Barcelona midfielder on trial at Derry City

Derry City manager Kenny Shiels will run his eye over Spanish trialist Cristian Delgado during a friendly fixture against Institute on Tuesday night.
Derry City manager Kenny Shiels will run his eye over Spanish trialist Cristian Delgado during a friendly fixture against Institute on Tuesday night.

DERRY CITY boss, Kenny Shiels will run the rule over promising Spanish trialist, Cristian Delgado during a friendly fixture against Institute Football Club at Brandywell Stadium next week.

The 22 year-old who hails from Barcelona, is expected to meet up with Shiels and several members of the Derry City squad at the Foyle Arena this morning where the players will be handed their close-season training programmes.

He’s a Barcelona boy and was playing in the third tier of Spain. I feel the balance of the midfield needs a bit of aggression to complement the skill we already have in the side, and he will certainly provide that.

Kenny Shiels

And the 6ft 2’’ midfielder is expected to feature alongside a predominantly Under-19 side against Kevin Deery’s Irish Championship team next Tuesday night (K.o. 7 p.m.) in Shiels’ first match as City boss before playing a practise match the following Thursday.

Delgado, who was recently plying his trade in the Spanish third tier, is rated highly by Shiels who feels the Spaniard could add some extra steel to the City midfield.

“He’s a Barcelona boy and was playing in the third tier of Spain,” revealed Shiels. “I feel the balance of the midfield needs a bit of aggression to complement the skill we already have in the side, and he will certainly provide that.

“I’m speaking to players in Spain but I want to build on the youth of this club first and foremost,” he added. “I don’t know how Delgado will fit into our system but I hope he will do well. He’s been staying in the city this week after I brought him over and he’s a player I feel would fit our needs.

“So we will get a game against Institute next Tuesday and a practise game on Thursday to see how he fits into our style of play.”

Shiels is looking forward to gathering members of the Derry City squad together for an introductory session today, although several players are unable to attend, including skipper, Ryan McBride who is currently in America.

“There’s going to be absentees,” he said. “However, we hope to have around 80 per cent of the players there.”

We won’t stand in his way!

Meanwhile the Derry City manager insists the club won’t stand in the way of Patrick McEleney and his proposed move to League One club, Peterborough United.

McEleney is keen on completing a cross-Channel move and Peterborough’s Director of Football, Barry Fry, is understood to have initiated talks with Derry City chairman, Mr Philip O’Doherty, however, they have yet to make a formal approach.

Gem from Ireland

‘Posh’ chairman, Darragh MacAnthony and manager Graham Westley both dropped transfer hints during a three-hour fans’ forum last weekend, claiming a ‘gem from Ireland’ is due to arrive at the club this week.

While, Derry are still waiting to hear back from the English club, Shiels insists the club will do whatever’s best for McEleney.

“I think it’s in the hands of the chairman now,” said Shiels. “He’s speaking with Peterborough. But the last thing we’re going to do is stand in the player’s way.

“We don’t want that to happen and we want to do what’s best for Patrick. Whatever Patrick wants we will try to accommodate.

“The club are supportive of Patrick 100 per cent and we’re just waiting on Peterborough getting back to us.

“They have spoken to the club and there is an interest. I would think Peterborough will contact us again within the next 24 or 48 hours but we’ll wait and see what develops.

“We’re certainly not standing in the way. We don’t want to lose Patrick but if it’s right for the player and for the club we’ll move on. If a player gets an opportunity like James McClean and Niall McGinn, then we’ll support that.”