Derry City are on the up insists former Hearts midfielder Aaron McEneff

Derry native Aaron McEneff believes his home town club under Ruaidhrí Higgins’ stewardship are heading in the right direction and he feels Derry City will be challenging for league titles and trophies in the not too distant future.

By Kevin McLaughlin
Saturday, 23rd July 2022, 8:00 am
Aaron McEneff holds aloft the EA Sports Cup trophy after their victory over Cobh Ramblers at a packed out Brandywell, in 2018. He is one of a few Derry men who have won the League of Ireland Premier Division title, FAI Cup and League Cup during his career. Picture by Ryan Byrne/INPHO
Aaron McEneff holds aloft the EA Sports Cup trophy after their victory over Cobh Ramblers at a packed out Brandywell, in 2018. He is one of a few Derry men who have won the League of Ireland Premier Division title, FAI Cup and League Cup during his career. Picture by Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The Perth Glory bound midfielder, admits he continues to watch League of Ireland games despite moving to Scottish Premiership side Hearts last year, also acknowledges that with chairman Philip O’Doherty’s backing and the recruitment drive on going, then the good times look certain to follow in the years to come for the Brandywell men.

He also has the opinion that the Brandywell men’s academy structure will also continue to bring players into the first team and maybe even players taking part in this week’s O’Neills Foyle Cup will be strutting their stuff on the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium’s pitch in a few years time.

Derry have a fantastic manager for a start, Ruaidhrí is a great manager and he has shown that since he has come to the club,” he insisted.

“You can clearly see what he as the manager and Philip (O’Doherty) as the chairman are trying to build and with the players like Fats, Michael Duffy and (Will) Patching already there I’m sure they’ll continue to add good quality players in the future.

“The one thing that also struck me was the talent that’s coming through at Derry.

“The full academy system is up and running at Derry and you can see that with a few boys breaking into the first team and I’m sure that will continue to grow, because there’s always good talented players around Derry and North West area and I’m sure you’re going to see a lot of them out this week at Foyle Cup.

“So yeah Derry are going places and going in the right direction and I wouldn’t be surprised in the near future that they’re right up there, having a good crack at winning leagues and trophies.”

In recent weeks the Cornshell Fields man has seen both the Candy Stripes and Shamrock Rovers and he feels that his two former clubs are top quality teams and despite losing 3-0 to Ludogorets in their Champions League second round first leg clash on Tuesday, McEneff still feels the Hoops will be pushing hard to perform well in Europe this season and also look to put things right in next week’s second leg in Dublin.

“I have been watching the games all year to be honest and when I was back on the off season I went to Tallaght and watched a game and I went to the Brandywell and watched a game and both teams are high quality this year,” he added.

“I would know most of the players on both teams and there’s proper talent in both squads, so it is good to see that the two clubs are doing well.

"Shamrock Rovers have a great chance of qualifying for a group stage (in either the Champions League, Europa League or Europa Conference League) and I know they had a tough defeat on Tuesday night, but they have an experienced squad and although they didn’t get the result in Ludogorets that they would have wanted, I have no doubt they’ll play better at Tallaght next week.”

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