Devine optimistic over griffin deal

Dundalk's Marc Griffin celebrates his first goal against Drogheda United in their Airtricity League Premier Division Local Derby at Hunky Dorys Park, Drogheda
Dundalk's Marc Griffin celebrates his first goal against Drogheda United in their Airtricity League Premier Division Local Derby at Hunky Dorys Park, Drogheda
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Derry City manager, Declan Devine, remained optimistic that a deal to bring Marc Griffin to Brandywell will go through before the League of Ireland’s transfer deadline on February 22.

The 22 year-old Australian born striker is thought to be keen on a move to the Brandywell and despite being out of contract, his old club, Dundalk F.C., are entitled to compensation because he is under the age of 23.

“The two chairmen are still in negotiations. I thought last week we were only days away from finalising the deal for Marc but it’s been another week and we are still no further forward,” said Devine.

“It’s sort of out of my hands to be honest and although it’s really frustrating, I just feel for Marc because he’s in a sort of a limbo land at the minute.

“Marc wants to sign for Derry City and he’s enjoying training with the rest of the team - I think it’s got to the stage now that everyone just wants the deal to be done and dusted so that we can start concentrating on getting ready for the new season.”

Griffin had been linked with a possible move to AFC Wimbledon and Limerick City but having joined up with the rest of the Derry City squad and former team mate Michael Rafter, the Brandywell looks like the most likely of destinations for next season.

“It’s no secret, I am a fan of Marc Griffin,” said Devine.

“He’s a player I have wanted to bring to this club for quite a while now.

“At the minute we are trying to put all of our energy into getting ready and being sharp ahead of the start of the season so the last thing we need is something like this to be dragging on and on.

“There’s always a little bit of doubt that a deal will go through until the player signs on the dotted line but I know Marc’s intentions and he wants to be playing in a Derry City F.C. jersey next season. Hopefully Marc’s intentions become reality very soon.” insisted Devine.

Derry will take on Irish League new comers, Ballinamallard United at Ferney Park in Fermanagh tomorrow night.

Devine explained that his team are excited at the prospect of playing their first pre-season friendly of the season and the Derry boss agreed that the Fermanagh based side should give the Candy Stripes a “good test”.

“It was frustrating last week when the game against Institute was called off so I hope the weather holds up over the weekend and we are ok to play against Ballinamallard on Monday.

“Our fitness levels are good - don’t get me wrong, we still need to improve, but I think that Ballinamallard will give us a good test when we play them on Monday night.

“They have turned a few heads in the Irish League this season and Monday’s game will be a good chance for some of the newer players in our squad to familiarise themselves with rest of the team.”

Derry City will travel to a training facility in Monaghan later this week where they will spend three days working on fitness and conditioning.