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Nathan Boyle: This Season Has Brought A New Sense Of Perspective To Derry City

Nathan Boyle: This Season Has Brought A New Sense Of Perspective To Derry City
By Daniel Kelly
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The 2017 League of Ireland season will always be tinged with sadness in Derry.

Earlier this year, Derry City captain Ryan McBride died tragically less than 24 hours after lining out for his hometown side. The death rocked the Irish footballing world, but the strength of the Derry City squad has been one of the shining points of the season.

Kenny Shiels' side currently lie in fourth place in the Premier Division, and could reach the Europa League next season if results go their way.

Striker Nathan Boyle has led the line for Derry throughout the season, and he still feels the team can reach the pre-season goal of European qualification.

Considering everything that's happened, we're not too far away from our goal, that we set at the start of the season. That's what we're pushing for.

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McBride's death came in the opening weeks of the season. The fact that Derry remain in the hunt for European qualification is not something lost on Boyle.

We could have just folded if we wanted to let that happen. The group of players in there knows what the club means to people. We had to get on with it. We had to put Ryan, not so much to the back of our minds, we couldn't let it overrun our heads.

We couldn't go out and say, 'Let's do it for Ryan'. We had to put it to the back of our heads and focus on the goal. We didn't do too bad this year, considering everything that happened this year.

Derry City's players have understandably gained an unwanted sense of perspective in the last few months.

It's not going to be the end of the world, but would really like to get Europe. That's what we are pushing for.

If it doesn't, we built a lot of character this year. We can take that into 2018.

As The Brandywell gets redeveloped, Derry City have been playing their 'home' games in Buncrana. Without the home comforts of their own ground, the squad have had to overcome challenges both on and off the field.

Hopefully we learned something this year, and we can take it into next year.

Speaking to the impressive Boyle, you have a feeling they will.

Pictured at the launch of FIFA 18 Club packs at the Iveagh Gardens in Dublin is Nathan Boyle of Derry City. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

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