Dundalk head coach Vinny Perth wants to restore credibility to Irish football through Champions League performances this season after the "bashing" the game here has received this year.

UEFA and FIFA have intervened in the governance of Irish football in recent months following media revelations and left many parts of the game reeling.

Sligo Rovers, for example, said they were left "deflated" by the lack of corporate governance within the Assocation on Sunday.

Following the draw for the first qualifying round of Europe's premier club competition this afternoon, Perth has targeted a run to capture the attention of the nation, starting against Riga FC of Latvia.

He told RTÉ Sport's Damien O'Meara: "It is important that we put on a good show. Football in Ireland has had a bit of a bashing in the last three to six months. The wider public, I have found, really tune into European football, and how clubs are doing.

"I think it’s important we put on a show for people in Ireland. It is something we will speak about but I think players know themselves. I have been at the club for seven seasons and we have been involved in 24 European games.

"It’s not something that is new to anybody but at the same time the players will understand we have someone like John Mountney from Bohola, a small town in Mayo, and half of the town come to European games and get really behind him."

Riga posses a host of Latvian nationals but are a club just four years old after a merger between two of the city's sides - FC Caramba Riga and Dinamo Riga.

They were narrowly knocked out by CSKA Sofia last year in the Europa League.

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Perth has some knowledge of the Latvian scene and he will soon find out a lot more with a scouting trip planned in the coming days.  

"I scouted Skonto Riga seven or eight years ago when I was working with Derry City and they play out of the same ground. I know a little bit about them in that sense. Obviously they have changed over the years.

"They are a team filled with Latvian internationals and a couple of Serbian and Albanians and a Brazilian. It's typical of what you’d expect from these teams in Europe. They’ll have a lot of talent. It’s nothing too out of the ordinary in terms of being any different.

"The world keeps getting smaller and smaller so we’ll be able to watch each other. It’ll be the same for them.

"We’ll fly over on Friday anyway and get a look at them in case any of the games between now and then are rescheduled. We’ll do our home – we have always been good at that as a club."

Dundalk have opened up a five-point lead at the top of the Premier Division but European exploits are considered the most important for their owners – the Peak6 group – and even Perth admits it is a standard-barer.

"It’s massive. To be fair to the players and everyone involved with the club, it has always been what we judge ourselves on at the end of the season. It’s a real exciting time for League of Ireland players.

"You have serial league winners like Brian Gartland, Sean Gannon, Dane Massey and Robbie Benson but there are others who would feel they have something to prove in Europe after the last two years.

"One was a difficult draw to Rosenborg and then last year in Larnaca. As a group we feel we have something to prove.

"We’ve done okay [to draw Riga] but at the same time I don’t think Riga will be too worried about us. I think both teams will be fairly happy. It could have been a lot worse.

"We want to go as deep into the competition as possible. Maybe it’s the wrong thing to say but I want our players to dream about being in the Europa League again and getting back to that stage.

"Please God it’s this year and if it’s not this year then in the next two or three years because that has to be our target."