ACUTELY aware of the dangers of a wafer-thin first team squad, Peter Hutton certainly didn’t expect to be dealing with a crisis prior to this evening’s opening game of the new season in Galway.
The Derry City boss must now plan without three suspended players - new captain, Ryan McBride and wingers Stephen Dooley and Mark Timlin.
However, when one adds the news that new striker, Anthony Elding limped out of training yesterday morning with “a very tight calf,” the Brandywell boss certainly does not have his sorrows to seek.
Another new striker, Cillian Morrison, has already been ruled out due to a quad muscle problem while Nathan Boyle has returned from Ballybofey due to an administrative error by Finn Harps, a mistake which effectively halted his loan deal to the Donegal side this season - his clearance has not come through in time for him to figure in tonight’s game.
Seamus Sharkey is ruled out with a hamstring strain but full-back, Shaun Kelly, faces a pre-match test on an knee injury in Eamonn Deacy Park.
“Shaun has not trained in over a week, so that’s not ideal while Anthony pulled out of our training session with a very tight calf, so he will also face a pre-match test,” confirmed Hutton.
“At this moment in time, we have 13 available fit players - three suspended and another five injured, which is certainly not ideal,” added the team boss.
“A number of players from our under-19 squad will fill out the substitutes’ bench, so while it will be a test for us, I’m confident the team which starts the game will be confident of getting a result in Galway.”
Hutton maintained that his “Candy Stripes” would be travelling to win and he was confident, given the spirit in the camp, that an opening night victory was achievable against Tommy Dunne’s side.
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I’m confident the team which starts the game will be confident of getting a result in Galway.Peter Hutton