THE LEAGUE of Ireland transfer deadline slammed shut yesterday evening and while Derry City boss, Kenny Shiels refrained from delving into the market, he plans on resuming talks with midfielder, Keith Ward tonight in the hope of striking a deal.
The former Dundalk and Sligo Rovers midfielder played 60 minutes of the ‘Candy Stripes’ 1-0 defeat to the ‘Bit O’Red’ at the Showgrounds on Saturday night and Shiels was impressed with what he saw from the out-of-contract Dubliner.
Shiels takes his troops to the Oval to face Glentoran tonight for the club’s final pre-season fixture (kick-off 7.45 p.m.) and the Derry boss is eager to get another look at the experienced Ward before making a decision.
“We’ll be holding further talks but we’ll have another look at him tomorrow night first and take it from there,” said the Derry boss last night.
“I’m doing my best to get something tied up,” he added. “We’re having talks after tomorrow night’s game and we’ll see what comes out of that.
“I thought he (Ward) played well on Saturday night. He’s an intelligent player and he makes some good, decent passes to the front men.
“We’ll see how well he can fit into our system. I’ll not be speaking to him until after tomorrow night’s game but we’ll continue our negotiations after that.”
Meanwhile, Shiels rubbished speculation linking ex-Derry City striker, David McDaid (pictured) with a return to the Brandywell for a third spell before last night’s deadline, claiming the rumours were merely ‘conjecture’.
McDaid, who has another year remaining on his contract with Cliftonville, was subject of a £10,000 bid from Linfield before the Irish League’s transfer deadline last month which was rejected, however, Shiels claims the striker was never on his radar.
Shiels is hoping tonight’s rescheduled match at the Oval will offer his players a chance to improve their match sharpness ahead of the League of Ireland opener on March 4th against Finn Harps.
“We’re trying to balance it up and make sure people get the right amount of game time,” continued Shiels. “The aim against Glentoran is to improve our fitness and game sharpness. Our fitness is quite good but we need to get sharper.”
Midfielder, Conor McCormack is expected to sit out tonight’s match through injury.
Derry City Open Day
Derry City will be holding their annual Open Day on Saturday, February 27th, from 12noon until 2pm.
Supporters will get the chance to meet the first team squad, manager Kenny Shiels and his back-room team.
Some young fans will also join in on a training session with the Derry City players, get to chat, take photographs and receive autographs from the players.
There will be face painting, competitions, prizes and lots, lots more.