DERRY CITY: Brandywell will open with reduced capacity

The newly refurbished Brandywell Stadium.
The newly refurbished Brandywell Stadium.

Derry City & Strabane District Council has confirmed it may take some time before the refurbished Brandywell Stadium is able to operate at its full capacity of 3,700.

Next Monday night’s ‘homecoming’ against Limerick will have a reduced capacity of 2,600 because of safety management arrangements.

The capacity for next Monday’s game at the Brandywell will be 2,600 based on stadia licensing requirements.

Council Spokesperson

A spokesperson for the council stated: “The capacity for next Monday’s game at the Brandywell will be 2,600 based on stadia licensing requirements.

“The capacity will be increased at subsequent matches as part of an ongoing review process of spectator safety arrangements agreed by the Council and the emergency services, with a view to operating at full capacity over a period, in keeping with legislation governing designated sports stadia venues.”

On the pitch, City boss Kenny Shiels was a happy man after his side were able to play on the new 3G surface for the first time at the weekend and the city boss hoping to get more minutes on the pitch leading up to Monday ’s clash.

City defeated Coleraine in a behind closed doors game on Saturday with Ronan Curtis (2) and Ronan Hale netting for the Candy Stripes and Eoin Bradley scoring a consolation for the Bannsiders.

Shiels was happy with the work-out which also saw the return of John Cofie and Shiels is expecting a few more sessions on the Brandywell this week.

“It was good to get minutes on the pitch, but you could see that it needs bedding in,” he explained.

“It was still spongy and needs that bedding in period.

“The players’ legs were sore because it was such a demand on the limbs due to that the sponginess. Until we get the beads and stuff bedded in it will be the same but that will come with people training on it. We trained on it on Monday and will train on it at least another three times this week, so hopefully that will be enough for game time on the pitch ahead of the Limerick game,” he concluded.