Derry City v Bray Wanderers, Maginn Park, Friday 7.45pm
Derry City will make an emotional return to footballing action tomorrow night when they host Bray Wanderers at Maginn Park. The Candystripes, still reeling from the shock death of club captain Ryan McBride, will seek to get back to footballing action with the visit of Harry Kenny’s side.
City announced that Gerard Doherty will replace McBride as captain and the club somehow try to return to normality after the tragic events of the last few weeks. Speaking to the Derry Journal this week, the club keeper said
“It was just a natural progression, as I was vice-captain anyway,” explained Doherty.
“Yes, at the back of the boys’ mind we’ll want to do it for Ryan, but then we have to treat each game just like any other. We have to try our best and try to treat it as another game,” he added.
“First and foremost, if every player has the attitude that they just go out and perform for themselves, then everything else will just fall into place.
Prior to the tragic events of recent weeks, City had started the 2017 season with a terrific start with four consecutive victories. The start included wins against Rovers and Dundalk with goals from McBride. With recent events City’s games against Limerick and Galway were postponed to allow the players to recover from the shocking news.
Returning to the more mundane issues, City should have Rory Patterson, Ben Doherty, Conor McDermott back for selection. Patterson and Doherty have both been out since the opening night victory 4-1 against Bohemians. Ronan Curtis, one of City’s standout players so far this campaign was selected for the Republic Of Ireland U-21 side and played in their victory last week.
Clearly the focus will be on the centre half position and who will partner Aaron Barry at the back for City. Aaron Netzer, Scott Whiteside may slot in, or Shiels may deploy Dean Jarvis in centre half and make a change with the full backs.
Bray invested heavily in the close season and have started the season brightly including a 5-3 victory against Finn Harps. However Harry Kenny’s side have fallen to back to back defeats against Limerick and Sligo and sit on nine points. Dylan Connolly terrorised City’s defence last year at the Carlisle Ground and City will have to be alert to the danger of the winger.