we played in the EHL two years ago in Belgium, we were not out of pocket by even 10p.
“But with this competition, we have to fund the lot, apart from a small donation from the IHA.”