Derry City boss hails Shelbourne's Jordan McEneff as 'one of best I've ever seen'

RUAIDHRI Higgins claims Shelbourne’s on loan midfielder Jordan McEneff was ‘one of the best footballers I’ve ever seen’ when watching him strut his stuff as a teenager.

Arsenal youngster Jordan McEneff is on loan at Shelbourne and is set to face his hometown club Derry City at Tolka Park this weekend.
Arsenal youngster Jordan McEneff is on loan at Shelbourne and is set to face his hometown club Derry City at Tolka Park this weekend.

It’s understood the Derry City boss considered bringing the talented Arsenal youngster to Brandywell on a short term loan this season but all parties involved felt the move wasn’t quite right after two years on the sidelines.

A close family friend of the McEneffs, Higgins has been a long time admirer of the 21 year-old who made his first start of the season for Damien Duff’s Shels in the scoreless draw with UCD last Monday night. The Derry boss is ‘delighted’ to see the brother of ex-Derry City midfielder Aaron back playing football again and claims there’s no ceiling’ on what he can achieve if he stays injury free.

“I know Jordan really well. I know his family really well. He’s a brilliant young man. He’s had a really tough few years with injury and I’m just delighted to see him back playing again and fit.

“If he can stay fit and get himself going again he’ll be excellent. As a 14 or 15 year-old he was one of the best footballers I ever saw and I mean that. Hopefully he can remain injury free and kick on and have the career I believe he can have. If he does stay fit, there’s no ceiling on what he can achieve.”

Shels boss Duff shares Higgins enthusiasm for the player who is in the final year of his Arsenal contract and the Ireland legend hopes McEneff will stay beyond his initial six month contract.

“He’s had nearly two years off. It’s just about getting him up to speed. It’s not ideal with trying to get on grass patches at the minute, it’s not ideal for him with his loan and what have you.

“Listen, with Jordy, he’s obviously signed until the summer and hoping he’ll enjoy it that much and be up to a certain speed so he’s actually catching people’s eye, that he wants to stay until the end of the season.

“There’s so much more to come from him.”

The player was taken off in the first half against UCD at the Belfield as a precautionary but is expected to return to play against his hometown club this weekend.

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