'May the best man win' - states Derry City boss Ruaidhri Higgins

Derry City manager Ruaidhri Higgins says it’s a case of ‘may the best man win’ after signing Brian Maher to increase competition for the Candy Stripes’ No. 1 shirt next season.

By Kevin McLaughlin
Friday, 26th November 2021, 6:00 am

The City boss was thrilled the Republic of Ireland U21 goalkeeper put pen to paper on a three year deal and believes Maher’s addition leaves City with two goalkeepers who can push each other on to greater heights.

“Goalkeepers are no different to left-backs or centre-forwards, you need competition in all departments,” insisted Higgins.

“Nathan has had a really good season so the competition will be rife and as a manager that’s what you want, so may the best man win.

Sign up to our daily Derry Journal Today newsletter

“I think Brian’s stock has risen over recent times and you see his performances, particularly for Ireland U21s against really strong opposition, were of the highest level. I’m delighted to bring him to the club.

“It was very evident early on in our conversations that Brian was really keen to be part of this club and I’m delighted we have managed to get this over the line.”

As for the ex-St Patrick’s Athletic youth team net-minder, he revealed it took just one conversation with Higgins for him to make his mind up in terms of where he would be playing his football in 2022 and he’s ready for the step up.

“It didn’t take much to persuade me. In fact, it took one conversation with the manager. He outlined what he wanted to do and where he sees the club going and pretty much from then Derry went right to the top of my list,” explained Maher.

Derry City's new signing Brian Maher. Picture by George Sweeney

“I’m delighted things are now sorted out. Once I spoke to the manager my mind was pretty much made up on where I wanted to play football for the next few years.

“Yes, it’s a step up which is something I wanted to do. It’s a massive club so it was nearly a no brainer for me.

“I think, especially as a goalkeeper, it’s really important to be playing. It’s where you learn the most and where you improve the most.

“That’s why I took that decision to go and play for Bray. I backed myself to go and play and now I’m seeing the benefits of it with Ireland and now this move to Derry.”