STEPHEN Dooley has become the latest player from last season’s Derry City squad to leave Brandywell Stadium, claiming he’s ‘excited’ about a ‘new challenge’ at Cork City.
The Portstewart winger claimed he was torn between staying on Foyleside and a move to Leeside last week, however, he was unveiled as John Caulfield’s latest signing this morning.
Dooley follows in the footsteps of Mark Timlin (St Patrick’s Athletic), Patrick McEleney (Dundalk) and Ryan Curran (Finn Harps) who have left Derry to join other League of Ireland clubs in the close season.
The 24-year-old’s time with the ‘Candy Stripes’ was dogged by injury and the winger made just 14 league appearances for Derry City last season, scoring twice.
Dooley said that he is looking forward to moving to Leeside to join last season’s league runners-up and he will make an early return to Brandywell on the second day of the season when the teams first meet.
“I’m very excited, it’s a new challenge for me and I am looking forward to getting started,” said Dooley.
I’m very excited, it’s a new challenge for me and I am looking forward to getting started.Stephen Dooley
“A few players have come in and a few have left, but the base from the last couple of seasons is still there and they have done very well.
“City have come second twice and hopefully, with a few additions, we can push all the way.
“I just want to nail down a starting place and, hopefully, contribute as much as I can to the team. I want to get a good pre-season under my belt, get in as good shape as I can and take it from there. The team has been right up there for the last two seasons, so there is no reason why we shouldn’t be looking to finish first this year; there’s no reason why this team can’t do that.”
Cork City boss, Caulfield said he was very pleased to have captured the signature of Dooley, who will join up with his new teammates for pre-season training in the coming days:
“I’m very happy that Stephen is joining us,” said Caulfield. “He’s a player that I have admired when I have seen him in action; he’s an old-fashioned winger, he likes to take on full-backs and go past them.
“He can play on the left or the right, he’s direct, he’s pacey and he chips in with a few goals as well. I think he will be a very exciting player for us and I think the supporters will enjoy seeing him in action.”