PATRICK McEleney has rubbished reports linking him with a move to St Patrick’s Athletic, the striker claiming he’s not prepared to walk away from Derry City’s current plight.
The Shantallow man has made no secret of the fact he eventually wants to return to England but he made clear his intent to remainat Brandywell, at least until the end of his contract which expires at the end of the season.
And with his first baby on the way in September with Derry based girlfriend, Aoibheann Deane, McEleney’s priorities have now altered significantly.
St Pat’s have been heavily linked with McEleney in the past and the possibility of a move to Richmond Park raised its head once again this week in the Dublin Press, fuelled by apparent approaches from Liam Buckley, on the ‘Saints’ recent visit to Brandywell on June 5th.
Given Derry’s under-par performances this season and current 9th place standing in the Premier Division table, it’s not surprising the club’s best players are being linked with moves away.
But ‘Fats’ is adamant he’s going nowhere and considers a move to another League of Ireland club a sideways step, reiterating that he will sit down at the end of the season and assess his options.
“There’s always been a lot of talk about it and I know St Pat’s have been in contact with Derry,” said McEleney.
“Derry have told a few clubs now that there’s no chance I’m going anywhere, so that was basically it knocked on the head.
“I’m happy here,” he added. “We’re in a position at the minute where myself and the rest of the players have got us into. We need to get out of it and I’m part of it and I don’t want to just get up and walk away from it.
“Whenever we’re not doing so well clubs are going to come in and try and take players. I’m out of contract at the end of the year and we’ll have a sit down and see where we go from there.
I’m happy here. We’re in a position at the minute where myself and the rest of the players have got us into. We need to get out of it and I’m part of it and I don’t want to just get up and walk away from it.Patrick McEleney
“My target is obviously to get back over to England,” he said honestly. “If you look at the players that have went across Channel recently, I’m probably at the best place to get that chance.
“I know we’re not playing too well at the minute but I’m determined to help turn this around. It’s been difficult for us all especially for me because I’ve been here for a few years and I’m from Derry, so it hurts a bit more I think. We’ll all stick together and see what happens.”
McEleney has been approached by several clubs interested in making a swoop for his signature and he admits it’s been flattering.
“It’s always nice that people want you. There’s been a few clubs contacting me but I’ll be here until the end of the year and then we’ll take it from there.”
With his girlfriend now approaching seven months pregnant, he has new-found responsibilities and he’s determined to secure some stability for his family.
“My girlfriend is pregnant and she’s due to have a baby in September,” he revealed. “She’s from Derry and I’m from Derry so I want to settle down and get something sorted as quickly as possible for our family. That’s what I have to look at.
“It’s all changed from this time last year. Whatever’s best for myself and my family I’m going to take.”
McEleney is refusing to allow talks about his future affect his preparation for tonight’s clash against Cork City.
And, although still not 100 per cent match fit following his recent groin injury, he’s determined to help his side secure a much needed win against one of the favourites for the league title.
“If we get our best 11 out, and we’re close to that now, them we’ll be a match for anyone at the Brandywell no matter who we’re playing,
“As long as we dig out results that’s the way its going to have to be at the minute.”