Collins talks to Dublin GAA fitness coach

Derry City Press Conference with new manager Roddey Collins. Photo: Presseye
Derry City Press Conference with new manager Roddey Collins. Photo: Presseye

New Derry City manager, Roddy Collins, has consulted a top sports scientist ahead of January’s pre-season schedule.

Collins, who was officially unveiled as Declan Devine’s successor on Wednesday, spoke to the Sunday Journal from Dublin yesterday afternoon and said that he had been talking to Martin Kennedy and added that he believed his experience with the Dublin All-Ireland winning side earlier this year could prove pivotal.

“Martin Kennedy has worked with a few English Premiership clubs, the Dublin footballers and now we are talking to him.

“I can’t wait to get started and I am already looking at a date in mid-January for the players to start pre-season,” confirmed Collins.

In recent days, Derry City has been linked with Portadown player and Northern Ireland international, Kevin Braniff.

When asked if he would like to elaborate on the rumours, Collins stated he hadn’t seen Braniff play in the flesh and affirmed that before he signs any player he has to see them in action.

“I’ve made millions of signings during my time as a manager.

“Two signings I made once, didn’t work out and it was because I trusted someone else’s judgement. The people I listened to weren’t bad or anything like that it’s just my idea of a good player and someone else’s is completely different.

“I’ve read in the newspaper that we’ve been linked with this lad Braniff but to be honest I don’t know too much about him and I have never seen him play.

“That’s not to say that I wouldn’t be interested but until I see a player play football and look him straight in the eye, I wouldn’t sign anyone.”

Collins, who managed Athlone Town last season, will move to Derry permanently tomorrow.

“I had to go back to Dublin straight after the press conference on Wednesday and as I was driving down the road I wanted to turn around and come back to Derry - that’s how excited I am about this job.

“I am a 24/7 man when it comes to football, some would even say I am a workaholic. I can’t wait to get started and I hope to start talking to some of the players who might be re-signing but rest assured I intend to speak to every player individually - that’s the way I do my business.”

Former Derry City captain Peter Hutton will join Collins as his assistant manager. Collins said he is delighted to be working with someone with such a fantastic history with the club.

“Peter Hutton is and always will be your consummate professional. It’s a great opportunity for him and I can think of no better man for the job,” said Collins.

Meanwhile, the National League Annual Convention, which was attended by delegates from the Airtricity League clubs, has re-elected Paddy Goodwin as vice-chairman of the FAI National League Executive Committee.

Facts to emerge from the meeting included: 529 players played in the Airtricity League last season, the average age of the players in the league was 23 years-old and 184 days and Derry City goalkeeper, Gerard Doherty, was one of only seven players to have started all 33 Premier Division fixtures. Former Derry full-back Simon Madden also started all 33 games.

It was announced at the meeting that the 2014 Premier and First Divisions will kick-off on Friday, March 7, with the mid-season break taking place between June 14 and 26 with fixtures resuming on Friday, June 27. The EA Sports Cup Final is scheduled for Saturday, September 20 and the FAI Ford Cup Final is fixed for Sunday, November 2, at the Aviva Stadium.