Declan Devine 'very interested' in signing Norwegian striker after Derry City cameo

DECLAN DEVINE admits he’s ‘very interested’ in securing the signature of the Norwegian striker who bagged a brace in the club’s 3-0 victory over Finn Harps at Brandywell on Wednesday night.

Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 7:02 pm
Derry City celebrate their opening goal against Finn Harps.

The unnamed trialist scored twice during a 45 minutes cameo appearance for the Candy Stripes before being substituted and Devine admits he was impressed with the quality of the player.

Indeed, the 27 year-old striker’s performance caught the eye of the City coach who subsequently hinted on the possibility of signing him in the coming days.

The Norwegian opened the scoring after just six minutes when the lively Walter Figueira’s strike was saved superbly by the outstretched hand of Tom McDermott, however, the City trialist headed the rebound into the net at the near post.

He displayed his poacher’s instinct once more on 43 minutes when Jamie McDonagh’s outstanding cross from the left found him inside the Harps six yard box and he sent the keeper the wrong way with a neat finish.

Following the departure of both Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe and David Parkhouse who both returned to their parent clubs, Devine has made a striker his top priority.

A second trialist, who hails from the Ivory Coast, played 83 minutes while a third sustained an injury prior to the match and was forced to sit the game out.

Devine insists he will continue to run his eye over the players and expects several more players to arrive on trial in the coming days.

The Norwegian striker nets his second of the evening.

“I thought the two trialists were excellent,” he said. “One of them has been in for a week and has done exceptionally well in training.

“He probably didn’t live up to those standards in the game but in training he was fantastic.

“We have another one who was sitting in the stand tonight. He got injured yesterday (Tuesday). He will go back to his parent club but we will keep an eye on that one.

“The guy that scored the two goals, I thought he was fantastic.

“They won’t be the last trialists to come into the club. There will be more. I don’t expect any movement today or tomorrow but I’m very interested.

“I liked what I seen. I liked them as people and as players and we’ll see where the next 48 or 72 hours takes us.”

Devine was encouraged by his side’s second pre-season victory as they cast aside the challenge of their North West rivals in front of an estimated 600 spectators.

Despite a host of changes from both sides during the game, Derry fans got a glimpse of what to expect ahead of the 2020 season.

There were impressive performances throughout the team with new signings, Walter Figueira, Conor McCormack, Conor Clifford, Colm Horgan and Mallon all making their Brandywell bow.

Devine was happy with another positive workout but expects more from his players in the remaining weeks of pre-season which includes a game against Institute at Brandywell and a three day training camp in Dublin.

“It was a north west derby and a brilliant workout,” he enthused. “It’s more minutes and another opportunity for people to see what it’s like to play at the Brandywell. For 500 or 600 people coming to a pre-season friendly is absolutely fantastic.

“The standards of goals were of a very high level tonight. The two balls Jamie has put in for the first two goals and then the link-up play between Stephen Mallon and Walter Figueira and the finish was fantastic as well for the third goal.

“The objective is to get better than last year. It’s going to be difficult and there’s no assurances we’re going to be where we were.

“All we can do is work extremely hard to get our levels right up. I do feel we will get better but the pleasing thing for me is that the group is bonding well. It’s getting tight.

“They’re starting to get to know each other and know each other’s strengths and weaknesses but there are certainly things we can improve on.”