Derry City manager Declan Devine says he’s delighted striker David Parkhouse has extended his loan spell with the club until the end of the current season.
The City boss believes the sky’s the limit for the 19-year-old who is on the books of English Premier League new boys, Sheffield United.
“He has got a long way to go in the game but I think the sky is the limit for David Parkhouse,” insisted Devine.
“Whatever he wants to achieve, he is capability of achieving because at 17 he was an U21 international and at 19 he has scored nine goals for Derry City so, as I said, it is all there for him. This is only a stepping stone in his career in terms of where it can go.
“I’m delighted that everything is finalised as he has been outstanding for us since the start of the season. He has given us unbelievable quality and been a real handful for opposition teams in terms of his match play.
“He has also been a fantastic guy to work with and I have no doubt keeping him here to the end of the season will enhance us as a football club. It will help us to push on toward the targets we have set the players. I’m delighted because I feel he has a really, really bright future in the game.”
Devine is also a happy man that his pre-season prediction about Parkhouse becoming a Brandywell fans favourite has proven true.
“I said at the start of the season he would become a fans’ favourite and I think that has very much proven to be the case. His goalscoring and work ethic have been fantastic and he’s been a shining light in terms of our early form,” he added.
“It was no brainer from our point of view to try and get him to stay . Thankfully Sheffield United have worked with us on that and, more importantly, David has wanted to stay.
“It is very unusual to have played the amount of senior games that he has at his age, but it just shows the maturity and the quality of the boy. More importantly it shows the mental strength that he possesses.
“He’s a player that is loaned to Derry City from a Premier League club and we are very grateful to have him. He’s a boy I’ve known for a long time and I’ve been delighted with his application and overall qualities over the course of the first six months of the season.”
The Derry manager could well have an abundance of attacking options at his disposal in the near future with new signings, Darren McCauley and Conor Davis available from this Friday and Michael McCrudden not far off returning from injury.
“I feel competition for places is key at a football club and more importantly, attacking options,” said Devine.
“We have got a lot of good attackers at the club. We are the second top goalscorers in the league at this moment in time and we are only enhancing that by having Darren McCauley, Conor Davis and Michael McCrudden coming back from injury and helping us in terms of our potential to push on in the second half of the season.
“It’s exciting for our fans to have so many attacking options because that’s the way we want to play. Anyone who has watched us in the early phases of the season will have seen, we try to play an expansive game of football and try to play on the front foot. We aren’t the second top goalscorers in the league by chance.
“I also think we canstill improve and score more goals. Hopefully as the season progresses we’ll be much better in terms of our end product in the final third.”
As for the N Ireland U21 international, he’s thrilled that everything is now signed and sealed and can’t wait for what he hopes will be a big second half to the campaign.
“We have a big second half to the season coming up,” explained Parkhouse.
“I set out in the first half of the season to try and win games and score goals and thankfully I have. The move to Derry City has really improved my game and made me more confident in myself and now I just want to kick-on in the second half and build on it.
“Competition for places is good everyone and all I can do is keep working hard on a daily basis to try and keep my spot and help the club move forward.”