Town Face Fortuna in the Friendliest of Friendlies
Friday, 17th Jul 2015 10:27
Town boss Mick McCarthy is again expected to field a different XI in each half when the Blues take on Fortuna Düsseldorf in a long-anticipated friendly at the Paul-Janes-Stadion this evening (KO 6.30pm local time, 5.30pm UK time).
McCarthy is likely to play two teams which are mix of first-team regulars, fringe players and youngsters as he did in last Saturday’s 6-0 defeat of Shelbourne in Dublin.
Daryl Murphy, David McGoldrick and Christophe Berra are again set to be absent having only started their pre-season training on Monday after being given two weeks extra off having been involved in international fixtures until mid-June.
Cameron Stewart, who has been told he can find another club, and Academy midfielder Kundai Benyu have both made the trip.
The Town players arrived in Düsseldorf yesterday morning and trained in the shadow of Fortuna’s main stadium the Esprit Arena. The squad, who have spent this morning being given a tour of the stadium, fly back to the UK on Saturday morning.
Fortuna have been forced to close the Nordtribüne (north stand) of the Paul-Janes-Stadion - the club’s second ground where they play friendlies and cup games and where their second team is based - for tonight’s match as a number of concrete steps are loose, reducing the capacity to 5,700 from 7,200. Fans with tickets in the Nordtribüne can switch to the Osttribüne (east stand). More than 600 Town supporters are making the trip.
Prior to kick-off there will be a 20-minutes each way fans’ match involving supporters of both teams on an artificial pitch outside Bar 95, the club house which is next to the Paul-Janes-Stadion (KO 4pm).
Some of those playing in that game will later take part in a match against the Fortuna Legends on the main pitch at 5pm ahead of the evening's main event.
After the friendly, both teams and fans of the two clubs will be attending a party at the Stahlwerk, a former steelworks which is now a bar.
The friendly and surrounding events are the result of a growing friendship between the fans of the two clubs which now goes back more than a decade. A couple of years ago, Ulli Münsterberg told TWTD how the link originally came about.
You can find a Quick Fans’ Guide to Fortuna Düsseldorf written by Tim Edwards of the Supporters Club here, while HarryFromBath gives an insight into the mood in the Fortuna camp and looks at their squad here.
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