Derry City 'a move I couldn't knock back' says former Partick Thistle striker Danny Mullen

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FORMER Patrick Thistle striker Danny Mullen claims his move to Derry City was one he simply ‘couldn’t knock back’.

The 28 year-old will be available to feature in Friday’s visit of Sligo Rovers to Brandywell subject to international clearance after signing a one-and-a-half year deal with the Candy Stripes.

Derry boss Ruaidhri Higgins will be hoping Mullen can address his team’s recent goalscoring issues and the man from Airdrie is exited to renew his partnership with fellow Scot and former Dundee teammate Paul McMullan who is set for his City debut against the Bit O’Red.

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"I'm delighted to get it over the line and get things sorted,” said the Scotsman. “It happened pretty quickly but when it did it was a move I couldn't knock back.

Derry City boss Ruaidhri Higgins pictured with new signing, former Partick Thistle striker Danny Mullen at Brandywell.Derry City boss Ruaidhri Higgins pictured with new signing, former Partick Thistle striker Danny Mullen at Brandywell.
Derry City boss Ruaidhri Higgins pictured with new signing, former Partick Thistle striker Danny Mullen at Brandywell.

"I wanted to get a change in my career and come over and show people what I can do over here and open peoples' eyes to see what I can do. I'm looking forward to it and can't wait to get going."He’s played against Derry defender Mark Connolly in Scotland and his relationship with McMullan and the winger’s recommendation of the club certainly helped make up his mind about uprooting to Ireland.

"I was talking to Paul who said the manager was interested and wanted to speak to me,” he explained. “So I spoke to the manager and it didn't take much for me to agree to come over.”

So what can we expect from Derry’s new Scottish contingent?

"Paul is pacy and goes at defenders and gets fans off their seats,” he added. “He's a top, top player and hopefully he can hit the ground running here too. I played with him at Dundee and we linked up well there. I know how he works and know where to be in the box for the type of player he is and where he'll put the ball. Hopefully we can get that right here and get Derry up the league.”The chance to play European football was also a factor in his decision to swap Scottish football for the League of Ireland and he’s relishing the opportunity to pit his skills against HB Torshavn of the Faroe Islands next week.

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“It's the same as Paul (McMullan), neither of us have played in Europe and it was an added bonus. I want to play in Europe for the first time. I want the team to do well and get as far as we can in the competition."

Just like playing on the continent, Irish football is something new for Mullen who admits he doesn’t have too much knowledge about the League of Ireland.

He’s been impressed by the standards in training this week, however, and expects Derry City’s style of play to complement his own attributes.

“To be be honest before I've come over I haven’t really watched too many games. I know a few people I know back in Scotland who have come over here and they've told me it's a good league, a good standard. I've been in training since Monday and the training standards have been high so I'm looking forward to seeing how we go.

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"Everywhere you go you want to do well and I want to come over here and first and foremost make the gaffer and the players happy by playing well and putting the ball in the back of the net. It's something which excites me and I can't wait.”

With Jamie McGonigle and Cian Kavanagh for competition up front, Mullen knows he will be judged on his goalscoring return as a striker.

“It's a tight league and there's still chances to go and win the league so hopefully I can add to the quality that is already in that dressing room and get that last bit.

"It's not just about goals. There's 10 men on the pitch who can all chip in with goals but I’m sure we'll all chip in and add goals to help the team going forward.

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"It's about hard work and I think that's a given for any player. You need to work hard and then you're quality will shine through after that. I'm really looking forward to coming here and playing the style of football Derry play and I think I will fit in very well.

"Hopefully they get the international clearance sorted and I can be in the squad for Friday and start off in a good foot.”

The Scottish season didn’t end until early June so he’ll not be too far off the pace and he’s ready to hit the ground running.

“I'm ready to go. My fitness has been good. I did a fitness test the first day I came over and my numbers were good and my body was feeling good after it. So I'm just waiting on that clearance to be a part of it.”

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It’s the first venture away from his native Scotland and from his young family but he’s determined to make the move work and show his potential.

"It's a big move. It's the first time I've moved away from my family and I'm sure that will be difficult at times because I'm not used to it. I have a girlfriend Kelsey and a daughter Sophia so it's going to be hard for them back home but it’s only a half hour flight so I’m not too far away,” he smiled.

Derry boss Ruaidhri Higgins is delighted with his new addition.

"He's a good player. He's got a bit of everything. We're excited to see what himself and Paul can bring to the attacking side of our game.”