TEENAGERS Barry McNamee and Ryan Curran could be in line to make their full first team debuts tonight against St. Patrick’s Athletic at Brandywell. (7.05 p.m.)
ARTHUR DUFFY reports
Left-winger McNamee (18) and striker, Curran (19) may be asked to step up to the plate to cover injury and suspensions as Derry attempt to inflict a first defeat of the season on Liam Buckley’s “Super-Saints.”
With Stephen McLaughlin struggling and Patrick McEleney suspended, not to mention injuries to both Rory Patterson and Mark Farren, it will not come as a major surprise to see both youngers called in given their progress in training.
Paul Hegarty, however, refused to either confirm or deny their involvement.
“Barry McNamee, Ryan Curran, Michael Barr and Caoimhin Bonner have all been called into the squad as there will be a number of changes for the Pat’s game,” admitted the assistant team boss.
“Our medical team been working really hard in the treatment room to get players fit, but we really can’t take too many risks.
“Stewart Greacen, Kevin Deery and Mark Farren have all been ruled out while Stephen McLaughlin, Dermot McCaffrey and Shane McEleney will all face fitness tests, so at this moment in time, we’re not sure how we will be fixed,” he maintained.
But he refused to be downbeat and pointed to the attitude and hunger which had been displayed at the Sligo Showgrounds and in Tallaght Stadium over recent matches.
“Our players have been superb in those matches. They all stood up with so much going against them and got the results we had hoped for.
“Those who trained this week have been excellent. We’ve had quite a few good sessions and we’ll enter the St. Pat’s match with confidence and we’ll certainly be attempting to win the game.”
Young striker, Ryan Curran, entered the fray at half-time during last week’s game against Rovers and it’s possible that the son of long-serving centre-half, Paul, could join David McDaid in spearheading the Derry attack tonight.
“Ryan did well last week against Rovers - as did all of the players - and it’s possible that he could start the game, but we’ll have to wait and see how we are fixed as so many are carrying injuries at the moment.”
However, one player who is expected to report fit after overcoming ankle ligament damage is Shane McEleney but it will be interesting to see if he will command a starting place given the recent performances of both Eddie McCallion and Ryan McBride.
“Shane was on the bench against Rovers and came on late in the match, while Eddie and Ryan have been excellent, so it’s good to have a few options available again.
“But I am confident that the players who will be selected to start against St. Pat’s will be doing all in their power to get us back to winning ways,” concluded Hegarty.