Derry City's European opponents KuPS suffer blow as dangerman Urho Nissilä departs club

DERRY CITY's Europa Conference League opponents KuPS will be without one of their most influential players for the second round qualifying return leg in Kuopio tomorrow afternoon.
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Dangerman Urho Nissilä's short term contract expired on July 31st and has left the Finnish league leaders. Having joined the club just before the start of the season on a four month contract after recovering from injury, Nissilä contributed six goals and one assist in the opening 15 matches of KuPS campaign.

The 27 year-old playmaker was marshalled brilliantly by Derry City midfielder Cameron Dummigan in the opening leg of their second round clash at Brandywell last week and his absence will be a blow to KuPS boss Jani Honkavaara.

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Nissilä, who has played 150 top flight matches for KuPS during his various spells at the club, scoring 33 goals in total, was named Veikkausliiga player of the year in 2021.

The midfielder, who is set for a move abroad in the coming weeks, says he leaves the club with a heavy heart.

"It was really great to wear the colours and represent Kuopio Palloseura both in the Veikkausliiga and also in Europe," he said. "I'm leaving Kuopio with a bit of regret, but with good feelings.”

It will be welcome news for City boss Ruaidhri Higgins but KuPS will be strengthened by the availability of their African defensive contingent Ibrahim Cisse (Ivory Coast), Collins Sichenje (Kenya) and Clinton Antwi (Ghana) who missed the first leg due to visa issues.

Midfielder Anton Popovich is also understood to be available for the visit of the Candy Stripes after his return from a shoulder injury.