Potential friendly clashes with Linfield, Glenavon on the cards for Derry City

Declan Devine is finalising his pre-season preparations with a clash against Linfield a possibility.
Declan Devine is finalising his pre-season preparations with a clash against Linfield a possibility.

DERRY CITY boss, Declan Devine is finalising the club's pre-season plans but admitted a high profile friendly fixture against Irish League clubs, Linfield or Glenavon could potentially be on the agenda.

The Candy Stripes reported back for pre-season training last Friday and stepped up preparations today (Tuesday).

And having already pencilled in a game against Drogheda United at United Park on Friday, January 17th next, Devine is hopeful of confirming several other fixtures in the coming days.

With Irish League giants, Linfield suffering a shock early exit from the Sadler's Peaky Blinder Irish Cup at the hands of Queens last weekend, it has opened the doors to a potential friendly against Derry when the sixth round games take place on February 1st.

Glenavon were also knocked out at the fifth round stage by Coleraine along with City's neighbours, Institute who were defeated by Dungannon Swifts, and they both could also provide pre-season opposition for Devine's troops.

"We have plans in place and all of a sudden Linfield become available and Glenavon become available," said Devine when asked about the club's pre-season plans.

"But we're speaking to a lot of people in terms of finalising the right games. We're delighted that Drogheda have welcomed us down again this year. It was a brilliant game for us last year and it'll be a tough game. The games will come thick and fast and we've got to make sure we pick the right games.

"At the same time it's all about getting the players right at this point in time and continuing to add to the squad."

Devine and the club's newly appointed Technical Director, Paddy McCourt expect to land another new signing in the coming days and the City boss admits it's an important time of the year when the foundations are built for the season ahead.

"It's a very difficult time and a lot of the work has to be done now to help us right throughout the course of the season. It's going to be a long season because there's so many games and we want to get through a round in Europe which is luck dependant when the draw takes place.

"We want to get off to a good start like we did last year but ultimately we have to put a product on the pitch that the people of Derry can relate to and get behind to help us in terms of pushing the club forward this year."