Derry City boss Roddy Collins seemed resigned to losing out on Cliff Byrne yesterday evening following an approach to the defender by League 1 side Carlisle United.
“Cliff wouldl have been a massive signing for us but I was always prepared for the fact that someone might come in for him,” said Collins.
“It was looking good last night (Fri) but I got a call from Cliff first thing this morning to say he’d been invited to Carlisle. If he gets off the train there he’s gone - he’s a great lad.”
Strengthening the City defence remains Collins’ top priority as he targets four more signings. It’s emerged that another possible addition is former Ipswich Town defender Shane O’Connor, who’s more recently been turning out with Portadown.
“Shane can play in the left back or left midfield slots and he’s coming along on trial next week,” said Collins.
O’Connor was attached to Shamrock Rovers before the move to Portadown. He started brightly for the Irish League outfit with what was described as an ‘eye-catching debut’ in the 5-0 away hammering of Dungannon Swifts back in October. He hasn’t featured for Portadown in recent games.
Collins said City are close to getting the signature of former Kilmarnock striker Mark Stewart. The left-sided former Sligo Rovers player Iarfhlaith Davoren is also still in the reckoning, as is Tim Clancy.
Nigerian Akanni-Sunday Wasiu, a striker who Collins encountered during his time managing in Malta, is another possible target.
“He’s arrived in London and I’ll deal with him when I get the defence sorted.”