Derry City complete signing of Adam O'Reilly from Preston North End
Derry City boss Ruaidhri Higgins said he was delighted to capture ‘one of the best midfielders in the country’ as Adam O'Reilly joined the club on a two-year deal for an undisclosed fee from Preston North End.
The Cork-born 21-year old spent last season on loan at St Patrick's Athletic and received a call-up to the Republic of Ireland U21 squad following a string of impressive performances for the Inchicore men.
Derry has managed to pip several clubs in the League of Ireland and in both England and Scotland for the player’s signature and after jetting out to the Candy Stripes’ training camp in Murcia last week, the transfer was finally completed this morning.
O’Reilly, who made one Championship appearance for the Preston in 2018 against Aston Villa, replacing Shamrock Rovers forward Graham Burke in that game at Deepdale, insists he’s excited by the opportunity to be a part of the Brandywell club's ‘ambitious’ plans over the next few years and said that he had been very impressed by the manager’s vision..
"This has definitely been the most difficult decision to make in my career so far, having had so many great clubs looking for me,” said O’Reilly who will add to Higgins’ talented options in the middle of the park.
O’Reilly will likely play in a holding midfield role in Higgins’ 2023 side and will compliment the quality of the likes of Patrick McEleney, Cameron Dummigan and Sadou Diallo. And he’s ready for the challenge that lies ahead at his new club.
"I was really impressed with what Ruaidhri had to say,” added O’Reilly. “I want to play at the highest level possible and I have to challenge myself to do that.
"I've played against Derry last year and I know how good a side they are and the potential that exists at the club.
"There is an awful lot of quality in the squad and there will be real competition for places. It's also fairly clear however that there's a great bunch of lads at the club and it looks like a good changing room to be a part of.
"I want to push myself as a player, so this was the move for me.”
Meanwhile, Higgins believes the addition of O’Reilly will give him a completely ‘different dynamic’ to his squad and reckons it’s a ‘great fit’ for all parties.
"He gives us a completely different dynamic to what we have, and it was clear from our discussions that he has an unbelievable drive to maximise his potential.
"He has shown us a real steely determination and that's the type of player we want here.
"He has scope to improve as well and we'll look to help him to do that. I believe it's a great fit for both parties and we're really looking forward to working with Adam."
The player flew to Spain at the weekend to complete formalities and meet up with his new team-mates, however, Derry’s friendly fixture against Danish top flight outfit Aalborg BK on Sunday was called off due to an unplayable pitch.