NEW DERRY City signing Conor McCormack has represented Manchester United, played in Italy’s Serie B and has won the League of Ireland’s Premier Division - all at the tender age of 25!
He’s roomed with Republic of Ireland star, Darron Gibson, and played alongside England and Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck as well as United and N. Ireland defender, Johnny Evans during an exciting career.
While his time spent at Man United as a youth player didn’t exactly work out as he had hoped, he’s gone on to shine in the League of Ireland via a spell with Italian Serie B side U.S Triestina Calcio.
So he arrives at Brandywell with bags of experience and a Setanta Sports Cup and league winners’ medal from his two year spell at Shamrock Rovers as well as a memorable journey to the Group Stages of the Europa League under his belt.
He faces a very different challenge at Derry City, however, after signing a deal which keeps him at Brandywell until the end of the season - with an option of an extra year based on appearances!
With Derry struggling at the wrong end of the table, Derry boss, Peter Hutton is hopeful the signing of McCormack will provide the neccessary spark to to resurrect their league campaign.
You look at some of the players I’ve played with over the years at Man United who have gone on and did well. The likes of Tom Cleverly, Danny Welbeck, Craig Cathcart, Johnny Evans, Darron Gibson - I could go on all day. So I’ve learned from them.Conor McCormack
And Co. Louth native McCormack says he’s excited about the challenge which lies ahead, insisting he’s the right man to help get Derry City out of trouble, given his vast experience.
“I’m glad to have it over the line now,” he said. “I’ve been in negotiations the last week or two and finally we got it over the line.
“Derry are a massive club and shouldn’t be down where they are. So I’m up for the challenge. I’ve been talking to Peter (Hutton) and he’s looking to get a few wins on the board from now until the end of the season and get us back up the table.”
He struggled to nail down a place in Liam Buckley’s St Pat’s side this season and when Derry came calling, he felt it was the right time to move on.
“I had a few offers but I chose Derry so hopefully it goes well,” he added. “There are plenty of good players at St Pat’s and I was in and out of the team. It was disappointing because I just wanted to go out and play. I felt I should have got more of a chance there but obviously not.
“Derry offered me a good deal, so why wouldn’t I come up here and help out? There’s an option of signing again next year if I play so many games, so that was a big thing for me as well.
“I have plenty of experience. I first came into the league under Michael O’Neill at Shamrock Rovers and we won the Setanta Cup and the league and we got into the Europa League and did well.
“I like to help out - I’m a team player. You look at some of the players I’ve played with over the years at Man United who have gone on and did well. The likes of Tom Cleverly, Danny Welbeck, Craig Cathcart, Johnny Evans, Darron Gibson - I could go on all day.
“So I’ve learned from them growing up and the senior players at Man United. I went over to Italy which was a completely different experience so I have that under my belt as well. I really enjoyed it there.
“And then the couple of years at Shamrock Rovers were pretty successful so I have done a lot at a young age.
“So I’ll certainly give some advice to some of the younger players.
“And hopefully I can bring a bit of experience into the dressing room and we can all play together and get a few wins under our belt.”
He joined up with his new teammates on Wednesday morning for the first time at Clooney Park West for his first training session and he was delighted with how things went.
“Derry has great quality,” he continued. “Even at my first training session today you can see there’s plenty of good, young talent here.
“I think they’ve just been unfortunate with results so hopefully I can help the lads bounce back.”
“Hopefully we get the rub of the green and we look forward to this Friday against Longford - it’s certainly a game where we’ll be hoping to get the three points.
“There is great talent here so hopefully the fans can get behind us and we can get a few wins.”