Out of favour defender, Shane McEleney, has hit back following the news that he had been placed on the transfer list by Derry City yesterday afternoon.
The 23-years-old centre-back, who lost his place in the Derry first team following the arrival of former boss, Roddy Collins, at the start of last season, failed to make a significant impact under current boss, Peter Hutton.
However, he appealed for a chance to prove the current management team wrong, insisting he would be an asset at the club and that he did not wish to play for any other team.
Including substitute appearances, the defender made just 19 appearances during the 2014 campaign.However, having contacted the Earhart Park man when the news broke late yesterday afternoon, McEleney was determined to stay and play his part for his home town club.
“It was clear from early days that Roddy Collins had others in mind to play in the central defensive positions,” said the player.
“And as he was the new manager, that was something I had to respect and deal with but he went close to ending my career as a footballer,” insisted McEleney.
“So, when he was sacked I can’t say that I had too much sympathy for him and I had hoped that Peter Hutton would at least give me a chance to express myself.”
UNDER CONTRACT FOR
McEleney who, like Rory Patterson, has another year of his contract to run, said he was bitterly disappointed when informed of the situation.
“I never got a look-in when Peter (Hutton) took over but I did hope that the situation would change as the season progressed.
“Unfortunately for me, it didn’t. I played four or five games at right-back when asked to but it’s no secret that I’m not a right-back and never have been,” he insisted.
“I would be the first to admit that those performances did me no favours, but I was played out of position and I do get the feeling that my future with Derry may well have been decided on those particular displays which would be unfair in my view.”
However, he opted to be professional and would wait to see what developed once the Transfer Window opened on January 1st.
“There’s no point in staying if I’m not wanted. Maybe my face doesn’t fit anymore, I don’t know, but I’ve always wanted to represent my home town club and that position hasn’t changed.
“I’ve been at the Brandywell for the last five seasons but I really do believe I deserve a chance to prove myself and I’ve told Peter that.”
He also confirmed that he had met his manager over recent deays to discuss his own situation.
“We did meet recently and the main talk surrounded the size of the budget for the 2015 season.
“I may be under contract for another year, but he felt there was to be no future for me at the Brandywell and that really hurt me. After all, so many players have already left the club and I have always been keen to be involved in a set-up which is dominated by local players.
“But I honestly believe that I’m entitled to another chance to prove myself and while I’ve already mentioned that to Peter, he appears to be set in his ways.
“I’m really disappointed that it has come to this and to say that I’m hurt would be an understatement.
“After Collins had left the club, I really felt my fortunes would take a turn for the best, after all, I’d been there for so long and made the breakthrough from the youth set-up under former manger, Stephen Kenny.
“Having broken through into the first team, I’ve aways been there or thereabouts but once my career was messed up by Collins, I would admit that I lost my way a bit and, maybe, my head wasn’t in the right place even after he had left the club.”
WISHES TO REMAIN AT
McEleney made it abundantly clear he did not wish to leave the Brandywell and, indeed, did not wish to play for any other club.
“I want to stay and prove myself again. I want to battle for my place in the first team. I’m happy to state that I’m willing to get stuck in, make sure I get a good pre-season campaign under by belt and give it another go if the management team would let me.
“Yes, I’m disappointed with what I’ve been told. I’m hurt and unhappy, but there’s only one club I wish to represent and I would appeal to the management to give me another chance to prove that it would be wrong for me to move on.
“I really want the chance to prove them wrong and kick-start my career.
“Personally, I believe I would be asset at Derry City, I’ve always believed in my own ability and I feel I can change a few minds if given the opportunity.
“I’m also honest enough to admit that things have not gone well for me in the past and while I would admit that I must share the blame for that, I’m prepared to put my head down, work hard and prove myself again and I belIeve I can do that,” he concluded.