Defender Ciaran Coll admitted it was hard decision to leave Finn Harps for Derry City but the lure of full-time football was too good to turn down.
The 27-year-old, who celebrated his testimonial year with the Ballybofey men last season, conceded that Declan Devine and Paddy McCourt’s influences played a major role in him taking the decision to move to the Brandywell.
When I sat down with Declan (Devine) and he put the contract in front of me, it was a brainer.Ciaran Coll
“It’s a new challenge for me. It’s full-time football but it was hard for me to leave,” he insists. “But sitting down with Declan and Paddy was a big help as well, I knew I had to make the move.
“It’s something I wanted to do. I feel I have served my time in Ballybofey with Finn Harps and I know people are going to say ‘It’s Derry City, go somewhere else,’ but I want to be happy.
“Paddy helped me during his time at Harps and I know Declan and Kevin (Deery) very well, so it’s what I want to do.”
The St Johnston man conceded he was surprised by Derry’s form last season.
“Last year, when you looked at the results, you were actually shocked because of the squad that was here and everything. It was a disappointing year for them but hopefully this year things change around for the better,” he added.
“It’s a fresh start. There’s new staff and it’s a new beginning for everything and I just hope that we can get back to winnings ways and bring some silverware into the place.”
Coll played his part in Ollie Horgan men’s promotion last year and he really enjoyed his time at Finn Park but said he feels at the right age to make the switch and just like a kid on Christmas Eve waiting on Santa to arrive, he can’t wait for pre-season to begin.
“I loved every minute of my 10 years at Harps. I could say nothing bad about the club,” he adds.
“They looked after me over the years and when I crossed the white line, or if there was something that needed to be done for the club, I would do it. As I said, I have served my time there and now it’s time to put on a different colour of jersey.
“The Brandywell is only five minutes from my house and it’s where I want to be. I spoke to my mum and dad about the move and they said to me ‘Ciaran, it’s up to you, it’s your choice’ and then when I sat down with Declan and he put the contract in front of me, it was no brainer.
“As I said Derry is where I want to be and I’m looking forward to it.
“We’ll get a few more names on the dotted line and hopefully with the new players that are coming in we can put a strong squad together because the staff is there.
“All we need to do now is click as players and I’m really, really looking forward to getting started.
“To be honest I can’t wait to get on the training gear, get pre-season started and then come the first game of the season, hopefully I have done enough to put on the jersey to start that first game.”