CANADIAN winger, Ben Fisk is hoping he can spring a surprise on Shamrock Rovers tonight should he be handed his Derry City debut in Tallaght.
The pacy 27 year-old might well be capped for his country but he’s hoping his arrival in the League of Ireland as a relative unknown will catch the ‘Hoops’ on the hop.
Signed until the end of the season as a replacement for Ronan Curtis, the former FC Edmonton player wants to make an instant impression and he’s excited about the challenge.
“In Canada I’ve been involved with the national squad so I’m pretty well known around the leagues there and in America as well,” explained Fisk, who has played for Canada’s senior international side in games against Bermuda and Scotland last year.
“I’m used to being watched quite closely. I don’t know how much Irish people know about or respect Canadian football but that might give me an extra bit of space which I could work to my advantage,” he smiled.
“Sometimes it’s kind of nice not to be known that well, especially by the opposition. Hopefully I can come in and affect the game tomorrow and Shamrock Rovers won’t know what’s coming for them!”
Sometimes it’s kind of nice not to be known that well, especially by the opposition. Hopefully I can come in and affect the game tomorrow and Shamrock Rovers won’t know what’s coming for them.Ben Fisk
There was genuine interest from MLS clubs and USL teams when his contract expired with FC Edmonton in the NASL, but he always wanted to fulfil his dream of playing in Europe and when Derry City came calling he jumped at the chance.
A phone call from his old friend at Edmonton, Dean Shiels - son of City manager, Kenny - who spent half a season with the Canadian club, persuaded Fisk to cross the Atlantic and try a new career path in Irish football.
And the prospect of playing in the Europa League qualifiers is something which really appealed to him.
“I’m really excited,” said Fisk. “It’s always been a dream of mine to play in the UK somewhere and when the opportunity to come to Derry came up through Dean and Kenny I was really excited about it and wanted to jump on it.
“When Ronan Curtis was sold to Portsmouth Dean contacted me to see if I would be interested as there was obviously an opening on the wing. After that things moved pretty quick and I got a contract and everything sorted with Kenny and got over as quickly as I could.
“I took some time to think about it but obviously with the club being in Europa League qualifiers and the semi-final of the League Cup I thought it was a great opportunity.
“I was speaking to one or two MLS clubs and a few USL clubs. When the season with Edmonton ended I made the decision I wanted to try and get over to the UK or somewhere in Europe. I thought at my age, if I didn’t pursue those opportunities now I might not get another shot. Now I’m here I’m excited to be a part of it and can’t wait to get going.”