Derry City manager Ruaidhri Higgins won't be 'stockpiling' players

Derry City manager Ruaidhrí Higgins says he won’t be signing players just to stop other clubs adding them to their squads.

The Derry boss believes some clubs have signed players in order to ensure they didn’t end up going to rivals, something he insists he won’t be part of. Higgins says he only wants to add fresh faces to his squad to ensure they are competitive for the forthcoming campaign.

"We’ve lost five outfield players that were part of the first team squad in the second half of last season and we've only added two. Yes, we’ve also added Tadhg Ryan, but outfield we're probably three down in terms of squad size from the second half of last season,” explained Higgins.

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"We're working very, very hard to try and get two or three new players in but we won't just be signing players so that other clubs can't have them.

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"We've always tried to be very strategic about we go about it because you find that's what some clubs do, they sign players so other clubs can't have them, but that's not the way we going about it.

"If we don’t get people in for another few weeks then so be it but at the minute we’re not ruling anything in or out. We’ve pulled out of deals that were well down the road. If we got a bad feeling about it, we decided against it.

"However, if we feel it’s right for us now or in three or four weeks' time, then we’ll do it. If not, then we’ll not do it.”

Higgins also revealed City will face the South Korean U20 international side in Spain later this month.

The Brandywell men will step up their pre-season preparations with two friendlies next week against Institute and Finn Harps before travelling to Alicante on Tuesday, January 24th for a six day training camp in Real Club de Golf Campoamor complex.

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Higgins’ side take on ’Stute in the Billy Kee Memorial Cup next Wednesday evening (7.45pm) before facing Harps, under Dave Rogers’ stewardship, on Sunday, January 22nd (2pm) and both games will take place at Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium.

"We've two games next week and then we've a game out in Spain on Sunday, January 29th and while it's not 100 percent confirmed yet, it looks like we're going to be playing the Korea U20 national team. That will be a good game for us,” insisted the Derry boss.

"We also have a few games in the pipe-line for when we come back from Spain and before the (Shamrock) Rovers President’s Cup game.

"We started the season really well last year and played our last game a week later than everyone else as well last year.

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"I think we had five or six pre-season games last year and we'll have the same this year as well as the President's Cup game so we'll be in good nick going to St Pat's.

"Spain will be good for the players because a lot of the physical work will be done by that stage so during the training camp we'll be able to really nail down how we want to play.

"It will be great for the players and it will be good for the likes Colm (Whelan), Ben (Doherty) and Tadhg to get to know the whole squad well.”