DERRY CITY manager Kenny Shiels insists it will take a ‘special player’ to tempt him into the Transfer Market, saying it’s ‘highly unlikely’ the club will make further signings before the big kick-off on March 4.
While Shiels won’t rule out a late move and will continue to monitor the market, he suspects there will be no further additions given the club’s budget constraints.
At this moment in time there’s nothing on my hit list. I’ve no targets at present and I’m happy with what I’ve got.Kenny Shiels
And, the Magherafelt man insists he’s happy with the players at his disposal going into the new season with former Brandywell favourite, Gareth McGlynn, expected to join up with the squad for the first time next Monday on his return from New York.
While Shiels acknowledges that his squad could be considered to be thread-bare, he’s confident his current panel will be ‘competitive’ and can even prove to be a surprise package in the league this season given their unknown quantity.
Shiels has made seven new signings since his appointment last November, after re-signing several key players from last year’s panel, with Scottish duo, Jordan Allen and Harry Monaghan, becoming his first new additions.
McGlynn and the club’s former top goalscorer, Rory Patterson, then followed suit before Nathan Boyle, Danish defender, Niclas Vemmelund, and Spaniard, Cristian Delgado, became the latest to join the ‘Candy Stripes’ earlier this month.
Moves for Darren Murray and Danish winger, Philip Lund, failed to materialise while trialists, Fran Bazulic (Croatia) and Brian Evans (Portugal), are not expected to make the grade at the club following their week-long trials this week.
So, while he suggests the club’s transfer business may be complete, he will wait until his side have played the first of its pre-season fixtures before assessing his need to buy.
And, while the British January Transfer Window closes on Monday, Shiels will continue to keep a close eye on those out-of-contract players before the League of Ireland cut-off point.
“There will be February options because players that don’t go during the January Transfer Window might still be accessible,” he said.
“It’s difficult to say. We have to work with what we’ve got and with the hand we’ve been dealt. And it’s highly unlikely that anyone else will come in.
“At this moment in time, there’s nothing on my hit list. I’ve no targets at present and I’m happy with what I’ve got. If I have to go with what we have, then I’ll have to be very careful with injuries but I’m sure we’ve enough young players to come in and replace any seasoned pros should they get injured.
“We’ve got a squad that can compete,” he continued. “We have a decent sized squad. However, I’ll reserve judgement until we get a few pre-season games behind us and then I can have a look and see where we need to improve.
“It’s going to have to be a special player coming in at this stage. There’s a high risk of duplicating players and cost the club money, so it’s difficult.”
Season Ticket Sales Marginally Down
With season tickets sales reportedly down from this stage last season by several hundred, fans had hoped for a marquee signing to generate interest.
While that’s now considered unlikely, Shiels is hoping his new-look panel and the levels of preparation being made in the pre-season will be enough to attract a big crowd to the opening home game of the season against Cork on March 12.
“We’ve got to look at the positives,” continued the Derry boss who attended Finn Harps’ friendly against an Inishowen League Select at Maginn Park on Wednesday.
“It’s up to us to provide a product that people will like. We want to try and get an edge in everything we do. And we’re working hard every day, two sessions a day in order to achieve that. We’re leaving no stone unturned regards preparation.”