NEW DERRY City signing, Niclas Vemmelund may have limited knowledge of Irish football but the Danish defender believes Brandywell Stadium is the perfect place to re-launch his career.
The 23 year-old ex-Denmark U19 international signed a one-year deal along with Spanish midfielder, Cristian Delgado yesterday morning as the ‘Candy Stripes’ reported back for pre-season training at the Foyle Arena.
Vemmelund, who has an Icelandic Championship winners’ medal to his name with Stjarnan FC and recently played with Brommapojkarna in Sweden, has hopes of playing in England and he believes Derry offer him the best opportunity to progress.
“I honestly don’t know that much about the football here in Ireland,” he said. “But it’s a good option for me to improve my career.
“I have a dream to play in England so I think this is my best chance to get a move there eventually.”
Shiels was alerted to Vemmelund when playing for Stjarnan in the Europa League in 2014 when they defeated Motherwell and Lech Poznań before losing to Inter Milan.
And the versatile Vemmelund, who can play at right back or centre half, hopes that with that experience behind him, he can help Derry City achieve success next season.
“I played for Stjarnan in Iceland where we had the best season in the club’s history,” he explained. “We were undefeated the whole season and didn’t concede too many goals and it was a huge achievement for the club.
“Every club I go to I hope to achieve something. So if we achieve a European qualification and I don’t happen to be here next season then I’ll be happy to have helped the club achieve something.
“I’ve been playing right back for the last two years. I had a little period in Denmark when I played central defender but I’m quite good with both feet and I’m willing to play wherever required.”
Vemmelund, has recently returned from a holiday in Thailand and he’s excited about getting started now.
“It was good to relax and go away from football but now I’m ready to start again and work hard for Derry City.
“This is my first time in Ireland. I’ve played in Wales in the Europa League and in England and Scotland but never in Ireland. It’s a totally new experience.
“I’m looking forward to experiencing the history and culture of the city. My girlfriend Camilla will be coming over to stay with me next month so we’re looking forward to it.
“You can feel alone when you’re away but it’s nice to see other people and cultures, you learn a lot about yourself”.
Vemmelund played in Iceland the same year, Derry City midfielder, Harry Monaghan played for Víkingur, and while their paths didn’t cross, the Scot was one of the first players he met when he turned up for a friendly match against Limavady United before Christmas - a match where the Dane scored one and set up one of the goals.
“I scored and had one assist but it’s always hard to come and play one game. It went okay. My first impression of the club is quite good. Everyone is really friendly and I’m excited about this new challenge.”
Barcelona born midfielder, Delgado was also delighted to sign terms with Derry yesterday and Shiels believes the player possesses all the attributes to do well with the club.
“He’s neat and tidy, breaks the play up,” said Shiels. “He’s got a good range of passing and he’s good in the air. He can play centre back when required as can Vemmelund which means we don’t have to go and get a fourth centre half.
“But I’m delighted to get both of them on board.”