Derry City received a major boost ahead of the EA Sports Cup Final against Dundalk after defender Ally Gilchrist signed a contract extension that will keep him at the club until at least 2020.
The centre-back described extending his stay as an easy decision and is now fully concentrating on the future.
The Scot has forged a superb partnership Eoin Toal at the heart of the City defence this season and is adamant Declan Devine’s squad is heading in the right direction.
“I’m absolutely delighted to get signed up for next season, the club is going in the right direction. It didn’t take long to get it sorted out,” he insisted.
“It was an easy decision for me. We have got a great group of players, staff and the fans who have been brilliant as has everything about the place.
“Having had a chat with Decky, we are looking at cracking on further next season and pushing each other to the limits, so I’m just really excited for the opportunity to keep going here.”
After what was a disappointing campaign at Shamrock Rovers last season, the 24-year-old said it has been a case of getting his career back on track at Brandywell.
“I needed to prove to myself and others that I’m good enough to play in this league,” he explained.
“That has been my drive and incentive this season, to show people what I’m made off. I have to credit all the boys because everybody has done well as a collective this season.”
Gilchrist admits keeping the EA Sports Cup in the Brandywell trophy cabinet would be a nice way to start what is a crucial end of season run.
“A trophy would give everyone confidence,” he confirmed, “We have still a lot to play for as we are obviously pushing for Europe but, yeah, it would be great to win the cup although we know it’s going to be tough against a very good Dundalk side.”
Gilchrist’s manager is also delighted the big defender has confirmed his stay and revealed he hopes to make more contract announcements in the coming weeks.
“Ally has been sensationally this year. He has been a real rock at the back, a leader of men and I’m delighted he has signed up,” insisted Devine.
“His application in training on a daily basis has been superb. He’s a player I think can have a wonderful future at Derry and I’m delighted we have got our business done early. I have no doubt other clubs would have been looking at Ally and been impressed by him.
“It’s testament to the club that Ally wants to stay and testament to his team-mates and the back-room team that he wants to be part of the project moving forward.”