Derry City's Danny Lafferty expecting tough derby clash at Finn Harps

Danny Lafferty admits an FAI Cup run would be “something special” for Derry City as they prepare to face North West neighbours Finn Harps in second round tonight (KO 8pm).

By Kevin McLaughlin
Friday, 27th August 2021, 8:00 am
Danny Lafferty skips away from Finn Harps' Barry McNamee during their encounter at the Brandywell earlier in the season. Picture by Kevin Moore/MCI
Danny Lafferty skips away from Finn Harps' Barry McNamee during their encounter at the Brandywell earlier in the season. Picture by Kevin Moore/MCI

The former Shamrock Rovers title winner believes making it to the Aviva Stadium in November would create an incredible buzz for the whole city as it recovers from more than a year of lockdown.

“It would be amazing to get a cup run this year,” stated Lafferty.

“If we can come through on Friday night, hopefully we can get a real run going.

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“Harps will be as tough as they come, especially with the form they are in, but there are going to be some favourable teams in the competition for whoever gets through as a few lower league teams are playing each other.

“If you got a nice draw, before you know it you could be in the semi-finals and we would love that to happen. However, we have Harps to try and get past first.

“It would be great for the club if we managed to get a cup run going. The fans have been starved of these in recent years but things seem to be going in the right direction, so a cup run adding to that would be extra special. However, Harps will be thinking the same thing.”

Lafferty, who won the FAI Cup with Rovers in 2019, says he has been talking to the squad about that memorable day two years ago while boss Ruaidhri Higgins has also shared his experience of playing in the final.

“The manager has more experience of FAI Cup finals but, yeah, myself and few of the other local players are sharing our stories with guys who aren’t from here. We’ve been telling them about how magical and memorable it could be if we managed to get the Aviva,” he added.

“It would be ‘last one out, turn off the lights’, because it really does give the whole city a big buzz and gets everyone behind you.

“After you hang the boots up, those kinds of days are the ones you look back on, the really memorable days.

“It’s great for players but your family, supporters and everybody in the city would love it. The cup is something for everyone to get behind, but, as I keep saying, we have Finn Harps on Friday to try and get past before we start worrying about the rest of the competition.

“It has the makings of a very interesting cup tie. They are flying at the minute. There hasn’t been anything between us this season in the league, all those previous games have all been decided by a goal either way.

“As I said, both teams are going really well so it’s going to be a close one to call.

“We are obviously expecting a really tough game, like it always is, especially down at Finn Park.”