Derry City midfielder, Barry Molloy, believes the recent signings of Simon Madden and Paddy Kavanagh will help the club improve on their league campaign next season.
The Candy Stripes finished in fifth place, 22 points behind Airtricity Premier Division champions, Sligo Rovers, Molloy thinks that the decision of full-back Madden to re-sign and of Kavanagh to join sends out a strong message to other teams in the league.
“I think the signings of Simon Madden and Paddy Kavanagh sends out a good signal all over Ireland that we are looking to strengthen and push on and push forward. There are five competitions for us to play in next season so we want to do well in every one of them. Obviously we are the FAI Cup holders so we will be keen to defend it and we will be determined to improve upon our league form.
“The league position doesn’t lie. We finished in fifth last season and to be honest it’s something that I and the rest of the team were not completely happy with.”
Molloy said he thought Simon Madden to be one of the club’s best assets and said that along with winger Stephen McLaughlin, he was Derry’s best player last season.
“I am sure Simon Madden was not short of offers from other clubs,” Molloy told the ‘Sunday Journal’.
“It’s great that he has agreed to stay here for another season.
“To be honest with you, I was surprised that I got any awards because of how good Stephen McLaughlin and Simon Madden were throughout the season.
“Simon, especially, was outstanding for us last year and was probably involved in a high percentage of our goals.
“I think he’s the best right-back in the country and it shows how much he thinks of Derry City Football Club and it shows how much he thinks of Declan Devine and Paul Hegarty because he obviously had other offers.
“I know every player and every supporter is delighted because they know what Simon brings to the table.”
Molloy has played against Derry’s latest signing, right-winger Paddy Kavanagh, for years and the Bellevue Avenue born midfielder says that Kavanagh is an exciting player with bags of talent.
“I have played against Paddy a good few times and each time he has been more than a handful.
“I don’t know Paddy personally yet but I know he has the ability to change a game in a second - he’s very talented.”
Molloy said that although 2012 was an enjoyable season for him, he was equally delighted to see manager Declan Devine lead Derry to glory earlier this month.
“People don’t realise the challenge Declan had on his hands this year. He had an unbelievable injury and suspension list to deal with .
“Beyond that, he has been amazing to me off the field of play with the few problems I have had and I will never forget that.
“No one is more passionate about this club than Declan Devine and I was delighted for him when we won the cup.
“I can’t speak highly enough of him and it really made my season that he won a trophy because it means so much to him.