David Parkhouse is the best young player in the league: insists Declan Devine
DECLAN DEVINE claims Derry City striker, David Parkhouse should stand alone as the PFAI Young Player of the Year given his magnificent first season in senior football.
The Sheffield United loanee has been shortlisted alongside the talented Bohemians midfielder, Danny Mandroiu and Ireland senior international playmaker, Jack Byrne for the prestigious accolade.
Parkhouse celebrated his 20th birthday yesterday and Devine believes he has defied his age this season and would be a worthy winner of the award.
However, the City boss isn’t prepared to hold his breath in anticipation.
“For me, he’s the best young player in the league,” said Devine. “I think Mandroiu and Byrne are in a different category. Parky has been under 20 years of age this season so he is the proper young player of the year.
“Will he win it? We don’t win personal awards at Derry but it doesn’t matter. He’s the only player nominated from Derry in the team of the year whereas I think Ciaran Coll could’ve been in there. Greg Sloggett is unfortunate not to be in it.
“I think Eoin Toal is unfortunate not to be up for Young Player of the Year. Junior (Ogedi-Uzokwe) could’ve been pushing for Team of the Year. That’s the nature of playing for Derry. That’s the way it is but the one thing I can say is once the game is over tomorrow night I will look David Pakrhouse in the eye and say thank you very much.”
Indeed, Parkhouse has been a revelation this season alongside Junior and with both players on 11 goals apiece going into tonight’s north west derby at Brandywell, Devine recognises they’ve been pivotal players in the club’s European bid.
“We have two players on 11 goals. People were looking at our squad at the start of the year asking where the goals would come from. There’s two players alone who have 22 league goals between them.”
Both Parkhouse and Junior trail leading goalscorer, Pat Hoban by two goals going into the final match of the season but Devine thinks it will be a ‘big ask’ to pip the Dundalk striker to the award.
“It’s a big ask to get two in the north west derby but you just never know. Parky has been very good in the north west derbies. He’s scored two in the last one here in the League Cup. He scored a magnificent header in Finn Park in the first one.
“His body and performances defies his age. He’s 20 today, it’s his birthday and yesterday he was announced in the team of the year.
“He’s up for young player of the year so we have to remember in December 2018 Boston United were letting Parky go. Tamworth in November 2018 were letting Parky go.
“Fair play to the boy he’s kick started his career. He has a fantastic attitude, application to his games and I’m really proud of him this year. He’s been a brilliant servant to the club and if I could wish for anything I’d live to see him challenge Pat Hoban for the top goalscorer. If he could do that what a year it would be.”