Derry City received a timely boost ahead of the 2017 season with centre-back Aaron Barry getting minutes under his belt in last night’s friendly against Dergview.
The 23-year-old has stepped up his recovery from hip surgery over the last few weeks and played alongside skipper Ryan McBride at Maginn Park last night.
Boss Kenny Shiels, who also confirmed that he hopes to add a defender in the next 48 hours, was delighted to see Barry back in action.
“It was great to see Aaron and Ryan McBride both playing together again,” admitted Shiels.
“It’s their first game together since last July and it’s great to have Aaron’s experience back in defence.
“Aaron has been training hard, he trained on Thursday morning after Wednesday’s game, all hands were to the pump on Sunday and who knows, while I can’t see him being ready for Friday but it would be a great achievement if he was.”
Shiels was pleased that quite a few players got 45 minutes under their belt in last Friday night’s win over Coleraine and he was happy with Mikhail Kennedy’s debut.
“Young (Conor) McDermott got 45 (minutes) Nicky (Low), Aaron McEneff also got 45, but we still have five or six players who are carrying injuries - Harry Monaghan, Lukas Schubert, Ryan and Aaron - there’s a lot of players to come into the squad and contest the positions so I’m pleased with what we have.
“I thought Nicky and Mikhail did well, both of them did fine.
“We didn’t have our usual panache on the ball, so the second half we came off the game and popped it around and tried to make passes, you could see that we were doing quite well in our combinations but didn’t hurt them in the final third.”
Midfielder Aaron McEneff has been given more licence to get forward this season.
“We are getting him more advanced if we can; Nicky gives him that licence to go and get more advanced; you can see that in that dove tail and it’s a feature of our midfield.”