Gerard Doherty has agreed to join Danske Bank Premiership champions Crusaders.
Doherty signed a 18 month deal with the Belfast men this evening to link up with former team-mates Mark McChrystal, Rory Patterson and Rory Hale.
And the 37-year-old has likened his new boss, Stephen Baxter, to former Derry and Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny.
“Over the last few years (leaving) wasn’t something I thought about but Crusaders are a massive club and after 10 minutes meeting Stephen, I thought ‘this is a breath of fresh air’ and a ‘man I’d like to work with’,” stated Doherty.
“He’s a manager who took a club in turmoil and turned the whole place around.
“In my eyes he would be similar to Stephen Kenny. He has done a fantastic building job. He really impressed me. There’s absolutely nothing going to get in Stephen’s way in his attempts to improve Crusaders and that’s what sold it to me.”
Doherty said meeting the Crues manager was a ‘new experience’ for him but now he wants to work hard and force his way into Baxter’s plans once the transfer window opens in January.
“Having that chat with Stephen was something I had never done before,” he confirmed.
“Since I came back to Derry 10 years ago, I have never had any meetings with any other clubs so it was new and exciting for me. Now that everything is done and dusted it’s time for me to knuckle down and do as best as I can in my new challenge at Crusaders.
“I have been to a few of their games and they are right in the thick of the league battle. Everybody knows the come-back they put together before to win the league and they are more than capable of doing that.
“Stephen is building a squad to compete every year. With a club of Crusaders’ size and history, that’s exactly what they have to be doing and I want to be apart of that.
“I’ll be going up there and trying to force my way into the team and see what happens from there on, but it’s exciting times at Crusaders.”