PORTSMOUTH-BOUND, Ronan Curtis has pledged to be fully committed to Derry City until his move to Fratton Park becomes official on June 8th.
The 22 year-old winger was delighted to agree terms on a two-year contract with the League One club last Tuesday and insists the move was never in doubt, despite reported interest from Championship club, Reading at the final hour.
I’m still a Derry player until I sign that contract when I get over there and that’s when I will do my thing for Portsmouth.Ronan Curtis
And while he’s excited about the move to south England, Curtis is adamant he will give everything to Derry City in the five remaining games before he departs.
The official paperwork won’t be completed until June 8th which means Derry’s re-scheduled league clash with Cork on Monday, June 4th is expected to be his last in a Derry shirt.
“We got the deal sorted out for June 8th,” confirmed Curtis. “But as long as I’m a Derry player, and I’ve told Kenny Shiels and all the staff this, I’ll give 100 per cent. I’ll work my hardest. That’s all I can do and have been doing in the past.
“I’m not a Portsmouth player yet,” he added. “I’m still a Derry player until I sign that contract when I get over there and that’s when I will do my thing for Portsmouth.
“I’m focused on the games ahead for Derry. I’ll have a couple of weeks off in June and then I’ll bang out pre-season with Portsmouth and try and do the same for Portsmouth as I did for Derry. It’s every young man’s dream to go over and express themselves and do well in English football.”
While Curtis will pack up for England at the start of June, he will return to Ireland for a six day pre-season trip which includes a friendly against Cork City at Turner’s Cross on Monday, July 2nd.
“They have a good relationship with League of Ireland clubs,” explained Curtis. “They went to Sligo a couple of years back and Cork and they played Coleraine back in the 90s so they have a good relationship with Irish teams. I’m looking forward to it.”
Curtis was impressed by the set-up at Fratton Park and is hoping he can help the club clinch promotion to the Championship next season.
“It was unreal when I went to visit the club on Tuesday, The facilities are unbelievable and all the staff and the players I met were all lovely.
“It’s such a big club. They’ve had former managers like Harry Redknapp and players like Peter Crouch and Jermaine Defoe. They were in the Premier League a couple of years back so they’re no soft team. They’re a great, great club and hopefully we can get promotion next year because they were just a few points off getting promotion this year.”
The Donegal lad hasn’t left Foyleside yet but he hasn’t ruled out a return to the club at sometime in the future and thanked everyone involved with the Candy Stripes for giving him the opportunity to take his career onto the next level,
“You never know I might be in a Derry shirt in my later years of football again but it’s unbelievable and I can’t thank Kenny Shiels for giving me my opportunity and not standing in my way.
“I have to thank Derry, Kenny Shiels and all his backroom staff and the players have all been good to me over the years. Kenny gave me my chance when I was younger and I took full advantage of it. I played well and I’ve served my time at Derry. I’ve been here five years now and I’m just grateful to Kenny and Derry City.”