Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Derry to give warm welcome to McCourt

It'll be an emotional return to the Brandywell for Paddy McCourt as he runs out with Celtic this evening.

His departure for Parkhead was the shock of the summer and the Derry fans are ready to give him a hero’s welcome on his return.

This game, which forms part of Derry’s 80th anniversary celebrations, was agreed as part of that deal and tickets for the game.

After last night’s exertions against Linfield, Derry boss Stephen Kenny will be putting out a much changed side against a team of Celtic’s up and coming young stars led by McCourt who has been impressing in the reserves at Parkhead.

Fellow Irishmen Darren O’Dea and Cillian Sheridan will be in the squad as will Marc Crosas, Massimo Donati, Glen Loovens, Paul Caddis and Koki Mizuno with keeper Mark Brown.

Derry-born Northern Ireland under-19 player Danny Lafferty will also be included in the starting line-up.

The timing of the game is a little unfortunate for Derry as they had no choice but to rearrange last night’s Setanta Cup clash to 24 hours before this one and their schedule has been little short of hectic of late.

Derry City chairman Pat McDaid said it was always an honour to host Celtic, the first club to come to City’s aid when they were in dire financial straits several years ago.

Since then the Brandywell has hosted teams from Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid.

“We are delighted Celtic could come to the Brandywell as part of the 80th anniversary of the club,” McDaid said.”

This evening’s game has a 5.45pm kick-off with the anniversary dinner to follow in the City Hotel.

l Larne manager Graham McConnell last night hoping to conclude a deal to bring Vincent Sweeney to Inver Park on loan.

The 27 year old striker has not been able to nail down a regular spot in the Reds attack this season because he has work commitments that prevent him training with the north Belfast club at present.

“He’s a proven goalscorer and hopefully he will provide the flow of scores that we are going to need to make the impact in the IFA Championship that we feel we need to be doing,” said the Larne manager, hopeful of getting his man.

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