Farren’s “just happy to be back playing”

�/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 25th February 2012. ''Derry City Football Club 2012.''Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
�/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 25th February 2012. ''Derry City Football Club 2012.''Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
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Mark Farren’s goal against Cork City at the Brandywell on Friday meant much more than just his first goal of the 2012 season.

Farren spoke honestly and openly after the game and said that as far as he was concerned scoring goals was a bonus, he’s just glad to be back doing something that he loves.

“I don’t think anyone can understand how happy I am to be back playing. I love football so much. I think that despite everything I would have always been involved in football but to be playing in front of the supporters at the Brandywell is just amazing for me - I can’t describe it in words what it means to me.

“To be honest I am delighted to be back playing football again, never mind anything else.

“I have been coming on during a few games and I feel myself getting sharper and sharper and I think that there’s still a lot to come from me this season,” said Farren.

Farren retired from football almost two years to undergo brain surgery. Few ever believed that they would see the 29 year-old back playing football, never mind for Derry City.

Testament to his strength of character he remained involved with Derry City last season and after recovering from major brain surgery he returned once more for Derry against Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds in 2011.

“I am delighted to have got my first goal because obviously when you come back it hits you like a tonne of bricks just how fast the game is.

“I am definitely feeling better for it.”

Farren’s strike against Cork means that he moves to within three of goals of equalising Liam Coyle’s record tally of 122.

Asked if he has thought surpassing Coyle’s remarkable achievement, Farren said that although it would be a great honour to have his name in the record books he would prefer if the team was to win every game.

“I haven’t really thought about it to be honest. Obviously it would be great to surpass such an amazingly talented player as Liam Coyle but all that I am concerned with is making sure the team play well and win games.”

McClean

Elsewhere, former Derry City player James McClean has been rewarded with his magnificent displays for Sunderland in the English Premiership.

The 22 year-old Creggan Heights winger agreed a deal that will see him remain at the Stadium of Light until the summer of 2015.

“I am over the moon,” said McClean.

“I am absolutely delighted to be able to sign and to be able to remain here for the next few years. It’s nice to be offered a new contract as it shows I am doing pretty well.”