PATRICK McEleney insists he won’t be playing his football with Derry City next season and is poised to decide on his future tomorrow!
The 23 year-old Shantallow man is torn between the decision to link up with his former manager, Stephen Kenny at Dundalk or join his brother Shane at St Patrick’s Athletic.
I was disappointed with the way Derry handled it to be honest. They made me one offer and then didn’t come back again.Patrick McEleney
League champions Dundalk were in the driving seat to secure his signature until Liam Buckley’s ‘Saints’ came in at the 11th hour with an improved offer.
However, McEleney WILL make his decision tomorrow after consulting with his girlfriend and family.
“I have a serious decision to make now but I’ve been offered contracts by Dundalk and St Pat’s and should know by tomorrow (Tuesday),” he revealed.
“I just have to make a decision now. I have to go home and have a good think about it before making my mind up.”
Frustrated with Derry City
McEleney explained why he had made the difficult decision to cut ties with his hometown club after six years service and claimed he leaves Brandywell with a ‘heavy heart’.
The former Sunderland player admits he grew increasingly frustrated and was disappointed with the ‘Candy Stripes’ during recent talks after they failed to offer him an improved offer to remain on Foyleside.
“The offer made by Derry was basically the same as last year’s contract, so I didn’t agree to it,” he revealed.
Derry boss, Kenny Shiels promised to make him the highest paid player at the club last week but McEleney wasn’t impressed by the terms on the table.
“I was disappointed with the way Derry handled it to be honest,” he added. “They made me one offer and then didn’t come back again.
“I turned it down and they left it at that. They didn’t come back with a counter offer or to have any further discussions,” he claimed.
“I got one offer an that was it. It was down to the club if they wanted me or not and I would have considered other offers.
“I felt the fans and the players all wanted me to stay and I wanted to stay but I just didn’t get the impression that the club really wanted me.
“I feel sorry for Kenny (Shiels) a bit. He has been working hard and I know he wanted me to stay. But I was offered the same terms with a few tweaks.
“I won’t be at Derry next season,” he confirmed. “It’s done now but I leave with a heavy heart. I have some great memories at the club. I’ve supported the club since I was eight years-old and it was a dream to be playing for them but it’s just a shame that it’s ended a bit weirdly.
“I wish the club all the best and will support them but it won’t be nice coming back to Brandywell next season playing for the visiting team.
“I’m still only 23 years-old and I didn’t see myself playing anywhere else in the league apart from Derry but it’s just reached that stage where I have to move on. I didn’t really want to but I have to.”
Derry City will receive a significant payout from either Dundalk or St Pat’s which will equate to one year of the player’s gross salary, understood to be in the region of £18,000.