GERARD DOHERTY says he’s ‘shocked’ to be the only Derry City player named in the 2016 PFAI ‘Team of the Year’ which was announced this week.
There can be few arguments about the experienced City goalkeeper’s inclusion in the team, having helped keep 18 clean sheets this season and incredibly played every minute of every game!
However, the Creggan man insists he was ‘disappointed’ the Brandywell club weren’t further represented in the panel which was, predictably, made up largely by Dundalk and Cork City players.
In fact Doherty was the only player outside the top two teams named in the ‘Team of the Year’ selected by players from the 12 Premier Division clubs.
He reckons it’s ‘a shame’ City’s Danish defender, Niclas Vemmelund and Brandywell native, Dean Jarvis were overlooked and believes Derry City are not given the recognition it deserves.
“To be honest I was a bit shocked that there wasn’t another couple of Derry City names in there,” said the City custodian.
There’s been some great performances from the likes of Craig Hyland (Rovers) and Conor Winn (Galway), so I’m sure it was a close enough call.Ger Doherty
“I know the majority is either Dundalk or Cork and I suppose what they’ve done in Europe has been noted by a lot of people. But at the same time I’m disappointed for at least two or three of my teammates because the likes of ‘Nico’ and ‘Jarvy’ have been unbelievable this year.
“I don’t really take these awards too seriously but it’s disappointing for a few of the boys that weren’t name because I know how well they’ve performed this year.
“They’re both playing out of position for about 80 per cent of the league games. And for ‘Nico’ to come in to a new country and new league and do so well and not get recognised is a bit of a shame from my point of view.
“There’s not enough recognition for players up in Derry given the style of football we play and the talent we have.”
While he believes certain City players were deserving of the accolade, he claims he’s ‘honoured’ by being included.
“The pleasing thing about the award is that it’s voted by the players,” said Doherty. “It’s an honour to be named in the team given it’s from the players. It definitely would have been close this year, goalkeeping-wise. There’s been some great performances from the likes of Craig Hyland (Rovers) and Conor Winn (Galway), so I’m sure it was a close enough call. I feel like I’ve been relatively consistent throughout the year so that probably stood me in good stead.”
The City keeper is clearly enjoying his football under Kenny Shiels who has put his full trust in him as his No. 1. And Doherty is delighted with the style of football the manager has instilled this season as they build from the back.
“Kenny has come in and put his stamp on the league, not just in Derry. I think the whole league appreciate what he’s trying to do.
“The big games we’ve been involved in which are televised, people have been complimentary about our style of football and that’s down to Kenny. He trusts his players and they have repaid him. I think it’s showed in people’s performances and maybe the fans as well. Maybe the fans were disappointed in some of the results but they seem to appreciate the style of football we’ve been playing.
“I’m happy we are starting to have a bit of an identity for being a footballing team and long may that continue.”