Derry City Manager Declan Devine is to remain at the Brandywell helm until 2014 at the earliest.
Following a meeting of Derry City’s board of directors on Friday night, the FAI Cup winning manager was given a one year extension to his contract with the club, which still has a year to run.
Speaking to the ‘Sunday’ after the meeting, Chairman Philip O’Doherty said the move was both “great for Declan and great for the club”.
“Declan has been given a one year extension to his contract and with one year left on his existing contract that means he’ll be with us until at least the end of 2014.
“This is a reward for the achievements of the season, and a vote of confidence in the manager following his success.”
Mr O’Doherty added that the issue of Paul Hegarty remaining as Devine’s number two was entirely a matter for the manager but that he believed confirmation of the Donegal man continuing in his current role would be a mere “formality”.
The chairman said the immediate focus of the manager would now be on securing the services of Simon Madden for next season. “Declan will be talking to him this week about what his plans are as we expect there could be quite a bit of interest from other clubs. David Doherty is also out of contract and sorting that out is another priority as he’ll also generate interest.”
He explained that the management budget has yet to be finalised for the coming season, adding that the club is still “waiting” to learn its income from last week’s FAI Cup final gate receipts from the Aviva stadium.
However, Mr Doherty confirmed that any extra income to the club will be freed up to allow Devine to improve his squad as the club looks to build on its success in 2012.
“Anything we have we will pass on to him as soon as possible because you only have two chances in a season to get players in and if a manager has the money before the start of the season then it’s all the better.”
Meanwhile, Shane McEleney has been named in the Northern Ireland U21 squad which will play England next week.
The centre back, who has represented the Republic of Ireland at youth and under 21 level, scored for Stephen Robinson’s U21 side during their friendly defeat to Hungary in Tatabanya in August.
The side travels to Blackpool to face England this week in a game that will be televised live on ESPN.
The latest call-up is certainly deserved following the defender’s impressive performance in the FAI Cup Final at St Patrick’s Athletic last weekend, the Derry City Chairman said.
“It’s great news for Shane and well deserved. I thought he had a magnificent game on Sunday.
“I don’t know how many balls he headed away from the danger area but he didn’t miss any.”
Mr O’Doherty said that the defender’s brother Patrick was also “given the option” of inclusion in the squad but was advised to rest due to niggling injuries.