Paddy McCourt expected to make decision this week as Derry boss refuses to dwell on former Celtic star

Northern Ireland international and former Celtic star Paddy McCourt has been a free agent since leaving Luton Town earlier this year.
Northern Ireland international and former Celtic star Paddy McCourt has been a free agent since leaving Luton Town earlier this year.

KENNY SHIELS is refusing to talk any further about his decision not to pursue a move for N. Ireland international, Paddy McCourt, despite facing a backlash from sections of the club’s support.

The former Celtic star is expected to make a decision on his future by the end of this week with several Irish League and League of Ireland clubs interested.

And while Derry City boss, Shiels stands by his decision not to pursue what would have been a marquee signing, he’s growing weary of the criticism directed at the club for their failure to capture the popular playmaker.

Instead he wants to focus on his side’s push for European qualification and their upcoming clash against Bohemians at Dalymount Park on Friday.

The emergence of promising youngsters, Josh Daniels, Ronan Curtis, Conor McDermott and Aaron McEneff were behind his reasons for refusing to enter further talks with free agent, McCourt.

And Shiels says it’s now ‘time to move on’ and forget about the Shantallow man returning to Brandywell.

“I don’t want to say anything more about it,” said Shiels last night. “It’s finished and it’s been blown out of proportion. It seems to have gone viral.

“At a different stage of the season I would have had a different view, but we’re so far into the season.

“It’s done and dusted,” he continued. “I want to move on so let’s move on. I just want to talk about the next game and how we prepare for that. I’m not saying anything more about it!, he said defiantly.

“The next game is so important to us and I don’t want to start going over old ground about Paddy McCourt. That’s history now, it’s gone!

“Paddy’s a great player but I don’t want to talk about it any more. There’s other players about here we have to speak about - our own players and the progress that Aaron McEneff has made, Josh Daniels, Ronan Curtis, Nathan Boyle.

“Are people seeing them progress? I’m sure they are. That should be the topic of conversation.

“We’ve had one defeat in seven games. Everyone was talking about the defeat to Dundalk but we’ve bounced back well. I was pleased with Friday’s performance. I think they did exceptionally well and showed a good hunger.

“We’re going well and have just come off the back of a 4-0 win. We have to see that as a plus for us.

“Hopefully we can back it up with another victory against Bohemians.

“We’re 11 points clear of fifth place which is a fantastic achievement and we must continue to try and move forward. So we’d be delighted to get a good result down there.”

Twigg never a target!

Shiels also slammed rumours new Coleraine striker, Gary Twigg had turned down a move to Derry in favour of joining the ‘Bannsiders’.

The former Shamrock Rovers and Portadown hitman signed a one year deal with the option of a second at Shiels’ son-in-law, Oran Kearney’s club. However, the Derry boss revealed 31 year-old Twigg was never on his radar.

“I don’t know were that’s come from,” said the Derry boss.

“There was never anything in that. We’re working with what we have.”