TWO members of Derry City’s Under-19 squad have accepted invitations to visit Bristol City next week to take part in training and play in practise matches.
Centre-back, Patrick McClean, the younger brother of James, and striker, George Kelly, will travel to Ashton Gate as part of the development within the Derry City Academy.
Both players gave prominent performances in last Sunday’s 3-2 victory over Cork City in the FAI’s Under-19 Elite League quarter-final and both will head to England after next Sunday’s Elite League semi-final clash against Shamrock Rovers.
Brandywell boss, Peter Hutton, informed the teenagers following the victory at Maginn Park in Buncrana, suggesting that other youngsters could follow them.
“Visiting a full-time club in England which is on the brink of securing promotion to the Championship this season, will give them a boost,” said Hutton.
“It’s part of the development process as the players will experienced full time training over a period of four or five days. It’s not about seeking transfer fees or anything like that at this stage.
“Both lads have been watched and invited over as we have formed a good relationship with Bristol City, that club now run by people who had been associated with Nottingham Forest,” noted the Derry boss.
“I took up an invitation to travel over recently to see their academy structures and with so many improvements being made to their structures, it was a great experience.
“The people we dealt with at Forest when both Stephen McLaughlin and Barry McNamee were over, are now involved with Bristol City and we’ve formed a very good relationship with the club.
“Both players have done really well this season, Georgie scoring goals and Patrick helping keep clean sheets and the success of our Under-19’s has been significant.
“So it’s an opportunity for them both to see at first hand what goes on within full-time clubs and what’s required to progress to the next level,” continued Hutton.
“Both have much to learn, but their progress is being monitored and they are two members of a group which is capable of seeing quite a few others reaching similar levels.”
Meanwhile, at first team level, Shaun Kelly will visit a specialist to receive an injection in his troublesome knee tomorrow and that will see the defender ordered to take total rest for period of 10 days.
Stephen Dooley and Josh Daniels remain in the Brandywell treatment room while Ryan McBride, Patrick McEleney and Philip Lowry have picked up a few bumps and bruises, but should be okay for the visit of Bray on Friday night.