DAVID Hopkirk is hoping for his first taste of League of Ireland action at Brandywell Stadium tonight after a frustrating start to life at Derry City.
The former Dunfermline attacker is expected to be named on the bench for the visit of struggling Bray Wanderers and while he admits he’s not yet match fit, he claims he’ll be ready should Kenny Shiels opt to bring him on for his debut.
“In Scotland it’s 100 mile per hour all the time, they don’t really play much football. It’s more technical and I think that will suit me as a player.David Hopkirk
Hopkirk joined the club in November but sustained a hip injury during pre-season and has yet to feature for the Candy Stripes. And while he’s settled in well in Derry, he admits it’s been hard on the periphery as his injury restricted him from travelling with the squad on matchdays.
Shiels says he’s ‘got high hopes’ for the Scot and claims he ‘looked sharp’ in training this week.
He got his first League of Ireland experience on Monday night at Derry City’s Brandywell homecoming and it’s given him a real desire to get back playing again and be involved in first team affairs.
“It’s been really frustrating since I got here because of the injury I had,” he explained. “I got an injection and it kind of went away but I can feel it after training. I trained onWednesday and today and, to be fair, I’ve been in the gym running and doing weights and keeping myself sharp and I’ve been feeling good.
“It’s just so much better training with the boys. When you’re running yourself it’s boring and a pain. But it’s helped me that the games have been cancelled. Obviously it’s not great for the fans but it’s probably better for me as I can get two weeks training in and get my sharpness up.
“Watching the game on Monday night the atmosphere was brilliant and the boys were flying. Hopefully I can get back and help the team out as quickly as I can. There are a lot of hard games coming up and I want to help out.
“I don’t want any more setbacks. If I make the bench tomorrow night that’s great because it makes me feel a part of it all and it’s been very frustrating so far.”
“Hopefully I can get a good couple of weeks training and then kick on from there and have a good season,” added Hopkirk.
“I’ll prepare for tomorrow and I’ll be ready. Even if it’s a good 10 minutes because I’ll be tired as I’ve missed pre-season and running yourself isn’t the same as when you’re on the park and you’re twisting and turning and chasing back. I’ll prepare for tomorrow and I’ll be ready.
The former Scottish U19 international was anxious about making the move to Foyleside but despite his lack of gametime, he’s settled in well in the city,
And having watched his first League of Ireland match on Monday night, he is excited about playing at the Brandywell.
“The League of Ireland I think is more technical. It’s maybe not as much pressing but they do press in the last third.
“In Scotland it’s 100 mile per hour all the time, they don’t really play much football. It’s more technical and I think that will suit me as a player. I’m not a guy who will go and press all the time. I work hard but I’m better with one-on-ones and getting crosses in to the box and getting shots away.
It’s just frustrating watching on. I’m enjoying being here but I want to be playing.”