'Derry City were destined to win trophy for Ryan McBride' - insists Shiels

Derry City boss, Kenny Shiels' thoughts turned to his late captain after watching his side lift the EA Sports Cup.
Derry City boss, Kenny Shiels' thoughts turned to his late captain after watching his side lift the EA Sports Cup.

KENNY SHIELS felt Derry City were destined to win the EA Sports Cup Final days after the decision was made to rename the Brandywell Stadium after Ryan McBride as he dedicated the win to the club's late captain.

The Derry City boss clinched his first piece of silverware with the club in his three years at the helm but his first thought in the aftermath of the 3-1 win over Cobh Ramblers was of McBride who died suddenly 18 months ago.

Following an online public consultation Councillors voted to re-brand the stadium the 'Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium' in his memory last Thursday.

And three days later Gerard Doherty pointed skywards to remember his former teammate prior to lifting aloft the trophy and Shiels also felt it was befitting to honour the club's former skipper.

"It's a great feeling for the boys and for the club and for the people and the city," said Shiels. "But most importantly for Ryan McBride. How befitting is that on the week it's been confirmed it will be the Ryan McBride Stadium?

"It's just like it's been pre-planned and put into place. The emotionally imbalance of the last 18 months since Ryan passed away. It's been at the forefront of my mind that I'd love to win a trophy for his name.

"So I think this should be Ryan McBride's day as well. We thought so much of him as you all did as well. You know the type of lad he was as well.

"I don't know why these things happen. It's Karma. The Foundation Ryan McBride Foundation) have done fantastic work and got the vote on Thursday and already we've got a cup. So I'm really pleased for that connection."

City skipper, Doherty, who lifted his third League Cup trophy, said it was difficult to ignore the emotion of the occasion.

“We’re in the Ryan McBride stadium and we’re lifting the trophy in the Mark Farren Stand. That says it all. We can’t get away from it and we don’t want to get away from it.

“We come around the corner out of the changing rooms and the pictures are there and always reminds us. Everyone knows how much they meant to the club and it’s just something to give back to their families.”