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Shiels is excited by Derry new boys as McDermott signs on


By Eoin Wilson

Derry City may have lost the first game of the season at Waterford but they travel to Sligo Rovers this evening on the back of a very profitable 24 hours.

Disappointed by the loss at the RSC, and the decision by Fulham defender Sean Kavanagh to join Shamrock Rovers just 48 hours later, City boss Kenny Shiels has regrouped and added two defenders to his squad.

Taking the place earmarked for Kavanagh is Blackburn full-back Jack Doyle, who has joined on a season-long loan from the League One club. The 21-year-old can play at left-back or on the wing and is a welcome addition to Shiels' squad.

"We like him - he's a good player and, as you can see by the fact that he's here, he has a good attitude to the game," he said.

"The lad is versatile and can also play left midfield and I think he'll be well received by the Derry fans."

Also joining the Brandywell club is former Institute defender Niall Logue. Derry native Logue has spent the last two seasons playing for Ohio State University having switched from Yavapai College, Arizona.

Prior to that, the 22-year-old was on the books at Institute. He has been training with the Candystripes for a couple of weeks and featured in the pre-season friendly against Finn Harps.

Completing the good news at the Brandywell is the announcement that defender Conor McDermott has signed a new contract which will keep him at the club until the end of the 2020 season.

McDermott has played over 60 times for the Candystripes and has proved a valuable addition to the squad in recent seasons having come through the youth ranks.

Shiels can now focus on tonight's game at the Sligo Showgrounds, where Derry have not won a league game since 2009.

The clash, the 100th competitive fixture between the two clubs, is already important for both teams after both lost their opening-day fixtures against Limerick and Waterford respectively.

Shiels, who was in attendance at the Showgrounds last Saturday, is expecting another difficult game.

"They were unlucky to lose against Limerick," he said. "They created most of the chances and had most of the play and were the better team."

Shiels, meanwhile, is hoping that the league's authorities take a look at changing the current fixture schedule, which runs from February to October.

Unhappy that the game at the RSC was allowed to go ahead despite a waterlogged pitch, Shiels has warned that other games will be cancelled due to the wintry conditions in the months currently bookending the season.

"I'm warning them now that they cannot let teams travel to games in October," he insisted. "Each year the weather in February and in October is among the worst and I can guarantee that one of those weekends in October will be wiped out.

"A team will miss out on Europe because they will be forced to play in these conditions."

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