DERRY CITY: Shiels pencils in pre-season clash with Glentoran at the Oval
DERRY CITY has pencilled in a pre-season friendly match against Irish League outfit, Glentoran at the Oval on Friday, February 3rd next.
With the East Belfast side out of the Irish Cup, Shiels reckons the match will provide a good test for his City side during an intensive pre-season campaign.
Following the 2-1 win over RKSV Leonidas in Rotterdam last weekend, the Candy Stripes’ campaign continues on Sunday against North West Junior side, Ardmore at McCourt’s.
Shiels’ squad will be split between that match in Ardmore and Derry Reserves’ Ulster Senior League match against Cockhill Celtic at the Charlie O’Donnell Sports Grounds, Buncrana. Both matches kick-off at 2 p.m.
The Derry boss is keen on giving all his squad members as much gametime as possible between the two fixtures while he will also run his eye over a centre half currently on trial at the club.
While Shiels refused to reveal the identity of the player, it’s understood the club have been monitoring 23 year-old Latvian centre half, Vitaly Barinov.
“I’ve got a centre half playing on Sunday at Ardmore,” revealed Shiels. “I’m trying to get a defender signed, that’s the priority and I’m going to England to look at a player tomorrow (Friday) so we’ll see how that goes.
“We should have a decent side out against Ardmore. Some of them will be going to Cockhill and some will go to Ardmore.
“It’s about getting minutes under their belts. Everyone is going to get 90 minutes between the two games. We play Glentoran now on Friday, February 3rd as well because they’re out of the Irish Cup. So that will be a good test for them. Games against teams that are in-season is always more difficult.”
Derry’s busy pre-season schedule is as follows: Sunday - Ardmore (McCourt’s K.o. 2p.m.); Friday, February 3rd - Glentoran (Oval); Saturday, February 4th - Greencastle (Chapel Lane k.o. 2 p.m.); Monday, February 6th - UCD (UCD Bowl K.o. 2p.m.); Tuesday, February 7th - Cabinteely (Abbotstown k.o. 2 p.m.); Wednesday, February 8th - Shelbourne (Blanchardstown IT K.o. 6p.m.); Wed. February 15th - Institute (Riverside Stadium k.o. 7.30p.m.); Fri. February 17th - Coleraine (K.o. 7.45); Sunday, February 21st - Dergview.(Maginn Park 7.30 p.m.)