DERRY CITY: Shiels prepared to be patient in bid to strengthen squad
KENNY Shiels won't be pursuing his interest in any of the seven trialists he has run his eye over in recent weeks and is prepared to be patient as he bids to strengthen his squad ahead of the February 24th kick-off against Bohemians.
Greek midfielder, Antonis Rikka and Belgian defender, Bryan Van Den Bogaert were among the players Shiels had hoped could fit into his plans for the upcoming campaign.
However, the Derry City boss wasn’t prepared to offer deals and will now turn his attention to two unnamed trialists he hopes to hand game-time as the Candy Stripes’ pre-season friendlies continue against North West Junior League side, Ardmore at McCourts on Sunday afternoon (Kick-off 2 p.m.)
“The seven I brought over have been good players but it’s very hard in the market I’m shopping in to get the ones that are right,” explained Shiels.
“I’m not going to dive into anything,” he added. “I’m going to be patient with trial players. I have to keep looking for the right people who are compatible.”
Co. Tyrone winger, Caolan McAleer impressed during the 3-0 win over Letterkenny Rovers at Maginn Park last week and has since signed with Finn Harps. And Shiels explained he didn’t pursue his interest in the player as he already had strength in depth in the wide positions with Lukas Schubert back on board and Mark Timlin returning to the club.
“We have to build the club. We can’t pay big money to people. We’ll let the rest of the clubs spend as much money as they can. “We will move ahead as a club regardless.”
It’s a transitional club and we have a young team. It doesn’t mean we’re not planning on doing well. We’re working hard to do as best we can.”
Shiels insists no one at the club can afford to stand still and has challenged young players like Josh Daniels, Rory Holden and Scott Whiteside to make a real impact and become key players in the first team this season.
“All the players are under no illusions they need to step up to get game time and improve upon last year. All our young players have got to improve on last year.”