DROGHEDA United assistant boss Daire Doyle says he hopes the Boynesiders will be at full strength for the big derby clash against Dundalk at Casey’s Field (Oriel Park) on Friday week.
ith no league action in recent days because of the FAI Cup and most clubs inactive this week owing to the international window, the Drogs won’t have played a competitive fixture in 21 days when they line out against the Lilywhites.
However, to help fill the void Kevin Doherty’s side played Bray Wanderers in a behind-closed-door friendly at Head in the Game Park last Saturday, with goals from Darragh Noone and Darragh Nugent securing a 2-1 win.
An in-house game involving some of the club’s U19 players is planned for this weekend and that will give some fringe players a further opportunity to increase their game time.
“At the weekend we got minutes into all the lads that needed to get minutes,” Doyle reported.
“Ryan Brennan played a half and Dane Massey got 90 minutes. Keith Cowan got a bit of work done separately and stepped up his training.
“Chris Lyons missed training last week and this week but should be back in training next week and that could make him available for the Dundalk game.
“A couple of the U19s started as well – Emre Topcu and Callum Ralph. Emre started in midfield alongside Gary Deegan and Callum played left-back where he was up against Callum Thompson and I’m really happy with those lads.”
Stevan Stanic-Floody also made his long-awaited first senior appearance after being an unused sub in all games since joining the Drogs during the summer.
Meanwhile, there is plenty of interest in the three league games that are taking place over the next few days.
Shelbourne, who lie two points above Drogheda, host Shamrock Rovers tomorrow (Thursday), Finn Harps take on Bohemians on Saturday and then UCD take on Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght next Monday.
Currently, Drogheda have a 12-point advantage over UCD and 13 over Finn Harps, with a game more played than both those clubs.