"My phone is going to go in the River Foyle' - jokes Derry City boss Ruaidhri Higgins

RUAIDHRI Higgins claims he would be 'delighted' with his current Derry City squad if the transfer window was to close now.

The City boss is patiently assembling his 2023 squad but admits he would be content to go into the first game of the Airtricity Premier Division season with the team already at his disposal.

Highly rated former Ireland U21 international striker Colm Whelan became Higgins' first new signing of the close season and the City boss says he's in no rush to delve back into the market.

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Higgins went into the current window from a position of strength having nailed down the vast majority of players from last year's squad on long term deals.

Derry City boss Ruaidhri Higgins has been taking plenty of phone calls during the close season as he looks to build his squad for 2023.

Jordan McEneff and Ciaran Coll re-signed while Danny Lafferty (Sligo), Declan Glass (Dundee) and James Akintunde (Bohs) moved on.

In fact the City supremo has even, albeit with tongue in cheek, threatened to throw his mobile phone into the River Foyle before Christmas because 'it doesn't stop'.

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"If I had to start the season tomorrow with what we have I'd be delighted but we're trying to bring in a couple more," he admitted.

"It's a different window because this time last year there were a lot of really talented players available whereas that's not the case now.

"Clubs are signing players to longer term deals so you need to think outside the box and maybe pluck one or two from different places. We'll be really patient.

"There's no panic whatsoever and if the right one comes along brilliant, if he doesn't then we move along."

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Higgins is prepared to cast his net far and wide to find the right player who will improve his squad.

"We'll look anywhere. We're lucky that myself and Rennie (Alan Reynolds) have met a lot of people over the years through football but my phone is going to go in the Foyle some day before Christmas because it doesn't stop," he laughed. "But that's the business we're in. Football doesn't stop, it's 24/7 and it's a privilege.”

Season ticket sales are selling at an unprecedented pace and with talks about installing temporary terracing at Brandywell, there’s a feeling of excitement in the Derry air.

Supporters have been amazing,” added Higgins. “They're not shy in telling you want they want next year as well which is great because they’re excited about the team and the club.

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"Nothing is guaranteed but hopefully we can have a really good season and we have to work even harder to get better and that's the plan."

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