Derry City defender, Daniel Lafferty, has joined English Championship side Brighton and Hove Albion on trial, the Sunday Journal can exclusively reveal.
The Sunday Journal also believes that should Lafferty’s trial prove successful it could result in Derry receiving a transfer fee in the region of £250,000.
The 22 year-old left-back had been on trial with Derby County last month but after sustaining a minor hamstring injury his time with the Rams was prematurely cut short.
“I’ll be heading over to Brighton [and Hove Albion] for a trial on Sunday [today],” Lafferty told the Sunday Journal yesterday afternoon.
“I don’t want to get too ahead of myself as nothing is signed, sealed or delivered. I have been given a trial so it’s up to me to convince the manager [Gus Poyet] that I’ve got what it takes to play at that level.”
He added: “The injury I picked up when on trial with Derby County was a minor one and I feel 100 per cent. I’ve been keeping myself in shape and training away.”
The Sunday Journal believes that Lafferty from Carnhill will take part in training with the rest of the Brighton and Hove Albion team tomorrow and may be given the chance to impress in a reserve game against fellow Championship side Reading on Tuesday evening.
“I am really excited to be going,” said Lafferty happily.
“Getting a chance to shine with a club like Brighton is why I became a professional footballer.
“I am delighted to get the chance but I am under no illusions that there’s still plenty of hard work to be done. Until I am told different I am still under contract with Derry City Football Club.
“I think Brighton’s assistant manager and one of their coaches had been to see me play and they’ve told Gus Poyet what they think of me.
“Gus Poyet hasn’t seen me play yet so it’s up to me to prove to him that I have what it takes.”
Although clearly excited at the prospect of going on trial with Gus Poyet’s team Lafferty was quick to point out that it would not have been possible without the help and support he has received during his time with Derry City.
The pacey full-back joined Derry in the summer of 2010 and has since gone on to be one of the team’s best players.
Not only can Lafferty defend but he’s extremely comfortable when moving forward and scored five goals for the Candy Stripes last season.
“I wouldn’t be getting this opportunity if it wasn’t for Derry City Football Club and Stephen Kenny.
“I think the reason I did well last season was because of the team’s style of play.
“Stephen Kenny and Decky Devine play football the way it’s supposed to be played. I owe the club so much and I am very thankful to everything they have given me and helped me with.”
Elsewhere, it has been reported that Derry man, Darron Gibson, is to be sold by Manchester United during the January transfer window.
Gibson, (24), made his first appearance since May for Manchester United in the team’s humiliating 2-1 Carling Cup defeat to Crystal Palace at Old Trafford earlier this week.
Manager Sir Alex Ferguson apologised to fans after the game and it is believed that a number of players will be sold in January.
United had agreed a deal with Sunderland for Gibson during the summer but the Hazelbank midfielder failed to agree personal terms.