Derry’s DEvine intervention

Newly appointed Derry City manager Declan Devine and assistant Paul Hegarty share a joke at the press conference.  (1001JB24).
Newly appointed Derry City manager Declan Devine and assistant Paul Hegarty share a joke at the press conference. (1001JB24).

New Derry City manager Declan Devine believes that despite some high profile players leaving Brandywell recently there’s still plenty of “amazing talent” at the club.

The 38 year-old Fanad Drive man described some of the players still at the Brandywell as the “best in the country” and explained that with the help of a few new signings the club are more than capable of achieving success in 2012.

“One of the things that convinced me to put my name forward for the Derry City job was that I didn’t think that there’s a hell of a lot wrong with the current squad. There’s a lot of skill and talent to build upon. I know we have lost a few high profile players but we still have some amazing talent at the club.

“Gerard Doherty, in my opinion is the best goalkeeper in the league; Barry Molloy, Kevin Deery and Ruaidhri Higgins are in the top ten midfielders in the league and is there a better left-back in the league than Danny Lafferty? I don’t think so. We also have Stephen McLaughlin, who has a lot of potential and Patrick McEleney, Shane McEleney and Ryan McBride.

“It’s up to us to try and add to the talent in the squad and it’s up to us to make sure that this squad push on and we have everybody in the city behind us.”

Devine, who replaces Stephen Kenny as manager of the Candy Stripes said that fans should expect a similar style of play that became common place under the current Shamrock Rovers boss.

“I think I had a big input into the style of play we played under Stephen Kenny over the last few years. Stephen was the manager and both him and I worked off the same principles. My principles, where football is concerned will always be the same, so I think that the style of play the fans will see is something similar to what they have seen over the last few seasons at the Brandywell.

“I want the team to play football and win matches the right way. I am not naive to think that sometimes you have to do what it takes to win football matches but my style of play will be attacking, played at a high tempo and will be focused on good passing.

“I would rather play badly and win than look good and lose - every game will be different.

“We’ll do our best to play attacking, entertaining football but let’s concentrate on winning football matches first.”

Devine, a former Ipswich Town trainee, said he looks forward to welcoming Stephen Kenny back to the Brandywell and explained how much he had learned under the 40 year-old Dubliner.

“I speak to Stephen regularly - he’s a very good friend of mine. It’ll be interesting when Derry City have to play to Shamrock Rovers - I am sure we won’t be speaking on the phone too much that week. Seriously though, in my eyes Stephen Kenny is a legend. He gave me the opportunity to work under him and I learned a lot from him. He’s a very talented manager but things move on. It would have been easy for me to continue on working with Stephen but when the opportunity to manage a club like Derry City comes along it’s not something you turn your nose up at.”