Derry could be forced to play away due to Brandywell work

Work to redevelop the Brandywell is planned to finally get underway in July
Seamus Crudden

Derry City may play their final 12 league games of the 2016 season away from home, as work to redevelop the Brandywell is planned to finally get underway in July.

Chairman Philip O’Doherty confirmed that he has been in contact with the FAI requesting their final six home games be reversed with corresponding fixtures earlier in the season.

The chairman also confirmed that grounds such as Finn Harps’ Finn Park, Institute’s Riverside Stadium or Maginn Park in Buncrana could be used as alternatives.

Boss Kenny Shiels admits he isn’t too concerned where his new-look team plays and is delighted that work, which should be completed in time for the 2017 season, is going to begin at the Brandywell this summer.

“I don’t mind that because you have to play teams home and away anyway,” he said.

“Everybody wants to make excuses but we’ll play them as they come and if we have to play a sequence of home games in one part of the season and then a sequence of games away from home then that’s OK.

“We’ll prepare for each game and whether it’s home or away we must prepare properly.

“It’s only six games so it’s not the end of the world.

“If you’re doing an extension to the house you have to make sacrifices and we shouldn’t complain; we should look at the future and at the benefits it will bring.

“Sometimes you have to leave the comfort zone to get on in life and this is no different.”

Shiels who has added Niclas Vemmelund and Cristian Delgado to his squad, hopes to add a few more signings during the transfer window, especially following the news that Stephen Dooley has joined the likes of Mark Timlin, Patrick McEleney and Philip Lowry and decided to the leave the club and sign for Cork City.

Nevertheless, the ex-Kilmarnock boss believes that Danish defender Vemmelund and Spanish midfielder Delgado, who both took part in the first full pre-season training session at the Foyle Arena yesterday, will fit in nicely to his squad.

“Cristian’s neat and tidy, breaks the play up,” said Shiels. “He’s got a good range of passing and he’s good in the air.

“He can play centre-back when required as can Vemmelund which means we don’t have to go and get a fourth centre-half.

“But I’m delighted to get both of them on board.”

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