DERRY CITY: Niclas Vemmelund received '˜special' offer from League of Ireland club
DANISH right-back, Niclas Vemmelund revealed he's received a '˜special offer' from one of the League of Ireland's top four clubs.
The experienced defender has also rejected approaches by two other top four teams, including Derry City as he bides his time before making his next move.
He’s just returned from a ‘relaxing’ holiday in Bali and is in no rush to sort out his future but he’s keeping his options open.
Vemmelund was a mainstay in Kenny Shiels’ side last season, playing in 41 of 42 fixtures and scoring once, as he quickly adapted to his new surroundings when signing last January. Shiels described his departure as ‘hurtful’ having already lost Conor McCormack and Shaun Patton from last season’s panel.
And it would certainly be a bitter blow to Derry City fans should he line out for one of the club’s rivals next season.
“I’ve had a few offers from some Irish teams,” confirmed Vemmelund. “I rejected two of them and I think there’s one more coming.
“My agent has a lot on his mind there’s clubs everywhere interested. But for me I just want to take it easy as there are many countries that the leagues are not even finished yet.
“I got a special offer from one of the top four clubs (in the Airtricity Premier Division). It’s not that I’m keen to go but you never know. I don’t know myself but I could decide in the next couple of weeks.
“Of course I could always say yes to the offer but I told my agent it’s more like a ‘plan B’ to go back to Ireland. Otherwise it would have to be a good offer of course.
“I don’t know, it’s hard to say. I just want to take my time and see what comes up. I’ve got some time now, I have a month and I can start looking for a club.
“I’ve just come back from holiday and had a really good time so it was nice to get away from all the football.”
The former Denmark Under-19 international has played in front of 45,000 playing for Icelandic club, Stjarnan against Inter Milan at the San Siro, so it’s fair to say it was a culture shock to play at a windy City Calling Stadium with just 50 people dotted around the ground.
He reckons there’s not much he will miss about his experience at Derry City but added he enjoyed the experience of playing against Dundalk in the FAI Cup semi-final in front of the biggest Brandywell attendance of the season.
“I have some really good memories. I didn’t know anything about Derry or the league when I came. We trained a lot and I played almost every game. So I had a tough season without many breaks or days off.
“But I like the style, the football the culture and the way people recognise you after a game and praise you when we win or say something bad if we don’t,” he laughed. “I’d like to see a little bit more supporters in the stands just.
“I remember going to Longford and looking over at maybe 50 people in the stand and we went there and it was just so windy and you can’t keep the ball down.
“I don’t know if there’s one thing specifically, like a highlight but there was a few games at Brandywell and that semi-final against Dundalk was one of the best moments.
“Derry is a nice city but I don’t think there’s anything I will miss to be honest, “ he laughed.
So as the ‘Candy Stripes’ prepare for the 2017 campaign without the experienced Danish right-back, how does Vemmelund rate the club’s chances of competing with champions Dundalk and Cork City?
“I think Derry has a lot of young players they can bring in and that’s healthy for the club so they can let older players go and let the young boys play.
“Maybe they won’t be in the top three and may have to aim for the top six, but after two or three years those young boys will be older and more experienced and will become key players.
“So sometimes you have to let the young boys play and then build a team who are ready to challenge for the title.
“There’s so many young players and give it three years and you will see a team ready to stay in the top three. That’s the way you have to see it, from the club’s perspective.
“I know the fans want to win the title or a trophy even if it’s in the cup but Derry’s not the biggest club in Ireland, not financially or club-wise compared to the clubs in Dublin.”