DERRY City supporters will be presented with a perfect opportunity to acknowledge the service of former striker, Mark Farren, when Glentoran visit the Brandywell tonight for the local club’s latest pre-season friendly. (7.45 p.m.)
The Greencastle man, who is currently undergoing treatment for a brain tumour, is the “Candy Stripes” record goalscorer and all gate receipts from tonight’s fixture will be donated to the 31-year-old to assist his battle back to full fitness.
Having enjoyed a good turnout for the Kevin McHugh organised 5k “Fun Run” in Killea last Saturday morning (See Page 59), it’s hoped the Lone Moor Road venue will boast a significant attendance for tonight’s match with admission priced at £5 and £3 concessionary.
Derry CITY Defence Now
Meanwhile, Derry boss, Roddy Collins added another defender to his panel yesterday with former Hamilton Accies and Shamrock Rovers centre-back, David Elebert, signing a one year contract.
“David is happy to join us and we’re very happy to have him,” said Collins.
“He gives us solidity and the fact that he can play across the back four is what we want.
“Dave is also a very good talker and a clever player, so he brings valuable experience to our defence and I think we’re now well equipped in that department for the challenges which lie ahead,” added the Derry boss.
For tonight’s game, Collins will continue to evaluate the quality of his new playing staff and one lesson he openly admitted learning following last Saturday’s 2-0 defeat of Cliftonville at Solitude, was that Patrick McEleney may well have his wish for a more central position granted.
“I’ve learned that Patrick McEleney’s best position is operating in the hole behind the front line,” declared the Dubliner.
“He played there on Saturday and was excellent in that position. He’s clearly got the ability to create opportunities and deliver that incisive pass.
“I don’t see Patrick as part of a two man front-line or, indeed, as a central midfield player. He was excellent against Cliftonville and played the role very well.”
Impressed with the attitude of his players at the North Belfast venue, Collins felt his side really should have recorded a much more comfortable victory, after debutante, Cliff Byrne and striker, Rory Patterson, netted the goals in a 0-2 win.
“I think we worked too hard to overcome the quality of the opposition we faced.
“We needed to get the ball down and dictate the play and it really should have been a comfortable win with lots more goals scored given the quality of the opposition.
“However, I believe that will come when we get used to the pattern we want to play and the Glentoran game is all about preparing us for our opening game against Shamrock Rovers.
“We will again use our strongest panel. As has been the case, I’m learning more about the players in every game we play. It’s about discovering what player can do what job. It’s about building a competitive team so that when we travel to Tallaght Stadium, the team selected will be well prepared for the challenge.”
So, given that his panel is injury free, does he expect to encounter a few selection problems.
“Not at all,” answered Collins. “That’s not a bother. I don’t envisage any problems whatsoever in that regard. The problems arrive when you don’t have the players to do the jobs!
“In fact, it’s the players who have been left out who will have the problems, certainly not me,” he declared.