‘Experienced Scottish midfielder’ close to signing for Derry

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Contract negotiations between Derry City F.C. and an “experienced Scottish midfielder” were at an advanced stage last night, the Sunday Journal has learned.

Contract negotiations between Derry City F.C. and an “experienced Scottish midfielder” were at an advanced stage last night, the Sunday Journal has learned.

The player, whose identity is yet to be revealed by Derry manager, Roddy Collins is believed to be in his 30s and has made over 300 appearances in English football’s League One.

“I’ve been in contact with the player since Christmas Eve and if everything goes according to plan he will sign for us next week.”

Dublin born Collins insisted the addition of the nameless Scottish midfielder to his squad would be of great importance to the team.

“I don’t like naming players until the deal to bring them to the club is done but it’s safe to say, I think the player would be a great asset to Derry City and I have no doubt his experience would be of great significance too.”

Collins has been a busy preparing his squad for the beginning of the 2014 Airtricity League campaign.

The former Shamrock Rovers and Carlisle United boss has made several key signings including experienced centre back Cliff Byrne and former Sligo Rovers captain, Danny Ventre, during the off season.

Collins will travel to London later today where it is expected he will attend a football match.

The reason behind the trip is for Collins to identify possible signings to be made when the transfer window reopens again during the summer.

“I always try to stay ahead of the game,” said Collins.

“I’ve identified about three players who will be available in July and I am going to have a look at one or two of them this weekend,” he confirmed.

Derry City’s next pre-season fixture is against Coleraine F.C. at the Brandywell next Saturday and with only Barry McNamee sustaining a minor injury during the week, Collins will have a full squad to chose from.

“I have to be honest with you and tell you that in all my time managing in professional football this has without question been the most perfect pre-season training operation I have ever come across.

“I’ve never been involved with such a bunch of co-operative players. We haven’t had one player turn up late, one absentee and there’s not one player swinging the led either.

“I have to single Patrick McEleney out for the way he has performed during pre-season. He has been excellent to work with.

“Rory Patterson has been excellent too. I can’t praise Rory highly enough. His support and dedication both on and off the pitch has been top class.”

Collins revealed he has decided who will captain the team during the 2014 season and despite refusing to name the player, he said it will be made known later next week.

“I have an idea of who will be captain in my head. I also want a players’ representative too and I know who that is going to be. Whoever captains Derry City will know how much of an honour it is. Not only for himself individually but it’ll be an honour to captain such a well supported team.”