FOOTBALL: McNamee departs with heavy heart

Barry McNamee
Barry McNamee

Ramelton man Barry McNamee admitted things in the Derry City changing room weren’t right after Ryan McBride’s tragic death.

The 25-year-old, who signed a one year deal with double winners Cork City, conceded that after having talks with Candy Stripes boss Kenny Shiels things in the dressing room just didn’t improve.

“For me yes it was a long tough year, but there was a lot of things that could be improved on in the changing room,” he stated.

“I spoke to Kenny (Shiels) about it and he said that things were going to change but it has been like that there for me for too long and I just kind of lost it and now I didn’t lose interest, but I just felt it was the right time to move on.

“To be fair we won our opening four games before Ryan’s death and obviously it was tough on everybody and I know a lot of people are saying considering what has all happened securing European football was good, but we finished third last year and this season we were a lot further off the Cork and Dundalk.”

McNamee, who was joint top scorer alongside Aaron McEneff after netting 10 goals last season for Derry, confirmed that after having talks with John Caulfield he couldn’t turn down the Rebel Army.

“It was a tough decision having been at Derry for six years,” he added.

“I kind of decided three quarters of the way through the season that I was going to assess my options and then John Caulfield rang me to set up a meeting with him, after our chat it was hard to turn down the league and cup champions when they come calling for you.

“I think it was maybe two or three weeks before the season ended was the first time that he made contact with me and I had briefly spoken to Kenny (Shiels) before that and I told him then that I was going to assess my options.

"Even at that stage my head was that far gone I didn’t know if I was going to be play next year, where I was going to play or what I was going to do, so I agreed with Kenny that I would wait until towards the end of the season.

“Then in the mean time I suppose I got my head turned with Cork and then there was no way back for me.”