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European fate will not affect our budget at Derry City – Ruaidhri Higgins

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Derry City manager Ruaidhri Higgins applauds to the supporters after his side's victory in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Dundalk and Derry City at Oriel Park in Dundalk. Photo: Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Derry City manager Ruaidhri Higgins applauds to the supporters after his side's victory in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Dundalk and Derry City at Oriel Park in Dundalk. Photo: Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Derry City manager Ruaidhri Higgins applauds to the supporters after his side's victory in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Dundalk and Derry City at Oriel Park in Dundalk. Photo: Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Derry City manager Ruaidhri Higgins says his budget for 2022 will be unaffected by whether the Candystripes qualify for Europe or not.

Friday night’s win over Dundalk allied with a slip-up for Bohemians away to Sligo Rovers secured fourth spot for Derry.

However, they will be pushed out of the Europa Conference League if Bohs bounce back to prevail in Sunday’s FAI Cup with a St Patrick’s Athletic side managed by Higgins’ old Dundalk roommate Stephen O’Donnell.

Higgins will not be attending the game as he is on a pre-arranged end of season trip to watch Celtic play Aberdeen with friends.

And while European football would be a major plus in terms of planning, he insists there will be no impact from a squad perspective if they net the €250,000.

Then again, rivals of Derry would say they are in a good position regardless since their chairman Philip O’Doherty became a billionaire.

"It will have no bearing,” says Higgins, who has denied that City will recruit for the sake of it. “There won’t be wholesale changes. Derry City is not a small football club, it’s a big club, and we should be trying to bring (big players) to the club but we want to integrate some bits of quality along with the quality group we already have.”

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City have already confirmed the return of local lads Michael Duffy and Patrick McEleney to the Brandywell after their trophy laden stint with Dundalk. Will Patching will also be making the same move following a successful loan spell under Higgins earlier in the season.

That should be announced this week along with the arrival of Ireland U-21 goalkeeper Brian Maher from Bray Wanderers. Maher had already agreed to join Derry when Shels made a late approach. Bohs striker Georgie Kelly is waiting until after the cup final to make a call on his future with Derry up against overseas alternatives. 


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