DERRY CITY Vice-Chairman, Sean Barrett insists he had mixed feelings when it was confirmed the ‘Candy Stripes’ would enter the Europa League at the second round stage.
The Brandywell club qualified for the competition after winning the 2012 FAI Cup and were originally scheduled to enter the competition at the first round.
However, as 2012-2013 Europa League winners, Chelsea, qualified for the Champions League, the place which is reserved for the title holders is now vacant.
As a consequence of Uefa co-efficient, the cup winners from the FAI will now enter the forthcoming competition at the second round.
The ruling also means Derry will miss out on a potential prizefund of £100,000 for navigating through a first round tie, but Barrett was delighted the club were a step closer to a lucrative place in the Europa League Group stages.
“Basically there’s good sides and bad sides to it,” said Mr Barrett. “One negative side to it is that we’re now up against stronger opposition.
“We would have been the top seed in the first round and now we’re the bottom seed in round two effectively.
“So we’re up against a lot stiffer opposition whereas we would have fancied ourselves to get to the second round stage anyway, which, in turn, would have brought more money to the club.
“But apart from that we can’t complain about being in the second qualifying round, just one round away from getting to the group stages.
”So we have to look at that positively.”
Europa League Draw
Derry will find out their potential suitors when the draw is made at UEFA headquarters in Nyon on June 24th.
Mr Barrett will represent the club at the draw and he’s excited about the possibilities.
“We could be paired against some top teams in Europe,” he added.
“You have Redstar Belgrade who have won the European Cup; Standard Liege and Ruban Kazan so you have some top quality sides there and we look forward to the draw.
“There’s also a few sides who we would fancy ourselves to beat as well so you never know.
“It’s the luck of the draw and I’ll be going out to see what happens.
“It also works out that we have an extra couple of weeks preparation.
“If you go in at the qualifying round the draw is on June 24th and the match is on July 4th which gives you less than 10 days to organise a trip to some far off place possibly.”