DERRY CITY: City CEO 'delighted' to secure Sligo Showgrounds for Europa League qualifier

DERRY City CEO, Sean Barrett insists there was 'never any doubt' the club would be playing its UEFA Europa League qualifier home leg at the Sligo Showgrounds this summer.

Sunday, 30th April 2017, 11:44 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:47 pm
Derry City Chief Executive, Sean Barrett insists the Sligo Showgrounds was always the preferred location to stage its European qualifier home leg while Brandywell Stadium's refurbishment continues.

Commenting for the first time since the decision was confirmed on Friday, Mr Barrett said he was 'delighted' the club had managed to secure the Showgrounds which was always the 'preferred' location.

"We're delighted as it's a great facility there," he told BBC Radio Foyle during half-time in Derry City's 2-2 draw with St Patrick's Athletic at Maginn Park on Friday night.

"We were obviously looking at all our options and we're delighted to be playing the game at the Showgrounds which is a great venue and a super surface and we're absolutely delighted Sligo will help us on our European adventure."

Mr Barrett admitted there was several options considered, which included both Oriel Park in Dundalk and Tallaght Stadium, home of Shamrock Rovers. However, given the distance from Derry, Sligo Showgrounds made logistical sense for the Candy Stripes.

"We were looking around over the last few weeks but there was never any doubt that Sligo was going to be the venue for us," he added.

"It was the preferred venue and its got a grass pitch which we play on every week. When we spoke to other clubs about possibilities they were more than willing to help us which was fantastic and we're delighted that they did do that.

"Obviously Sligo is the closest venue and we're delighted to be playing there. And I think a lot of the support from the North West area and in Sligo and Donegal will come and support Derry City in Sligo.

"We'll be playing in an artificial surface next season but I think the preference was to be as close to Derry as possible. The grass pitch is obviously a factor so we're delighted to be playing in Sligo and hopefully we'll have several games in Sligo."

The draw for the first and second qualifying rounds of the Europa League will take place on Monday, June 19 with the first lef of the first qualifying round set to take place on Thursday, June 29.

European Ticket Draw

Derry City FC are currently selling tickets for their European draw with the winner securing two tickets and an 'all-expenses paid' trip, including travel and accommodation, for the first round away leg.

"We're having a draw as well which is going quite well at the moment for two tickets. It's £5 for a ticket to travel with the team to the away match. Last time we went on a private jet from City of Derry Airport to Belarus which was a fabulous trip. The result didn't go for us but it's a great experience to go on a European trip. I've been to several and they're absolutely fabulous. So I'd advise everyone to go out and get their tickets. You'll be going with the team, travelling, all expenses paid."