McEleney knee injury scare

Derry City's Patrick McEleney goes down injured during Friday's game with Shamrock Rovers. Photo: Lorcan Doherty Photography
Derry City's Patrick McEleney goes down injured during Friday's game with Shamrock Rovers. Photo: Lorcan Doherty Photography

Derry City manager Declan Devine could be without the services of winger Patrick McEleney for as long as six weeks after the teenage winger was stretchered off against Shamrock Rovers at the Brandywell on Friday evening.

The Candy Stripes lost the game 1-0 to Stephen Kenny’s team but Devine’s woes were further compounded when he had to replace McEleney during the first half.

The ‘Sunday Journal’ understands that McEleney sustained knee ligament damage.

“Patrick has hurt his knee and he has been in this morning [Saturday] with Colm O’Neill [physio]. It’s too early to say how long he will be out for - we’ll wait until the start of the week to see if he needs a scan or not.

“Hopefully it’s not as bad as we initially thought but we haven’t had much good luck recently.”

Speaking to the ‘Sunday Journal’ after Friday’s defeat, Devine said that he was “gutted” that his team failed to come away with anything from the game.

“I’m disappointed and gutted for the players out there tonight,” he said.

“I felt there was very little between both teams. We have been punished for one lapse in concentration and we haven’t taken our chances when they have been presented to us. I am disappointed because it’s game that I really felt we should have won. It’s disappointing to be coming away with no points from another game at the Brandywell.”

Devine went on to say that he was baffled at referee Derek Tomney’s decision to yellow card Craig Sives in the first half when it was clear he was the last man back for Rovers when he fouled David McDaid.

“The referee said to me that he [Sives] was too far away from goal for it to be a sending off - I have never heard anything like that before.

“In my opinion it’s a definite red card but there’s point in complaining about them because that’s all I seem to be doing at the minute.”

He added: “I felt our final ball tonight was not as it could have been. We manage to get into good situations but the final ball just wouldn’t come.”

It is believed that Friday’s game was Derry stalwart Eddie McCallion’s last for his hometown club.

Irish Premier League side Glenavon have offered him a two year contract with the prospect of more first team football.

When asked for his thoughts on McCallion’s 15 year career with the Candy Stripes, Devine was full of praise and gratitude for the 33 year-old right back.

“Eddie McCallion deserves all the credit in the world.

“Eddie has been an unbelievable servant to this club and I would hope that he would continue to train here on a daily basis - our door is always open.

“I’ll be bitterly disappointed to see Eddie go because I wanted him to stay.

“Eddie always put himself forward for games and even at the age of 33 he’s still probably one of the club’s fittest players. I am proud to have managed and coached him.

“The word legend is used too much if you ask me but as far as I am concerned Eddie McCallion is a Derry City legend and I wish him all the best.” he said.