Mystery midfielder will finalise squad - Derry City boss Roddy Collins

Derry City FC manager Roddy Collins. (DER4713PG057)
Derry City FC manager Roddy Collins. (DER4713PG057)

NOW delighted with his ‘back five’ and content having secured the services of four strikers for the 20014 campaign, Derry City boss, Roddy Collins, has opted to strengthen his midfield area.

And while the signing of Nigerian national, Akanni-Sunday Wasiu (29), had been expected to take place last weekend but didn’t happen, Collins remains interested in the former Floriana hitman.

“I believe I’m so close to finalising the panel and so close to identifying my starting XI, but I have been concerned about one particular area of the park,” he said.

“We have a good midfield, but I feel we need a player with more experience to slot in there and that’s been bugging me for the past few weeks,” he added.

However, having been made aware that such a player could be available, the Derry boss has opted to investigate that situation further, with his attempts to bring in another striker placed on the back burner for the moment.

“I’ve been made aware that the type of player I’m looking for has been made available. However, at this early stage of negotiations, I’m not prepared to name him as nothing has been agreed.

“I can tell you that I’ve already made contact with him and we’ve had what I believe was a positive conversation. He’s keen to get his immediate future sorted and I’m hopeful that I could have him over for this weekend to have a look around and continue our negotiations.”

While he refused to name names until a signing had been made, it’s understood the midfielder is currently operating in the lower leagues in England.

“I believe this player could solve my problem if I can get him and I’d be delighted with that, but we’ll have to wait and see what develops. I think he has other options, but he appeared to be keen to sample playing in the League of Ireland.”

Commenting on the future of Akanni-Sunday, Collins said it was possible that he could be signing for Derry, but he wasn’t in any hurry on that front.

“Sunday is fully fit and well ahead of our squad given that he continues to train and play with his Non-League club as a non-contracted player. He’s a married man with a family, so accommodation has to be sorted out and that can take time.

“I’m fully aware of the fact that he’s fit and doesn’t need games and he’s in London, but I want to address the midfield problem first and foremost.

“Sunday is still in my thoughts, but there’s no hurry on that front and I’ve made him aware of the situation and he appears to be happy with it.”

Meanwhile, with Sunday’s game against a Derry & District F.A. Select lost to the weather, the game has been rescheduled for tomorrow night (Wednesday) in the Brandywell with a 7.45 p.m. kick-off.

“Hopefully, we will get playing the match on Wednesday night, but I’m not panicking as we had a great session on Sunday once it had been postponed.

“Things are going really well since we started. Outside the postponements, everything has gone smoothly.

“The training facilities have been excellent, the players are enjoying the sessions and touch wood, we’ve no injury problems to date,” he concluded.