Derry City want Europa League first leg at home

Sean Barrett, Derry City Chief Executive.
Sean Barrett, Derry City Chief Executive.

Vice-chairman Sean Barrett concedes Derry City have been handed a tough Europa League draw.

Barrett, who jets out to Nyon in Switzerland later this evening for Wednesday’s draw, which takes place at 11am tomorrow, also admitted a home tie in next month’s first leg would be ideal.

On Monday evening UEFA confirmed that unseeded City along with Coleraine will be in Group 4 ahead of the draw for the First and Second Qualifying Rounds and they will face either Polish side Gornik Zabrze, Macedonia men Vardar, Dinamo Minsk, Spartak Subotica from Serbia and Montenegro team OFK Titograd.

Barrett was disappointed not to be facing Steven Gerrard’s Rangers or Neil Lennon’s Hiberian as they missed out on a chance of a financial windfall.

“It’s a very tough draw for us both on and off the pitch,” stated Barrett.

“It’s disappointing that we have missed out on the chance of facing either Rangers or Hiberian, but that’s the way it goes and we have to get on with it.

“Despite the competition now being regionalised, it can still be somewhat a headache for clubs and at the minute that’s the case for us, but we’ll wait and see who we get on Wedensday.

“Having seen the teams, they are all going to be tough, so from the club’s point of view we’ll be hoping the first leg is at home.

“We could face teams from Serbia, Montenegro, Poland, so we know they are all going to be hard.”

Last season the Brandywell men faced Danish team Midtjylland and suffered two heavy defeats.

In the first leg in Denmark, Kenny Shiels’ charges lost 6-1, before at their temporary home at the Sligo Showgrounds the Candy Stripes were easily seen off, going down 4-1.