KENNY SHIELS has extended his managerial contract with Derry City which will keep him in the Brandywell hotseat until the end of the 2019 SSE Airtricity League season.
The 61 year-old Magherafelt man has guided the Candy Stripes to third and fourth place finishes respectively in the Premier Division during his two campaigns as City boss and earned himself a new two-year deal.
Having secured qualification for the UEFA Europa League in successive seasons Shiels is determined to land the club a first trophy under his watch during the 2018 campaign where they will return to the newly refurbished Brandywell Stadium after a full season of playing their home games at Maginn Park, Buncrana.
Shiels admitted the 2017 campaign was a 'long hard season which took its toll on him and his players' but he's already turned his attentions to building a side which can challenge the top three sides in the league next year.
"I am delighted that the chairman has shown faith in me," said Shiels. "When someone shows faith in me it makes we want to go out and work all the harder to bring success to the club."
Derry City's fourth place finish this season, just three points behind third place, Shamrock Rovers, is regarded as a particularly impressive achievement given the tragic loss of club skipper, Ryan McBride last March, just weeks into the new campaign.
While club 'player of the year', midfielder, Nicky Low has left the club, Shiels faces a tough task keeping the majority of last season's squad together with several League of Ireland clubs circling around his best players.
Indeed, one of Shiels' main priorities will be to try to persuade influential midfielder Barry McNamee to remain at the Brandywell while players like Aaron McEneff and Aaron Barry are also attracting interest and are two key players the Derry boss will be keen to keep at the club with contract talks continuing.