TOMMY Dunne will lead Galway United back into the Premier Division and, like Derry City, the “Tribesmen” will field a new-look young side for tonight’s game in Eamonn Deacy Park. (7.45 p.m.)
And while many hold the view that Galway will prove to be something of an unknown quantity this season, Brandywell boss, Peter Hutton, has opted to take nothing for granted.
“We’ve had them watched in one of their very few pre-season games but I do recognise quite a few of their players as they played for the club during my time as manager of Finn Harps,” noted Hutton.
“They’ve signed a few players with Premier Division experience, but they will be up for this game against us and it’s important that we keep our focus and, of course, take advantage of the scoring opportunities we create,” he added.
“I also believe it will be a tough test, but I felt we have the necessary quality to break them down and get our season off to a favourable start.
“We always knew that we would be working off a small squad this season and while that brought worries in relation to injuries and suspensions, I felt we would be tested with that situation over the course of the season, I certainly wasn’t counting on injuries and suspensions to arrive before our opening game of the campaign.”
Pointing to the increasing influence on developing local youth players, Hutton pointed to that window of opportunity opening much earlier that he had anticipated.
“We’ve prepared well, the spirit in the games has been excellent and despite the injury and suspension worries, as a team we must get on with it.
“The players remain very positive and I believe we will have enough to get a win in Galway. We will be positive, fully focused and the lads have been upbeat throughout the week and they are all anxious to get back playing again,” declared the Derry boss.
“I said there would be opportunities for our young players this season and it so happens that some will be involved in the opening game of the campaign.
Having had our under-19 squad in training with us, I’ve been very impressed with them. They are a confident group and I believe that the team we field will not let us down.Peter Hutton
“Having had our under-19 squad in training with us, I’ve been very impressed with them. They are a confident group and I believe that the team we field will not let us down.”
Galway have one player suspended, Alex Byrne carrying over a one match ban from last season while Killian Cantwell and Ger Hanley have both been ruled out with injury.
Marc Ludden is rated as doubtful after suffering a muscle strain during yesterday’s training session and he is expected to undergo a pre-match test before the kick-off.
The match will be broadcast live on BBC Radio Foyle from 7.30 p.m. on 93.1 FM.