DECLAN Devine is ‘excited’ to link up with Barry McNamee again after finally securing his ‘marquee signing’ ahead of the 2019 Airtricity League season.
The talented 26 year-old midfielder returns to the club for a second spell having agreed a one-year deal with the Candy Stripes on Monday afternoon.
McNamee becomes Devine’s 10th signing since taking over as City boss last November and the Creggan man reckons it’s a signing which will excite the fans as his 2019 squad begins to take shape.
The Ramelton man, who has made over 150 appearances for the Brandywell club, was top of Devine’s shopping list when he took the Brandywell hotseat and he’s hoping to build his team around the midfield playmaker who spent last season at league runners-up, Cork City.
“I’m delighted,” beamed Devine. “He was obviously one of the top targets as soon as I came to the club. I think it’s exciting for the club and exciting for the city. He is a top player within the league. I know we’ve signed a quality person and a quality player and I’m looking forward to getting working with Barry again.”
McNamee established himself as a first team player with Derry back in 2012 under the stewardship of Devine and having pipped rivals Finn Harps for the player’s signature this week, the City boss believes the Donegal man will enjoy playing under the all-local management team on Foyleside.
“We certainly aim to provide a good working environment. He’s a fantastic player who I’ve know for a long time and a player I’ve worked with in the past. He was one of the first names on my sheet for recruiting to the club and we’re delighted to get him over the line,” he added.
Derry kicked off its pre-season campaign with a 3-1 win over Ulster Senior League outfit, Cockhill Celtic at Brandywell last Friday night with goals from Ciaran Coll, David Parkhouse and Shane McNamee.
While ex-West Ham striker, Jordan Brown played the full 90 minutes, Devine confirmed the player has returned home following his trial period at the club and is unlikely to add the player to his squad.
However, Portugeuse-born Canadian, Mauro Eustáquio, who also played against the Inishowen men on Friday night, has impressed the City manager and will remain at the club for another week at least as he runs his eye over the former Ottawa Fury midfielder.
Derry will continues its pre-season campaign with a trip to Drogheda United on January 22nd.