NEW Derry City boss, Roddy Collins, is set to identify his first signing over the next 48 hours as the Dubliner commences his tenure at the Brandywell.
And, as he stated during last week’s Press Conference, the youngster involved is viewed as a striker with potential rather than an experienced front man.
As he prepares to move into his office at the Lone Moor Road venue today, his priority is to arrange face-to-face talks with members of his playing staff tomorrow (Wednesday).
Hoping to hit the ground running, Collins made it clear last night that nothing was set in stone and everyone would receive a fair hearing.
“The new players to be brought in initially are not experienced campaigners,” claimed the Dubliner last night. “They are lads I believe have the potential to play at the top level in the League of Ireland.
“I’ve no intention to seeking experienced players until I see for myself what I need for the new season,” he added.
“On Wednesday I hope to sit down with individual players and have a chat with them to find out how they are feeling and what the future holds in store for them.”
And Collins also confirmed that he would be opening discussions with the club captain, Kevin Deery, whose career has been threatened due to persistent knee problems.
“Before any new player is signed, I have to talk to all the lads - both the young and the experienced. That’s my priority.
“I also want to talk to Kevin Deery as I can relate to what he has been going through over recent seasons due to injury. I’ve fractured my shin bone twice and I’ve been there on the sidelines with my fair share of injuries, so I think I can identify with the frustrations he has been going through,” noted the new boss.
“While I am fully aware of Kevin’s injury problems, I also know what he is capable of doing on a football pitch, so we’ve a lot to talk about and I want to help him in any way I can.
“I’d like to know what’s going on in his head and I would like to help him build his confidence which, I suspect, may be very low at the moment,” continued Collins.
However, the 52-year-old said he really was “buzzing” at the thought of getting to work at managing the Brandywell club.
“I’m really on a high at the moment. I’ve already made the move to the city as I don’t believe that managing Derry can be done in half measures. I remain very excited and the fact that the club has a decent group of players already signed is a major plus factor for me.
“I hope to meet every player face-to-face, I’ve spoken to some over the telephone, but that’s not good enough for me. For those who buy into my ways, I promise they will thoroughly enjoy playing for Derry City Football Club. Yes, I demand hard work and honesty and I’m not in a rush to sign anyone at this early stage given the quality of players that are at Derry already,” he insisted.
“Obviously, there are areas that need to be looked at but I certainly will not be bringing in journey men who want to earn a few bob. I need players who want to be in a position to walk the streets of Derry, able to hold their heads high after giving their all on the pitch.
“I’m not into those guys who run towards supporters kissing the badge on their jersey, I’ve no time for that. I want players who will relish a new challenge and player who live their lives as good professionals and good people.”
And the new boss refused to rule out any out of contract player who wished to remain at the club.
“I’m aware that Stewart Greacen has returned to Scotland, so I don’t know what’s happening on that front at the moment.
“I also know that Rory Patterson is not in Derry at the moment, so I hope to have a chat with him when he returns home. As a manager, I can’t dismiss a striker who is capable of netting in excess of 20 goals a season, you simply can’t buy that commodity,” he concluded.