Gerard Doherty is named as Derry City captain to succeed the late Ryan McBride
Goalkeeper Gerard Doherty has been named as Derry City captain to succeed Ryan McBride who died last week.
After the postponement of their scheduled games against Limerick and Galway United, Derry are back in action at home to Bray Wanderers on Friday.
Prior to McBride's death, Derry won their opening four League of Ireland Premier Division matches.
The Candystripes are now second in the table, six points behind Cork City who have won their first six games.
Defender McBride was found dead at home on 19 March, a day after he led his side in a 4-0 League of Ireland win over Drogheda United.
The cause of death is not yet known but a post-mortem has been carried out.
Doherty started career with Derry in 1998
Derry-born Doherty, 35, began his football career with the Candystripes in 1998.
He signed for Derby County a year later but after being unable to secure a first-team place with the English club, then had a successful six-year stint with Welsh Premier League team The New Saints which included playing in European ties against Manchester City and Liverpool.
Doherty returned to his hometown club in 2008 and his second spell with the Brandywell outfit has included a call-up to the Northern Ireland squad in 2011.
The 35-year-old has captained Derry on several previous occasions - including the latter stages of last season when McBride was ruled out by injury.
Derry boss Kenny Shiels says Doherty has "all the right qualities" needed for the captaincy.
"He manages the team [on the field] from the goal. He's a very, very good communicator. He knows the game and he's going to be a fantastic coach when he retires," added the Derry manager.
Derry environment 'focused around Ryan'
With a big home crowd certain to travel to Derry's temporary home venue in Buncrana for Friday's game, Shiels knows full well that it's going to be an "emotional" night and he accepts that the remainder of this season is going to be framed around the club's traumatic loss.
"The environment is going to be focused around Ryan and it's difficult to remove yourself from that.
"There are switches you turn off and switches you turn on mentally."
However, Shiels says that the Derry players have trained well this week after returning to their "natural habitat".
"The training ground was really good this week and we're still working on different things about Bray Wanderers and their potential," Shiels told BBC Northern Ireland on Wednesday afternoon.