KENNY SHIELS says Josh Daniels’ emotional return for Derry City in last night’s EA Sports Cup win over Sligo Rovers, just weeks after the death of his family in the Buncrana Pier Tragedy, has given everyone at the club a huge lift.
The ‘Candy Stripes’ were leading 2-0 through first half goals from Nathan Boyle when Josh took to the field for the first time since the win over Galway on March 14th, as a substitute for the goalscorer on 59 minutes.
And the talented Galliagh lad received the biggest cheer of the night as he entered the fray to a standing ovation from the Brandywell support.
His introduction gave the game a much needed spark and City boss, Shiels was delighted to see him back.
“I think it was good for everyone,” said the Derry boss. “I felt the game had gone flat; I felt the crowd had gone flat and bringing Josh on gave everyone a lift - myself the staff, the players and the supporters.
“I knew it would have that effect and I think the timing was pretty good and it gave us the mental strength and emotional energy to go through and finish the game out.
I felt the game had gone flat; I felt the crowd had gone flat and bringing Josh on gave everyone a lift - myself the staff, the players and the supporters.Kenny Shiels
“I was really delighted for him. Hopefully his career can kick on now.”
Josh took to his personal Twitter account after the game to express his delight at getting back on the pitch, claiming there was ‘no better feeling’.
‘Good to get back. No better feeling. Absolutely wrecked but I’m sure I’ll be sharper in next few weeks.’
Josh tragically lost his mother, Ruth, his younger sister Jodie-Lee, brother-in-law Sean McGrotty and nephews Mark and Evan in an incident at Buncrana Pier when the car they were in appeared to slide off the slipway into the waters of Lough Swilly last month.