Europa Conference League Preview: FCB Magpies -v- Derry City

Derry City defender Shane McEleney with goalkeeper Brian Maher

Derry City defender Shane McEleney with goalkeeper Brian Maher Credit: Martin Doherty (ETPhotos)

Derry City begin their latest European adventure on Thursday evening when they visit the Europa Point Stadium in Gibraltar to face FCB Magpies (kick-off is at 5pm Irish Time).

The Candystripes first leg tie will be broadcast live via the link here at a cost of €10. 

And the winner of the two-legged showdown will face Danish giants and Champions League group stage regulars FC Copenhagen in the second qualifying round of the Conference League.


Led by boss Nathan Rooney, FCB Magpies will be looking to claim a scalp against Derry City in the Conference League. 

Bruno’s Magpies - formerly a pub team - faced Dundalk last season in the same competition before exiting to a 3-1 aggregate defeat against the Lilywhites. 

But they have been busy in terms of squad turnover since then with a host of players arriving and departing in the meantime. 

And they will be vaguely familiar to Derry City defender Mark Connolly who played under Rooney at Crawley Town in 2019, with Rooney working as Connolly’s assistant manager at the time. Rooney has also worked as a coach with Carlisle United and Port Vale in England.

Magpies have also managed to recruit former Bradford City and Aberdeen defender Ashton Taylor during their off-season. Ashton is also a former Wales under-21 international.

Striker Jack Storer - previously on the books of Birmingham City - has also joined them from English non-league outfit Stratford Town having been at the club before. 

Olatunde Bayode, once on the books of Burnley, is also back at the club. Gibraltar international goalkeeper Dayle Coleing is also expected to be first-choice between the sticks for them on Thursday after joining from Lincoln FC recently. 

Coleing played against Ireland twice in last year’s Euro 2024 qualifiers and has also been on the books of Irish League side Glentoran in the past.


Derry City are likely to be without new signing Jacob Davenport for their trip to Gibraltar on Thursday evening through injury. 

Winger Michael Duffy is also a doubt but boss Ruaidhri Higgins is keen for his side to prove their class against their semi-professional opponents. 

Magpies are currently out of season and came third in the Gibraltarian top-flight last season, 19 points behind champions Lincoln Red Imps.

“We have done our homework as best we can, their league fixtures aren’t really online but we have enough information, put it that way,” Higgins said, as quoted by the Irish Sun.

“There has been quite a big turnover in their playing squad, they are quite a technical team, they are fluid in how they move around the pitch.

“They are used to the conditions over there better than we are, we will have to make sure we are right and ready to get a big result.

“Their record at home in Europe isn’t bad, in saying that what happened last year and the previous year is irrelevant as the team’s different.”

Referee: Robert Ian Jenkins (Wales).



FCB Magpies 1 - 2 Derry City


FCB Magpies

Injured: N/A.


Suspended: N/A.


Derry City 

Injured: N/A.

Doubtful:Jacob Davenport, Michael Duffy.