KEVIN DEERY knows all about Derry City’s rich history in the FAI Cup having reached four finals and won three trophies during his stellar playing career.
With 2012 FAI Cup winning manager, Declan Devine back at the helm and his cup winning skipper, Deery as his No.2, the omens are good as City get on the road to the Aviva with a home tie against First Division Wexford Youths on Friday night.
And while City will be huge favourites to progress to the second round as Wexford are currently four points adrift of Athlone at the foot of the second tier, Deery is careful not to get carried away.
Deery, who was part of the 2002, 2006 and 2012 cup wins with his hometown club, insists they won’t be taking the challenge of Wexford lightly.
“I think that’s what everyone involved with the club wanted was a home draw,” said the assistant boss.
“It’s not a matter of taking the game lightly because we’re at home. You want to go out and perform and put on a show for our supporters who have backed us really well. It’s time to go to work and we want to do well in the FAI Cup and I feel it’s a good draw for us in that sense.”
Given he’s played a major part in Derry’s success in the competition, he’s eager to continue that tradition and ensure this City team can go as far as they can in the competition this year.
“I was involved right up until 2014 when Peter (Hutton) was the manager and we reached the cup final with Derry. Over the years, during my time with Derry, and the club’s recent history in the cup it’s been very good.
“I was fortunate enough to play in four cup finals, lost one and won three. It’s a really prestigious tournament and one we have fond memories of.
“This is the first obstacle in getting to the Aviva again, against Wexford Youths, so we have to treat the game with the utmost respect. We have to do our homework on our opponents and approach the game like every other game. You have to be professional and try and get through.
“It’s a potential banana skin,” he warned. “I’ve been involved in many ties like this and if we think we can go and just see them off easily then we could be in for a very long evening.
“We were fortunate to get a home draw and that’s all we wanted. People can make their own assumptions but we will do our homework and get the players ready and be prepared for that game.”
Having progressed to the EA Sports Cup Final for the second consecutive season following a 4-2 extra-time victory over Waterford on Monday night, Deery is hopeful the club can end the year with silverware.
“You look back at the history of the competition and the big clubs have won it in recent years. Whenever we got to cup finals in the past we maybe finished third or fourth in the league so of course we feel we can go deep into the competition if we get the right ties and perform well on the night.
“We’re the holders of the League Cup so our mentality was not to give it up easy. We also feel with Declan’s history in the FAI Cup and the club’s history we have to really target to get deep into the competition.
“We have got so much out of these players already and they’re a credit to themselves so we just ask them to keep it going and let’s see if we can win something this year."