Shamrock Rovers v Derry City – Fri 22nd Feb – KO 8pm – Tallaght Stadium
SSE Airtricity League
Having taught the UCD students a lesson on Foyleside last week, Derry City travel to South Dublin to face Shamrock Rovers on Friday night.
Landing on Both Feet
After a shaky start to this season’s curtain raiser at the Brandywell, Derry began to control the game and enjoyed a comfortable win over newly promoted UCD to begin the new Declan Devine regime.
Goals either side of a Liam Scales OG from debutantes David Parkhouse and Eoghan Stokes secured a win on opening night for City.
Devine included nine new signings in his starting line-up and the Creggan man acknowledged his renovated squad will be up against it when they head to Tallaght;
“Yes we are inexperienced but we go there, we stick our chests out and we’re proud to represent this club and proud to represent this City.”
The Candystripes managed just one point in four meetings between these two sides last season and succumbed to a 6-1 drubbing at the hands of Stephen Bradley’s side last March at Tallaght.
“We’ve done our homework, we know they’re strong…One thing is for sure that when we are there we will make sure we work extremely hard to try and get something from the game.”
The Derry manager has claimed this will be a “huge week” at the early stages of the season.
Shamrock Rovers will be City’s first test of three in the space of seven days with a home game against Waterford on Monday evening before a trip to Turners’ Cross and Cork City next Friday.
Rovers came from behind to snatch all three points against Waterford when Ethan Boyle got on the end of a Trevor Clarke corner in the 92nd minute to score the winner. Though the goal has since been credited to Rovers’ new Austrian striker, Orhan Vojic.
Derry’s top scorer last season Aaron McEneff (10) made his debut for the Hoops last week and adds real quality in midfield to an already star-studded side.
The South Dublin club have invested in a new stand at their ground and will hope to turn it into a fortress this season having finished 4th last year, a staggering 25 points off champions Dundalk.
With many tipping Stephen Bradley’s side to have a say in the title race this season they will provide stern opposition leaving the Foylesiders with it all to do if they are to take anything back North on Friday night.
Darren Cole has a slight knock and will be assessed on Friday.
Defender Ally Gilchrist who was on the bench last week due to illness is in contention for a starting position.
You can follow the match via our social media presence.
Listen to Declan Devine below as he looks ahead to the Rovers game.