McNamee misses out

Cliff Byrne and Peter Hutton. DER1314SL130 Photo: Stephen Latimer
Cliff Byrne and Peter Hutton. DER1314SL130 Photo: Stephen Latimer

Derry City assistant manager, Peter Hutton, has confirmed that midfielder, Barry McNamee will miss the club’s SSE Airtricity League of Ireland Premier Division opener against Shamrock Rovers later today.

McNamee strained his ligaments while at home during the week and whilst the injury is not serious, Hutton, said it would not be wise to risk such an important player on the first day of the season.

“Barry was at home when he aggravated some ligaments so he will not play against Shamrock Rovers.

“It’s nothing serious or long term, but you’ll understand why we don’t want to risk a player so early on in the season.”

Today’s game will be manager Roddy Collins’ and Hutton’s first competitive game in charge since being appointed last year and it’s one Hutton, in particular has been looking forward to for quite a while.

“It’s been a long time coming. The off-season was long this year and I am sure all of the players will be delighted to see the back of pre-season training.

“I’m really excited about this season. Not only because I think Roddy and myself have put together a great squad but because I am back at Derry City.

“I am over the moon to be part of this amazing club once more and with a bit of luck we will have a memorable season this year.”

Shamrock Rovers boast one of the most attractive transfer and wage budgets in the league but Hutton believes when the teams run out on to the pitch in Tallaght later today all of the pressure will be on Trevor Croly’s men.

“As Roddy [Collins] said earlier in the week, Shamrock Rovers have put all of the pressure on themselves.

“They spent a lot of money bringing players in during the off-season and there will be extra pressure on them to perform as they are at home.

“Our team is good enough to come away with the result. The players have been a pleasure to work with and everything we have suggested has been supported. All players, new ones and players who were already there when myself and Roddy came in, they have all been professional from day one.”

The former Derry City captain went on to say he hopes he and the rest of the team can transform the Brandywell “back into a fortress” this year.

“The fans make this club - without them we would be lost.The crowds have been dwindling over the last few seasons but hopefully we can change that. We want to see the Brandywell change back into a fortress again. It’d be great to see a big crowd at our first home game against Cork City next Sunday.”

Shamrock Rovers v Derry City kicks off at 5.25pm and is live on RTE 2.