Derry City’s first official game at Maginn Park will be against Letterkenny Rovers on Wednesday, January 11th (K.O. 7.00 pm).
Manager, Kenny Shiels, confirmed the opening pre-season friendly, the club’s first at their temporary new home, which will have a mixture of first team and youth players plus some possible trialists.
And Shiels is confident that the pre-season preparations will be even more comprehensive this year as he seeks to build on a hugely encouraging first season.
The ‘Candy Stripes,’ who started conditional work a number of weeks ago, officially begin pre-season training next week before flying to Rotterdam to face RKSV Leonidas on Saturday, January 14th.
“To be honest pre-season has already started, we have had four weeks under our belts but work on the pitch starts on Friday, January 6th,” said the Derry boss.
“We will fly to Rotterdam from Belfast on Saturday, January 14th, and we will play Leonidas later that day before returning home the next day.
“It will be a good team bonding session for the boys and then we go to Dublin in February.”
“Pre-season is tough and I was thinking about that, it was just the weather really last year that didn’t help us.
“Last season it was a bit of‘hogwash.’ It wasn’t the way we wanted it because we couldn’t get pitches and we had games arranged which ended up postponed which left us short of match conditioning.
“It was all about organising it better this year.
“We’ll also be spending a few days in Dublin for in February as well. I want to get the boys away and get them bonding and doing things together.”
Shiels also revealed that he was continuing to work on bringing new additions to his squad ahead of the 2017 season.
“I’m trying really hard to get players in at the moment but it’s difficult,” he claimed.
“At the end of the day we have to try and get players in that are suitable for us.”
One man who is expected to re-sign is Austrian winger Lukas Schubert and Shiels confirmed that he’s still in talks with the Salzburg native.
“I’m still working on that one and, hopefully, we can get something sorted. There are just a few things that we have to try and sort out, but I’m confident we can gain agreement.”