Football

Kenny Shiels Believes 'Storm Emma' Did Derry Council A Huge Favour

Kenny Shiels Believes 'Storm Emma' Did Derry Council A Huge Favour

Derry City's Kenny Shiels has rarely been reticent to share exactly what is on his mind.

Tonight's fixture against Dundalk had been set to mark the return of Derry to the newly-refurbished Brandywell after a season spent playing their 'home' games in Donegal.

Yet, given the arrival of Storm Emma and the postponement of sporting events all across the country, the return will have to wait a little longer.

While few could argue that the decision to postpone the fixture was incorrect, Shiels believes that Derry's Council have been afforded a "get-out clause" for not having the ground ready for the proposed date.

Speaking to the Derry Journal of his failed efforts to set-up a training match on the Brandywell pitch, Shiels believes tonight's postponed tie would never have gone ahead anyway:

I had arranged an 11 v 11 match at Brandywell and was told 15 minutes ago that we can’t go on it.

They’re using the safety regulations as an excuse. They said the snow on the pitch is the reason. If you start to brush it off it will segregate the black pellets and you can’t brush it off.

We had everything arranged. That’s every schedule I’ve arranged in the last four weeks I’ve had to change and here we are again on what would’ve been a day before the match.

The match was never going to be played here. Never! The bad weather had given [the council] a get-out.

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Clearly perturbed by the limited exposure his players had had with what will be the Brandywell's newly-installed artificial pitch, Shiels' claims have already been refuted by the body in question.

A spokesperson for Derry & Strabane District Council has forthrightly dismissed Shiels' claims, suggesting that "the stadium and pitch were complete and ready to have hosted the game on Friday night."

With 10 days now to go until Derry City can confirm their return to the Brandywell, the same spokesperson claimed that "training on the pitch will be accommodated as soon as the weather permits."

See Also: Fellaini's Discontent Signals Far Bigger Issue For Manchester United

Arthur James O'Dea

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