League of Ireland news: Derry City’s return to spiritual home on hold

Derry City’s return to the Brandywell has been delayed as renovations to the ground will not be completed in time for the first game of the season with Sligo Rovers.

City were due to take on Sligo on Friday the 23rd of February in their second match of the season and their first at home.

But work on the ground is still ongoing and there is even no guarantee they will be able to take on Dundalk in the venue on the 2nd of March.

Sligo have agreed to switch the fixture with Derry which will see them host the Candystripes and play the match at the Brandywell in August instead.

A statement from Derry read: “The club had expected to move into the new facility last November. That slipped to the end of December and the last update has necessitated the rearranging of the game against Sligo on the 23rd of February.

“That game will now be played in Sligo and the away game to Sligo later in the season will take place at the Brandywell. The club is very grateful to Sligo Rovers for their understanding and help in this situation.

“These delays have been most frustrating for the club. They have interrupted pre-season plans to acquaint our players to the new surface and they have stalled an extensive programme of events to introduce residents, fans, sponsors and new potential supporters to the new facilities.

“Despite this, we remind ourselves and our supporters that we have waited long years for this new development and these few weeks will be put behind us as we continue to work to ensure that we can be proud of the Brandywell experience.”

City are relying on the local council to finish work but the final steps of the project have been slow to finish, with poor conditions and the delayed arrival of some materials.

Sligo now face three home games to begin their season as a result of the switch, and a run of six away games out of seven in the summer, including a period of one home league game in 10 weeks.



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