Derry City's southern players taking a '˜pounding'

CONOR McCormack believes the significant drop in the value of Sterling against the Euro will prove detrimental to Derry City's hopes of attracting southern based players to the club.

Tuesday, 1st November 2016, 7:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 4:48 pm
©/ - 18th February 2012. Press Eye Ltd - Northern Ireland - SSE Airtricity League Premier Division - Derry City V Bray Wanderers. Derry's Conor McCormack. Mandatory Credit Photo Lorcan Doherty /

And the Carlingford native insists the Pound to Euro exchange rate has also hit him hard in the pocket and he’s hoping he can come to some arrangement to counter the difference in the value during ongoing contract negotiations with the ‘Candy Stripes.’

The midfielder has enjoyed a hugely impressive 18 months on Foyleside and has been influential in the club’s European qualification this year but he admits the harsh realities of a weakened pound has taken its toll.

McCormack insists he would love to stay and lend his vast experience to the club as it prepares for a return to European football and he’s hoping the club can put a suitable deal on the table as talks continue over the coming weeks.

So the Brandywell club clearly hasn’t avoided the ongoing effects of Brexit with Derry City boss, Kenny Shiels revealing after Friday’s night’s win over St Patrick’s Athletic that one member of his squad simply ‘couldn’t afford to play for Derry City.’

While he refused to reveal the identity of the player in question, it’s clear that McCormack is certainly feeling the financial strain of living in the Republic and picking up his wages in the north.

“I sat down and had a talk with the club about next year and where we would like to be,” said the player who has been a mainstay in the City starting line-up this season.

“Obviously we’re trying to get things sorted now at the minute. It’s not going to be a process that will happen overnight. We’re still in the process of sorting out a contract.

“I haven’t given myself any time frame to get something sorted,” he added. “I’ll enjoy my time off and I’ll sit down again with the club. We had a brief conversation but hopefully we can strike a deal.”

Clearly McCormack is feeling the pinch but does he foresee any major snags in negotiations with the club over an improved deal?

“I don’t think it will be too much of a problem,” he said. “Obviously I’m from down south and the sterling isn’t the greatest against the euro. So hopefully we can come up with a few different options which will sort things out.

“That’s obviously to the benefit of the southern clubs at the minute. They can afford to keep the lads down around Dublin or the southern clubs because the euro is stronger than the sterling. It’s harder for the southern lads to come up to play for Derry now. The rate of the Sterling has gone so bad at the minute.

“We’ll just wait and see but hopefully we get something sorted out. The Sterling hit a low in the middle of the season which is a pity but, hopefully, we can come up with some sort of arrangement and if we can strike a good deal, I’d be willing to sign again for next season.”

There’s no doubting McCormack’s commitment to the Brandywell outfit and he insists he wants to be a part of the club’s European adventure next year having got a taste of it with Shamrock Rovers.

“I’d love to stay on. I had a great year. I’ve been with the club for 18 months now having coming in midway through last season. We’ve gone from being around the bottom of the table to finishing third in the league which is a massive achievement and great to be part of it.

“We’re now in Europe next year and I’d love to stay on and help the club even more and hopefully push the top two and have a little run in Europe and maybe even go a step further in the cup.

“I had a chat with the club and that’s obviously the direction they want to go in as well. So we’ll see what happens over the next few weeks.

“The last European game I played in was with Shamrock Rovers when we were in the Europa League and I haven’t played one since. I know I have a bit of experience behind me and I know how good it is playing in those games against the big teams with big crowds. Every player would relish playing in the big games so if things go right I’ll be back playing in Europe next season.

“Hopefully we can strike a good deal both for myself and the club. I’d love to stay on. Derry is a big club. It’s a good family run club and I really enjoyed my time here and it’s been wonderful working with Kenny. Hopefully I’ll be back again next season.”