Derry City manager Ruaidhrí Higgins praises Ryan Graydon

Winger Ryan Graydon hit the Tolka Park ‘bullseye’ for Derry City on Monday night, just weeks after coming within millimetres of losing his own eye.

The 23-year-old picked up the injury in a recent friendly against Institute with Candystripes’ boss Ruaidhrí Higgins revealing the extent of Graydon’s bravery to return so soon and earn Derry a penalty against Cork City before firing home his stoppage time winner against Shelbourne.

“We played in a friendly against Institute a few weeks ago and he nearly lost his eye,” explained Higgins.

“He was about two centimetres away from potentially losing his eye but showed immense bravery on Friday when he won the penalty against Cork.

Derry City's Ryan Graydon runs away celebrating his late winner, at Shelbourne.

“Someone who had a similar incident a few weeks prior just wouldn’t have gone near the ball on Friday night so that showed his courage. I love his attitude and drive and think he can be an exceptional player for the club.”

The Limavady man says the Candystripes will do well to hold on to the talented Dubliner if he starts scoring goals and creating chances on a regular basis.

“Ryan Graydon showed in the second half against Shels exactly why we signed him,” he added.

“He’s a greyhound and has serious athleticism and pace. To run at that speed in injury time on a Monday after playing on the Friday night is great.

“He made an unbelievable run and their keeper made the save just before his goal so I think our supporters are now starting to see what potential he has.

“I have said to him that if his numbers improve in terms of goals and assists then we’ll do well to hold on to him. We’re still very early in his development but he has all the tools and all the attributes to be a top player.

“As I said, if we can improve his numbers then we’ve got an absolute hell of a player. He’s a powerhouse, he’s quick, he’s direct and he makes brilliant runs.”

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