FORMER Rangers midfielder, Dean Shiels will NOT be joining his father at Derry City this summer according to the '˜Candy Stripes' boss, despite his release from the Ibrox club fuelling speculation.
Derry boss, Kenny Shiels stamped out suggestions his son could be Brandywell bound after Mark Warburton released him from his contract to facilitate the arrival of Joey Barton.
The 31-year-old N. Ireland international played over 120 times and scored 32 goals for the Glasgow club as he helped guide them through the lower leagues on their way back to the SPL.
And while he would be considered a significant summer acquisition as Derry challenge for European qualification, Shiels has ruled out an approach.
“He’s got opportunities to go to the continent so I’m sure he’ll take one of those up,” said the Derry City manager. “It’s not a runner with us. It’s not feasible or possible at this moment in time. They (Rangers) have to accommodate the Joey Barton money and things like that so I guess that’s why they’ve let him go.”
With a move for ex-Celtic winger, Paddy McCourt on the backburner, Shiels claims he will not be pressured into delving into the transfer market next month, instead opting to stick with his tried and tested youth policy.
Shiels, who announced he will be taking a ‘hands on’ approach with Derry & District F.A. outfit, Derry City Colts, is keen to continue to develop Derry City’s young talent.
He’s shown this season that he is prepared to give the younger players a chance of first team football with Josh Daniels, Ronan Curtis, Conor McDermott, Rory Holden and Ryan Doherty all getting opportunities in the first team. All five of those players have featured in the Derry City U19 Foyle Cup winning squad.
And so Shiels believes he has enough young talent in the squad to help bolster his side’s chances of securing a top five finish. “I think we’ve a good enough squad,” he said. “We have to look at what’s underneath. What’s the point in going out to buy players if you’re trying to build something.I think we need to look at Rory Holden, Ryan Dohery, Conor McDermott, Josh Daniels, Ronan Curtis, Nathan Boyle, all those young players.
“If I had of bought in players, the likes of Josh and Ronan might not have had a chance. We’re trying to grow our own and if I go and get two or three players in July what happens to those good young players we have? We can’t have our cake and eat it. If the supporters want me to go and get players and the Chairman supports that, I don’t think that’s good management. You look at Jose Mourinho, he couldn’t manage a club like Derry City!”
The Derry City squad returned to training yesterday after a week long break and while Rory Patterson (hamstring) and Barry McNamee (illness) are still struggling, Harry Monaghan has returned to full training after a knee injury and is expected to play a part in Friday night’s friendly against Glenavon at Mourneview Park. (K.O. 7.30 p.m.)
“The boys worked hard this morning and this afternoon as well. We’re still carrying a few injuries but we’re working with the players as best we can.
“We hope Rory (Patterson) will be back for the Wexford game but we have to be careful we don’t bring him back too early. Barry McNamee hasn’t been able to train with the team but Harry Monaghan trained with the team for the first time in a while and he’ll be in the frame for the Glenavon game on Friday night.
“It’s all hands to the pump now. We have to try and stay with the top five pack and withing touching distance of the European spot which is our ambition.”