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Kenny is sure Europa tilt will stand Dundalk in good stead

By Robert Jones

Manager Stephen Kenny believes his Dundalk squad can return stronger from the disappointment of failing to make the knockout stages of the Europa League.

Dundalk lost 2-1 to Maccabi Tel Aviv in Netanya on Thursday to end hopes of progressing from Group D. AZ Alkmaar's victory over Zenit St Petersburg had rendered the result academic.

Despite the disappointment, Kenny is confident the League of Ireland champions, whose flight back was held up overnight following a missed departure, can move forward.

"This is something we will gain positive experiences from. For a lot of the players, it's been their first Europa League campaign," Kenny said.

"Some of the players hadn't played that many European games at all before the start of this season, so that was a big plus for us. I have to salute the players for their ability to go right to the end."

There will, however, be some rebuilding ahead for the Lilywhites, with Daryl Horgan and Andy Boyle both set to join English Championship side Preston.

Meanwhile, Derry City will play their opening home matches of the 2017 season at Maginn Park in Buncrana while the Brandywell is redeveloped.

The club will stage the rest of next season's games at Maginn Park if they fail to secure an alternative venue.

Derry said the "only difficulty" with the Donegal ground is its capacity, which is approximately 2,000.

The multi-million pound project at the Brandywell will include a new stand, changing rooms and new playing surface.

A statement read: "For the greater number of matches, the club believes that the capacity will meet the demand but they realise that for some matches, capacity will be limited.

"We are very pleased and grateful to the management of Maginn for the welcome and the flexibility they have shown to Derry City."

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