Derry City appoint Ruaidhri Higgins as new manager

New manager Ruaidhri Higgins admits Derry City was the only club he would have left Stephen Kenny's Ireland set-up.

Friday, 23rd April 2021, 8:40 am
Derry City's new boss Ruaidhri Higgins has signed a three and half year deal.

The Limavady man, who is bringing former Sligo Rovers, Finn Harps and Bohemians striker Raffaele Cretaro into his back-room team, will take training this afternoon before being in the dug-out for Saturday's clash at in-form Sligo Rovers.

The 36-year-old, who has signed a long term deal with the Candy Stripes also confirmed that he hopes to bring at least one more member into his coaching set-up and wants players to be ambitious.

"Look Derry City is a massive club and a giant club in Ireland and I think that given time and a bit of patience, myself and the staff can really get the place rocking," he insisted.

"Over a period of time I feel we can get towards the top end of Irish football.

"Derry City was probably the only club at this moment in time that I would have considered going to, I was a player at Derry for 8 and half years and I have a lot of brilliant memories and while I'm from Limavady, I'm living in the city.

"I weighed everything up, thought about everything and I believe I'm actually going into a group of players, who are very, very capable of climbing the table and getting wins on the board soon.

"I'm not a fool there's going to be a lot of hard work, I'm going to have to work hard on the training ground with both the staff and the players, but as I said I wouldn't have taken the responsibility and the job on if I didn't believe we could climb the table.

"The players have to be ambitious, for me there's a lot of talent in the group and it's just getting over that first hurdle of getting our first win, that will generate so much confidence and then I have no doubt that we can go from strength to strength.

"I want what any manager wants, you want talented players, who have real drive and people who are ambitious who want to do well in the game and not just settle for mediocrity.

"I'm really looking forward to meeting the players and trying to prepare as best as we can in a limited space of time for the Sligo game. Sligo are obviously flying, they are top of the league; they are winning matches well and are playing with a lot of confidence. However in saying that I think we can go there and get a really positive result and get the ball rolling.

"It's a huge honour, myself and my family are very proud but there is a lot of work to do and I cannot wait to get stuck in.

"The last 24 hours have been crazy and getting the job has definitely come quicker than I thought it would, but my last four or five years have given me a great grounding. I feel I am more than ready for it."

Having lived and played with Cretaro during their time at Bohs in 2010, Higgins knows what type of person he's adding to his back-room and he believes his wealth of experience will also benefit the Derry squad.

"First of all he's an absolutely brilliant person and a very honourable man, the players will respect him immediately because of the career he has had," he added. "But his knowledge of the game is second to none and I think he'll be someone who the players will love and that was very, very important in me thinking of bringing him and I think he'll be a really good asset for the club and myself.

"I will also be making at least one more appointment to my back room team but I'll be taking my time on that appointment and making sure that I don't rush into that and I get the right one."

The former Dundalk assistant manager, who was Ireland's chief scout and opposition analyst, conceded telling Stephen Kenny that he wanted to leave and take up the managerial position at Brandywell was tough, but he also confirmed that the Dubliner was brilliant to work with and wished him well.

"I admire everything about Stephen, as a man and as a manager and I owe him everything," he explained.

"He has been amazing to me and having worked with him for over a number of years it will be strange not to be working with him now.

"He was brilliant with me and he understood where I was coming from and he realises that Derry City is a massive club and it means a lot to me. He was amazing in the conversion we had and that just shows the mark of the man."