Irish League football looks set to return to Brandywell Stadium for the first time in more than four decades.
Institute FC are expecting an imminent announcement from Derry City & Strabane District Council after Chairman Bill Anderson confirmed the club were set a deadline of today (Friday) by the Northern Ireland Football League (NIFL) to register a new home for their forthcoming Danske Bank Premiership campaign.
“The directive from NIFL is that we have to locate all our home games at the one location,” stated Mr Anderson. “They have set us a deadline of Friday to register our home ground for matches for next season. The council are aware of that and are doing everything they can to get a decision over the line.
“We have spoken to council representatives, MLA representatives, the PSNI, local community groups, NIFL and all interested parties.
“Derry City FC are right behind us; the Derry & District League are behind us; everybody that is involved with football in the city are behind the idea but the decision is with the council.”
Despite the imminent approval of the Brandywell as their home venue for 2018/19, the long term plan for ’Stute - who hold their prize night at Brigade C.C. this evening - is to find a permanent new home.
“We are still looking for an appropriate site so we can relocate in order to secure the future of the club for the next 100 years because at the Riverside Stadium we are on the fourth highest floodplain in N. Ireland.
“It was unbelievable what Paddy (McLaughlin) and the boys did last season. Everything that was thrown in front of them, they just kept going and if we are able to get things sorted in terms of relocating to the Brandywell, I feel that will be a brilliant reward for the players, the club and the whole city.”