Derry City make move for centre-back Sam Todd

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​Derry City boss Ruaidhrí Higgins has made a centre-back and wide player his top targets before the 2023 season gets underway.

Despite already adding the likes of Tadhg Ryan, Colm Whelan, Ben Doherty and Adam O’Reilly, the City boss is seeking additions to strengthen his squad in the lead up to the 2023 campaign.

Now that the transfer window has closed in the UK, it’s thought that Higgins is aiming to bring in a few more players on-loan from that market, as the League of Ireland transfer window remains open until later this month.

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It’s understood Higgins has earmarked a move to bring UCD centre-back Sam Todd back to the Brandywell later in the season, as the Donegal native finishes university in June.

Derry City boss Ruaidhrí Higgins is believed to be tracking UCD centre-back Sam Todd.Derry City boss Ruaidhrí Higgins is believed to be tracking UCD centre-back Sam Todd.
Derry City boss Ruaidhrí Higgins is believed to be tracking UCD centre-back Sam Todd.

Todd played for Derry City's U19 squad for the short 2015, 2016 and 2017 seasons and was included in Kenny Shiels' senior squad during the pre-season of 2017.

In January 2018, the left-footed defender signed with Finn Harps on loan, before joining Ollie Horgan’s men on a permanent deal later that year.

After two seasons at Ballybofey, Sam joined UCD on a scholarship deal for the 2021 campaign, but a return to Foyleside could be on the cards in July.

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Last season the Carndonagh man performed well at the heart of the Students defence and played a pivotal role in helping them avoid the drop.

Andrew Myler’s side retained their top flight status for 2023 with a dramatic play-off victory over Waterford at Richmond Park with Todd commanding and showing super composure in their back-line.

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However, City are not Todd’s only admirers with both Dundalk and Declan Devine’s Bohemians are tracking the 24-year-old and all three clubs are hoping Todd will sign a pre-contract agreement to join them once the summer transfer window opens.

At the minute the Brandywell men have duo Shane McEleney and Mark Connolly as their centre-back partnership, with Cameron McJannet able to slot in for either of the duo and while Ronan Boyce, Ciaran Coll and Cameron Dummigan can also play in the heart of the defence, it’s thought Higgins wants to strengthen that area of his squad.

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With O’Reilly’s arrival, Derry look very strong at the centre of midfield where the Cork man will be battling it out with Dummigan, Sadou Diallo, Patrick McEleney and Will Patching. While the likes of Doherty, Brandon Kavanagh and Jordan McEneff can also play in midfield, that trio are expected to be used in other areas.

Another position where it’s believed that the Limavady man wants to boost, is high up the pitch in both wide areas.

What was a big loss for Derry last season was when winger Michael Duffy missed most of the campaign after suffering a fractured tibia injury against Drogheda United last March.

Right winger Ryan Graydon made a positive impact after arriving from Longford Town last July and a big 2023 is expected, but down the flanks remains an area City feel they need to add more attacking options.