'I fell in love with Derry City': says ex Chelsea youngster Walter Figueira
EX-CHELSEA youngster, Walter Figueira claimed he 'fell in love' with Derry City when he made his debut for Waterford at Brandywell Stadium.
The exciting 24 year-old forward, who signed a one year contract with the Candy Stripes, scored twice on his debut with the Blues in a 4-2 extra-time defeat to Derry in the EA Sports Cup semi-final last August.
It was his first taste of League of Ireland football and while he enjoyed his three month spell in Waterford where he made 14 appearances, he believes Declan Devine's style of football and the club's 'winning mentality' attracted him to Foyleside.
"The week before I made my debut we (Waterford) played Derry and I watched the game and it was fantastic football," he recalled. "I won't deny it. It was very controlled, I liked the style of play and I fell in love with it to be honest.
"It's the type of football which will benefit me as a player, keeping possession and the chances Derry create. The feeling was very mutual to come here.
"When I got to speak to Declan (Devine) and Paddy (McCourt) and my agent, the energy was just amazing and I just knew we could definitely become something big."
There was reported interest from SPL clubs, Hamilton, Livingston and St Johnstone so why did Figueira opt to stay in the League of Ireland and join City?
"The atmosphere in the stadium, for one, when I came up with Waterford" he said. "I wouldn't say I was intimidated but the fans really get behind their team.
"That and with how much the city loves football and the history with the club doing the 'treble'. I want to replicate that winning mentality and I just think there's a lot of potential here which is what made me sway to a move to Derry.
"When I had a conversation with Declan and Paddy they were very happy with how the season went but they wanted more. I really love that because I miss having that winning mentality and I can see that with Derry. It was a no brainer."
"It just made sense to come here and get the best out of me. I'm hoping it turns out the way we've imagined it to be and I'm really confident it will do."