Declan Devine: 'We need 15 players but Derry City fans must be patient'
DECLAN Devine has urged Derry City fans to remain patient and not to be expecting a raft of new signings in the coming weeks.
The newly appointed Derry City boss reckons he’ll need in the region of 15 new players to build a squad capable of competing in the Premier Division next season.
He’s been busy meeting potential targets over the past four days and while he understands the supporters’ desire for a ‘marquee signing’, he insists the club must be sensible in the way in which it spends its transfer budget.
Given the unprecedented turnaround in playing staff last season, Devine is adamant he won’t be wasting his budget on signing players to appease fans.
“We had a recruitment meeting during the week and we’ve a list of targets,” said the City boss. “There’s been no offers made to anybody, we’re just looking to get a feel for what players’ objectives are but, more importantly, seeing if they meet our standards as well.
“It has to be the right fit for us and for the players. There’s not going to be a raft of signings over the next couple of days - that’s not the way it’s going to work.
“Ultimately we probably need 15 players. I don’t know another manager that needs 15 players. What do we do? Do we go out and sign four or five just for the sake of it? Definitely not! Anybody that comes in must bring something to the table.
“Most clubs are going after three or four to strengthen their squad. We’re going to build a squad. We’ve been watching the youth set-ups and everybody at the club whether you’re 17 , 22 or 23, if you’re the right fit you’re in.
“Everyone will be judged on what they can bring to the football club - it’s as simple as that.
“I’m happy with the budget and happy with how the chairman has given me control of the club but I’m not going to waste that money and throw it hand over fist.
“We have to build this place up to be competitive next year and just going out to appease people won’t help.
“I’m a fan myself and want to see a team formulated as quickly as possible but more importantly I’ve got to make sure it’s a good team and full of good people.
“I fully appreciate people want to see things move but they have to move for the right reasons not for the sake of it. There’s no point signing somebody just to keep everyone happy.”
Devine has opened talks with in demand Aaron McEneff and ex-Brandywell favourite, Barry McNamee but isn’t expecting a definitive answer anytime soon.
And the City boss is also planning on meeting the rest of last season’s squad in the coming days to let them know if they’re in his plans.