DERRY City’s new hitman, Rory Patterson, will NOT be eligible to play for the “Candy Stripes” in the forthcoming Setanta Sports Cup quarter-final against Linfield.
ARTHUR DUFFY reports
Confirming the situation last night, Brandywell boss, Declan Devine, admitted that a “written agreement” was in place, ruling Patterson out of the fixture should Linfield draw Derry City in the 2012 competition.
Indeed, there had been another train of thought suggesting that such an agreement would be deemed invalid as the Strabane man had negotiated the cancellation of his contract with Plymouth Argyle before joining Derry.
However, the Derry boss agreed that it was very important to get Linfield’s agreement once he had a made a move to sign the striker.
“We agreed that should we meet Linfield in the Setanta Cup, Rory (Patterson) would not be involved in either leg,” said Devine.
“A written agreement was drawn up and we intend to abide by that agreement. In any event, we were looking at the bigger picture and not signing the player for the Setanta Cup campaign. Rory has shown in pre-season that he could prove to be a major asset for us and while we’re disappointed that he can’t play against Linfield, he will be a major player for us this season,” added the Derry boss.
Of course should the “Candy Stripes” progress to the semi-finals, Patterson would then become available to see out the competition.
“We signed Rory on a two year contract to play in the Airtricity League, the Setanta Cup didn’t really come into it. He was on loan at Linfield and we were not allowed to approach him unless Linfield agreed to release him from his loan period.
“To be fair, they did that and he joined us with their blessing but we did agree to a clause that he would be deemed ineligible should the teams meet in the Setanta Cup - the only competition we could meet in.
“That turned out to be the case and while Rory is now a Derry City contracted player, we feel it’s important that we honour our commitment to Linfield and keep to the agreement,” insisted the Derry boss.
Meanwhile, a Derry City team, dominated by reserve team players, faced Institute in a practise match at the Riverside Stadium on Wednesday night, the game ending in a 1-1 result.
Played behind closed doors, the game gave Devine the opportunity to give Stewart Greacen, Brian McGroary and Dermot McCaffrey much needed game time.
“It proved to be a very useful exercise,” continued Declan. “Stewart Greacen, Eddie McCallion and Dermot McCaffrey all got 90 minutes until their belts while Brian McGroary got half an hour given that he’s returning to fitness after a serious injury.
“Simon Madden and Ryan McBride also got game time in a match which turned out to be beneficial and I’d like to publicly thank Institute for facilitating the game at very short notice.”
Commenting on the news that he would not be leading his home town into the Europa League this season, Devine was disappointed but not surprised at UEFA’s decision.
“We always knew that there could be problems if we managed to qualify for Europe in our return to the Premier Division. I actually think we caught quite a few people out having finished in third spot in the table.
“But while disappointed for both the players and our supporters, the finance generated from that qualification was not included in our budget, so we haven’t lost out on that front. Disappointed? Yes, but we’ve simply got to get on with it.”
£7 million bound for
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