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Coyle: I want to see us play Linfield and Glentoran every season

Legend's View: Liam Coyle (Former Derry City striker)

By Liam Coyle

I think when you take everything into consideration, Derry's time in the League of Ireland has been a success on the pitch.

The club have won two league titles and five FAI Cups and of course we won the treble in 1988-89, which had never been done before.

Off the field, though, it is fair to say there have been issues. It is hard to run any football club but for Derry, in comparison to other Irish sides, I think it is incredibly tough because of the geography involved and all the travelling they have to do.

Also, it is not easy attracting away fans to the Brandywell. From what I can see the interest has waned from supporters of other clubs coming to see their team in Derry.

When Derry are away from home they obviously have to pay a lot of money for travel and accommodation and when they are not in Europe, as has been the case this season, that can be very hard to sustain.

The amount of money that teams from the League of Ireland or Irish League make from Europe now is huge and Derry need to be in Europe year in year out to generate cash for all their costs.

From a personal point of view, I would have loved to have played in the Irish League with Derry. I would have preferred that to playing in the League of Ireland.

And I have to be honest and say I hope to see Derry back playing in the Irish League one day.

From talking to some Irish League clubs, I believe they would welcome Derry back and I believe it is something Derry City should seriously have a look at for their long-term future.

I think there would be much more interest in Derry City playing Linfield and Glentoran and other Irish League teams than there currently is in playing League of Ireland clubs.

People can question if the political climate is right and if the time is right to give it a go, but we will never know until we try.

Belfast Telegraph


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