Derry City have swapped the likes of Bohemians, Shamrock Rovers and St Patrick’s Athletic for Mervue United, Athlone Town and Waterford United, as the 2010 League of Ireland fixtures were announced yesterday.
While Dublin kingpins Bohemians take on Sporting Fingal in the Premier Division on the opening day of the season on Friday, March 5, the Candystripes host Bray Wanderers in the First Division, on the same night.
Last November the Brandywell men were booted out of the League of Ireland after they were caught using dual contracts with their players, but now they have been reinstated into senior football, albeit in the First Division.
“To be honest I’m not pleased to be in the First Division, we have to start from the bottom and build Derry back up to being the best club in the country,” said boss Stephen Kenny.
“Last season was very trying for everyone but we must move on. We have a good tight young squad who are all locals; Mark Farren is the only player that lives outside the city.
“I’m really enjoying working with the young players who are doing well during pre-season.”
Old rivals Shelbourne visit Foyleside on Friday, April 23, while their first derby of the campaign against neighbours Finn Harps takes place at the Brandywell on Tuesday, May 4.