BRANDYWELL boss, Peter Hutton, is keeping his fingers crossed that Derry City supporters will boost his player budget with an increase in season ticket sales ahead of the 2015 season.
Having failed to secure European football next season, Hutton’s budget has been significantly trimmed.
“Obviously, I was always aware that our failure to land a place in Europe would have an impact on the budget but I am hopeful that our supporters will assist if the club records an increase in season ticket sales,” said Hutton.
“I’m also hopeful that those who attended the FAI Cup semi-final and final will return to support us and, possibly, purchase a season ticket for 2015.
“My priority is to keep a core of players from last season’s squad and while I expect a smaller grouping, it will be supplemented by players from our under-19 squad,” he added.
Hutton has a total of 12 contracted players and while negotiations have continued with others, nothing has been confirmed at this stage.
“Most players have agents working on their behalf and for those who are out of contract, those agents have organised trials at clubs in the lower leagues England during the close season.
“Of course, those who opt to travel over to play in those trial games are not covered by insurance and, indeed, quite a few have returned home in the past having sustained injuries which saw them struggle to secure contracts at home,” noted the Derry boss.
“Quite a few of our players are on holiday at the moment and while I’m happy with the players we have re-signed, I’m hopeful that more will follow them sooner rather than later.”
Meanwhile, Hutton rejected speculation that Rory Patterson could return to Linfield despite having another year of his Brandywell contract to run.
“Rory was surprised when informed about the speculation and he’s happy to see out his contract with us. I don’t know where the speculation has come from as Rory has already represented Linfield before joining us.
“It all appears to be ‘paper talk’ and the story has developed simply because Linfield manager, Warren Feeney attended the FAI Cup Final.”
However, one player who NOT be returning the Brandywell for pre-season training is current reserve team keeper, Ciaran Gallagher, who is expected to return to reclaim the No. 1 jersey at Finn Park.
“Ciaran has thoroughly enjoyed his season with us,” continued Hutton.
“He believes he has developed as a player while training under Declan McIntyre and our coaching staff but he’s anxious to play regular first team football and he would be expected to get that at Finn Harps if he returns there,” concluded the Derry boss.