Akanni on his way to becoming Derry player

Derry City boss Roddy Collins.
Derry City boss Roddy Collins.

Derry City manager, Roddy Collins, remains confident that Nigerian born striker, Akanni-Sunday Wasiu will sign for the ‘Candy Stripes’ next week.

Wasiu, who is currently a ‘free agent’ playing non-league football in England, is believed to be keen on a move to Derry and Collins suggested a deal to bring the player to the Brandywell could be only days away.

Speaking to the ‘Sunday Journal’ just before a training session at the Vale Centre in Greysteel yesterday afternoon, Collins stated he is extremely keen to bring Akanni to Derry as he offers “something different up front”.

“There are still a few things we have to firm up but I would hope to be able to reveal Akanni as my final signing before the season starts against Shamrock Rovers next month.

“Akanni is a big strong player. I know what he is about because he played under me at Floriana when I managed in the Maltese league a few years ago.

“Akanni would give us something different up front so hopefully if everything goes according to plan next week he will become the final part of the jigsaw.”

The Derry boss went on to explain that the next few days the intensity of training session will increase greatly for all of the players.

“This is without question the most important week for us in terms of preparation for the start of the season.

“We have been pushing the players to the very limit but it will go up a few notches this week.

“We will concentrate on our ball work and the strength and conditioning training will be a big test for many of the players.

“It has to be this way because come March 8 I want every player in the team to be able to hit the ground running.

“Shamrock Rovers away from home is a tough match whether at the start or the end of the season. Some are tipping Rovers to go all the way this season but if my team has anything to do with it they will not be picking up three points on the first day of the season.

“The team is coming together nicely and everyone knows exactly what it is they are doing. I am absolutely thrilled with the way in which this pre-season has panned out.”

So far, the ‘Candy Stripes’ have only played two pre-season friendlies. Last Tuesday’s game with Glentoran and tomorrow’s match against the Derry and District Select were both cancelled due to the adverse weather conditions.

“I experienced something similar when I was manager of Carlisle United - only back then it wasn’t the bad weather, it was foot and mouth disease.

“Obviously the players want to play in games - that’s perfectly natural but there’s nothing we can do about the weather. All we have to do is make sure we are ready for the start of the season. Everything else will take care of itself.”

Derry City v the Derry and District Select has been rescheduled for Wednesday February 19.