Ben Doherty set for Derry City exit

Derry City's Ben Doherty, currently on loan at Glenavon, isn't expected to return to Brandywell when his loan deal expires in January.
Derry City's Ben Doherty, currently on loan at Glenavon, isn't expected to return to Brandywell when his loan deal expires in January.

BEN DOHERTY is unlikely to return to Derry City when his loan deal with Glenavon expires on January 31st after the player revealed he is unable to commit to the club’s full-time set-up.

The 21 year-old, who is contracted to the Candy Stripes until the end of the 2019 season, has suggested his future may lie away from the Brandywell club with a permanent move to a part-time club the most likely option.

Having recently secured a full-time job with Danske Bank, Doherty is understandably reluctant to give up permanent employment and is hoping to seal a move which will allow him to balance his football and work commitments.

That scenario means it’s highly unlikely the former Maiden City Academy player, son of ex-Derry City skipper, Eamon, will return to Foyleside, signalling the end of his three years at his hometown club.

Derry City boss, Declan Devine is understood to be reluctant to adopt a part-time ethos which leaves Doherty with little choice but to look elsewhere.

With Glenavon keen to retain his services and several other clubs, including Coleraine and Finn Harps, alerted to his availability, Derry will be expecting to cash-in on any potential transfer, given he is under contract until November 2019.

It’s understood a number of clubs are interested and Doherty says it’s a case of finding the best resolution for all parties involved.

“I’m not 100 per cent sure what’s happening,” explained Doherty. “I’ve started a new job so I’m not sure what the story is.

“Declan (Devine) is talking to Glenavon and I think he’s talking to another few clubs to see what options are there. We have to re-evaluate it. It’s not straight-forward and I’m looking at my options at the minute.”

Doherty has relished the opportunity of playing consistently in his favoured central midfield position with the Lurgan Blues who are very much in the race for the Danske Bank Premiership title.

While he admits he will be disappointed to cut ties with Derry City, he feels he’s making the best move with the security of a career in banking an option should he fail to take his football career on to the next level.

“When I left Derry I was looking to go part-time and enjoy my football again and the job ended up coming up and it took a three month process to get it.

“So, as it turned out, I now have a good job and it’s a potential career. That’s hard to just give up after working hard to get it. There is still a living to be made in part-time football, especially here. It would be different across the water but people don’t realise you can make a good wage working and playing part-time football here.”

Doherty joined ex-Candy Stripe, Josh Daniels at Mourneview Park last August having grown frustrated with the lack of game-time under former City boss, Kenny Shiels.

He’s back playing with a smile on his face in Lurgan and while he’s unsure about his future, he’s hoping whatever happens, it’s the best possible deal for all parties involved.

“I was disappointed to leave Derry at the start, especially as when I left they went on to win some silverware, but it was down to how I felt. I wanted to get back to enjoying football again. I’m back playing in a position I want to be playing in with Glenavon.

“I’ve been keeping quiet about it all because I know I’m on loan to Glenavon until the new year, so I don’t have anything to worry about until after that.

“Whatever happens it will have to suit all parties but ultimately it’s up to me. There’s a couple of other clubs involved as well, as far as I know but I just have to focus on myself.

“We’re just trying to figure it out at the minute.”