Derry City U19 manager John Quigg believes Kenny Shiels is the perfect manager to continue the club’s policy of giving young players a chance in the first team.
In recent years the likes of Conor McDermott, Ben Doherty, Ronan Curtis, Rory Holden, Cathal Farren, Sean McBride and Aidan Delap have all got first team minutes under the belt.
But I can’t state it enough, if and when the young players get a chance they need to make an impact. If it’s in training, or in the Reserves or the U19’s they have to make an impression.John Quigg
And Quigg feels that Delap, Farren, McBride, Sam Todd and Evan Tweed may feature this season.
“There are three or four players in training with the first team during pre-season,” he admitted.
“Delap, Tweed, Farren and McBride are all in training with the first team, while Sam Todd, who has joined Finn Harps on loan, but is still training with the first team. If he does well up there then that can be good for the Derry City,
“They are the four or five players who will be pushing for a place in and around the first team this season.
“To be fair to Kenny, he has no problem throwing young players into the team and a lot of those boys made their debuts last season.
“Two seasons ago he gave the likes of McDermott, Doherty and Rory Holden debuts and last year Todd, Farren, McBride and Tweed all played games and we are hoping that Delap is the one that springs up this year.”
Quigg, who along with youth coaches Eddie Seydak, Gary Duffy and Justin Green and currently first team assistant manager Hugh Harkin, have played their part over the years in producing talented players for the likes of Stephen Kenny, Declan Devine, Peter Hutton and now Shiels, admits it’s going to be tough for anyone young but stressed if they get their chance they have to be ready.
“Now, don’t get me wrong it’s going to hard and anyone that gets a chance needs to take it. It’s a great opportunity for the young players but, as I said, they need be ready to take their opportunity,” he added.
“On Friday night Derry play their first two pre-season games at Ballyclare and Larne and I expect a lot of young players to be part of those squads. If they get on and impressive then that’s brilliant.
“I know we were beaten by Fanad United on Sunday in the Ulster Senior League, but Kenny was at the game, like he is at every game, so he will give opportunities and then it’s up to them to impressive.
“Aidy Delap can play in a number of positions. He has pace and, like so many of our young players in the squad, he has the right attitude.
“Players like Shane McNamee, who is Barry and Tony’s younger brother, he’s another boy who has an opportunity, and Conor Gormley.
“Those three players are young and they can all play in the U19 squad for another season, so that’s great for the club that we are continuing to get top young players. We have potentially a young squad full of players.
“But I can’t state it enough, if and when the young players get a chance they need to make an impact. If it’s in training, or in the Reserves or the U19’s they have to make an impression.
“I honestly feel they are as good as what we have seen over the years like Barry McNamee, Davy McDaid and Michael Duffy.
“We have a manager who believes in the youth structure and that’s great for the future of the club.”
Meanwhile the club’s lottery numbers for this week are 2, 7, 17 and 21 and the jackpot is £1,000.