Joining from Shamrock Rovers after a successful loan spell at Bray Wanderers last season, Kavanagh believes he’s ready to return to playing top flight football having grown and matured as a player.
The Ireland U21 international had plenty of options but insists Derry stood out as a ‘big opportunity’ and he’s excited to be a part of Ruaidhri Higgins’ revolution on Foyleside.
“I’m delighted,” he beamed. “Listen, the manager has brought me in here and there’s a great bunch of talented players here and I can’t wait to be a part of it.
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“Those boys, like Patrick McEleney and Michael Duffy, are the top of the list, the best in the game and I can’t wait to play with them and be a part of this. It’s a big opportunity.
“Derry is a huge club and the history of the club is massive. It was the best option for me.”
He made 40 first team appearances for Rovers in the Premier Division from when he first burst onto the scene as a teenager in 2018 but he believes he has much more to offer as an attacking midfielder now.
“I’ve got games under my belt and that’s the main thing.
“That’s what last year was all about and Bray were brilliant with me but now it’s time to kick on and this is the club to do it at.
“I’m really excited to play at this level again. I played before with Rovers but I think I’ve grown and I’ve got better and I’m ready to go.”
Kavanagh netted six goals for the Seagulls last season and earned a place in the First Division team of the year and he believes he’s starting to see the benefits of the hard yards he’s put in over the last few years.
“It was brilliant for me because it was all about playing time at Bray. I put my head down and worked hard to make myself better and that’s got me here - working hard.”
He was delighted with a three year deal offered by Derry and while he’s excited about a potential title tilt in the coming seasons, he understands that challenge will take time.
“Listen, the manager is bringing really talented players to the club and it’s a plan. It doesn’t just happen all at once. We’re all here and know what we need to do and are ready for the challenge.
“The three year deal was brilliant for myself and my family. I spoke to the manager and he’s been brilliant with me. So there’s no better place for me."