Derry City manager Declan Devine says Jack Malone’s attitude on and off the pitch has deservedly been rewarded by his first professional contract.
The midfielder, who fired his first senior goal for the club in last week’s 3-0 win over Sligo Rovers, has featured a number of times this season and Devine believes his future is bright.
“We are delighted to have Jack on a professional contract because it shows the rest of the young players at our club that the pathway is there for them to reach the first team,” he insisted.
“Jack has been a breath of fresh air. I used him as my first sub last week against Sligo and he has had a couple of other little outings were he has dipped his toe in and done extremely well.
“His application is fist class, not only in and around the first team but also with becoming a leader in our Under 19 squad. That was really key to his progression and his future is very much in Jack’s hands.
“It will be fantastic to see him grow as I have known the boys from a very young age and I think he’s another player who can really get better.
“He’ll have a really good career if he continues to do what he’s doing and we are delighted to have him here. I think the supporters have enjoyed watching him, especially against Sligo and I’m delighted he’s part of the first team panel.
“Ultimately it shows the pathway for every player in the city.”
One man who has left the club is centre-back, Patrick McClean, who was official released on Tuesday and is believed to be closing in on a deal with Paddy McLaughlin’s Cliftonville with Institute also in talks with the ex-Waterford man.
McClean who has been out for a number of months because injury and Devine is now looking to the future.
“I wish Patrick all the best, he’s a good lad from good family and I’ve know him a long time, so good luck to him and we move on.”