Former Northern Ireland international player Jim Magilton at the festival of football at Laurelhill Sports Zone. US3410-506cd
Former Northern Ireland international player Jim Magilton at the festival of football at Laurelhill Sports Zone. US3410-506cd

Derry City Football Club have made approaches to former QPR boss Jim Magilton and Sligo Rovers manager Paul Cook about replacing Stephen Kenny as manager of the Candy Stripes, according to sources.

The Sunday Journal understands that the Derry City Board of Directors contacted the 42 year-old former Northern Ireland international Magilton earlier this week. Since contact was made, Magilton, who was assistant manager under Michael O’Neill at Shamrock Rovers last season, has been linked with the vacant position at English Championship side Preston North End. However, should Belfast born Magilton fail to succeed Phil Brown at Deepdale he will be back in contention to replace Stephen Kenny at the Brandywell.

Former Ipswich Town boss, Magilton, was in the running for the Northern Ireland manager’s job but was beaten off by former Shamrock Rovers boss Michael O’Neill.

It has also been revealed that the Board were granted permission by Sligo Rovers to talk to current boss Paul Cook. It is believed that the Board will meet with the 44 year-old Liverpudlian early next week.

Cook already turned down the opportunity to manage Scottish side St. Johnstone last month after he was granted permission by Sligo to talk to the Perth Saints.

It is believed that any deal to bring Cook from the Showgrounds to Derry would mean that the Brandywell club would have to hand over 25,000 euro in compensation.

Last season, Sligo finished second in the Airtricity Premier Division. They also won their second consecutive FAI Ford Cup under Cook and 2011 went on to be their most successful season since last winning the championship in 1977.

Derry City chairman Philip O’Doherty declined to comment on the identity of the candidates expressing an interested in the vacant manager’s job at Brandywell but said both he and the rest of the Board want a new man in charge as soon as possible.

“About 12 people have expressed an interest in becoming the new manager of Derry City but until we have something more than that, that’s all I am prepared to say.

“It’s important that we have someone in charge soon because the new season is only around the corner and pre-season training will be starting soon.”

Long time Derry City defender Eddie McCallion has joined team mates Gerard Doherty and Ruaidhri Higgins on the list of players who have re-signed for the club.

Mr. O’Doherty said he was happy the 32 year-old full-back had agreed to re-sign and revealed that McCallion has agreed to oversee pre-season training along with youth coach Eddie Seydak if no full-time manager is in place.

“Eddie McCallion has signed for the club for another year. Eddie’s fantastically loyal and he has kindly agreed to manage pre-season if no new manager is in place at that time.”

McCallion, who has been with Derry since 1998, said he was excited at the prospect of a new season and plans on showing what he can do to the new manager.

“Now that my future is sorted I’m already looking forward to the season coming up, my aim is to continue what I have been doing for the last 14 years and try to impress the new manager,” he said.