Paddy set to ‘Spark’ new life into City

New Derry City F.C signing Paddy Kavanagh. (2311PG96)
New Derry City F.C signing Paddy Kavanagh. (2311PG96)
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PADDY Kavanagh has finally joined Derry City as a player, the right winger viewing the move as a case of “third time lucky!”

ARTHUR DUFFY reports

Former Brandywell boss, Stephen Kenny, has been keen on the Dubliner when he was plying his trade at the Carlisle Grounds in Bray and Derry were also keen before he left Shamrock Rovers to sign for Shelbourne.

However, when contacted by the local club a few weeks ago, he felt he had to give it a go with everything seeming to fall into place since.

“Obviously I was aware that Derry were keen to sign me in the past and I think this was a case of third time lucky. Last year I had already signed for Shels when the call came while before that Bray were not prepared to let me go, so the telephone call was perfect this time and I was very interested in joining the club,” said Kavanagh.

Well experienced in the League of Ireland game, the 26-year-old winger has won a league title with Shamrock Rovers and having already experienced European football he was keen to be involved in all the main competitions this season.

“Derry are involved in everything, including the Setanta Cup, so I think the club is in for a busy time of it in 2013 and having heard so much about the City of Culture, I think the club is anxious to play its part in the celebrations,” he noted.

And while he viewed a career in football as a short-term experience, he was anxious to go as far as he could but, at the same time, he preferred to have a Plan B to fall back on should his career not take him where he had hoped to go.

“I’m due to complete three exams at College in Dublin before December 7th and should I pass those exams, then I’ll become a fully trained electrician. So if there are any electrical contractors in Derry who wish to give a footballer a few hours a week, I’d be very happy to speak to them,” he laughed.

“But seriously, there must be something in the water up here. Derry have sold so many players to cross-Channel clubs over recent seasons but, at the same time, any player who has experienced life at the Brandywell has left the club as an improved player.

“I think that’s a great reputation for any club to have and, hopefully, I will enjoy a similar experience. I’ve played with Simon Madden for half a season at Rovers, so I expect to fit in as soon as possible. First and foremost, I want to win something with Derry City and I think 2013 could well prove to be the club’s year to win the Premier Division title.

“I remember reading that, on occasions, Derry had to plan without eight to 10 players for certain matches last year. They had lost the spine of the team, yet they still qualified for all the major competitions. I think if they had the use of all their players, then they really could have gone on and challenge Sligo Rovers for the title.”

Impressive City Centre

Based in the City Hotel over the past few days, Kavanagh has walked extensively through the city centre, he has toured the city walls and yesterday strode across the Peace Bridge to take in Ebrington Square and he continues to be impressed.

“The city was buzzing on Wednesday night as I watched the official turn-on of the Christmas tree lights. It was a great experience to see people preparing for Christmas. Everyone has been so nice to me since I arrived and I’ve also been out for a meal with two members of the Derry team (Ruaidhri Higgins and Patrick McEleney) which was also very much appreciated.

“Brandywell Stadium has always been one of my personal favourite venues to play in, so to now be part of the home side when playing there will be something special for me.

“As I’ve said, everything has been fantastic. The people I have met have been really nice and now it’s all about preparing for the new season and making sure that I will be in a position to hit the ground running,” he concluded.