NEW Derry City signing Rob Cornwall claims former Brandywell favourite, Simon Madden had a major influence on his move to Foyleside.
The ex-City defender, who spent two successful seasons at the club which included an FAI triumph in 2012, convinced Shamrock Rovers teammate, Cornwall to chose Derry City despite interest from several other interested parties.
He joins the club as Peter Hutton’s second signing of the July Transfer Window on loan from Rovers until the end of the season. And he was delighted to make the move official this morning (Monday).
“I had a good few clubs interested but as soon as Peter (Hutton) gave me the call I was delighted,” said Cornwall. “It’s one of the biggest clubs in the land.
“I was talking to Simon Madden as well and he was saying they treat their players like Gods up there so I was buzzing to come up.
“I approached Pat (Fenlon) about getting me a loan move and there’s no hard feelings. Every manager has their own taste. He wanted experience and, in fairness, it’s only my third year in the League of Ireland. I’m buzzing to be here and desperate to get started.”
I have that experience. I’ll let the lads know how it feels because it’s not a good feeling to go down. But I can’t see Derry going down. On paper it’s one of the best teams in the league in my opinion.Rob Cornwall
Cornwall joins Derry in the midst of a relegation battle and ahead of a crunch clash against bottom of the table side, Limerick at Brandywell this Friday night.
The defender has had first hand experience of relegation battles having been part of the Shelbourne team which lost its Premier Division status in 2013.
So he’s well equipped to cope with the intense heat of City’s current plight.
And while he’s determined to avoid that sinking feeling again, he believes this current Derry City side are too good to go down.
“My first year at Shels we were fighting relegation and we got relegated that year so it was tough and I wouldn’t like to have that feeling again,” said Cornwall.
“It’s tough and it’s hard to take in.
“It took a good few weeks to actually sink in. So I’m used to it but it’s a dogfight and we’ll get through it!
“I have that experience. I’ll let the lads know how it feels because it’s not a good feeling to go down.
“But I can’t see Derry going down. On paper it’s one of the best teams in the league in my opinion. With ‘Fats’ and Ryan McBride, there’s so much experience here.
“This club is too big to be down at the bottom, so it’s time to push on.
“When we came up here with Rovers I thought Derry played very well against us. “We got the draw (0-0) but Derry could have nicked the win.
“And we were happy to come up here and get the draw because it’s a tough place to come.”
Cornwall’s preferred position is right-back but he’s prepared to play in whatever position is required.
“At Shels I played right back and then Trevor Croly started playing me at centre half for the first time.
“I did well and played decent up until the break and then Pat (Fenlon) came in. I didn’t really get a look in after that.
“When I was younger I played on the right wing so Peter (Hutton) can play me anywhere. He can even throw me up top if he wants,” he laughed.
And he’s ready to hit the ground running after joining his new teammates for his first training session yesterday.
“I did my ankle a couple of weeks ago but I’ve been doing my own training. I wouldn’t say I’m match fit just yet but I’ll be able to run all day I’d say. Hopefully I can get a good cup run and push on.”