Hull City loanee Danny Lupano delighted to return to Derry City

DANNY LUPANO expects to make a seamless transition into life at Derry City after completing his loan move from Hull City.
Defender, Danny Lupano has signed a six month loan deal with Derry City.Defender, Danny Lupano has signed a six month loan deal with Derry City.
Defender, Danny Lupano has signed a six month loan deal with Derry City.

The 20 year-old Belgian defender has already had a taste of League of Ireland football during a brief loan spell at the Brandywell club last season.

That, of course, was cut short after just four games due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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However, Lupano is determined to make an impression this season and is prepared to work hard to cement his place in the Derry starting XI.

He's already been welcomed back into the fold with open arms ahead of pre-season.

And while he's not the biggest fan of the snow and cold weather he's experienced since arriving on Foyleside, he's excited to be back!

"I can't wait to get started," he enthused. "I'm really looking forward to getting back playing again.

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"I know some of the lads anyway from last year and the team has already made me feel welcome and Declan (Devine) and the rest of the coaching staff always make me feel welcome so I'm used to the place already.

"I'm very happy to be back and I'm looking forward to getting back playing. Last season wasn't easy for the fans and I'm really hoping we get to play in front of the fans and do well this year.

“I never really got to show a lot of my game at Derry. I only played four or five games so it was quite short. I feel I could have offered more but the Coronavirus situation ended my time there."

Lupano was thrown in at the deep end last season, making his senior debut against Dundalk at Oriel Park on the opening night of the 2020 campaign.

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He earned plaudits for his fearless display against winger, Michael Duffy and went on to produce three further confident performances before his time at the club came to an end prematurely.

His promising performances were rewarded by his parent club as the Tigers offered him a 12 month extension to his contract.

League One leaders Hull, who are currently battling for automatic promotion, sent him out on a month long loan to Conference side, King's Lynn where the 6’4” youngster played five games in all competitions and helped the Linnets secure a shock 1-0 win away to League Two Port Vale in the FA Cup first round.

Now, he's determined to get valuable gametime under his belt as he looks to progress his career and he believes Derry City is the perfect platform.

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While his contract with Hull is set to expire after his six month loan spell with the Candy Stripes, he's not thinking that far ahead just yet and wants to concentrate giving his best for Devine and the City fans.

"It's a six month loan deal and then my contract with Hull is up at the end of the season," he confirmed. "I don't know what will happen after that but we'll wait and see.

"I'm not thinking too far ahead at this stage. I'm not thinking about contracts and stuff. I'm just thinking about playing for Derry and getting as many minutes on the pitch as possible."

Lupano faces stiff competition for a starting berth this season as Devine has plenty of defensive options following the arrival of Danny Lafferty and the emergence of Ronan Boyce who was recently handed his first professional terms.

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Darren Cole, Cameron McJannett, Eoin Toal and Ciaran Coll will all be hoping to secure their places and Lupano is prepared to fight for his place as he provides options at centre half or in the right back position.

"I just need to play games and I obviously wasn't getting a chance with Hull, I spent a short spell on loan at King's Lynn for one month so it wasn't for a long time.

"Hopefully I can get a good preseason behind me now and get as many games as I can.

"It's good to have competition and nothing is going to be easy. I'm here to play football and hopefully I can secure a starting spot in the team and I'm prepared to work hard for it.

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"My favourite position is playing centre back but if the manager wants me to play somewhere else I'm more than happy to play wherever he wants me to do to make sure I'm in that starting XI. I'll do my best wherever I play."

So what can we expect from Lupano this season?

"The fans can expect honesty and I'll always be giving 100 per cent of myself and doing the best I can do for the team," he promised.

Derry boss, Devine was delighted to get the deal done ahead of preseason training which gets underway this week.

“I have been trying to bring Danny back to the club since the second half of last season but all the restrictions made it very difficult.”

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“I’m over the moon to get him in again now and our supporters who saw him during that short stint last season will know exactly what he is about.”

“He brings quality and physicality to our side and his time here will also help him develop as a player as well.”

“He knows the club and the city and he fits in really well in the way we’re looking to build. I would love to keep Danny here long term but that’s a discussion that will be had down the line.

“It’s a great piece of business for Derry City and I’m thrilled we’ve been able to get it done.”