DERRY CITY captain, Ryan McBride has urged the club’s out-of-contract players still undecided on their futures to follow his lead and commit to the club.
The City skipper, alongside his defensive partner, Aaron Barry became new boss, Kenny Shiels’ first signings on Tuesday, as they re-signed for the 2016 campaign.
Brandywell lad, McBride (25) had been involved in advanced talks with Shamrock Rovers, but after meeting with Shiels, the prospect of captaining his hometown club in 2016 was enough to swing his decision in favour of the ‘Candy Stripes’.
And although Shiels is yet to confirm his captain for the forthcoming season, McBride has bought into the manager’s plans for the future of the club.
“I was close to agreeing terms with Shamrock Rovers last week and then Kenny Shiels and Sean Barrett stepped in and offered me a deal,” he explained.
“I felt I was better off staying in Derry. Being captain of my hometown club was an honour to me and I don’t want to give that up!
I’d ask those players to commit their futures to Derry City. Everything Kenny Shiels has talked about bodes well for the club.Ryan McBride
“Playing in Europe is a big draw but that’s our plan for next season - qualifying for Europe. Kenny’s a top manager and he led Kilmarnock to the League Cup win against Celtic. Everything he said clicked with me. The way we will be training, preparing for matches - everything is so professional.”
And as Shiels continues to hold informal talks with those out-of-contract players, McBride, who played 30 times for City last year, is hoping the new boss can retain the services of the majority of last season’s squad.
“I’d ask those players to commit their futures to Derry City,” said McBride. “Everything Kenny Shiels has talked about bodes well for the club.”
And he was delighted that his centre half partner, Barry also agreed terms this week.
“Aaron is a great player and we read each other’s game very well. He’s only 23 and has a great future.”
Meanwhile, Derry boss, Shiels was delighted to have the defensive pairing on board for next year.
“Ryan’s a player we feel is not only the captain of the team but is influential and leads by example and we’re really pleased to have him on board for next season,” said the Derry manager.”
“We’re trying to do our best to get most of the squad signed up if we can.
“If we have a happy camp and have good structures in place and the players are professional then they will want to sign, irrespective of who’s here.
“It’s not just because we’ve signed Ryan that others will follow. I want them to be here because they see it as an opportunity to play the game professionally and to have an excitement and enthusiasm about them.
“It wasn’t necessarily about finance,” he added. “It was about what my plans were and how professional I was going to be and I think I helped to sell that to him in a way in which he understood.
“Being a Derry boy he certainly feels this is his home. I think those were the contributing factors to help him make his decision.”-