French Guinean Derry-bound?

Derry City boss Roddy Collins has confirmed that he is interested in signing a defender who plays for the French Guinean international football team.

Collins refused to reveal the identity of the player as the deal to the bring him to the Brandywell has not been finalised. However he said he’s playing his football in Finland at the moment.

A trawl of Finnish clubs suggesets that one possibility is a 6ft 4in defender who plays in the third tier of the Finnish league.

Collins said: “I’ve been looking at a defender who plays for the French Guinean football team. I actually spoke to the player in question on Christmas Eve and he is very keen to come and see what we are about but nothing is finalised yet. We will just have to wait and see what happens.”

Collins will return to Derry tomorrow after spending Christmas with his family in Dublin. He will travel to England and Scotland on January 7 and January 22 where he is expected to hold talks with several potential signings.

“There was one player I was looking at and I was keen on signing him but I saw he got a game for his team on St. Stephen’s Day.

“It’s obviously good news for the player but not so good news for me - I was hoping he wouldn’t have been in the team because that would have made him easier to sign but what can you do?.

“I’ve remained in contact with a few players over the holidays but like I keep saying, when signing a new player, it has to be for the good of the club.I will not be bringing anyone to Derry City F.C. unless I feel they will help to develop the club.

“I have a knack for spotting players. I’ve signed players from all over the world during my time as a manager and I pride myself on bringing in quality players. That’s exactly what I intend to do with Derry City.”

Derry City will commence their pre-season training on January 10 and Collins warned his players to enjoy the holidays while they can.

“They may enjoy every bit of turkey and Christmas pudding because when it comes to January 10, the fitness coach, Peter Hutton and myself will be taking no prisoners.

“I can’t wait for the pre-season to start - I am so excited about this new job and I can’t wait to start working properly with the players.

“Peter and myself have organised the pre-season training and I know players hate doing it but there’s one thing I know how to be and that’s a champion - and champions need to work hard.

“Being a champion is not a right, it’s a lifestyle choice and I can’t wait to show some of the younger players how to be champions.

“I am also delighted that Declan McIntyre has decided to join us our goalkeeping coach. I’ve known Declan for years and he is second to none. He is a brilliant professional who will doubt benefit Derry City.”

He added: “I would just like to thank everyone in Derry for the support they have shown me since I became manager and although nothing is ever guaranteed, I will do my utmost to make 2014 a year to remember.”