The 25 year-old Dungiven man arrives on Foyleside with a reputation for having an eye for goal and with 97 career finishes to back him up.
Considering he’s spent the past two seasons at Crusaders playing predominantly in wide positions as part of a front three or coming off the wing, McGonigle believes he can thrive if given the opportunity to play through the middle at Derry. His versatility and ‘exceptional finishing’ were traits which caught the attention of City boss Ruaidhri Higgins.
McGonigle has proven he can adapt to various attacking roles and believes Derry City’s possession style play will suit his own game so he can’t wait to get started at the Brandywell club.
“Anywhere I’ve played I’ve scored goals so I don’t see that being any different here. The net hasn’t changed size so as long as I’m provided with the chances and played in behind, I’m confident I’ll score goals,” he stated.
“I haven’t really thought too much about the number of goals I’ve scored to be honest. I just try and set targets for seasons and work off that. But 97 goals, I’m definitely happy with that considering part of that was playing as a wide man as well the last couple of years. Hopefully I can get back playing as a centre forward and score even more.
“I prefer playing as a central striker. Whenever I was at Coleraine at the start of my career my best position was playing in a two up top but over the years I’ve played as a lone striker, I’ve played in a three and a two and played in a No.10 position so I’ve learned the game and different ways to play and hopefully I can bring that into Derry City.”
Derry have scored just 19 goals this season after 18 games with the majority of those from setplays. Top scorer Will Patching (six) has returned to his parent club and defenders Cameron McJannet and Ronan Boyce currently lead the goalscoring charts with four apiece.
Having watched last Friday’s 2-1 defeat to Dundalk, McGonigle was suitably impressed with the second half showing and hopes he can add some much needed firepower.
“Derry are a good footballing side. I watched the game last week against Dundalk and in the second half I thought they were really good. They got into the right areas but just weren’t able to add those goals that they needed which is crucial when you’re on top and hopefully I can help with that.”
McGonigle is reunited with his 2018 Irish Cup winning teammate Ciaron ‘Jackie’ Harkin and of course he also played alongside Higgins for a season at Coleraine. And he’s excited about the prospect of challenging for honours with the Foylesiders.
“Whenever I played with him, he was obviously a very, very good player. Even at that stage he was very keen to try to develop the younger players as well as his own game so that shows why he’s become a good manager and will become even better in the years to come.
“Just even his coaching, his knowledge of the game, he knows it inside out, all the small things, his knowledge is really good.
“Myself and Jackie get on really well and we won the Irish Cup together in 2018, it was special at that time but I think if we were able to win something here it would be brilliant.
“Hopefully we can do that within the next three years,” he added.