A look at Derry City

Derry City – Aberystwyth’s Europa League opposition

Touted by some as a easier tie, compared to the likes of the Scandinavian teams in the draw, this article will take a brief look at Derry City. Who are they, players to look out for and their support.

Derry City play their football in the top flight of the Ireland; the only Northern Irish team to do so. In 1988/89 season they performed the domestic treble and have won the FAI Cup 5 times and the League cup 10 times; the last FAI win in 2012. This season they have struggled to get going and are currently in 8th place with just 17 points from their first 16 games. However with 3 wins in their last 5 league games they are sure to climb the table soon. Their last match was away against Sligo Rovers which ended in a 2-2 draw. Manager’s favourite Ryan McBride got his first two goals of the season from defence in this draw, so he will be a danger for the Aberystwyth defence from set pieces.

This leads on to who are Derry’s stand out players. Firstly you can’t look any further than their keeper Gerard Doherty. The former TNS shot stopper will be no stranger to the players and supporters of Aberystwyth with many of the squad having faced him. The experienced keeper will be sure to pass on his knowledge of Aberystwyth to manager Peter Hutton but the league has changed a lot since he left. Doherty also has plenty of European experience having faced the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool when playing for TNS and has been called up to the full Northern Ireland squad back in 2013.

Another player to be called up to the full Northern Ireland squad is striker Rory Patterson. Rory went on to make 5 appearances scoring a late penalty in a 1-1 draw with Morocco back in 2010. He is also the all time top goal scorer for FC Manchester as they were on the rise through the leagues. Derry’s leader on pitch from midfield is Danny Ventre; who will look to get tight on Venables from the off. Injury cut his Conference Premier appearances short with Accrington Stanley but he then joined Sligo Rovers and captained them to success over a 4 year period with 193 appearances in the league. So these players will look to inspire their young team to success this season at the expense of Aberystwyth Town and bag the club the 100,000 euro prize money in the process.

Finally Derry City are one of the best supported clubs in the Irish top flight. This season the average has been 1144 at the Brandywell Stadium and they usually take several supporters coaches all across Ireland. Their most noticeable away support was back in 2006 when they took around 3000 supporters to Scotland as they beat Gretna 5-1. They then took similar numbers to Paris when they played Paris Saint-Germain and at the home leg they were full to bursting at Brandywell; many looking over fences to see their team play.

The club itself is very much a community run club with a number of outreach programs in the City. Fans also helped pay to keep their club alive in 2000/01 when they were went bankrupt, with many going door to door to ask for donations. There has already been grumblings on social media with the lack of tickets for the Aberystwyth game in Wales; only 200 away tickets allocated. However the Derry supporters would appreciate how important it is to host a European game in at their home ground, with Aberystwyth hosting the game at Park Avenue which only has a UEFA capacity of 1002.

One random fact about Derry: In December 2010 the club introduced a new credit card type season ticket system to ensure abuse of tickets could no longer occur and additionally ensuring more accurate attendance count at matches.

That concludes a brief look at Derry City, any constructive feed back is more than welcome. Make sure you get your tickets for both ties as they are selling out fast. Enjoy the game!

Official Derry City website – real football real fans

Official Aberystwyth Town website – home of the black and greens

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