JOSH Kerr claims he heeded the advice of his Brighton and Hove Albion teammate, Shane Duffy who told him it was a ‘no-brainer’ to join Derry City.
The talented centre half joined the Brandywell club on a six month loan deal from the English Premiership club on Monday, becoming Declan Devine’s ninth new signing since taking the hot-seat last November.
Devine and former Brighton winger, Paddy McCourt recently travelled over to watch Kerr in action with the Seagull’s U23s and quickly set the wheels in motion on a potential loan deal.
Before agreeing on a move to Foyleside, Kerr asked Ireland international, Duffy and former Derry City striker and fellow Scot, Ally Roy for their advice and both encouraged him to make the move.
And Kerr admits the chance to link up with former Celtic and Brighton star, Paddy McCourt also played a major part in bringing him to Derry this week.
“You look at Paddy and you see what he can do,” said the Scot. “I’ve watched him over the years and if he talks, you listen. So I had to take his advice on board, his and the management team’s. They sold the club to me very well and it was a no-brainer once I spoke to them.
“I also spoke to Shane Duffy at Brighton. He’s from here and gave me a great insight into the club and the city. He said it’s a no-brainer for me to come here.
“I spoke to Ally Roy too who was here last year. He’s from where I’m from back home and he gave me good reports too.
“It was the chance to play first team football and for a big club as well. You can stay in England but the clubs won’t be as big or attract as many fans.”
The 20 year-old has certainly done his homework on Derry and the League of Ireland and believes it’s the perfect place to take his career to the next level.
“It’s a footballing city, you can see that with the people in charge and the players - everyone is right up for it.
“You need to take the club back to where it belongs. Last year was a sticky patch and we’ve got to help get it back up there. I’ve done my research,” he smiled.
“As soon as I heard it was a possibility, you have to do your homework and see if it suits you but the management team have been perfect with me since I’ve got here.
"I came over on Thursday to get a feel for it but it was pretty much done at that point. I just wanted to get a feel for the stadium and the city. I had never been here before so I wanted to see what it was all about and it ticked all the boxes.
"As long as there is a ball and a pitch I'll be fine. If we can start well then hopefully we can get this stadium rocking and who knows what where it can take us."
He's begun his second pre-season in a matter of months this week but he's willing to put in the hard yards to ensure his Derry City career gets off to the best possible start.
"I've starting my second pre-season of the year but it just has to be done. If I want to play here I have to graft at training but it doesn't bother me. Ill start again fresh."
Kerr's versatility will provide Devine with defensive options over the course of the next six months and the defender believes he's got the necessary passion to fit into this new-look Derry City side.
"I've got a few positions I can play but I'm a centre back who is comfortable on the ball. First and foremost you have to be able to defend and I can do that and I'm quite passionate about it. I think that's what brought me here,
"It's a passionate set of fans and city so I think I'll fit in well with that. You can see the boys at training are throwing their bodies on the line and that's what you want from the team. When you get the ball you need to be able to play and show a bit of composure and I think I can bring that,
"Its just that next stage. Managers aren't really interested until you've got the experience of playing senior football behind you and it can only stand you in good stead."