Derry City boss, Peter Hutton, insists local players competing in Europe should "enjoy every minute of the experience" as he prepares his troops for the visit of Shakhtyor Soligorsk, from Belarus, to the Brandywell this evening.
And he pointed to the experience of his captain, Cliff Byrne, who, at 31, has played at a good level in England but is currently competing in Europe for the first time.
“He’s enjoying the experience, so I think it’s important local players enjoy every minute of it as so many top players never get the opportunity to play against Continental opposition,” claimed the Brandywell boss.
Byrne and fellow centre-back, Ryan McBride return to the Derry defence but Dean Jarvis has been ruled out. The young left-back sustained a foot injury, but Hutton is delighted to learn the player had not broken a bone.
“Teenager, Michael Duffy, has not trained this week either due to a tight hamstring, so we are not going to take any risks with him. We’ll see how Michael is before the kick-off and I will be guided by our medical team,” added Hutton.
Having viewed recordings of Shakhtyor’s last six league games, Hutton was impressed at what he saw.
“I’ve watched DVDs of their opening fixtures and they have good players. They appear vastly experienced with four or five of their personnel aged 30 and above,” noted Hutton.
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