Collins hoping to strengthen defence

New Derry City FC manager Roddy Collins. (DER4713PG057)
New Derry City FC manager Roddy Collins. (DER4713PG057)

Derry City manager, Roddy Collins, is hopeful that he will be able to add “one or two” defenders to his squad when he travels to England and Scotland next week.

Dubliner, Collins, will leave Derry tomorrow morning and will spend the next five days scouting and talking to potential signings.

“I definitely think we need to add one or two defenders to the squad,” Collins told the Sunday Journal yesterday evening.

“We conceded far too many goals last season so we need to tighten up at the back.

“I have already spoken to two players over the phone and I will be meeting them face to face when I go on the road next week.

“Hopefully, if all goes according to plan I will also be able to add another midfielder to the list and maybe another striker.”

Collins was keen to address the growing concern amongst some Derry City fans over a lack of signings.

Not counting the players from last season who have re-signed, Collins has signed one new player; former Athlone Town striker Enda Curran.

“A few people have expressed their worry over the lack of signings,” he said.

Collins suggested that some clubs such as St. Patrick’s Athletic, Shamrock Rovers and Sligo Rovers were able “to throw money at players”.

“The players who are left over once those three teams have had their pick are not good enough for Derry City.

“I refuse to throw good money after bad and should it take me to be out looking at players on St. Stephen’s Day, I will,” stated the 52 year-old former Carlisle United boss.

“I’ve spoken to every player who was at the club last season except one and I hope to be speaking to him as soon as possible. Everyone knows where they stand and I can’t wait to get started.”

The new Derry City boss attended last Saturday’s U21 game between Derry City and Drogheda United at the Brandywell and said he was impressed with some of the talent on show.

“I can tell you now that one or two of the younger players will be coming into the senior team for pre-season training,” confirmed Collins.

“It’s very hard to tell a lot from one game of football but I could see that there’s a really good core there.

“John Quigg is doing an absolutely amazing job with the youth at the club and I think the club has a very exciting future to look forward to.”

Collins is clearly intent on adding to his squad over the coming weeks but when asked if he had any thoughts on who will captain the team next season he said it would be something he would have “to think long and hard about”.

“If I am honest with you, I didn’t realise how important Derry City was to the people of Derry until I got this job.

“I always knew Derry was a big club but I had no idea just how important it is to the people.

“I want my captain, whoever, he may be, to reflect that importance. Not only does he have to be a leader on the pitch, he has to be a leader off it too.

“There are a lot of things to take into consideration. How he treats fellow professionals, how he treats the fans and how he lives his life. As far as I am concerned, it’s a massive responsibility and I want to make sure whoever I pick, is well up for the task ahead.”