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2019 Season Preview: Derry City

Manager: Declan Devine

Stadium: The Brandywell Stadium

2019 Players in: Ciaran Coll (Finn Harps), Ally Gilchrist (Shamrock Rovers), Peter Cherrie (Cork City), Ciaron Harkin (Coleraine), David Parkhouse (Sheffield United – loan), Patrick McClean (Sligo Rovers), Josh Kerr (Brighton & Hove Albion – loan), Barry McNamee (Cork City), Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe (Colchester United – loan), Eoghan Stokes (Bohemians), Gerardo Bruna (Ottawa Fury), Greg Sloggett (UCD).

2019 Players out: Gavin Peers (released), Aaron McEneff (Shamrock Rovers), Ben Fisk (released), Sam Todd (Finn Harps), Ben Doherty (Coleraine), Alistair Roy (Partick Thistle), Nicky Low (released). Key Man:  Barry McNamee

McNamee’s last stint at the Brandywell was a memorable one for him with the midfielder notching up over 150 appearances for the Candystripes as well as experiencing Europa League football. Last season he made the switch to Cork City but found his playing time extremely limited. It’s a big season for the 26-year-old with the progress he seemed to be making up to last season. His creativity and flair in midfield will be crucial, especially with the loss of Aaron McEneff who has made the move to Shamrock Rovers. One to Watch: Greg Sloggett

The 22-year-old midfielder was crucial to UCD’s title success and promotion to the top flight over the course of the 2018 season and will be hoping to push on and form a successful partnership with McNamee in the heart of the Derry midfield this year.

How they did last season:

League: 8th

Derry City will have been extremely disappointed to finish as far down the table as they did last season especially after securing a top four place in 2017. Their away form was disappointing, losing 12 of their 18 league games on the road, and conceding a total of 70 goals in 36 games.

FAI Cup: Quarter-finals

Derry bowed out at the quarter-final stage last season losing 3-1 at home to Bohs. They had beaten St. Pats and Blarney United prior.

EA Sports Cup: Winners

Derry’s League Cup run included wins against Finn Harps and Shelbourne before winning the semi-final on the road against Sligo Rovers by a narrow 1-0 scoreline. A 3-1 victory in the final at the Brandywell over Cobh Ramblers was the club’s first trophy in seven years.

Europe: Dinamo Minsk were the first round opposition for Derry City last season and the Belarussian side qualifying 3-2 on aggregate following a 2-1 defeat in Minsk.

What to expect this season:

Declan Devine is back at the helm for his second stint as manager and has been a busy man preparing for the start of the 2019 season. Experienced campaigners Barry McNamee and Peter Cherrie have arrived at the Brandywell with Ciaran Coll, Ally Gilchrist and Patrick McClean strong additions to the squad too. Expect the Candystripes to improve their defensive record this season with a mid-table finish likely.

Title Odds: 33/1

First game: UCD (home), Friday, February 15th.

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