The side face Shelbourne in the final of the FAI Cup at the Aviva Stadium (kick off 3 pm).
One fan has even travelled in a campervan across Spain and France to get to Ireland by ferry.
Derry’s last FAI Cup triumph was 10 years ago when they beat St Patrick’s Athletic after extra-time.
Crowds gathered on Saturday at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium Brandywell to cheer the side on as they began their journey to Dublin ahead of Sunday’s game.
There may be a World Cup on the footballing horizon but for fans of Derry City, the only match that matters takes place this weekend.
Derry City fan Kevin Delaney set off from southern Spain on Wednesday to watch the Candystripes take on Shelbourne.
Mr Delaney moved to Granada with his family in April 2021.
As soon as his team made it to the final he knew he had to get to Dublin “one way or another”.
By Sunday Kevin will have travelled more than 1,700 miles (2,748 km) in his campervan.
“It’s about a 900km drive from the south of Spain here to the north, so it’s a bit of a hike and then getting the ferry over to Rosslare Harbour then driving on to Dublin,” he told BBC Radio Foyle.
“I’ve been a lifetime supporter of Derry and have been living away now for quite a while.
“I just made the decision a couple of days ago that I couldn’t miss it [the final], it’s going to be a brilliant occasion with all my friends and it’s going to be an amazing atmosphere”.
Kevin said he was blown away by the response he received since he made his football final road trip public.
“I’ve had people and businesses sending me T-shirts, I’ve also had people offering to even chip in for petrol as well it’s just been amazing,” he said.
One fan from back home also got in touch with Mr Delaney recently to offer him tickets in the main Derry supporters’ stand for the game.
“That’s Derry people for you,” Mr Delaney said.
Darren McClelland, 22, will also be there on Sunday – thanks to the generosity of fellow Derry fans.He lives with a life-limiting condition and complex needs.
He rarely misses a Derry City match but his health has not been good over recent months.
“Over the past two or three months it has just deteriorated and he has been bedbound,” his mum Orla McIntyre said.
That has meant he has been unable to get to recent matches. It looked like going to the cup final would be impossible.
But a fundraising campaign has raised the money needed to ensure he has the specialist transport and support required for the journey to Dublin.
“For me as his mammy it is just amazing, to see him getting his smile back is just great,” Orla said.
“I am actually speechless, the way the situation is now people are struggling to live day to day. The fact they are willing to donate to Darren….. I cannot thank them enough,” she added.
The team’s success has “really captured the public’s imagination,” the city’s Mayor Sandra Duffy believes.
“You can really feel the atmosphere and excitement building around the city this week, it’s all anyone is talking about and it’s just brilliant to see the role sport can play in generating civic pride and lifting everyone’s mood,” she said.
Among the horde of Derry fans at the Aviva Stadium will be 10-year-old Ronan McDaid.
He “just fell in love” with the club from the moment he first saw the team play at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium.
He is “excited and happy” his team have reached the final.
Ronan’s pre-match prep is well under way.
“My mammy was kind enough to decorate the whole house in lines and strips of red and white and we put our Derry City banner out, and we put wee flags on the windows,” he said.
Ronan is taking his banner with him to the game, hoping Derry have a “good day” and confidently predicting a 1-0 win.
Above all else, though, he says, the team have to “have an amazing time at the Aviva, do well, and try your best, that’s all you can do try your best”.
We wish the lads all the best.Tags: