BRANDYWELL boss, Roddy Collins, has made an appeal to everyone associated with Derry City Football Club asking them: “Not to settle for second best!”
And having spent quite a few hours over Christmas watching matches from last season on DVD, Collins insisted that the talent currently employed at the Brandywell must be the envy of so many of the other top clubs.
The Dubliner has continued to speak with potential recruits and with so many players having given him the ‘thumbs up,’ he believes the future was bright, just like Christmas “it’s red and white!” he laughed.
Having spoken regularly to former Sligo Rovers boss, Paul Cook, who now holds the managerial reins at League Two side, Chesterfield, Collins was given a real boost.
“It’s just that the players andmanagers I’ve spoken to remain upbeat when I mention Derry City,” he said.
“I think people realise that the club plays football the way it should be played and having then watched so many DVD’s of matches from last season, I have to admit, it’s really has given me a great buzz.”
“I’ve continued to speak to players and while I’ve openly said that we don’t need too many new faces, a few experienced heads in the right areas would be excellent,” he added.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the Christmas period and I honestly can’t wait to get started in pre-season.
“I will have a few players over to have a good look at them and I always want to run my eyes over our own players on the training ground.”
While acknowledging the fact that the nucleus of a decent team was in place before he arrived, he asked his players and, indeed, supporters not to settle for second best any longer.
“Let’s us make a New Year’s Resolution that we’re not going to settle for second best,” declared the Dubliner.
“I think it’s vitally important that players believe in themselves as the squad that’s in place in my view, will challenge at the business end of the table.
“I’m not going to make any predictions at this stage, but if I can get three, four or even five experienced players, then I do believe this club will become a force.”
And he dismissed suggestions that a top four finish would prove to be acceptable in his first year in charge on Foyleside.
“Shamrock Rovers have flattered to deceived over recents. They’ve now got a second team in the First Division which is absolutely amazing,” he remarked. “St. Pat’s have added Mark Quigley. I don’t fancy him while Keith Fahy has returned and he hasn’t played in over a year, so that’s interesting. “I think Cork City, under a new manager, will face a period of transition as will Drogheda while Sligo have been forced into cuts in their budget.
“Dundalk were the surprise packages from last season and every other team will be fully aware of their credentials this season, so really what have Derry City got to fear?” he asked. “The majority of last year’s squad remains in place and the younger players are now another year more experienced. That can’t be bad.
“I will be asking the players to arrive for work with a smile on their face. Enjoy their training and give me 100 per cent on the pitch. That’s all I can ask of them, do that and I’ll worry about the results,” he continued. “I don’t believe any team will run away with the league title, it will be won over the final six games of the season so the key is, obviously, to remain within touching distance.
“I promise that I will give 100 per cent and I can assure the players that if they remain loyal and do as I ask then we will all improve.”