Derry City players miss out on monthly awards is no surprise for boss Ruaidhrí Higgins

Manager Ruaidhrí Higgins says it was no shock that a Derry City player didn’t win this month’s SSE Airtricity/SWI Player of the Month award.

By Kevin McLaughlin
Thursday, 31st March 2022, 10:38 pm
Derry City's Jamie McGonigle has been in sparkling form this season. Picture by Kevin Moore/MCI
Derry City's Jamie McGonigle has been in sparkling form this season. Picture by Kevin Moore/MCI

The Candy Stripes’ last winner of the award came close to a decade ago when Barry McNamee won in April 2013 and Higgins says he wasn’t surprised the club missed out once more.

The Derry boss, who was also quick to point out that March’s winner Aidan Keena enjoyed a very good month for Sligo Rovers, just wants his players to keep producing the goods and maybe in the future their form will be recognised.

“When you are up here, you can very easily be forgotten about,” he said.

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“To be honest I have always had this opinion when I was a player. I felt it was harder for us to get decisions and recognition and I think Barry McNamee winning the ‘Player of the Month’ prize in 2013 is our last winner, tells its own story.

“There were months last year when we were in brilliant form, like winning five games on the spin and we still didn’t get a player of the month.

“To be honest I don’t really even look at it anymore because we just don’t get players winning ‘Player of the Month’, but the players just keep doing what they are doing and we might get one in the next eight or nine years.

“By the way, Aidan Keena has had a really good month. He has scored goals and done great. He has done absolutely brilliantly for Sligo but nine years since we’ve had a ‘Player of the Month’ winner is absolutely unbelievable to be honest so we’ll probably have to wait another nine years.”

Keena winning meant that for the second month in a row, a Derry player finished runner-up with Jamie McGonigle being pipped by Dundalk’s Steven Bradley’s in February and Will Patching missing out in March.

Higgins felt while Patching had a superb month, ex-Burnley man Cameron Dummigan, who was also nominated for March’s Player of the Month, has also been outstanding since making the switch to Foyleside.

“While I want the players to keep doing what they are doing, it’s also nice when players get recognised,” he stated.

“Cameron Dummigan was up for last month’s award and I think a lot of Derry supporters, his team-mates and staff will agree with me that he has been an absolute revelation for us.

“His form has been top level and we just need him to keep it going now because he’s a big player for us.

“Will Patching also had a fantastic month, scoring two stunning goals against St Pat’s, but it has been his overall attacking play and all round game that has been impressive this season.”

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