Danish defender breaks silence over decision not to re-sign for Candy Stripes

Niclas Vemmelund says he rejected a return to Derry City because it simply '˜didn't feel right', claiming the club did '˜too little, too late' in its attempts to keep him on Foyleside for the 2017 season.

Thursday, 8th December 2016, 4:39 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 1:51 pm
Former Derry City F.C. striker Niclas Vemmelund (left).

Niclas Vemmelund says he rejected a return to Derry City because it simply ‘didn’t feel right’, claiming the club did ‘too little, too late’ in its attempts to keep him on Foyleside for the 2017 season.

The Danish defender has received several offers from League of Ireland clubs since cutting ties with the Brandywell club last month and insists he will only return to Ireland as a ‘Plan B’.

Vemmelund adapted quickly to emerge as one of the stand-out performers for the club in his first season in League of Ireland football and Kenny Shiels, who captured his signature last January, was keen to keep him.

Niclas Vemmelund.

In fact, Derry City Chairman, Philip O’Doherty even offered his girlfriend, Camilla - a design engineering graduate - a full-time job in an effort to coax the defender to sign new terms with the ‘Candy Stripes’.

However, in a blunt interview with the ‘Journal’ this week, Vemmelund explained he was ‘disappointed’ and ‘unhappy’ with the club and couldn’t afford to stay in Ireland on the same salary he was on last season.

While Vemmelund refuses to rule out a return to League of Ireland, with Dundalk, Cork City and Shamrock Rovers all understood to be scrambling for his signature, he has his heart set on playing at a higher level.

“First of all we couldn’t really agree on a contract and then there was some things that personally I wasn’t that happy about,” he explained.

Niclas Vemmelund.

“And I just want to try something else,” he added. “I think I was a little bit disappointed with the club because I brought my girlfriend there at the start of the year and she was looking for a job.

“And then when I left the Chairman, Philip, offered her a job. So instead of offering her the job at the start of the year they wait until before I’m going home. So I was a bit annoyed at that.

“And I needed a salary a lot higher than what I was getting. Especially when I’m from abroad and I’m away from my family. So there’s a lot of things to be honest.

“They made the job offer two weeks before I left so I think it was a little bit too late to be honest,” he continued. “It’s not all about that, however. There was some personal things about the club I’d rather keep to myself. It just didn’t feel right to go back and I told my agent that as well.

“Derry is not the only club I’ve rejected this month. It’s not only about Derry City but other clubs as well.”

The former Denmark U19 international signed on a one year deal last January and claims it was always his intention to eventually move elsewhere in his bid to play in England.

It’s understood there is interest from Scottish clubs as well but Vemmelund is prepared to travel anywhere on the continent in a bid to progress his career.

“I enjoyed it at Derry,” added the Dane. “All the lads were really good, so from that point of view things were great. But it’s not only about football.

“However, I’m at an age now where I probably need to go a bit higher if I’m to reach my dream. I have to play at a higher level or try myself. After a good season I want to keep going and get even better.

“Whether that’s England or anywhere really, I just want to play at a higher level - it could be anywhere.

“I said at the start of the season I wanted to do good for myself and do good for the club and I did. Now I want to try something better if I’m honest.”