BARRY McNamee committed his immediate future to Derry City this week and urged his teammates to follow suit and place their trust in Kenny Shiels’ vision for the future.
The 24 year-old Ramelton man has emerged as a pivotal player under Shiels this season, playing in his favoured role behind the striker and has racked up three goals and seven assists so far.
Everything looks like it’s pointing forward, so that’s the main reason I decided to sign an extension.Barry McNamee
McNamee has been hugely impressed by Shiels’ management style and his attention to detail. And he claims Shiels’ presence was one of the biggest reasons for signing a one year extension to his current deal which keeps him on Foyleside until the end of next season.
Shiels is under contract until the end of the 2017 season and McNamee believes this current Derry squad can only improve under his stewardship.
“Things have been going well in the league this season and with the way Kenny has started his first year off, I think he will get a bit more backing next year. So things can only get better.
“One of the main reasons I signed was because I know Kenny trusts me in that role. That was very important.
“In this league it’s not very often a manager gets a two year deal. So it’s nice to know the foundations are there. Kenny will be there next year and he has a great backroom staff as well.
“So everything looks like it’s pointing forward, so that’s the main reason I decided to sign an extension.”
And he’s hopeful others will follow his lead. “I’m sure there will be a few members of the squad who will want to assess their options and that’s up to them. But I felt comfortable enough to sign the contract. Obviously I would like for the full squad to stay together and we can improve together.
“I’m sure Kenny has other ideas about bringing in a few other players. Providing we keep the majority of the squad together and maybe add one or two more, then there’s no reason why we can’t improve next year.
“Our aim is to get into Europe and if we achieve that then I’m sure that will persuade others to sign new contracts and help attract others to come in. We just have to go out and perform now for the rest of the season.”
In the absence of Patrick McEleney and Mark Timlin who left the club at the end of last season, McNamee felt he had to step up his game and he’s delighted his manager has placed his trust in him.
“I knew I had to step up and I feel I’ve done alright so far but now is the time to push on. We need to crack on now and nail down that third place.
The Co. Donegal man enjoyed scoring a burst of goals against the big sides, Dundalk and Cork while he netted the winner in Inchicore against St Pat’s. The goals have dried up since but he feels he can kick on from now till the end of the campaign.
“I started off very well and got three goals within the space of three or four weeks but it kind of dried up since then. So I’ll have to try and get a few more and start getting a few more assists again.
But as long as I keep doing my role well for the team and the team keeps picking up points, then that’s all that matters.”