Derry City are Spanish bound in January

Derry City boss Ruaidhrí Higgins has confirmed that his squad will travel to Spain next month.

The Brandywell men will travel to Alicante from January 24th to 30th and train at the Real Club de Golf Campoamor complex, previously used by Dundalk.

Higgins feels the warm weather training will benefit his players and is hoping to play a pre-season friendly during their six day stay.

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"Going to Spain will be good for the players because a lot of the physical work will be done at that stage, so we'll be able to really nail down how we want to play," stated the Derry boss.

Derry City manager Ruaidhrí Higgins will be taking his squad to Spain next month for a pre-season training camp.

"We'll hopefully be able to get a friendly when were over there as well.

"The facilities there are fantastic, I have used the facilities before. I know the complex and we know what we're getting. It's a really good set-up and it will be great for the players and if we have a few new faces in the door then it will be great for them to get to know each other as well.

"It's a fantastic football complex and I remember at Dundalk we used to go there twice a year.

"It really has everything, meaning we'll be able to get a lot of good work on the pitch. The weather is normally reliable, the pitches are normally of a very high standard and everything is on site so it's brilliant for the players."

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The Candy Stripes will also face champions Shamrock Rovers in the President’s Cup on February 10th at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium and Higgins believes that encounter against the Hoops is perfect preparation for his side’s opening league game seven days later at St Patrick’s Athletic when he expects a sold out Brandywell to be in attendance.

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"It’s a really good game to prepare us for our first league match and that’s the way I view it,” he added.

"If you’re offering me to win the President’s Cup or get three points at St Pat’s, that’s an easy answer but, look, we’ll be treating the President’s Cup game the way we would treat any game, but the St Pat’s game will be our main focus.

"You would think it will be a sell-out at the Brandywell because it is two good teams probably having a go at it. You would imagine there will be a big crowd going and it should be an enjoyable game.”

Higgins believes - for the second successive year - Derry have been handed a very difficult start to their season.

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The Candystripes take on St Patrick’s Athletic on the opening night on Friday, February 17th before hosting Cork City on February 24th and then travelling to Dublin twice in the space of 72 hours to face, first, champions Shamrock Rovers on March 3rd and then UCD on March 6th.

"Look, it’s a very difficult start, there’s no doubt about that,” insisted the Limavady man.

"Away to St Pat’s on the opening night and then our first home game against First Division champions, Cork City, who are a massive club - one of the biggest in the country - followed by away to Shamrock Rovers on the Friday. Then away against UCD on the Monday, it’s a very tough start.

"We had a very tough start last year as well, so nothing has really changed from that end.”