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Derry City set to play Europa League games at Oriel Park

With their current ground not meeting Uefa requirements for the competition, the Candystripes have been forced to look elsewhere.

A general view of Oriel Park.
A general view of Oriel Park.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

DERRY CITY ARE set to play their Europa League home qualifiers at Oriel Park this season, The42 understands.

The club currently play their home league matches at Maginn Park in Donegal, with the Brandywell, where they traditionally play, currently being redeveloped.

Oriel Park is the home stadium of reigning league champions Dundalk, who are also expected to use the ground for their opening Champions League qualifiers in the summer.

However, the Lilywhites last season were forced to move their later Champions League qualifier against BATE Borisov to Tallaght Stadium — Shamrock Rovers’ home ground — as Oriel Park did not meet Uefa requirements for third-round matches in the competition, while they were also required to play Europa League group games at the Dublin venue.

Should Derry reach that stage this season, it is as yet unclear where they will play their home matches.

The Derry News, who initially broke the Oriel story, also reported that Kenny Shiels’ side had originally hoped to play their home matches at Sligo Rovers’ stadium, the Showgrounds, but were priced out of the move.

The draw for the first and second qualifying rounds of the Europa League will take place on 19 June, with the first leg of the first qualifying round set to take place on 29 June.

After finishing third last season, Derry are set to compete in Europe for the first time since the 2013 campaign, when they were beaten 7-2 on aggregate by Trabzonspor in the second round of the Europa League.

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Paul Fennessy

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