RODDY Collins last night scotched rumours that current Derry GAA forward, Eoin Bradley, would be joining the Brandywell club next month, but he did admit that he would be bringing one of his targets in for further talks over the next 24 hours.
Bradley (28), from Glenullin near Dungiven, is currently impressing in the Irish League for Coleraine having emerged the ‘Bannsiders’ main marksman.
And the fact that he is understood to be out of contract in January has added fuel to the speculation.
However, while it had been suggested that Derry City representatives had watched the player perform recently in the 3-2 defeat by Linfield at the Showgrounds - Bradley netting both goals - Collins immediately dismissed the rumours.
“It’s got to the stage that some players appear to be using Derry City as a bargaining tool,” declared Collins.
“I’m not saying that’s the case with Bradley, but I’ve been contacted by other managers asking me similar questions in relation to other players they hope to sign,” added the Dubliner.
“I don’t know Eoin Bradley, I’ve never spoken to him so talk of the player coming to Derry is news to me. Obviously, I’d never write off any quality player expressing a desire to join us, but I honestly don’t know where this particular rumour is coming from.”
But the Derry boss did admit that one of his targets would be in Derry for further discussions over the next 24 hours, having a look around the club’s facilities.
“I have opened tentative negotiations with a number of players over the past few days and I will have one coming in for further discussions this week,” he confirmed.
“He’s a player I believe would improve us, but it would be wrong of me to identify him at this early stage of negotiations. He appears to be interested and I have been encouraged by his interest in joining us, but I’ve learned through experience not to take anything for granted until he actually agrees to sign.
“As I keep saying, I’m not in any rush to sign players. The new season will not kick-off for another 12 weeks, so there’s no panic.
“Add in the fact that over 1,800 players will be released by their clubs in England and Scotland next month and that tells me I’m not in any hurry. Players who will be released next month will not require pre-season campaigns which can be a major benefit. Fitness will not be an issue with them.
“But I also have to state that Derry City have a very good group at the Brandywell already and I certainly haven’t lost sight of that. I do believe we need experience in certain areas, but it’s not a major overhaul or anything like that, but it’s vital that we get the right type of players that tick all the boxes.
“I could fill our dressing room with new faces and I will continue to talk with quite a few before the Christmas period, but I’m not panicking. I’m not in any rush to sign players because I don’t need to be,” maintained the Dubliner.
Manager, Fans Get-together
Meanwhile, the Brandywell club will stage another get-together with supporters this evening in the Derry City Social Club at 7.30 p.m. and Collins openly welcomed the function.
The manager will be joined at the top table by his assistant, Peter Hutton and club chairman, Philip O’Doherty.
“I’m happy to speak with supporters and keep them informed of what’s happening on the team front,” continued the Dubliner.
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“Obviously as a manager I’m delighted to note that Derry City have fans very interested in what’s going on at the club and I’m delighted to play my part on that front,” he concluded.
Season tickets, which remain on sale in the Brandywell Office from 10 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. each day will also be on sale tonight in the Social Club.
Prices remain the same as last season’s tickets and, as usual, season tickets can be paid for in instalments.
The Adult Stand ticket is priced at £180 with a Concessionary Stand ticket at £125. (Concessionary tickets are available to women over-60, men over-65 and students who hold the relevant student card).
Other special deals include - Adult Stand + 1 Child Under-12 will cost £220; Adult Stand + 2 Children Under-12 costs £255 and an Adult Stand + 3 Children U12 costs £270.
Schoolchildren tickets (under-17) are priced at £75.
Adult Terrace Season Tickets remain at £155 with Concessionary Terrace Season Tickets priced at £115.