DECLAN Devine is adamant that there’s not a club in the Premier Division who would not want his current crop of talented youngsters. And prior to this evening’s vital league game against Drogheda United, the Brandywell boss tied-up the immediate futures of the McEleney brothers, Shane and Patrick, who will remain at their home town club until the end of the 2015 season at least.
Indeed, Devine has now embarked on opening negotiations with those players whose contracts will expire come the end of the current season.
And he was delighted that the McEleneys had opted to extend their contracts for another two years.
“The future of Derry City lies in the hands of our younger players who form the nucleus of the team that will represent the club further down the line,” he declared.
“But while my current focus is on youth, I’d be the first to admit that our experienced players must also continue to play their part in helping to bring the youngsters through.
“In our first team squad of 21, no fewer than 14 of them are aged under the age of 24 years which is hugely significant.
“Personally, I’m delighted with the talent we have assembled and there’s not a club in Ireland who wouldn’t want the crop we have at our disposal as they are a very talented group,” he added.
“Shane and Patrick McEleney, despite their youth, have played over 100 competitive games for Derry City and both are developing into top quality performers in the Airtricity League.
“Shane, in my opinion, is maturing into an outstanding centre-back who will continue to improve and just 22, he brings so much to the table.
“Patrick, who is a year younger, is technically gifted, he can be what he wants to be.
“We will continue our player development and while some will move to clubs across the Channel, others will ply their trades at home and continue to improve other young players who will graduate into our first team squad.”
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